Off-Campus Housing

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I lived on campus both last year and this year, therefore I do not know much about off campus housing yet

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Living off-campus is cheaper than on campus in most cases and more convenient than you'd think!

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There are many available off-campus places. People usually just fill-in where their graduating or moving friends have lived.

College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I won't do a rating here because I have yet to live off-campus.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: I am not participating in off-campus housing. However, I have tried and I feel as if it is a really complex process to find a place. Many places are very picky about who rents out their place. The area is generally safe and parking is rarely available. Cost can be high or low depending on what you find.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 72nd
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Brookfield, CT
Professional Writing
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

There’s a large selection of houses and apartments to choose from in the nearby area. Most students love their off-campus residences, but the relationship between students and their houses is not without its pains. Having your own place is a great thing for a student, and dealing with things like paying bills, getting enough heat, trekking to campus, and even being wary of suspicious housemates is not enough to dampen the experience of having your own place. Students can find themselves spread out in Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, but most students renting houses end up living on nearby Beeler Street. The street itself is like a small community of CMU students living off campus. On the weekends, there’s usually at least one party somewhere close by.

Finding off-campus space isn’t much of a problem. The housing department makes it trouble-free to find and secure a location and provides students with information packets and many private listings only available to the CMU community. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to do at least 10 minutes of walking to get to campus. This isn’t so bad, though, especially considering the impressive condition of many of the houses and apartments. If you can find an off-campus place that is well-maintained and set up so that you don’t have to pay for utilities (Pittsburgh has freezing winters), the move from campus to a nearby apartment or house is definitely worth it. If you can find a bunch of friends to live with and drive down the rent, think about moving off campus by at least your junior year. Be careful, though! Students warn that campus housing can be a disaster if you don’t check out the place before you choose to rent it.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
In order to find a nice place that isn't too far away, students typically start looking for an off-campus place in March or April of the previous school year. Basically, to start searching for a place five months before is definitely not uncommon.
Popular Areas
  • Beeler Street
  • Oakland
  • Shadyside
  • Squirrel Hill
  • Wilkins Avenue
Average Rents
  • Studio: $700
  • 1 BR: $735
  • 2 BR: $1,000
  • 3 BR: $1,350
  • 4 BR: $2,000
Did You Know?
  • Once you live off campus, you are no longer allowed to live in campus housing, unless you apply for the housing wait list. However, it doesn't guarantee anything and doesn't notify students if they receive housing until late July and August.
  • Greek housing is considered off-campus housing. Students in Greek housing aren't allowed to move back into campus housing automatically, yet they are still subject to the same rules of campus housing.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 57 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 62 responses

  • 42% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 48% Somewhat helpful.
  • 10% Extremely helpful.

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 62 responses

  • 2% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 6% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 53% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 39% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
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