Satisfactory peer group interactions within a university, through the formation of close associations, define a student’s personality and help in deterring the rise of depression caused by academic, financial or emotional troubles. In this work, we conduct a pre-study survey of 177 students in a University setting to assess the requirement for a smartphone-based study to detect and monitor group formation, evolution and engagement. The preliminary results from this investigation reveal that students’ social interactions are not limited to one but several groups, and the satisfaction levels associated with each type of group are indicative of the average time spent engaging with said group(s). Intra-group bond strength took precedence as a satisfaction determinant over the location or activity engaged in. Further, we present design recommendations for a minimally invasive smartphone-based study. © 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).