Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Drew Moser

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Steve Bedi


The residential college setting often seems dominated by social opportunities and experiences, which may not prove conducive to the dispositions and preferences of introverted students. The current study sought to describe the overall experience of introverted college students on residential campuses in order to understand challenges they face and how they respond. Using a qualitative, phenomenological design, the study explores how introverted students experience the residential environment, friendships, and involvement in college. The researcher interviewed nine junior and senior students identified as introverts on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; participants discussed their experience of introversion in the context of residence halls, college friendships, and involvement on campus. Interview data yielded four themes describing the residential campus experience of introverted college students. Participants experienced introversion on a spectrum, uniquely defined their introversion, and experienced various challenges and advantages associated with introversion. They provided depth and stability in friendships but experienced the process of becoming friends gradually. While satisfied by their residence life experiences, particularly with regards to community, they experienced pressure to participate in the residence hall environment. Finally, introverted students were highly involved, found both challenge and benefit in their involvement, and gradually learned to lead out of their strengths and preferences as introverts. Implications of the current study offer higher education professionals a balanced perspective to working with both extraverted and introverted students.