Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where do graduate students live?

    Graduate students primarily live in either university housing or privately owned apartments near campus or in the surrounding areas.

    University housing is limited and slots are assigned based on a priority system. Information can be found at the Division of University Housing 

    There are many apartments and houses available for rent in the area. Proximity to the university may be important as parking is very limited on campus. Madison does have a bus system that covers most of the city and has excellent cycling resources for those who wish to live further from campus. Most units near campus have an annual lease which begins on or about August 15th. You can find more information at the Campus Area Housing website and this directory of apartments and rental firms

  2. When should I begin looking for housing?

    Advertising for fall semester openings begin in November of the previous year. The greatest selection of available apartments runs from December through April, but there are many units listed through the summer.

  3. How much does renting cost?

    Monthly rent ranges from $350-$1400 per person depending on the location, size and number of bedrooms with the average near $700. For more information, see the Campus Area Housing rent estimates.

  4. What if I'm moving to Madison before August 15th?

    Many leases near campus begin on August 15th. If you are planning on moving to Madison before this date, you have a few options.

    If you are arriving just a few days before the 15th, there are many hotels in the campus and Madison area.

    Some apartments, particularly thouse further from campus, have more flexible lease start dates. You should check with the landlord to find out if they offer an earlier move-in date.

    There are usually many sublets available during the summer. You can find sublet opportunities on a number of online classified sites such as Craigslist and Uloop.

  5. How can I find a roommate?

    Campus Area Housing provides listings for individuals seeking roommates. The greatest number of Fall roommate listings are advertised April through August. Most leases in Madison have all parties to a lease jointly responsible.

  6. Can I park on campus?

    The University of Wisconsin has very limited parking space available to students. Most students walk, bike or take the bus. Additionally, students are eligible for the ASM bus pass which provides access to all city bus routes. The campus bus is free to everyone. You can find more information at the Transportation Services website.

    It may be possible to find private parking near the campus. The Campus Area Housing website lists several places that may offer parking near campus.

  7. How can I commute to campus?

    Walking: Many students live within easy walking distance of campus. Walking may be the fastest way to travel during busy times and is great for your health.

    Riding the bus: Madison Metro Transit operates regular bus service throughout the city and students are provided a bus pass by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM).

    Bicycle: Madison is a great cycling city with many bike lanes and paths. There are bike racks near most campus buildings and even a few bike lockers available through Transportation Services. UW-Madison holds a silver award level in The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly University Program and Business Program. The city of Madison is also recognized as a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community (1 of 18 nationally; 2013).

    Moped/Motor scooter: There is moped parking available on campus. However, any moped on campus must have a permit and park in a designated moped parking stall. Most campus buildings have a small moped parking lot attached. More information can be found at the Transportation Services Website

    Community Car: The Community Car group is a member-based car-sharing service that provides cars by the hour for individuals and organizations. More information can be found at the Community Car Website

    Car: Although parking is very limited, driving to campus is possible. You may be able to purchase parking through Transportation Services or find private parking.

  8. Do I need a car?

    Depending on where you live, you may not.

    Housing in the downtown/campus area is within walking distance of most necessities. You can reach shopping malls and supermarkets by a short bus ride.


    If you live farther from campus, you may find that having a car is more convenient, particularly if you live east of Capitol Square, south of the Henry Vilas Zoo, or west of the Hilldale Mall area, as there are fewer amenities within walking distance. Finding parking anywhere on the isthmus tends to be challenging.

  9. Can I fly into and out of Madison?

    Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) has over 100 daily flights to 13 major US hubs. The airport is six miles from campus and is served by bus, taxi, and courtesy shuttle.

    You can also reach Chicago O'Hare and Midway and Milwaukee County airports by regular bus service from campus.