University of California, Berkeley student housing

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Housing at the University of California, Berkeley includes student housing facilities run by the office of Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP). Housing is also offered by off-campus entities such as fraternities and sororities and the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC).

UCB Housing and Dining facilities[edit]

When first built in the 1950s and 1960s, the highrise buildings of Units 1, 2, and 3 consisted of four buildings surrounding a common ground-level dining area above a mail room, recreation room, and office structure. Units 1 and 2 have many of the newest residence hall buildings.[1]

Each nine-story building is named after alumni or faculty and were originally designed for single-sex occupancy and configured with a ground floor lobby and recreation room. Each room on the floor was a double or triple occupancy.

Units 1, 2, and 3 have since become co-ed although there are single-sex floors in many of the buildings. As a result of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, additional cross bracing was added to the exteriors of the older highrise Unit 1 and 2 buildings.

Unit 1[edit]

A view of the newly built Christian Hall

The main highrise buildings of Unit 1 are located at 2650 Durant Avenue. It consists of the original halls, Cheney, Deutsch, Freeborn, and Putnam, along with the newer Christian and Slottman Halls, which house mini-suites.[2] The unit's primary dining hall is Crossroads, which it shares with Unit 2. Underneath the central quad, there is an exercise room and a computer lab.

Unit 2[edit]

The main buildings of Unit 2 are located at 2650 Haste Street. It consists of the original Cunningham, Davidson, Ehrman, and Griffiths Halls, as well as the newer Towle Hall mini-suites and the Wada Hall apartments.[3] The unit's primary dining hall is Crossroads, which it shares with Unit 1. Like Unit 1, Unit 2 has an exercise room and computer lab underground.

Cunningham Hall and the newly built Towle Hall

Unit 3[edit]

Unit 3 is located at 2400 Durant Avenue. The original buildings are Ida Sproul, Norton, Priestly, and Spens-Black Halls.[4] Beverly Cleary Hall, opened in the 1990s, is located across Channing Way and is part of the unit. The unit's main dining facility, Cafe 3, is located in the center of the original building complex.

Unit 4[edit]

Unit 4 consists of Stern Hall and Foothill Student Housing. Bowles Hall was also part of Unit 4 until May 2015. The unit is located on the eastern edge of campus along Gayley Road. Its main dining facility is located in Foothill.

Foothill - La Loma

Stern Hall, built in 1942, is the only all-female residence hall on campus.[5] It is located adjacent to Foothill.

Foothill was completed in 1990 and consists of the Hillside and La Loma complexes. It is a coed residence hall popular among engineering students due to its proximity to the College of Engineering on the north side of campus.

Unit 4 is the only unit to not be certified ADA accessible.[6][7][8]

Clark Kerr Campus (Unit 5)[edit]

Clark Kerr Campus is a Spanish mission style residential complex located 5 blocks southeast of the main UC Berkeley campus. Formerly the California Schools for the Deaf and Blind, the City of Berkeley and the University of California fought for the land when the school relocated in 1980. The University won the majority of the land in court and opened the converted residence hall in 1983. Clark Kerr is on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus includes a pool and tennis court, as well as a dining hall.

University-owned apartments[edit]

UC Berkeley owns several apartment facilities, primarily aimed at upperclassmen and graduate students. The apartments are considered "off-campus living" for financial aid purposes. Unlike residence halls, tenants of the apartments pay monthly rent, rather than semester fees, and are not automatically included on the campus meal plan.[9]


The Channing-Bowditch Apartments are open to upperclassmen and transfers.[9] They house 226 students and were completed in 2003.

Ida L. Jackson Graduate House[edit]

Jackson House contains apartments open to graduate students.[10] It has a capacity of 120.

Manville Apartments[edit]

The Manville Apartments are open to law and graduate students.[11]

Martinez Commons[edit]

The Maximino Martinez Commons contains both residence hall rooms and apartments.[12] Priority is given to sophomores and upperclassmen.

Family housing[edit]

Students with families are eligible to live in University Village's East or West Village. development.[13]

University Village[edit]

University Village is a housing community for married students. It is located within the city limits of Albany about two miles (3 km) northwest of the main Berkeley campus. The demolition of older buildings and their subsequent replacement with new, more expensive apartment units has prompted student protests. The Village Residents Association, a funding and advocacy group in University Village, filmed a video documentary regarding the lack of affordable student family housing in June 2007.[14]


Smyth-Fernwald is within the City of Berkeley. It is about a ten- to fifteen-minute walk to the main Berkeley campus,[15] on the southeast side of the Berkeley campus. The complex has two- and three-bedroom apartments, and houses 74 families.[16]

The complex includes a Multipurpose Building. The western section contains offices and a community center. The eastern section was abandoned. In 1999, due to creep structural damage and safety concerns, some complex buildings south of the multipurpose building were demolished.[17]

The complex is within the Berkeley Unified School District. On July 13, 1994, the district adopted its current zone maps. Smyth-Fernwald is within the Southeast Zone. Students in that zone may be assigned to Emerson, Le Conte, Malcolm X, and John Muir.[18] The complex is zoned to Willard Middle School.[19][20] Berkeley High School is the sole zoned high school in the district.

