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Here's all the information you need to start (or continue) your housing search while attending UC San Diego. 


Be aware of scams; only rent from reputable agents! Check out their Better Business Bureau rating for any complaints.

On-Campus Housing Options

The UC San Diego Housing and Dining Services Office operates several housing complexes, but on a limited basis. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for on-campus housing as soon as they receive an official admission letter from UC San Diego.

Undergraduate housing

For more information, please visit UC San Diego Housing.

Special housing options:

International House

I-House is an apartment complex of single and double rooms open to single UC San Diego upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and researchers.

The purpose of this facility is to provide an environment and programs that foster understanding and friendship among individuals from different nations and cultures.

All questions about applying to live in I-House can be directed to the I-House Director’s Office

All other questions about I-House notifications, timeline, waitlists, room placements, move in etc. must be directed to ERC Residence Life Office.

Please note that successful completion of the application does NOT guarantee your placement to live in I-House.

If you are placed on the waitlist and would like to consider living on-campus at UC San Diego then please place yourself on the housing waitlist (see information below).

Housing Interest Waitlist

All undergraduate students who apply for I-House are also strongly encouraged to place themselves on the Housing Interest List. This allows you to be put on a waiting list for on-campus housing should you not receive a spot in I-House. Students are allowed to place themselves on this list even if they have applied for a space at I-House. The Housing Interest List usually opens about a month before the I-House application does, but check the link above for regular updates and deadlines.

The Village

The Village is a community of apartments and retail spaces for transfer and continuing students, including two high rises with incredible ocean views. All of our affordable resident apartment homes feature modern amenities and a sleek design aesthetic in a prime location—right on campus!


Graduate housing

UC San Diego ARCH Housing consists of six apartment complexes:

  • Coast Apartments, La Jolla Del Sol, Mesa Residential Apartments, Single Graduate Apartments, and One Miramar Street , and the Rita Atkinson Residences.

See more information on:

Off-Campus Housing Options

Living in San Diego, especially in La Jolla, is very expensive and it is important to set a realistic budget before beginning to look for a place to live.

Vacancy rates are very low in San Diego and it may take some time to find an apartment.

Be prepared to pay a security deposit equal to one month’s rent (which may be refunded upon leaving) in addition to the first month’s rent.


The following are resources for locating off-campus housing:

UC San Diego Off-Campus Housing Directory
UC San Diego's Off-Campus Housing Directory is a rental referral and housing information resource center with listings of apartment, house, and condominium rentals, available in a variety of areas around campus and the San Diego community. Roommates and room rentals are listed online. The Off-Campus Housing Directory is an excellent resource for waitlisted students.

In order to access the Online Housing database, you will need to input your student information. If you are not a student yet, email to request a log-in and password.

Alternative housing websites
Some of these links will offer “full vacancy” listings. They are empty apartments for rent, which means you have to find your own roommates

Note: The above links are suggestions only and are not endorsed by the International Students & Programs Office. 

Print publications

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune Classified Section also lists apartments for rent; Sunday’s edition has the largest number of listings.
  • The Reader is a free newspaper containing many housing listings. It is published every Thursday, and is a valuable source of information for apartments for rent and roommates wanted.
  • The La Jolla Light is a local newspaper which is published every Thursday and contains listings of properties for rent in nearby areas.

Graduate student listserv
This mailing list includes graduate housing opportunities. For instructions on how to signup for the listserv, visit .

Short Term Housing Options/ Homestay Programs

Here are some alternatives to short term housing in San Diego. You must contact the home stay provider, hotel, or hostel directly. The UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office does not arrange temporary accommodations, but offers helpful advice and tips about any questions you may have about housing.

Home Stay Programs

Live with an American host family. Private and shared rooms available. Apply at least 4-6 weeks before arrival. Homestays are a great way for students to experience American culture and customs!


Local Homestay Agencies

  • Solana Beach Homestay Program*
    • *Unavailable for Fall 2020
    • No application fee required.
    • Providing free airport pick up, free housing for several days, and a cultural exchange with an American family. Serving UCSD students and scholars for over 10 years.


Online Homestay Agencies


Temporary Housing Providers

These companies own and manage apartments in the local area and can help place you in their temporary or extended-stay accommodation. Additional costs for these services may apply. See websites for more information.

Anatolia Corporate Housing

Synergy Global Housing


Hotels and Temporary Housing

There are many hotels with special UCSD-affiliate discounts near UC San Diego. Some are within walking distance of UC San Diego. When calling for reservations, ask for the UCSD rate for a discount.

Inn by the Sea
7830 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Courtyard by Marriot - Sorrento Valley/La Jolla
9650 Scranton Road
San Diego, CA 92121

Holiday Inn Express Sorrento Valley
5925 Lusk Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92121

Extended Stay America - Sorrento Mesa Hotel
9880 Pacific Heights Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92121

Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA  92037

La Jolla Inn
1110 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA  92037
Marriott Residence Inn
8901 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA  92037
(858) 587-1770
Sheraton La Jolla Hotel
Special UC San Diego rates offered
3299 Holiday Court
La Jolla, CA  92037
UC San Diego reservation line: (866) 500-0335
Synergy Corporate Housing
Offers furnished accomodations
Bartell Hotels
Various hotels near Hillcrest and La Jolla campuses, 15% discount

Estancia La Jolla
9700 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037
(855) 430-7503

Hilton San Diego/Del Mar
15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
(858) 792-5200

Hyatt Regency La Jolla
3777 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 552-1234

Youth Hotels

Youth hostels in the San Diego area are far from UC San Diego, but offer dormitory-style housing at a lower rate than hotels. Some have kitchen facilities.

