Graduate School

Moving to Providence, RI

Congratulations on choosing Brown for your graduate studies! As you begin planning your move to Providence, housing will likely be one of your first considerations. This email provides information that can help you to prepare.

Give thought to travel and set-up costs. Expenses will likely be highest during the first month at Brown, while settling into your new living space. Please see our Financial Considerations page, which includes a cost of living calculator to help you determine realistic costs and considerations. For those who will receive a stipend, please note that the first monthly payment of the academic year comes at the end of September.

Where to live?

Graduate students live off campus. To find listings, you can look at the  Providence Journal homes section,, Providence Craigslist apartment listings and Brown’s Auxiliary Housing Office also offers an Off-Campus Listing Service of nearby apartments.

Typically, landlords will ask for the equivalent of two months rent up front (a security deposit and first month’s rent). Apartment costs vary, of course, based on location, size, amenities and whether utilities are included in the rent. Visit the apartment before signing a lease or making any deposit and never wire money for a deposit. For information on your rights as a renter, please see the RI Tenant-Landlord Handbook.

Tips: The Auxiliary Housing website also offers a guide to living off campus for new students. This guide gives you tips on finding an apartment, establishing a relationship with your landlord and a prospective apartment checklist. Here’s a list of neighborhoods that are within walking distance, on a bus line, or within a 10-minute drive.

Once you’ve established a place to live, you can check out Brown’s household leasing service to rent used furniture and household goods at a low cost. (You will have to pick up these items.) Many local furniture stores will deliver furniture.

Other Considerations

Graduate students who are parents may also wish to consider a particular neighborhood or town based on day care options or the school system. and provide data on Rhode Island public schools. The Sarah Doyle Women’s Center offers a parent’s support group for graduate students.

International Students
Brown’s Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) has recommended the housing guide by to help you navigate housing options.  While looking for a place to live, you may need to stay in a hotel. Brown offers this list of accommodations in the area.

International students should see the OISSS website for additional information.

Best wishes,
The Graduate School