Finding Housing

When considering where you’d like to live in Madison, the first question to ask yourself is on-campus or off-campus?


University Residence Halls

When space allows, all incoming transfer students may be offered a housing contract for a residence hall, whether they start in the fall or spring semesters.  If space is available, you will receive an email from University Housing shortly after your admission decision, with instructions on how to proceed if you wish to live on campus.

Double rooms in Newell J. Smith Residence Hall feature large windows and nearly 300 square feet of living space, including walk-in closet storage. Photo by: Jeff Miller Date: 08/06 File#: D200 digital camera frame 0593
Double rooms in Newell J. Smith Residence Hall feature large windows and nearly 300 square feet of living space, including walk-in closet storage.

Transfer students can live in any residence hall, including the Transfer House community located within Tripp Hall.

You may also choose to live in one of our residential learning communities.

Living in a residence hall can be a great way to make social connections and get involved in University life. Be sure to research all your residence hall options to help decide whether it’s right for you.

University Apartments

If you are an undergraduate student with a family, you may be eligible to live in one of the three neighborhoods that are part of University Apartments.  All neighborhoods are located within bike or bus distance of campus.  Be sure to check their website for information on eligibility.


Private Apartments/Houses

There are a variety of off-campus housing options in the Madison area.  The Campus Area Housing website (CAH) is UW-Madison’s official source of off-campus apartment listings. CAH maintains a consolidated and free searchable list of campus area rental vacancies in apartments, houses, co-ops, private homes and rooming houses. You can save favorites and contact management companies right through the site. The CAH website also provides an informative Rental Resource Guide, and a resources page that includes FAQs about housing in Madison and information about rental scams.

Cooperative Housing

The Madison Community Cooperative has 11 houses throughout the downtown and isthmus area that allow for community living.  Co-ops provide low-cost housing with shared amenities and strive to create inclusive and safe spaces for their members.  Most houses have some sort of low-cost meal plan, and membership typically requires a vote of the current members.


Many large management companies in Madison allow individuals to sign a lease for a room in an apartment, which will be populated with other folks on individual leases.  While this takes the work out of finding roommates, it also does not necessarily allow for any sort of matching based on personality.  In the past, transfer students have also found roommates informally via the following Facebook groups:

UW-Madison 2020-2021 Transfer Class– monitored by the Transfer Transition Program and the Office of Admissions; must be an admitted student to join.

Groups @ Wisconsin  – not affiliated with or monitored by UW-Madison, but you must have a email address to join this community; within it, there is both a Housing group and an Off-Campus Housing, Sublets, & Parking group.

UW-Madison Sublet and Roommate Board – not affiliated with or monitored by UW-Madison, this is a large Facebook community where folks often post rooms for rent as well sublets and moving sales.


Tenant Resource Center – offers housing counseling and education, housing mediation, and homeless services and resources. Maintains an office on the UW-Madison campus in the Student Activity Center. It also maintains lists of online apartment search databases, larger rental companies in the Madison area, and subsidized, moderately-priced, and emergency/temporary housing.

Homeless Services Consortium –   group of agencies, funders, advocates, and former homeless people in Dane County that strive to prevent and end homelessness. Among other things, they staff the Dane County Housing Resource Line for those struggling to find housing, and compile a Housing Resource Vacancy List, updated weekly on Wednesdays.

City of Madison Housing Authority – provides information on applying for the Community Development Authority (CDA) Housing programs which offer subsidized, low-income housing for families, seniors, and folks with disabilities