Beach Bungalow San Diego
707 Reed Avenue
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-5878

Lucky D's Hostel
615 8th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 595-0000

Hostelling International-Point Loma
3790 Udall Street
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 223-4778

USA Hostels Ocean Beach San Diego
 4961 Newport Avenue
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
(619) 223-7873
Hostelling International-San Diego
521 Market Street
San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 525-1531
USA Hostels San Diego
726 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Avoid Housing Scams

Avoid Housing Scams

Be aware of housing scams, particularly on websites like Craigslist!  Signs of a scam targeting renters can include the following:

  • The advertised price of the rental property is much lower than that of similar properties.
  • The person trying to rent you the property claims to be an agent for the property owner who is too busy, out of the country, or otherwise unavailable to handle the rental.
  • The owner or agent requires you to sign the lease before you see the rental property.
  • The owner or agent isn't able to let you enter the home or apartment or charges you a fee to view it. 
  • You're asked to wire money as a deposit or payment of first and last month's rent. Remember wiring money is the same as giving cash. You can't get a refund, even if you find out the offer was a fraud.
  • The owner or agent uses high pressure sales tactics, urging you to rent quickly, before someone else gets the property.
  • The person preparing the lease writes in a higher monthly rent or additional fees that you hadn't agreed upon. 
  • The landlord directs you to a website to get a free credit check. This can be a tactic for harvesting your identity. Only disclose this information on a written application after you have seen the property.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • If you’re not able to see the unit in person, have a friend or family member check it out for you. If this isn’t possible, hire a local real estate agent.
  • Check for the home’s address online using Google Maps to see if it matches what is being advertised online.
  • Use UCSD’s Off-Campus Housing website to search for a property: However, it is still important that you follow the tips listed above when checking out these properties!
  • Consult with UCSD Student Legal Services if you have any questions or concerns about a property you are renting/would like to rent:
  • Report any scams to the San Diego Police Department:


*Source: Housing Scams Website


A lease is a written legal contract in which the renter agrees to make rental payments for a specified period of time. The advantage is that a six-month or one-year lease guarantees that the price of rent will not be raised during that time period. In contrast, renting month-to-month allows the flexibility to move out with 30 days notice. If planning to stay in the apartment for six months or more, a lease is a good idea. A person who signs a lease and moves out before the lease ends will probably be liable to pay a penalty, possibly all rental payments for the remainder of the lease time.

A lease also details the rights and responsibilities of both the renter and the landlord. It is important you read your lease carefully before signing it to better understand your rights and responsibilities. Examples of some of the items contained in the lease are:

  • the date rent is due and which methods of payment are acceptable
  • restrictions on painting and other alterations to the property
  • the guarantees the landlord makes to the renter to ensure safety and well-being

If either party violates the lease, there are usually penalties. For the renter, penalties can range from a warning, to a fine, to an eviction. For a landlord, violating the lease can sometimes mean the renter can leave without penalty. Rental law in California can be very complex and ambiguous.

Tenant Rights

Resources to help you understand your legal rights as a tenant:

Need Legal Advice?

Speak with an attorney who represents tenants.  If there is a large amount of potential liability involved, it is a good idea to consult with a couple of attorneys.

The San Diego County Bar Association has a referral service in which the initial consultation is without charge. 

Use the UCSD Legal service for staff, if you registered for this additional benefit at your employee orientation (it was an additional fee for this service).

Try searching the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the state of  California.  There are some “legal advisors” in San Diego.

Commuting Resources

Renter's Insurance

It is important to consider purchasing renter’s insurance while in the United States. Generally, except under very special circumstances, a landlord is not legally responsible for loss or damage to a renter’s personal property. Also, if a renter causes damage to the landlord’s property, even unintentionally, the landlord may have the right to hold the renter financially responsible. In both of these situations, renter’s insurance would protect the renter from having to pay sometimes very large amounts of money.

For more information on renter’s insurance, the following insurance is designed specifically for UC San Diego renters: 


For most (but not all) apartments, the landlord pays the water, sewer, and trash removal bill. The renter pays for utilities such as gas and electricity, telephone, and cable television service. San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) supplies San Diego County with gas and electricity service. To begin service, a deposit, plus a fee for reading the meters, must be paid. To establish service call (800) 411-7343 and service will begin within a few working days. For more information:

For assistance finding providers for utility plans, internet, and cable visit:

Appliance Rentals

Most apartments provide major appliances like refrigerators and stoves with no additional charge. If these appliances are not provided, look in the yellow pages under “Appliance Rentals” When asking about the price, be sure to ask about delivery and pick-up charges, or other fees. For students and scholars staying in the U.S. for a year or more, it may be cheaper to buy used appliances instead of renting.

