The housing market in the Bay Area can be difficult.

Fortunately, the department works hard to help incoming students find places to live. If you come to Berkeley, we'll help you find a place you'll want to live. Most students do not visit to find housing and arrange tours through current graduate students.

What should you expect to pay?

In Spring 2024, GSAC conducted a housing survey of 31 graduate students in the department (out of ~70) and found:

Housing Costs

Where to live

The majority of graduate students live within Berkeley. A significant number of students, however, live in nearby cities and commute to campus. Descriptions of common housing locations follow. Times mentioned below are walking to the closest edge of campus.

One thing to remember is that Tan Hall is on the northeast side of campus (up the hill). You will most likely have to go up a hill of some sort to get to College of Chemistry buildings, though some newer buildings specifically for research are found on west side of campus along Oxford. Others work at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and most likely take a shuttle from campus or downtown Berkeley up to the lab.

Housing Location (2021-22)
Berkeley Neighboorhood Descriptions
Other Neighboorhood Descriptions

How to find a place to live

There are several common ways to find housing:

If you plan to make a trip to the Bay Area to look for housing, you should plan on spending a few days (at least a weekend) in the area so that you can do a thorough search of your housing options. Each summer, GSAC will compile a list of current students who are willing to host perspectives while they look for housing. We have plenty of people with couches, air mattresses, and sometimes extra rooms so you do not need to stay at a hotel to find housing for your first year. Do not be afraid to ask current grad students for a night on their couch, we are here to help!

Additional considerations while looking for housing:

Other Important Resources

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board

Oakland Rent Adjustment Program