Graduate Students

Housing for Graduate Students

This page is dedicated to information regarding on- and off-campus housing options for Graduate AS&E students of Tufts University. While our office only offers on-campus housing options for AS&E students, students from the Fletcher school or Health Science schools may visit the housing pages for their particular school to seek out on-campus housing options. Students in other Health Sciences schools should contact that school for more information on on-campus housing availability. All graduate students are welcome to visit our off-campus housing page for more information on resources offered by the University and our department.

On-Campus Housing Options

The Office of Residential Life and Learning has limited available on-campus housing options in smaller wood frame houses on the perimeter of the Medford-Somerville Campus. These locations offer a variety of amenities such as single bedrooms in a shared house with shared laundry and kitchen facilities.

  • McCollester House (11 beds)
  • Tousey House (16 beds)
  • 159 College Ave. (6 beds)
  • 122 Powder House Blvd. (4 beds)
  • 126 Powder House Blvd. (5 beds)
  • 11 Teele Ave (8 beds)

All student rooms are equipped with a twin XL bed and mattress, desk and desk chair, dresser/drawer set, and wardrobe or closet.  Common areas in the above buildings are equipped with couches, television, dining areas, laundry in building, etc. Wireless internet is available for all students living in these areas. Utilities are included in the cost of housing. For a map of where our graduate houses are in relation to the rest of our campus, please check out the following map.

Who is Eligible to apply?

Full-time students in the first year of their graduate program in the School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering are eligible to apply for on-campus graduate housing. This application will be available for new students in May/June 2021.

Continuing Graduate AS&E students are eligible to apply to campus housing for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 academic via the Housing Portal. Students will be eligible to select from available options during our online selection process in June 2021. Students who have previously lived in on-campus graduate housing are eligible to apply, however, will be placed on a waitlist until our completed housing selection. Once graduate housing selection is completed, waitlisted students will be contacted based on availability and order of completed application.

On-campus housing is for the full academic year. Once on-campus housing is selected, students are responsible for a $3,000 commitment fee per semester which is included in the fee for the room. (Ex. If you select housing, and then cancel, you will only be refunded the balance of the housing cost after the $3,000 commitment fee has been deducted).

For more information about housing rates, please visit our Housing Rates Page. (Please note that these rates reflect the 2021-2022 prices)

Off-Campus Housing Options

Students seeking off-campus housing options should familiarize themselves with our Off-campus housing page. Information here can provide you with types of questions to ask, as well as what to keep an eye out for while navigating your search process. You are also available to request a meeting with a staff member to discuss off-campus housing by emailing offcampusinfo@tufts.edu.

All students, faculty and staff of Tufts University are welcome to utilize our Off-campus housing page which allows you to search for off-campus apartments, seek roommates, among other general resources to help navigate the process. Simply log in by utilizing your Tufts University log in information. As the off-campus site is designed for a broad audience, there are useful filters that students may utilize to sort particular prices, spaces, and locations. 

The Office of Residential Life and Learning recently completed a webinar for incoming graduate international students which can be viewed here. Please be sure to connect with our office or the International Center for any assistance needed when seeking off-campus housing. 

Services Offered
  • One-on-One Off-Campus Housing Overview (includes budgeting, processes, research process)
  • Webinars/ In-person Seminars
  • Lease Review
  • Resource navigation for difficult situations

Glossary & Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary
Apartment / Unit

The full breakdown of space that you, and any roommates, are renting. This includes bedroom(s), kitchen, bathroom, living area, etc. If your apartment or unit is missing a bathroom or kitchen, it is likely not an approved unit.

Assignment

Assigning your lease is a different process than subletting. Assigning your lease is turning over your responsibility within the lease to another person. This has to be approved through the landlord prior to making this movement.

Broker

The professional person assisting you or the landlord/property manager with finding an apartment or tenants for a given apartment. Broker's do a lot of work to help find suitable spaces or people for a given location. As a result of working with a broker, you may be responsible for covering the costs of the broker's fee, usually no more than one month's rent (i.e. if your monthly rent is $1,000/month, your broker's fee may likely be a flat $1,000. This cost varies based on rent prices).

Credit Check

The process by which a landlord, property manager, or broker will check your credit history to be able to tell if you are a worthy risk to rent to. People who have bad or little credit history may be required to seek a co-signer, or may be denied for the item for which they are applying.

Co-Signer

A co-signer is a separate person who may be able to vouch or stand in place for a person who may have bad or little/no credit history. A co-signer is someone who will take responsibility for the cost of your debt should you fail to keep up with payments. Many times, a landlord or property manager will request that a co-signer also complete an application so that a credit check can be completed for them as well.

Deposit (Security)

A deposit is a payment that a tenant places to both hold the unit, as well as cover any damages caused by the tenant during their tenancy. A security deposit must be placed in an interest-bearing bank account prior to occupancy. This information should be shared by the landlord to the tenant at the start of their tenancy. A security deposit cannot be used to cover unpaid rents, or to cover the cost of general wear-and-tear on items in the unit/apartment. A security deposit must be returned to the tenant at the end of their tenancy in addition to any accrued interest on the account. 