The Kitchen and Exchange Rental Service is a service provided by Oceanids, a UC San Diego support organization. International post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and faculty who are staying at UC San Diego for one year or less are eligible for this service. Kitchen equipment and baby furniture are available for a very small rental fee depending upon the condition and number of items. A deposit is also charged which is refunded upon return of articles in reasonable condition. For more information regarding the Kitchen Exchange visit

Furnishing & Supplies

There are many ways to find inexpensive furniture and household items. “Discount” furniture is sold at a reduced price due to out-dated style, minor damages, etc. “Used” furniture is usually less expensive than “discounted” furniture and can be found at garage sales or second-hand stores. Furniture stores that sell new furniture usually provide delivery services.

The Resale Shop at the UC San Diego carries some small furniture and appliances for reasonable prices. When leaving UC San Diego, the Resale Shop is happy to receive donations of items you will not be taking home. For additional information visit 

There are many stores listed in the yellow pages under “Thrift Shops” and “Clothing, Used.” Also, there are various thrift shops in Pacific Beach on Garnet Avenue near the beach.

Thrift Stores

Goodwill Industries
1430 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-4960

The Salvation Army
4606 Mission Bay Drive, Pacific Beach
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 272-6514

Discount Stores

Sears Essentials
7655 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 300-6200

8251 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 530-1901

4605 Morena Boulevard (membership required)
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 270-6920

4840 Shawline Street
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-2885

Kobey’s Swap Meet
3500 Sports Arena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 226-0650
Located in the Sports Arena parking lot Friday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Minimal admission fee required.

Furniture Rental Companies

CORT Furniture Rental for Students

8288 Miramar Road Suite B
San Diego, CA 92126

AFR Furniture Rental 
7825 Trade Street Suites 104/105
San Diego, CA 92121

Used household items are listed for sale in the classified-ads section of local newspapers under “Household Furnishings,” “Miscellaneous,” and “Garage Sales.” Garage and yard sales, usually held on weekends, offer low prices on used household items. Although prices are marked, some bargaining may be possible.

The Kitchen and Exchange Rental Service is a service provided by Oceanids, a UC San Diego support organization. International post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and faculty who are staying at UC San Diego for one year or less are eligible for this service.

Weekly papers such as The San Diego Reader and Pennysaver are also good places to look for advertisements for garage sales, used furniture items, and other items for sale.


Cell Phone Service

In order to activate cell phone service in the United States, it is helpful for customers to have a valid social security number and an established credit history. Customers without these things can still activate service but may be subject to a security deposit at the time of application. The security deposit ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the service provider. This security deposit will be returned customers as stipulated in the cell phone contract.

Service contracts may last for one or two years and early termination fees may apply. Prepaid and no-contract plans are also available. Purchase cell phones or sign up for cell phone services at shopping malls or provider branches. If you would like to utilize a free resource to check availability of internet, cable, and telephone providers in their area and compare prices, visit

Below is a list of major US cell phone service providers

Additional stores and shopping malls

Land Line Service

There are several major telephone companies serving San Diego, including AT&T Telephone Company, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications. There is usually a basic start-up fee of $35, which covers wiring and accounting charges. A U.S. social security number is not required, but helpful for starting service. Service begins in two to five business days.

(800) 288-2020

Cox Communications
(619) 262-1122

Time Warner Cable
(800) 340-4308

Off-Campus Renting Questions

Questions to ask a landlord when
renting a room, an apartment or house

  • How much is the rent?
  • When is the earliest move-in date?
  • Are utilities included? If not, how much per month?
  • What is the length of the lease? Is it month-to-month, 6 months, school year?
  • Do you allow co-signers?
  • Is there an application fee?
  • If I have no credit in the United States, what can be done?
  • Is there a waitlist?
  • How much is the deposit? Is it refundable?
  • How many parking spots? Any visitor parking?
  • Do you allow subletting?
  • Do you allow pets?
  • How are maintenance issues handled especially in case of emergency?
  • How far is it from campus?
  • Is there a bus stop nearby?
  • When can I visit the apartment/house?
  • Is it furnished?

Common Housing Terms

Tenant vs. landlord

A tenant is somebody who rents an apartment or a house
A landlord is somebody who owns an apartment or a house


It is the other charges that are not necessarily included in the rent fee.
Example: Water, electricity, phone, internet, trash, etc...


It is the first document that you will have to fill up. You will have to write your personal, professional, and financial information on it. Some landlords require the tenant to pay an application fee as it often guarantees a hold on the room or apartment.

Leasing contract

It is a legal document that both landlord and tenant sign to officially agree on the obligations of both parties during the stated length of stay.

Maintenance person

It usually is a person who comes to fix technical problems such as plumbing issues occurring in the apartment or house.

Credit in the United States

Once you have an American social security number, it means that you have credit. Your credit score will determine your ability to apply for cellular phone, credit cards, loans, etc...

If you don't have credit in the U.S., landlords or companies will require a deposit instead.


When a room or an apartment is furnished, it implies that there are enough furniture and/or appliances for you to live without purchasing any extra ones.