Q: What schools comprise the Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC)?
A: The Boston University School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences of the School of Medicine.
Q: I want to live on campus. What are my BUMC housing options?
A: All BUMC students live off-campus except for full-time graduate students of the School of Medicine, for whom preference is given to the entering class to live at the Medical Student Residence on the BUMC.
Q: My first choice is to live within walking distance to the Medical Campus. What is available?
A: Many students think they should live near campus, but with Boston’s public transportation system, the MBTA, living close to campus is not necessary. You will pay more and get less for an apartment near campus. There are many and varied neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area, some offering more reasonable rents. For apartment buildings in the South End visit Neighborhood Properties and BU Off-Campus Services for available listings.
Q: Where do most BUMC students live?
A: Approximately 25% of the 3,400 students live in the South End. Many commute from surrounding areas, such as Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and Quincy. BUMC students live throughout the Greater Boston area.
Q: Is the South End safe?
A: Generally the South End is a safe place to live, as is the City of Boston. However, Boston is a city, and as in any urban area one must pay attention to their surroundings, taking the precautions one takes when living in a city. Prior to deciding on where to live, in the South End or any other neighborhood, visit Boston Police website to read the police reports about the district/neighborhood.
Q: How do I choose a neighborhood?
A: Students are encouraged to do their research prior to deciding where to live. Use the Housing Resources and the City of Boston Neighborhoods website, and also raise questions about neighborhoods on your school’s Facebook page. Most importantly, visit the location, ask locals and friends, and trust your gut. Visit Boston Police for incident reports, or other town police departments for recent activity in the area. When searching for housing visit apartments in more than one neighborhood. You will have a better chance of finding what you are looking for if you broaden your search.
Popular neighborhoods include the South End, Brighton, Allston, Jamaica Plain, Kenmore/Fenway near BU Charles River Campus, Back Bay, South Boston, and the Town of Brookline and the City of Cambridge.
Q: Does Boston University offer apartments to graduate students?
A: BU Housing manages and rents BU owned apartments located on the Charles River Campus to BU graduate students.
Graduate student housing is available at the BU Fenway Campus (former Wheelock College campus) in Kenmore/Fenway neighborhood. BU Housing also manages this housing.
The advantages: a wide selection to choose from, convenient to both campuses, no broker fee or credit check, no cosigner required for the leases, properties managed and maintained by BU, security by BU Police Department, and 24 hour emergency service. The BUS connects all campuses.
Q: What is The BUS?
A: The BUS is a free BU Shuttle service for BU students that connects the Charles River Campus with the Medical and Fenway Campuses. Visit The BUS for schedules and stops.
Q: When should I begin my housing search?
A: Start as early as four months prior to your move in date. Most landlords require a 60 day notice but market forces have put pressure on tenants living in the city neighborhoods to make decisions on renewing their leases earlier in the year. Many tenants’ decisions are made by March. For landlords out side the urban area, a 30-60 day notice may be required. The rule is that the earlier you start the better selection and price you will find. Begin with finding a roommate, check out our Roommate Finder, select several neighborhoods, and then start searching for an apartment as soon as you can.
Q: Where do I start looking for housing, and what are the best resources?
A: Starting a housing search in an unfamiliar city often seems like a daunting task. Read about Boston and its neighborhoods from our resources. Visit BU Off-Campus Services for housing, roommates and related housing resources. Sometimes making a call to Housing Resources will reassure you and get you moving on your search.
Best resources to start with:
Q: How can I avoid being a victim of a housing scam?
A: While rare, BU students have fallen prey to nefarious scammers. International students are especially targeted for such scams. However, all students should be aware of the possible signs of a housing scam.
BU Today, in collaboration with BU Police, provides troubleshooting tools about how to avoid housing scams.
If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Contact Housing Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any concerns that you encountered a housing scam.
Q: Will you find me an apartment?
A: Housing Resources is just that, we provide resources for helping you find housing in the Boston area. We will assist you with housing related problems or questions such as dealing with a nasty landlord, a lease issue, or how to find a new roommate.
Q: How do I find a roommate?
A: Start by making connections with your fellow students through your school’s Facebook page. Remember that it is better to begin with a roommate, and then proceed to finding an apartment. There is a Roommate Finder on BU Off-Campus Services and additional roommate resources at Roommates You can also visit the Roommate Lounge at the Annual BUMC Housing Fair.
Q: Can I use Facebook to help find housing and connect with potential roommates?
A: All schools on BUMC offer Facebook pages created by incoming students for their classmates. This is a great resource for connecting with potential roommates and asking for housing related advice from fellow students.
Q: Can I access BU Off-Campus Services ?
A: Connect to BU Off-Campus Services for housing listings, roommate profiles, sublets and more. Just enter your BU ID and password to gain access to search or post a listing.
Q: Should I consider using a rental agent?
A: Rental agents are a good choice if you are limited in time or do not know the city and appreciate that an agent can drive you to visit apartments. If you are having difficulty finding what you want, agents have private listings that are not advertised and may be better able to locate what you want. You are only obligated to pay an agent a fee if you sign a lease for an apartment they have introduced to you. If you are not pleased with their service, there is no obligation. Do not waste your time, find another agent.
Q: Where do I find a good realtor?
A: First, decide what you want in an apartment: number bedrooms, budget, specific requests or concerns, and which neighborhoods you are interested in. You should search for an apartment with your soon-to-be-roommates. Remember to look at apartments in more than one neighborhood. Then, to find a realtor ask a classmate, a friend or for a Real Estate Agency, see BU Off-Campus Services, Agent/Broker.
