MA | Living in Chicago


Chicago is an exciting midwestern city inhabited by approximately 2.7 million people. Its vibrant and diverse population lives spread across 77 community areas. Hyde Park is one such community. Nestled in the southern boundaries of the city, Hyde Park is a quiet neighborhood  bordered by Lake Michigan to the east, Washington Park to the west, the Midway Plaisance to the south, and Madison Park to the north. Most University of Chicago students live in Hyde Park, as do most faculty. The neighborhood has all of the conveniences you need for everyday life. Grocery stores, restaurants, bike shops, a hardware store, drug stores, bars, banks, salons, and bookstores are just some of the establishments to be found within its boundaries.

While Chicago has a great deal to offer, it also presents the challenges of a complex, diverse, and modern urban society that are to be expected in a large city. The University of Chicago takes many steps to ensure students have the opportunity to experience the advantages of city life while still maintaining a safe, supportive, and comfortable academic experience.

Trying to decide where to live? Explore housing options through the UChicagoGrad website.


A one-year MA program is a rigorous endeavor and thus should be balanced with a healthy dose of social acitvities.  The University of Chicago and the surrounding communities have a rich arts-infused culture that students can take advantage of to enrich their experience.

Buckingham Fountain

Oriental Institute


On campus, students can view a film at DOC, take in a play at the Court Theatre, attend concerts at Mandel Hall, wander through the collections of the Oriental Institute, or walk through the current exhibitions at the Smart Museum, or Renaissance Society gallery. And, if there's time after a long day of classes, students can wander down to the Ida Noyes Hall basement for a drink at the University watering hole: The Pub

In addition, and with thanks to special partnerships with some of the best cultural institutions in Chicago, students may utlize the Arts Pass program which provides unique benefits to UChicago students at over 70 theater, music, dance, visual art, and cultural institutions throughout Chicago. Through this program, students can use their UChicago Student ID (UCID)  to affordably gain access to a world of riveting performances, exhibitions, and more. A list of partnering programs can be found here.


The University of Chicago offers several local transportation options for faculty, staff and students. CTA routes #170, #171, and #172 serve the campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Students, staff, and faculty may show their Chicago Cards to ride the CTA routes free of charge. View a composite map of all three campus bus routesUGo daytime shuttles and UGo NightRide shuttles, operated by the University around campus, are also available to faculty and staff.

The University has also partnered with other businesses to provide discounts on transportation options. ZipCar offers discounts to University students. You can have access to Zipcars parked all over the city 24/7!  Passport pictures can also be purchased in the the ID & Privileges Office.