Student Life

Video: Explore Hyde Park: A Historic Chicago Neighborhood

The Hyde Park Community

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 majority of graduate students at the University live in Hyde Park, or in the neighboring communities of Kenwood and Woodlawn. 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. The Hyde Park area offers a variety of housing options, from single-student studios to multi-bedroom apartments allowing children and pets. The University has a central office, UChicagoGRAD, which provides information and resources to new and continuing students as the navigate the rental market in Chicago.

Some students 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.

Student Life

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.