Housing and Transportation

One of the most important aspects of setting yourself up for a successful Batten experience is having a comfortable living environment. If you are new to the Charlottesville area, you may have a number of questions about how to begin the process of finding housing. This may seem a bit intimidating at first, but UVA and the greater Charlottesville community have many options available to suit your specific needs.

In order to help you get started, we surveyed a number of first-year MPP students to find out the biggest questions they had about housing and what resources they used to answer them.

Where do I start?

One of the best places to start is UVA Housing & Residence Life’s Graduate Students Housing page. This page lists all of the on-Grounds options that are available for graduate students, and also provides a service to find off-Grounds housing. There is also a Graduate Housing FAQ available with answers to additional questions you might have.

What is the difference between “on-Grounds” and “off-Grounds” housing?

At the University of Virginia, we refer to our campus as “Grounds.” As the name suggests, on-Grounds housing is located on Grounds and is owned and managed by the University. There are several housing styles available. Off-Grounds housing is anything that is not located on UVA’s Grounds, though many options are within walking distance or a short bus ride away.

What options are available on-Grounds?

Copeley Hill and University Gardens are traditional apartment-style housing choices, with furnished or unfurnished options that are designed for individuals and families. Copeley Hill provides one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, and University Gardens offers one- and two-bedroom apartments.  Faulkner Drive Rooms offer private bedrooms and private full baths with individual entrances as well as shared communal living spaces.

Many Batten students apply to live on the Range. The Range is located on Central Grounds and is part of Thomas Jefferson’s original Academical Village. This unique community places you at the heart of the University and allow you to be a special part of UVA’s nearly 200-year history.

You can apply for on-Grounds options via the Housing Portal. Housing rates for these options are available here. Please note that on-Grounds housing options are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

What options are available off-Grounds?

UVA has an Off-Grounds Housing Service that allows you to search different listings, as well as find roommates. You may also find it useful to search for options on Google or via traditional real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow.

When should I look for housing?

You should start looking for housing as soon as you have made the decision to join the Batten community. All on-Grounds housing options have an application process, so it is important to apply by the deadline. Off-Grounds housing can fill up quickly as students make their final decisions, so be sure to check listings early.

Once the application decision deadline has passed, we will create a closed Facebook group for the incoming class. Many incoming MPP students find roommates by interacting with their future classmates on this page!

What is the average rent for MPP students?

Based on our survey, first-year MPP students are paying $530/month on average for rent. This varies based on the type of housing and number of roommates that each student has.

If I live off-Grounds, what are my transportation options?

If you live off-Grounds, you can purchase a permit from UVA Parking & Transportation to park in specified on-Grounds locations.

Many students rely on Charlottesville’s outstanding bus system. The University Transit System is an extensive bus network, and your UVA ID provides you free access to Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) buses as well. When looking for housing, you should consider how close it is to the nearest bus stop.

A number of rideshare companies also have a heavy presence in Charlottesville and are available as needed.