Graduate Student Guide

Welcome to the University of Texas at in Austin! Navigating the housing process can be difficult — especially if you’re moving to Austin for graduate school. UTexas.Rent is a great starting point; it will help you narrow your search and contact housing providers directly. UT Austin has also gathered some resources, all available at We’ve also put together some tips for you to make it easier. Read on!

Trying to live in on campus? Get your application in ASAP
The University Apartments, located off campus on Lake Austin Boulevard, are in high demand. The waiting list is long, so be sure to apply early. Shuttle bus service is available from the University Apartments’ three complexes—Brackenridge, Colorado and Gateway—to campus, making the commute easy.

Wanting to move off-campus? Look early and know your options!

Use websites like UTexas.Rent to explore off-campus housing options! When moving to a new city for school, the prospect of finding a new place to live can be daunting. So, UT asked some of your fellow graduate students (2130 of them) about where they lived and how they got to school. Here’s what they said.

Make sure you check out the apartment before you sign a lease! Tour multiple places you’re interested in and ask plenty of questions. Here are some to start you off:

— Is parking included?
— Are utilities or cable included?
— Where’s the nearest bus stop?
— Are pets allowed?
— Are there laundry facilities within the apartment or complex?

It’s also important to budget. Using a rent calculator to figure out how much you can spend on housing will help you plan. UT has also compiled a checklist of questions you should ask before you sign a lease.

Can you handle a commute?
Living near campus in neighborhoods like West Campus can be convenient, but might be more expensive compared to housing in neighborhoods like Riverside that are farther away. Figure out what works best for your needs, whether it’s walking, biking, or taking a bus. Did you know you can ride CapMetro for free with your UT ID? If you choose to take the bus, using CapMetro’s Trip Planner will get you where you need to go. If you plan on driving to campus, make sure you’re aware of your parking options — you can purchase a parking permit from UT or look for other parking options near campus.

Check if you qualify for S.M.A.R.T. housing
The Safe Mixed-income Accessible Reasonably-priced Transit-oriented (S.M.A.R.T.) Housing program was started by the Austin City Council to provide housing for low- to moderate-income residents. To qualify, students must be receiving need-based financial aid or they cannot make more than 50-80% of the median income in Austin. Several apartment complexes near campus offer S.M.A.R.T. housing, where apartments are offered at below-market rent prices — if students qualify through income verification, their rental rate can’t be any greater than 30% of their income. If interested in S.M.A.R.T. housing, get verified early — these apartments are in high demand, and usually get leased quickly. For more information on the S.M.A.R.T. Housing Program, email Sandra Harkins, Project Coordinator for the City of Austin, contact her here.

Make sure you know how to keep yourself safe
No matter you choose to live, make sure that you are aware of the following important numbers:



Austin Police Department


UT Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center
512-471-3515 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Crisis Line
512-471-CALL (2255)

UT Austin Student Emergency Services

Really confused? Try a leasing agency!
Many leasing agencies offer their services for free, and they specialize in finding you places around the campus area. Some agencies have UT students (with real estate licenses) as agents! Contact an agent if you need help making an informed decision about where to live.

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