The Twin Cities area is a thriving metropolis offering many urban amenities. We estimate annual living expenses for a single student at $16,000, but lifestyle choices could reduce or increase this amount considerably. For comparison of the costs of living for various metropolitan areas, go to CityRating.com or Salary.com. Additional cost of living information is available at The Council for Community and Economic Research.
Many housing options are available. Most SPH students live in off-campus apartments near campus and throughout the Twin Cities area. Housing and Residential Life office posts apartment vacancies.
Students with partners or families may live in University family/partnered housing with amenities such as childcare facilities, study rooms, and community centers. The Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative (near the St. Paul campus) and the Como Student Community Cooperative (near the Minneapolis campus) are two options in this category.
Transportation & Parking/Metro-Area Buses/Light Rail
The University’s transit program, the U-Pass, provides unlimited metro area bus rides at a substantial savings. A typical bus pass costs over $100 per month; the U-Pass is available to students for $84 per semester. To order a U-Pass, visit the Parking & Transportation page.
Campus Shuttles: You can get wherever you need to go at the University by using the campus shuttle system. These shuttle buses link the Minneapolis (East Bank and West Bank) and St. Paul campuses. All campus shuttles are free and use and use a color-coded bus stop mapping system.
Zipcar: This option gives you “wheels when you want them.” Annual membership is $35 with prices starting at $8 per hour (or $60 per day). Visit the Zipcar site to learn more information regarding specifications and requirements.
Parking: Parking on campus is challenging and costly. Ramps, meters, and parking lots are options for those who drive to campus. Students can enter a lottery for on-campus contract parking space. Parking facilities are available on both the St. Paul and Minneapolis campus, as well as both East and West Banks. Note that the Campus Connector shuttle buses run between the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. Parking tip: park only in designated areas, to do otherwise can be very costly (ticket, towing, and/or boot-clamp).
Students must show proof of health insurance to register each semester. Students can acquire comprehensive health coverage by paying the student services fee or extended coverage fee, and purchasing health insurance under the University’s Student Health Benefit Plan. Proof of private coverage may substitute for enrollment in the University plan.
Students with graduate assist appointments may be eligible to participate in the University Sponsored Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan. For more information about health insurance, visit the Boynton Health Service site.
Note: The University of Minnesota mandates all international students and their dependents be covered by the University-sponsored health plan while studying in the United States.
Childcare & Family Support
Support for student parents is available through the Student Parent HELP Center.