Eviction

Tenants who fail to abide by certain stipulations laid out within their lease run the risk of being removed from their unit. This process is called an eviction. The eviction process takes time and must be implemented by certain legal paperwork before it takes effect; however, if you are facing a potential eviction, you should seek professional legal advice regarding next steps or options.

Landlord / Property Manager

The person who owns or manages the space which you are occupying. This person may be the person you sign your lease with, who you pay your rent to, or who you contact in case of a maintenance issue.

Lease

Your actual contract held with your landlord or property manager. This document will contact information about the particular stipulations spelled out in your lease: the term of the lease, the price associated with living in the space, what the landlord is responsible for, what you as a tenant are responsible for, etc. This lease should contain certain information that is specific to tenancy laws in the state of Massachusetts, however, it may also contain an Addendum which would cover any additional stipulations that the landlord has requested of people living in their unit. This addendum must also follow Massachusetts law, however, is particular to your particular unit and landlord.

Sublet

Most leases are 12-month leases, meaning that a tenant is approved and given permission to live in a given unit/apartment for that period of time. Sublets usually occur when that tenant is looking to not live in the given unit/apartment for a period of time during their lease (i.e. study abroad, summer, etc). In these situations, the tenant will need approval from the landlord, and potentially any housemates, to have a subtenant (subletter/sublessee) live in the space for that proposed period of time. Likely, a contract will need to occur between the tenant originally listed on the lease and the subtenant. This is different from an assignment as the original tenant is ultimately responsible for any charges/damages in the event that the subtenant does not carry out the terms of their lease.

Tenant & Tenants Rights

A tenant is a person who has signed a lease with a landlord or property manager and has been given approval to live in a given apartment or unit for a specified amount of time.  The lease is something put in place to protect the rights of the landlord as well as the rights of the tenany should either party default in their responsibilities regarding the unit/apartment. There are certain things that a landlord and tenant are separately responsible for while occupying a space - should there be any issues in the management or living agreement within a space, certain rights and laws are in place to help mitigate the process.

Zoning Ordinances

Particular cities or towns have different regulations regarding the amount of people living in a given space. For example, in the town of Medford, no more than 3-non related persons may live in a given unit. In Somerville, the next town over, no more than 4-non related persons may live in a given unit. These regulations are put in place for safety reasons and to protect those living in these areas.

How do I find a roommate?

Using our Off-campus Housing "Roommates" page is a great resource for locating people also looking for housing options. 

Students can create a profile and share useful information about themselves as a roommate. Students are able to see other students and directly contact them through the site to find the best possible roommate through your own meeting process.

Our website is only accessible to our students and student using a similar website for their off-campus housing pages.

What is a Credit Check? How does it affect me?

Brokers, Landlords, and Property Managers (PM) are looking for clients/tenants who they can count on to be able to pay full rent for a given lease (approximately 6 month, 12 month, etc.) Credit checks are a way for these business people to see if you are a viable candidate to rent their apartment. If your credit is good, a landlord/PM will likely feel more comfortable renting to you as a tenant. If not, the landlord may not feel comfortable renting, or may ask for a co-signer. A co-signer is someone that can help vouch for you as a tenant. Often, they will also fill out a housing application so that their credit can be checked as well. If a tenant fails to cover the rent for a given period of time, the co-signer is responsible for paying that missed rent.

Students who have little to no credit history may be able to work within this stipulation by showing evidence of their ability to pay. Information may be available from your financial institution regarding your available funds. Check with your landlord, property manager, or broker before submitting this information. 

Off-Campus Housing Costs

Prepare for off-campus housing costs by thinking of it in terms of the following upfront fees:

  • First Month's rent - The first month you will be living in a space;
  • Last month's rent - The last month you will be living in the space; 
  • Security deposit - Usually the cost of one month's rent, should be kept in a separate interest-bearing account; and potentially a...
  • Broker's fee - This is the fee associated with the broker who assisted in securing the property. Fee should be not be equal to more than one month's rent.

Example:
If the rent for your unit is $4,000/month (approximately $1,000 each for a 4-person unit), each student may be required to come up with $3,000-$4,000 up front to cover the above listed fees.

Some Landlords, PMs, and Brokers may lower the amounts, or spread them out over a period of months. You can also request to negotiate costs with these business people to try and make the load a bit lighter; however, this is not required on their end.

Students will also need to consider other monthly fees in addition to rent costs. Consider the following other associated costs:

  • Utilities (gas, electric)
  • Internet
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Other expenses
Furniture

Be aware that most apartments in the US come unfurnished. Students will be required to cover the costs of furniture in their living space, as well as the cost to deliver/remove these items from the unit upon move in or move out.

Difficult Living Situations

There are many difficult situations that you may find yourself in while living off-campus. This includes: roommate personality clashes, non-responsive landlords, maintenance issues, neighbors, etc. It is very important to make sure that you have had necessary conversations with people you are living with and renting from to determine important elements of living together. Use our Housing Resource page to help with navigating some of these difficult situations and find useful resources to help handle tricky issues. You can also reach out to our Off-Campus housing staff to assist with your particular issues by contacting offcampusinfo@tufts.edu