• BU web has a page for on-campus housing for graduate students. It can be found at www.bu.edu/housing under “Housing for Graduate Students”.

• Office of Rental Properties, 19 Deerfield St. 1st Floor. Boston, MA 02215 (www.bu.edu/orpm)

Boston University has an Office of Rental Properties (ORP), which is separate from the Office of On-Campus Housing. This office operates as a university-owned realty company.

There are two main differences between the ORP and a private realtor. First, the ORP does not advertise outside of the university. As a result, primarily university students live in these BU units, although non-students are allowed to rent from them. Second, the ORP does not charge a finder’s fee like many private realtors. As a result, the ORP does not provide additional discounts for students; they view the lack of a finder’s fee as the discount.

The ORP has 807 units. Most are rooms ($625 and up), studios ($1100 and up), 1-bedroom apartments ($1,300 and up), and 2-bedroom apartments ($1900 and up). They ask for a security deposit equal to one month's rent, a $50 key deposit, and the first month's rent. Leases last for one year and start at various times, but most start on September 1. The ORP will help you find a new tenant if you must leave early, but there is no roommate finding service. Apartments are primarily located on Bay State Road and in South Campus, with some in other locations. Apartments from the ORP tend to be difficult to get due to high demand and low availability.

Boston University offers 11 one-bedroom apartments and 209 studio apartments specifically for graduate students at 580 Commonwealth Avenue ([www.bu.edu/orpm/580-commonwealth-ave/]). The rooms are very small and a bit hotel-like, but with a little imagination they can work out quite well. The main advantage of this new building is convenience. The price is significantly higher than comparable off-campus apartments, but it does include utilities (heat, hot water, electric, but not phone, internet, or cable) and the building is near the heart of west campus. This may be a good option for first year graduate students hoping to minimize the hassle of looking. No dogs or cats are allowed, but you might get away with a caged rodent. Underground parking is available at an additional exorbitant fee.

• 'Free' permanent housing

There are resident assistant positions through the Office of Residence Life which provide free room (board sometimes included) in exchange for 20 hours per week of dormitory counseling duties. The Office of Residence Life will provide a job description and application. Note that some fellowship contracts restrict outside employment (contact your department office to see if your fellowship is restrictive).