The University has seven residence halls and three apartment buildings for housing students. Among international students, about half of the undergraduates live “on campus” (in University housing), while all graduate students live off campus, in private housing which they locate on their own. For all types of housing, you will need to provide your own pillows, sheets, blankets, towels, dishes, silverware and pots and pans.

On-Campus Housing:  Residence Halls & Apartment Style Living

Residence Halls are a lively environment that accommodates students, usually in the age range of 18-23.  To apply for a room on campus, an “Application for Residence Halls” form and information is available from the International Admissions Office. In order to get your first choice of buildings and rooms, you should apply for a room as soon as possible.  NOTE: Smoking is not allowed in any of the St. Thomas residence halls.

Application for Residence Halls      

For more information, visit the Residence Life Website

Off-Campus Housing

If you plan to live off campus, it is your responsibility to find accommodations and make the arrangements yourself. You should plan to arrive early to look for an apartment. To help you get started, visit Off-Campus Student Services  and select "Off-campus Housing Listings" and "Display the Housing Listings" to get current housing information.

If you do not yet have a Social Security Number, the following document contains landlords renting apartments, houses and duplexes that will not require a Social Security Number to rent from them. More information is provided in the handout.

Other resources for off-campus housing: www.rent.com www.forrent.com

When choosing an apartment, consider:

1. Furnished or Unfurnished
2. Private or shared kitchen and bathroom
3. Availability of laundry services
4. Location near campus or near public transportation
5. Parking availability (if you have a car)
6. Lease term (many leases are at least six months or one year)
7. Deposit (in addition to the first month of rent, a security deposit is usually required, which is returned to you if you leave the apartment in good condition)
8. Utilities (gas, electricity, water heat) may be paid by you or the landlord
9. Safe neighborhood (talk with local residents or police to learn about safety)
10. Number of roommates

Requirements for renting:

  • You will usually be required to show income of at least 2-3 times amount of the rent. To show this, you can show your I-20, bring in pay stubs or find a guarantor.
  • The landlord will ask for your rental history and may require a higher deposit if you cannot provide a Social Security Number or rental/credit history.

Housing vocabulary:
AC/H = Air-conditioning and Heat
BR = Bedroom
BA = Bathroom
1/2 BA = No shower or bathtub; 3/4 BA = shower; Full = tub
Util. = Utilities: gas, electricity and water
Dep. = Deposit, usually one month's rent or less

Housing Tips:
1. If possible, pay by check or money order; not cash
2. Always ask for a receipt in order to have proof you have paid
3. In the U.S., a written contract is more important than what is said
4. If possible, bring a friend with you to help ask questions
5. Read carefully before you sign a contract and ask for a copy.

Useful Links

Dining Services
Residence Life