Prospective Students

Housing

General Considerations

There are no housing facilities on the Rosenstiel School's Virginia Key campus or the main campus of the University. Graduate students must choose rental housing in the Miami area. Students should plan to provide their own transportation, as the Miami public system can be inefficient

One thing to note: RSMAS offers a free shuttle service between the Viscaya MetroRail station and the campus during the regular academic semester (from the first day of classes to the last day of classes each semester). It does not operate, however, on University holidays, breaks or summer. The shuttle schedule is available here.

The Rickenbacker Causeway, along which the School is located, is a toll route. The entrance fee at the mainland end of the causeway is $1.75 per entry. A card or transponder, allowing unlimited entry to the causeway, can be purchased from the Rickenbacker Causeway Office at the mainland entry point for $60.00 per year for non-residents and $24.00 per year for Key Biscayne residents (subject to change). A deposit will also be required for the entry devices.

Since Miami is such a large metropolitan area and traffic can be a problem, most students tend to live fairly close to the RSMAS campus. When you begin your hunt for housing, you will find that most ads are broken down into “neighborhoods”. The areas closest to the campus are:

  • Key Biscayne
  • Brickell
  • Roads
  • Coconut Grove
  • Coral Gables

The best places to start looking are here:

 

Talk to Current Students

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Nothing is better than hearing first-hand about their experiences. The Rosenstiel School has the Marine Science Graduate Student Organization (MSGSO) and they are here to help you. They can also provide temporary housing with another student while you look for your own place. You can e-mail them .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit their web page.

Once you have confirmed your attendance at RSMAS, the Graduate Studies Office will start sending you, via e-mail, all postings for rentals that come through our campus. A lot of these are current students looking for roommates. You may also complete a Housing Release Form that allows us to give your contact information to other students who are looking for roommates. This form will be sent to you in your initial orientation package (early June).

Miami’s Neighborhoods

One of the most important factors to consider when embarking on a housing search is location. Where you live will affect your commuting time, accessibility to services and recreational opportunities, personal safety, and living costs. Miami offers a variety of neighborhoods and communities, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Some strategies you can utilize to assure that you pick the right place for you include:

  • Visit the neighborhoods after dark, as well as during daytime to get a feel for the security of the area
  • Try commuting to campus from your potential home at different times of the day to test out the traffic situation
  • Drive around the neighborhood to gauge the services available to you- how close are you to resources you might need (groceries, gas, laundry)
  • Talk to some neighbors, especially other UM students, to get their impression of living in that community.

Below are some brief descriptions of Miami communities. The information is designed to give you some insights on the neighborhoods, but nothing equals a personal visit.

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Coral Gables

Coral Gables is home to the University of Miami main campus. It is primarily a residential area, with some apartments, condos, efficiencies, duplexes and ‘mother-in-law’ suites for rent. There are also some estate homes with guest cottages that are prized by renters—these are very popular and you will be ‘competing’ with professionals from the community (and not just other students) for these units.

Coral Gables has very low crime, quiet streets, and is home to some of Miami’s best restaurants and little art galleries.

Coconut Grove/Roads

Coconut Grove is north of Coral Gables, a five- to 10- minute easy commute to campus. ‘The Grove’ as it is known is a great mix of clubs, bars, shops, restaurants, big annual art festivals and popular bayfront parks. There are small houses, duplexes and apartments for rent.

The Roads (so named because all the streets are actually roads as opposed to streets and avenues) is an area located just off the Rickenbacker Causeway. It is one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods. You will find houses, some small apartment complexes, and cottages/efficiencies usually located behind some larger homes.

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Downtown Miami/Miami River

The downtown Miami area and the Miami River are going through a major revitalization. Highrise condominiums and loft style apartments, most with amazing views of the downtown skyline and the river are being built at record levels. At the same time, new services including restaurants, nightlife and everyday necessities are being built to keep up with demand. The area is very centrally located to the entire Miami-Dade metropolitan areas and a five- to 10- minute easy commute to RSMAS.

Brickell/Key Biscayne

Both the Brickell area and Key Biscayne are nice—very nice! They are very safe, clean and sweet addresses to have. The kind of places you’d like to email photos to your friends at Midwestern universities and say “Hey! Look where I’m living!” The Brickell area is primarily a high rise condominium and apartment based area. It is approximately five minutes north of campus, and an easy commute, especially by bicycle. Key Biscayne is off Brickell Avenue and just past the RSMAS campus, accessible by the Rickenbacker Causeway. It is a quiet beautiful area with pristine beaches and Crandon Park. There are many condos for rent on Key Biscayne, as there are on Brickell Avenue. Now for the reality check: Many units on the Key and on Brickell are bought as investment properties, and it is expensive real estate. Typically a two-bedroom rental would be in the $1500-$2000/month range (and higher), depending on the building. Key Biscayne still has some of the older (but very nice) apartment building (most with beach access) in the $800-$1,000 range. A 10-minute bicycle ride or a straight route on the “B” bus.