The site was demolished by March, 2013.[21]

International House[edit]

The International House (or I-House) is located at the intersection of Bancroft and Piedmont. It is home to many of Berkeley's international students, with half international and half American residents. The International House is an independent, self-supporting non-profit organization that has close associations with the university. International House Berkeley officially opened on August 18, 1930. It was the largest student housing complex in the Bay Area and the first coeducational residence west of the Mississippi.

Bowles Hall[edit]

Bowles Hall was originally built by UC Berkeley as a residential college, the first in the United States. It later became a standard residence hall. After remodeling and reorganization by a group of Bowles Hall alumni, it reopened as a coed residential college housing students from all four undergraduate years.

Berkeley Student Cooperative[edit]

The Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) (formerly known as the University Students' Cooperative Association (USCA)) is a nonprofit student housing cooperative controlled by its student membership. The BSC primarily serves UC Berkeley students, though full-time students from any accredited institution of higher education are eligible for membership (i.e. a room and/or board contract). The BSC houses approximately 1250 students in 20 properties (17 of which owns, and 3 of which it leases from UC Berkeley), and other members have boarding-only (i.e. meal plan) contracts. The BSC is legally independent of UC Berkeley, with their only legal relationship being the aforementioned ground-leases.[22][23][24][25]

The BSC is significantly less expensive than both private housing and UC Berkeley-run housing (for both housing-only contracts and food and housing contracts). The BSC keeps rents low in part by requiring its members to perform "workshift" (essentially chores), usually 5 hours per week at most properties. Other methods of keeping rents low include bulk purchasing and the lack of a for-profit landlord.[22][26]

The BSC offers priority to students in the UC Berkeley Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) (or equivalent at their respective college or university), students with disabilities, transfer students, undocumented students, and international students studying abroad at a University of California campus.[22][27]


  1. ^ 01.11.2005 – New residence halls, new students arrive for spring semester
  2. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Unit 1". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  3. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Unit 2". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Unit 3". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  5. ^ BERKELEY / UC backs down on plan to convert dorm
  6. ^ Welcome to RSSP Housing Projects, UC Berkeley
  7. ^ The Daily Californian - City Grants Foothill Bridge Permit
  8. ^ Donald MacDonald FAIA Bridge Architects
  9. ^ a b University of California, Berkeley. "Channing-Bowditch Apartments". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Ida L. Jackson Graduate House". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  11. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Manville Apartments". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  12. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Martinez Commons". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Students with Families." University of California Berkeley. Retrieved on 2 October 2011.
  14. ^ Affordable Student Family Housing – UC Berkeley
  15. ^ "Smyth Fernwald." Smyth Fernwald. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Dwight Way & Fernwald Rd."
  16. ^ "The Smyth Fernwald Complex." UC Berkeley Housing. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Dwight Way & Fernwald Rd."
  17. ^ "Smyth-Fernwald Residential Complex." (Archive) UC Berkeley Geology. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  18. ^ "A Guide to School Zones." (map, archive) Berkeley Unified School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  19. ^ "School Zones (F)." Berkeley Unified School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Fernwald Road 2400 to 2499 Southeast Willard"
  20. ^ "School Zones (D)." Berkeley Unified School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Dwight Way" "2100 to 3099 Southeast Willard"
  21. ^ Taylor, Tracey. "[1]." Berkeleyside. March 7, 2013. Retrieved on October 31, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c Berkeley Student Cooperative. "General Information". Berkeley Student Cooperative. Berkeley Student Cooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Berkeley Student Cooperative. "Ownership Status". BSC Policy Wiki. Berkeley Student Cooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Berkeley Student Cooperative (August 18, 2011). "Articles of Incorporation". BSC Policy Wiki. Berkeley Student Cooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  25. ^ Berkeley Student Cooperative. "BSC Bylaws". BSC Policy Wiki. Berkeley Student Cooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Berkeley Student Cooperative. "Workshift". Berkeley Student Cooperative. Berkeley Student Coooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  27. ^ Berkeley Student Cooperative. "Assignment of Spaces". BSC Policy Wiki. Berkeley Student Cooperative. Retrieved January 23, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°52′04″N 122°15′19″W / 37.8678°N 122.2552°W / 37.8678; -122.2552