Living in Providence

Brown University is situated on the East Side of Providence, on historic College Hill, overlooking downtown Providence. The area around Brown has a friendly, residential vibe, with plentiful housing options, grocery shopping, cafes, and restaurants all within walking distance of campus.

With its low cost of living, historic architecture, and nationally renowned dining scene, the capital city is a vibrant place to live and work. Rhode Island covers just over 1,200 square miles yet boasts more than 400 miles of coastline and 100 beaches. Providence has a vibrant arts and culture scene, including many music, theater, and arts venues.

Views of Providence


Brown’s campus is bordered by residential areas with many apartments and multi-bedroom houses. Most Brown graduate students live off campus in the neighborhoods surrounding the University. See the Brown campus map to locate the Watson Institute at Thayer and Charlesfield Streets and get a sense of the campus in general.


Walking distance: Generally termed "East Side," includes College Hill, Wayland Square, Wickenden Street, Fox Point, and the Hope Street area.
On a bus line: Blackstone Boulevard and Rochambeau are also considered to be on the "East Side"; Oak Hill, Downtown; the "West Side" includes Broadway, Federal Hill, and the Armory District. 

Brown Graduate Student Housing

Brown has a limited number of efficiency, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments located on campus for graduate students.

  • Most units include utilities such as heat, hot water, gas, electricity, and water/sewer fees.
  • Telephone service, cable television service, internet access, and the wiring for these services are available through private providers.
  • The application process typically opens March 1. Lease periods are for 12 months beginning June 1, July 1, or August 1.
  • Prices range from $950-$1450/month. Find details on the Auxilary Housing website.

Off-Campus Housing 

Getting Around

All Brown students ride free on the RIPTA bus system using a Brown I.D. The train station, located a 10-minute walk from campus, provides an easy connection to Boston and New York City. Nearby airports include T.F. Green in Warwick, Rhode Island (15 minutes by car) and Logan airport in Boston, Massachusetts (one hour by car).

Learn More About the Graduate Experience at Brown