South Miami

South Miami, located minutes south of the University’s main campus and a 20-30 minute commute to RSMAS, sprawls across US1 in a combination of residential and commercial areas. The busy downtown area, centered east of US1 at Sunset and Red Roads, The Shops at Sunset Place has many stores, restaurants, and a movie theater/IMAX complex. A variety of residential options extend from the periphery of downtown, as well as to the west of US1. There is a bus route serving South Miami that connects with the South Miami MetroRail station.

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South Beach

South Beach of course does not need explanation—it is the center of art deco design, nightlife and culture in Miami-Dade County. First the drawback, and then we’ll address the good stuff. The commute can easily take up to 30 minutes by car at peak times. Also, parking on South Beach is not a guarantee—many apartment buildings don’t have parking for their tenants, something to consider. And if you don’t have your own car then expect your commute to take a while (hour +). Bus service connecting the island to the mainland is minimal, and then you have to connect that with the MetroRail schedule. Now for the good news: South Beach is one of a kind. If you chose the University of Miami you probably wanted to come here not just for the academics but for the lifestyle and environment unique to Miami. And no area is more unique to Miami than South Beach. So if you want to experience what makes this area so special and distinctive from the rest of the country, consider spending part of your academic career living on South Beach.

What Type Of Housing Is Available?

Houses
Houses usually have the most space, a yard for which you may have the responsibility of upkeep, and perhaps a carport or garage. Houses also afford more privacy than any other form of housing. Groups of students often rent entire houses.Apartmentsprovide the most services and require the least responsibility on your part. The landlord takes care of the mechanical systems, yard work, redecoration (such as painting), and repairs. Laundry facilities are usually available in the apartment unit or elsewhere in the complex.

Efficiencies
These are small apartments with a private bathroom, limited cooking facilities, and a studio-type living room, which also serves as a bedroom. There are many efficiency apartments in older Coral Gables homes.

Room rentals
Owners of homes that have extra space provide room rentals. Most owners allow the student the complete use of their homes. Be sure to clarify whether or not you share the utility expenses, have a private bath, have kitchen privileges, and use of such amenities as the telephone, laundry, or pool. Determine how many people live at the address, and if you are expected to clean more than your room.

Rental Deposits

Deposit money means any money held by the landlord on behalf of the tenant, including but not limited to, damage deposits, security deposits, advance rent deposits, pet deposits, or any contracted deposit agreed to between landlord and tenant either in writing or orally. A standard to go by in South Florida would be a deposit equal to your first month and last month of rent. It is typical to pay the equivalent of two to three month’s rent upon moving in to an apartment.

A cleaning deposit is a separate deposit, which allows the landlord to use the money to clean or paint the rental after you move. The landlord usually does not refund a cleaning deposit. The damage deposit must be returned when you leave the premises unless you caused physical damage beyond normal wear and tear. An inspection inventory signed by both landlord and tenant will help determine the conditions of the premises before moving in or our. The original inspection should be used to evaluate the occupancy before moving out.

The Florida Landlord and Tenant Act defines a security deposit as any monies held by the landlord as security for performance of the rental agreement including, but not limited to, monetary damage to the landlord caused by the tenant’s breach of the lease terms.

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Transportation

As you go about your housing search, you will also want to keep in mind issues pertaining to you commute and the transportation options available to you. Your transportation options, the costs, and the accessibility of those options are all important factors to weigh when deciding where to live.

MetroRail

Extending from Hialeah to Dadeland/Kendall. The MetroRail is Dade County’s rail system and it is primarily a north-south route. If you live close to a MetroRail station, or to a bus that can get you to a station, MetroRail can take you to the Viscaya Station where you can pick up the RSMAS Shuttle during the semester or the Brickell Station where you can pick up the “B” bus anytime. Student Metro passes are available for purchase at the RSMAS Facilities Admin Office.

Buses

In addition to MetroRail, Metro-Dade Transit offers 100 bus routes, which crisscross Dade County daily. Many buses connect with the MetroRail, and the cost is included in the college student Metropass. A discounted student Metro-Pass can be purchased at the UC, first floor, at the Ticketmaster/Information Desk window or at the Facilities Office here at the Rosenstiel School.

Bicycles

Bike racks are located just underneath the Science and Administration building. To protect yourself against bicycle theft, lock your bike with a high quality lock whenever leaving it unattended.