Off Campus and Commuter Students

Butler University wants every student to be given the support and resources they need to thrive, whether they live on campus or off. Off-campus and commuter students have access to all the services, resources, clubs, and programs afforded to any Butler student. We encourage our off-campus and commuter students to get involved on campus and make Butler your home away from home.

Who is a Commuter?

Butler defines a commuter student as “An undergraduate student who is either granted an exemption from on-campus housing in their first six semesters or, after their sixth semester, lives outside of the 46208 zip code.”

Though Butler undergraduate students generally are required to live on campus for six semesters, students may apply for an exemption to commute to campus.

Commuter Student Center

The Butler University Commuter Student Center is located in Atherton Union, Room 011, and serves as the hub for commuter support and resources. In addition, the Center is a wonderful place to study, meet fellow commuter students, or simply relax outside of class.

The Commuter Student Center is accessible via your student ID, and only those that fit under the University’s definition of commuter have card access. However, commuter students are more than welcome to bring their friends into the space. If you are a commuter student and do not have access to the Center, please contact Caroline Huck-Watson at

The Commuter Student Center features multiple amenities, including lockers, a refrigerator, a microwave, a Keurig, a water cooler, study tables and chairs, white boards, a bulletin board, soft seating, and a television. The lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are locked with a key. In addition to the amenities, the Commuters at Butler student organization regularly stocks the Center with snacks and beverages.

Commuter Lounges and Study Spaces

Aside from the Commuter Student Center, there are many soft spaces that commuters can access to study or hang out.

College of Education Commuter Lounge

  • Located in the College of Education on South Campus, there is a commuter lounge in the library
  • The lounge has lockers, a Keurig, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a station to prepare your lunches

Butler Libraries

  • Irwin Library on the mall (big green space through the center of campus). It has great resources, helpful people and many lounges, study tables, and nooks and crannies. Walk the entire building and locate places that fit your study style:
  1. Irwin Collaborative Space, inside the front doors and to the right
  2. Great Books Room, inside the front doors and through Collaborative Space to the right
  3. Small study spaces to reserve
  • The Science Library is located in Holcomb Building on the second floor:
  1. Printers/copiers on the first floor
  2.  Microwave on the second floor by the restrooms
  3. Small study rooms on the second floor, to the right

Soft Spaces in Academic Buildings

  • Jordan Hall, third floor
  • Jordan Hall, third floor Writer’s Studio, Room 304A—providing a coffee maker and refrigerator
  • Jordan Hall, third floor Modern Language Center, Room 319
  • Jordan Hall, second floor booths
  • Gallahue Hall basement
  • Fairbanks Building, first and second floors
  • Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building basements—providing seating, open spaces, and whiteboards
  • Business Building—providing study booths throughout all floors
  • Lilly Hall, third floor

Atherton Union

  • Starbucks
  • Plum Market, located next to the Commuter Center—providing computer stations, microwaves, and printers
  • Diversity Center, AU 004—providing comfortable seating, a kitchen, and gender-inclusive restrooms
  • Game Room, AU 002
  • The Commuter Student Center, AU 011

Center for Faith and Vocation (aka The Blue House)

  • Located across Sunset Avenue by Schrott Center for the Arts. A welcoming space for gathering, studying and considering life’s big questions—providing a kitchen

Computer Labs

  • This listing  provides the location of the computer labs as well as the total number of computer stations and if they are in use currently.

Reserving Space on Campus

  • You can reserve space on campus by logging in to and clicking Calendar & Event scheduling.

Health & Recreation Complex

  • The HRC provides day lockers right behind the main desk. Or lockers can be rented by the semester. Vending machines are available. A great place to move, play and release stress!
The Commuters at Butler (CAB) student organization serves as the voice of commuter students on campus. CAB holds events for commuters, maintains the Commuter Student Center, and provides resources. The no-fee organization is open to anyone and welcomes input from the commuter population.

Commuter Orientation

All new students, including first-year and transfer, are required to take part in Orientation. Fall Orientation typically lasts three or four full days and immerses incoming students into life at Butler.

During orientation, there are required commuter-specific sessions. These sessions will appear on the orientation schedule once it is published. Food will be served at these events. In addition, several returning commuter students will be present to answer questions and make connections.

If you are a current commuter student and would like to volunteer for commuter orientation sessions, please contact Andrew Stutz at

Get Involved!

Commuter students are sometimes under the impression that they are not able to participate in the same activities or clubs as residential students. This is not the case! Commuter students are strongly encouraged to join student organizations, attend athletics games and other events, and many more activities. Students also receive a full membership to the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC), so you can access its equipment, programs, and services any time you want.

Want to attend sporting events? Admission to Butler Athletic events is FREE for all full-time, undergraduate students. For ticketed sports, you will need to claim a mobile ticket through the free BU Dawg Pound Student Rewards App. Tickets are required for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Football, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, and Volleyball. You may attend Baseball, Cross Country, Golf, Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, and Track & Field without a ticket. These events are free to all, including the general public.

Butler currently has 140+ student organizations that encompass 18 themed categories such as Advocacy, Cultural, Faith-Based, Health & Well-Being, Service, Student Governance, and more.

Interested in learning more about our organizations? Visit the Directory of Student Organizations on Butler Engage. Search groups by name, category, or interest. After finding an organization, learn more about their mission, membership process, and upcoming events by exploring their profile. You can also create a new student organization if you don’t see one that fits your interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

All full-time undergraduate students are required to live in University housing for 6 academic year semesters except those who are: a) commuting from and residing full-time in the primary residence of their parents or legal guardians which is within 45 miles of campus; or b) married or civilly unified and residing with spouse; or c) are a legal guardian of a child and residing with said child; or e) are a military veteran with 2- years of active service.

All campus housing includes both room and required dining plan with the exception of the Apartment Communities (South Campus Apartments, Butler Terrace, and Apartment Village). Apartment Community residents may purchase community-dining plan through the link on the Butler Dining page.

Butler University Greek Chapter houses are considered on campus housing for sophomore and junior students. Some Chapters may require seniors to live in their chapter houses as well. If a Greek Chapter house does not have space for all affiliated sophomore and junior students, they must live in on-campus University housing. Chapters do not release students to off-campus status.

If you would like to commute from home with a parent, you will log into the housing portal, prior to June 1, to complete the Non- Residential Request Form. The steps for submission are outlined based on your request type.

There are also options for students to complete the Non-Residential Request based on being married, having dependents, being a veteran, meeting the live-on requirement, having specific needs that cannot be met on campus, or other extenuating circumstances. Can anyone apply for commuter status?

No. Commuter students are not required to purchase a meal plan. However, commuter students are more than welcome to purchase a meal plan. For more information on dining plans, please visit Butler Dining Campus Dining Plans.

Those without a dining plan can still pay to eat in any of the dining locations.


“C” (Commuter) designated parking is located in the Sunset Avenue parking garage and in the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot. Certain areas designated for other types of permits open up for “C” permit parking after 5:00 PM as designated on the posted signage in each area. “C” permits include ID access to the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage for daytime parking. There is no overnight parking available for this permit.

Permits are valid from August 1 to July 31.

Instructions for how to register for a parking pass can be found here. Online vehicle registration typically opens in July.

Yes. Full-time undergraduate students have their annual membership to the HRC paid via their student fees. Part-time or graduate students can buy a membership for $275/semester.

Commuter students should automatically be granted access to the commuter center once their Non-Residential Request form is approved. If a student does not have access, they should contact Andrew Stutz at

Yes! Butler has over 140 student organizations that any student is permitted to join.