Housing and Transportation

Those of you who will be moving to the Bay Area will have many options as to where you live and what type of living arrangement is most suitable for you.  Some students like to be close to the law school; others enjoy putting the day of classes behind them by taking BART home to San Francisco or other parts of the East Bay.  Some like to live alone, others prefer roommates, and some prefer roommates who are (or are not) law students.  Our only advice is this:  It is best to be moved and settled in as early as possible in the semester.  That may seem like a huge task, but if you are conscientious and persistent you ought to be able to secure decent housing and get your bearings quickly.  Many students experience anxiety over this task, but all students do manage to find a place to live and get settled. 


Most Berkeley Law students live in non-University owned housing, as graduate housing is limited and shared amongst the entire graduate population at UC Berkeley. More information on University housing is listed below. Most students live in Berkeley, North Oakland (Rockridge and Temescal are popular areas close to many AC Transit bus lines and BART), El Cerrito, or Albany. You will receive an AC Transit EasyPass as a student, which allow you to ride any AC Transit bus for free. We have multiple bus stops right outside of the law school. There are also several Bear Transit buses (free with student ID) that run from the Downtown Berkeley BART station around campus, with a stop right outside the law school. Students who live close by may choose to walk or ride bikes to campus (though keep in mind that we are at the top of the hill, so bikers beware!). There is secured bike parking and a Lyft Bay Wheels bike station right outside the law school, which includes some electric bikes to help you up those hills. You can also buy a student parking permit if you wish to drive to campus. The closest parking lot to campus is the Underhill Parking Structure at Haste Street and Channing Way (two blocks from the Law Building). 

Your housing options fall into two categories:

University-Owned Housing

The UC Berkeley Graduate Housing Application opens in February and can be completed by any student who has submitted the Statement of Intent to Register on CalCentral (i.e. if you have not firmly accepted your offer to attend in the fall, you cannot apply for housing). Graduate housing is extremely limited and processed in order of date of application, so submit the application as soon as possible if you plan on applying for university housing, including family student housing in University Village. You will need your CalNet ID and passphrase to login to the application. The following housing is available to graduate students:

  • University Village at Albany (Family Housing)

    • Family Student Housing, called University Village, is the perfect opportunity for students who are married/partnered or have children to enjoy all the benefits of an organized, family community. This 58-acre complex — with 974 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, and two-bedroom townhouses — is located 3.5 miles west of the campus. University Village has its own recreational and community center, a café, laundry rooms, and child care center. Click here for more information or monthly rental rates. 

    • Ida L. Jackson Graduate Apartments

      The Ida Louise Jackson Graduate House is located one block from the law school. The complex offers space for 120 graduate students in two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-bedroom shared apartments. The complex has common areas, including lounges, study rooms, a recreation room, vending room, mail room, a shared outdoor courtyard, bicycle storage, and shared laundry facilities.

      Spaces are furnished, and include utilities – A 12 month lease is required.

      Please see this link for monthly rates: https://housing.berkeley.edu/rates#graduate-contracts

    • Manville Apartments

      Located three blocks from the southwestern corner of campus at Shattuck Avenue and Channing Way, Manville Apartments are within walking distance of downtown Berkeley, near shops, banks, movie theaters, restaurants, and public transportation. The complex has common areas; a lounge, laundry facilities, mail room, and three study rooms. 1L JD students are given priority for studios in the Manville apartments.

      Unfurnished and limited furnished spaces, utilities not included – A 12 month lease is required.

      Please see this link for monthly rates: https://housing.berkeley.edu/rates#graduate-contracts

    • Garden Village Apartments

      Designed as a walking- and biking-oriented development, the project location provides easy access to nearby restaurants, shops and markets, and UC Berkeley. Each Garden Village apartment includes single-occupancy bedrooms that are fully furnished with high-quality, well-designed furniture. Large windows are provided in every room and on opposing sides of each unit, providing natural lighting and ample ventilation. Units also include full-size kitchens with high-efficiency appliances and in-unit European-style washer/dryers. All apartments are single gender.

      Spaces are furnished, and include utilities – A 12 month lease is required.

      Please see this link for monthly rates: https://housing.berkeley.edu/rates#graduate-contracts

    • Shattuck Studios

      Shattuck Studios is a four-story building, housing 21 units of efficiently designed spaces. Each unit features sleek, stylish finishings, multi-purpose built-ins, and generous storage. This location is located on Shattuck Avenue between Ward and Derby Streets, a few blocks away from both the Ashby and Downtown Berkeley BART stations–steps away from various bus lines. An easy five minute bike ride to the UC Berkeley campus & downtown Berkeley.

      Spaces are furnished, and include utilities – A 12 month lease is required.

      Please see this link for monthly rates: https://housing.berkeley.edu/rates#graduate-contracts

    • Panoramic Berkeley

      Located on the Southside on Telegraph Avenue, Panoramic Berkeley is a new structure only 5 blocks from the UC Berkeley Campus–just a 6-minute walk! Panoramic Berkeley offers an independent living environment in single occupancy bedrooms. These spaces will be assigned to students according to eligibility and lottery number. All apartments are single gender.

      Projected monthly rent for a single occupancy in a 4 bedroom/1 bath apartment is $1,465 (furnished, including utilities). A 12-month lease is required. 

    Please note that the rates above were projected for 2021-22, and rates for the upcoming year are not yet finalized. Housing decisions are made by the Cal Housing Office based on the date of your housing application; The Admissions Office has no control or influence over these decisions.

Non-University Housing

Most of our students find their own non-University housing. Keep in mind that many leases will not be available until 30 days before you want to move-in, so it’s not uncommon to still be looking for housing in July. We recommend looking for housing within 4-6 weeks of your desired move-in date. You may start looking now, but most housing posted will be for summer housing. If you are looking for an entire apartment or studio, most landlords will want to meet you in person, so be prepared to visit Berkeley for a weekend to look at houses and sign leases. The neighborhood map below should help in conducting your search. You may also consult the Visit Berkeley Neighborhood Guide and CalRentals Neighborhood Guide.

Click the colored shapes on the map to see neighborhood names and descriptions.

View Berkeley and Oakland Neighborhoods in a larger map

Many of our students find it easier to search for a room in an established house or apartment. Here are some resources that will help you with your housing search:

  • Cal Rentals posts housing listings for UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. It is free to create an account and search for postings. A CalNet ID is required to login to the site. 

  • Craigslist can also be a good place to search for apartments and rooms; however, be aware of scams and do not provide personal information over email. 

Below are some additional housing options and resources. 

Private Rooming & Co-Living Spaces

Property Management Companies

High Rise Buildings

Additional Resources

Housing & Roommate Search Groups (no official University affiliations)

Housing Prices

Below are estimates for housing in Berkeley. Housing closer to campus will be on the higher side of the estimate, while areas such as West Berkeley, South Berkeley, and North Oakland may be on the lower end of the estimate. 

Studio: $1700 – $2500

1-bed apartment: $2000 – $3000

2-bed apartment: $2400-$3500

Private room in an apartment with shared bathroom: $800 – $2000

Shared room in an apartment with shared bathroom: $600 – $1000