Student Life

The university is located in Hyde Park, a culturally and architecturally diverse, tree-lined neighborhood on Lake Michigan, seven miles south of downtown Chicago. The University’s Office of Graduate Student Housing manages a number of buildings near campus, offering a variety of housing options from single-student studios to three-bedroom apartments allowing children and pets. There are also plentiful private buildings in the area, and students are often looking for roommates to share apartments. (For apartment, sublet, and roommate listings, see UChicago Marketplace.)

Hyde Park is a quiet residential area featuring numerous bookstores, coffee houses, and an assortment of grocery stores, restaurants, and small retail businesses. Students with children will find excellent public and private elementary schools, as well as parks, playgrounds, museums, libraries, and community activities for all ages. The university’s athletic facilities are open to student family members at a discount (children under 13 are free), and its Family Resource Center facilitates programs and operates as a resource clearinghouse.

Most students cope with the intensity of graduate study by residing near the university. However, some prefer to settle in another of Chicago’s dynamic neighborhoods, or otherwise take advantage of living in one of the world’s great cities. For students with cars, there is free street parking in parts of Hyde Park; however, public transportation may be a more affordable and convenient option for getting around. Many students ride bicycles, and free shuttle buses are available for students traveling in Hyde Park after dark. As in all urban settings, members of the university community should take common sense security precautions.

Above all, the University of Chicago offers a uniquely vibrant intellectual life, packed with lectures, debates, and performances by the world’s foremost scholars, artists, and public figures. Through coursework, workshops, and social events, anthropology students spend a great deal of time together, particularly during the first few years of the program. They often room together, and share information about everything from carpools and theatre tickets to dentists and babysitters via the anthropology listserve. Prospective students with questions about living in Chicago should feel free to contact the Department for more information.