Q: What is the price range on rent in the Boston area? Are utilities included?
A: Most of Boston’s older apartments include heat and hot water in the monthly rent charge. In newer buildings and condos, the heat and hot water are not included. You are charged for water only if it separately metered which is not a common occurrence. Be clear as to what you have to pay outside the rent and research how much those expense will be. Visit BU Off-Campus Services-Resources, for rent comparisons by neighborhood.
Q: How much should I plan to spend on rent?
A: While Boston is known to be an expensive city as far as housing costs are concerned, there are ways to make living here more affordable. The best way to cut your housing costs is to have a roommate or two. You should be able to find a comfortable place to live, and with sharing expenses, spend $1000-$1,300 per month. This figure is in keeping with your cost of attendance. Most apartments include heat and hot water; make sure you know all the costs associated with the apartment.
Q: Do I really need to visit the apartment and meet the landlord?
A: Yes, we strongly recommend you visit the apartment and meet the landlord prior to any money being transacted for renting the unit. Ask someone you know and trust to see the apartment if you are unable to visit it. Increasingly, property managers and rental agents offer video tours and can do video call walkthroughs of an apartment. Meet with the property manager if you cannot meet the landlord.
Q: I am an international student and cannot arrive until a few days before classes start. How can I find a place to live in Boston from so far away?
A: You do not need to be in Boston to search for housing – many rental agents can tour apartments on your behalf through a video call. However, you should not sign a lease or pay for an apartment without visiting the unit and meeting the landlord. Finding short term housing until you can find a suitable rental or roommate situation will allow you the time and ability to connect to the resources you need. Read information on housing for International Students .
Q: What should I expect to pay when I sign a lease?
A: Most landlords require first and last month’s rent and not more than one month’s rent for security deposit prior to moving into the apartment. Usually one month’s rent secures the apartment until the lease is drafted and the last month’s rent plus the security deposit are due with the lease signing. Occasionally a landlord may allow you to pay the security deposit over the first three months of the lease term.
Q: Should I have a guarantor or co-signer prepared to sign the lease with me in case the landlord requests one?
A: Yes, be prepared to have a financially responsible US citizen or permanent resident, willing and able to pay the rent during the lease period, sign the lease as the guarantor or co-signor if the landlord requests one.
Q: How much should I plan for out of pocket expense since the cost of attendance does not cover the entire year and my lease does?
A: Federal regulations dictate that you can only receive student loan funds when you are a student and actively in class, therefore your entire year is not covered by student loans unless you are in class for a 12 month period. Plan on three month’s rent and moving costs as out of pocket expense prior to the start of classes. You must budget and plan accordingly. Visit Student Financial Services for your school’s cost of attendance.
Q: If I cannot receive my living expense funds before my classes start, how do I pay for rent and supplies?
A: It is strongly suggested that students arrive at BUMC with one month’s rent and living expense funds at their disposal.
Q: I found an apartment through a realtor/landlord and they request a letter stating I am a graduate student. How should I go about this?
A: You may present your acceptance letter from your School/Department showing proof of your enrollment. If the realtor/landlord requests additional information, you may contact your School/Department and if receiving financial aid, Student Financial Services.
Q: Should I bring my car to Boston?
A: Having a car in Boston is unnecessary and costly. Boston’s public transit the MBTA will get you where you need to go. Boston is a walking and biking city. Bluebikes, the bike share program allows you to share bikes throughout the city and surrounding towns. There are also a number of other bike and scooter sharing companies throughout the city. There are Zipcars on and around the campus.
Q: Is BUMC accessible to public transit?
A: Although there is not a BUMC transit stop, there are many MBTA bus stops less than a block from campus. The nearest subway stop is a 5 minute bus ride or a 15 minute walk. Bus, train and commuter rail stations, and Logan International Airport are all accessible by the MBTA.
Q: What safety protections are offered on the Medical Campus?
A: BUMC is located in a culturally diverse urban residential and business section of Boston. The BU Police Department, a 24-hour full service law enforcement agency, provides uniformed patrol and investigative services to the Medical Campus community. Police officers are armed and are graduates of police academies. The BU Medical Campus Public Safety Department provides 24-hour unarmed physical building security and offers an escort service at night, weekends and holidays. The BU Medical Campus Shuttle operates from 5:00 PM until midnight. There are Blue Light emergency phones on campus walking routes. In addition, the campus is protected by the Boston Police D-4, the District for the South End.
Q: What is a Housing Fair?
A: Annually BUMC Housing Resources sponsors a Housing Fair for all students to meet with realtors, neighborhood property managers and BU and City of Boston affiliates to assist with finding housing and familiarizing them with BUMC and Boston.
Q: Where is the BUMC Housing Resources Office located and what are the hours?
A: Housing Resources is located in Student Financial Services, on the 4th floor of the Robinson Building, 72 E Concord Street.
- Enter the School of Medicine lobby.
- Take an immediate right after you pass the Public Safety station.
- Continue down the corridor into the Evans Building then turn left at the end of the hall.
- You will see two silver elevators on your right. Pass this set of elevators.
- Next you will see a set of three elevators on the right. Take these elevators to the 4th floor.
- Turn right when exiting the elevator, then continue straight through the doorway that says “Neurosurgery.”
- At the end of the corridor, turn left.
- Our suite is located on the right side of the corridor in Room 401.
We look forward to assisting you.