Housing and transportation costs in the Twin Cities are lower than the largest American cities, and about average for cities in the Midwest. The same holds true for meals, clothing and recreation.
Housing options for graduate students are abundant on the St. Paul campus, but because there are always waiting lists, students will want to apply early. Two student-family housing complexes provided by the University are the Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative, adjacent to the St. Paul campus, and the Como Student Community Cooperative, on the intercampus bus line between the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses.
Many of our students live in private apartments in neighborhoods near campus. These can sometimes be more expensive than University housing or in apartments a bit farther from campus, but students often find affordable options. Some cities to consider include Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Roseville, and St. Anthony Park (technically a city of St. Paul neighborhood). Visit our university's housing and residential life off-campus housing page, or consider joining the UMN Housing, Sublets, and Roommates Facebook group.
Many graduate students take city buses to and from campus. Visit Metro Transit for detailed information on routes and bus/train schedules. Three main bus routes come to the St. Paul Campus: 3, 61, and 87. Other routes pick up and drop off on the East Bank and West Bank Campuses. Once there, you can ride the U of M Campus Connector bus to get to the St. Paul Campus.
- UPass: discounted student unlimited transit pass that works with all Metro Transit trains and buses. At a cost of $114 per semester, it is the most cost-effective way to get around for students who don’t have cars.
- Nice Ride: bike sharing
- Bike trail/route maps: MN Department of Transportation | Hennepin County | Ramsey County (PDF) | City of St. Paul.
Students who drive to and from campus find navigating the St. Paul Campus easier than at many other schools in large metropolitan areas. Because we have the adjacent Minnesota State Fairgrounds parking lot for use for a modest daily fee, this alleviates the usual troublesome parking problems on many university campuses around the country.
Full-time student parking contracts are available each semester through an online lottery. Students may enter the lottery each semester, but entering does not guarantee a parking contract. Contracts are good for one semester only, but graduate students are given the option to renew without having to re-enter the lottery. Locations vary but always include spaces on each campus. In descending price order, available options include garages (heated and covered facilities), ramps (covered facilities), and surface lots.
Free parking is available any time of day on Como Avenue, or on any streets south of it. Obviously, free street parking is on a first come first serve basis, and tends to fill up quickly in the morning. Much of the area immediately around campus is conditional parking (permitted through the city or having time limitations), but as you move further away they become less restricted. These spots can be hard to locate so it is best to scout them out before your arrival on campus to be aware of where you can/cannot park, as these tend to fill up during busy class times daily.