San Francisco is a world-class city, but it is no secret that it can be difficult to afford. Unless you are already established in the Bay Area, finding a place to live may be one of your biggest concerns as a student. Here are some resources that may help.
Living on campus is often the best deal for students, especially when you first come to the Bay Area. Besides the generally lower cost and obvious convenience of living on campus, you will also not be burdened with having to sign a long lease; and you won't have to worry about finding roommates on your own. Even if living in campus housing is not appealing to you for the long-term, you may still find it much easier to live in campus housing temporarily, at least until you get a feel for San Francisco and other Bay Area cities and neighborhoods. Explore the options for living on campus.
Campus Life Services at UCSF operates all campus housing facilities. Their website has many other resources for students and postdocs seeking housing including eligibility requirements, agreements and contracts, information about parking, renter's insurance, bicycle policy, accommodations for people with disabilities, and much more. The campus housing website should be your primary source of information about living on campus!
Off-Campus Housing and Commuting
Visit the UCSF Campus Life Services website for many off-campus housing resources in addition to on-campus options. If you can't find a place in San Francisco that you can afford, you may want to consider living in one of the other fine cities that make up the Bay Area. Many people fall in love with the unique character of these other areas, so you would be wise to keep an open mind about all options! Good public transportation systems (e.g. BART, CalTrain, and AC Transit) make it feasible for many students, postdocs, faculty, and staff to live outside the city, while still having reasonable commutes and keeping commuting costs down.
Things to bear in mind:
- Free shuttles connect UCSF's main campuses and satellite locations.
- Public transportation options in the Bay Area include BART, busses, and ferries. Visit mycommute.ucsf.edu or 511.org to see what the transportation options and commute times might be like for you if you decide to live outside San Francisco.
- There is also a free UCSF shuttle from the 16th St Mission BART station to the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
- The CalTrain station on King Street is only about a 10-15 minute walk to Mission Bay.
- Bicycles are allowed on BART, CalTrain, ferries, and many bus lines.
- UCSF also has a network you can tap into for car and vanpools.