Most Divinity School students live in the Hyde Park neighborhood—which is bounded to the north and south by Hyde Park Boulevard and the Midway Plaisance, and to the west and east by Cottage Grove Avenue and Lakeshore Drive—and in the portions of Kenwood (north) and Woodlawn (south) that closely border Hyde Park.
If you are new to Chicago and to the Hyde Park area—and especially if you have never rented an apartment before—your best resource for thinking through this process is UChicagoGrad's GRAD Housing Resources site. Be sure to explore all of the sub pages, which feature a map that shows where graduate students from the University's twelve academic units tend to live (use the drop-down menu to select the Divinity School), tips and resources for your search, and an insider's guide to negotiating a lease in Chicago.
In the tabbed boxes and content blocks below, you'll see a Google map of the Hyde Park neighborhood, a note on University-owned residential properties, information about a few residential communities popular with Divinity School students (which can be among the more affordable living options), links to property management agencies and classifieds sites, and an index for Wikipedia entries on other Chicagoland neighborhoods that are popular rental destinations for University of Chicago graduate students.
Graduate Student Housing
A distinctive feature of graduate student life at the University of Chicago is that students live throuhgout the Hyde Park neighborhood, leasing apartments and rooms from a number of vendors. The University itself owns, maintains, and manages some apartment buildings in Hyde Park, and leases units—ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments—to students at rates competitive with the local housing market. Many buildings are pet friendly, and all offer the option of a nine-month, or academic year, lease.
The University's Residential Properties website has more information.
Brent House is the Episcopal Campus Ministry at the University of Chicago, and each year seven residents live in the house (at 5540 South Woodlawn Avenue) and work in support of Brent House's community life. Residents' rooms have private closets and vanities, but share bathrooms with one to three other rooms/persons. Visit Brent House's website for more information about residence life, and to read profiles of current residents.
Disciples Divinity House
Disciples Divinity House, known among students as DDH, is a residential community of scholars that is affiliated both with the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) and with the Divinity School. DDH has a House Scholars program for which members of the Christian Churches may apply, but it also houses unaffiliated students as well in an ecumenical community. Visit the DDH website to read more about general student housing, DDH's Monday programs and dinner, and the house's history, mission, and ethos.
Qumbya Housing Cooperative
The Qumbya Housing Cooperative comprises three community-oriented, group-equity Houses—Bowers, Concord, and Haymarket—in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Residents include University of Chicago graduate students, but residency is not restricted to students. Members have private rooms and share bathroom, kitchen, and living spaces with their housemates, and they eat (vegetarian/vegan) dinner or brunch together every day of the week (by virtue of a shared chores rotation). Visit the Cooperative's website for more information on application procedures and frequently asked questions.
A fair few Divinity School students, and many University of Chicago graduate students more generally, choose to live in other Chicago neighborhoods—most usually on the near south and north sides of the city due to the accessibility of public transit. Popular Chicagoland neighborhoods include: