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For Undergraduates

Duke undergraduate students are required to live on campus for their first three years of study.

Students can live off campus for their senior year.

*A note for juniors returning from abroad: Housing is limited in the spring for juniors returning from abroad, so some juniors apply to live off campus for their spring semester.

Housing Search Timeline

December-January: Do Your Research

Answer these questions:

  • What is your monthly budget for rent and utilities? See budget section on home page.
  • Do you want to live in an apartment or a house? The largest property management companies are listed on the Common Questions page.
  • Do you want to have roommate(s) or live alone? The Roommate Guide has suggested questions to ask a potential roommate and questions to ask yourself about how you live with others.
  • How do you want to get to and from campus? Walking or biking? By bus? By car? See our Transportation page to learn more about your options.

Check out what’s available:

  • Apartments? Visit to view available properties.
  • House? Visit to view available properties.
  • OR, peruse houses from this list of some of the largest property management companies in town that our students rent from.

February-April: Sign A Lease

Note: the longer you wait, the fewer properties will be available. Most leases for the fall semester become available in March and April.

Also keep in mind that if you choose to live on campus for your senior year, on-campus housing applications are typically due toward the end of February. Check out HRL's Annual Housing Calendar for more information and deadlines.

*You do not need to apply with Duke to live OFF campus if you are a senior, only if you want to live ON campus.

June-August: Move In!

Most leases for students begin sometime between June 1 and the middle of August. Make sure you do the following:

  • Change your address: With USPS, with Duke, voter registration, etc.
  • Start utilities: turn on electricity with Duke Energy; start water service with the City of Durham; get internet (popular providers include Spectrum, AT&T, Google, Verizon); turn on gas with Dominion Energy (usually only in houses)
  • Outfit your new space: We have resources on different ways to furnish your space (renting, thrifting, etc) on our Furniture page.  Check out this checklist of off campus college living essentials.