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three houses in the steward neighborhood along a street with trees with fall colors

Living Close to the University

Living close to campus offers many financial and lifestyle advantages. You can save money and avoid the frustration associated with a long commute while having the benefits of being located in the heart of the Twin Cities. With a wealth of parks, lakes, and cultural opportunities, Minneapolis and St. Paul provide the rich diversity of a metropolitan area and the small-town feel of local communities and neighborhoods.

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Rental and Temporary Housing

Rental Experts

Qualified rental experts, including Relocation Today (pdf), are available to help prospective renters find what they need. Specialists are also available to link newcomers to communities and diversity resources. Contact RAP to get information on other University contract vendors.

Note: University departments or colleges may pay for this service as part of their recruitment costs. New hires should discuss this option with their hiring department.

Rental Tips

  • The average rent per month is about $1,200 for a one bedroom apartment, $1,600 for a two bedroom apartment, and $1,800 for a three bedroom apartment.
  • Most landlords require a 60-day notice. For example, faculty and staff needing a rental unit in September should begin their searches around July 1.

Rental Housing

The University of Minnesota partners with Relocation Today to offer a housing database that features rental properties that are available for new U of M employees who are relocating to the Twin Cities area. You will be asked to register at the site. The properties are owned by people associated with the U of M and Relocation Today clients such as Cargill and General Mills.

The database includes properties that are currently available or will be available in the near future. It also contains properties that are available for only a brief period (e.g., September through May) or have recurring vacancies (e.g., bed & breakfast inns in the neighborhoods adjacent to the U of M). Sabbatical homes are also included in this database.

If you are interested in any of the properties, contact the landlord directly, or send an email to raprequests@umn.edu if you have questions or need more information.

Note: The properties in the Relocation Today housing database have not been inspected by the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) staff.

The Office of Housing and Residential Life also has an off-campus housing search.

Temporary Housing

The Relocation Assistance Program maintains a list of short-term housing resources (pdf) (e.g., two weeks to six months).

The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications also has a list of short-term housing options that is searchable based on the type of accommodation you want and your length of stay.

University-Owned Rental Housing: Pillsbury Court

Pillsbury Court is reserved for full-time faculty and staff and is the only non-student, University-owned rental housing available. It's located within walking distance of the Minneapolis campus. The complex consists of 48 two-bedroom townhouses, and faculty and staff members can rent for up to two years. New faculty members should apply early because there may be a waiting list. Pets are not allowed. Visit the Office of Housing and Residential Life website for Pillsbury Court details and an online application.

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Purchasing a Home

The local housing market tends to be relatively stable, with homes appreciating at varying rates. University departments often have realtors that they can recommend based on their work with other faculty, so check with your department for a list. If your department is unable to refer a realtor, or if you need lender advice, RAP can share information about realtors and lending organizations that have served University personnel. 

Homes for sale in the University District and homes for sale that are convenient to the U of M and/or owned by University personnel are listed in RAP's housing database.

New faculty and staff may be interested in purchasing a home in the University Grove, an architecturally unique neighborhood across from the St. Paul Campus. The 103 University Grove homes are located on land owned by the University of Minnesota.

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Commuting to Work in the Metro Area

Below are approximate distances and average driving commute times, based on rush hour traffic, from some of surrounding areas to the University of Minnesota-East Bank campus, Minneapolis. For biking times and routes, see Cyclopath.

Hennepin County

Northern Tier

  • Brooklyn Park – 10 miles, 20-30 minutes
  • Champlin – 20 miles, 35-45 minutes
  • Fridley – 14 miles, 30 minutes
  • Maple Grove – 20 miles, 50-75 minutes
  • Plymouth – 20 miles, 60-75 minutes
  • Ramsey/Anoka – 25 miles, 45-60 minutes

Western Tier

  • Medicine Lake – 15 miles, 45-60 minutes
  • Minnetonka – 22 miles, 50-60 minutes
  • St. Louis Park – 8 miles, 30-40 minutes

Southern Tier

  • Bloomington – 12 miles, 25-35 minutes
  • Burnsville – 18 miles, 35-45 minutes
  • Chanhassen – 22 miles, 45-60 minutes
  • Richfield – 9 miles, 20 minutes
  • Savage – 20 miles, 40-50 minutes
  • South Minneapolis – 4 miles, 15 minutes
  • West Bloomington/Eden Prairie – 14 miles, 35-35 minutes

 Ramsey County

Northern and Central Tier

  • Arden Hills – 9 miles, 20-35 minutes
  • Blaine – 27 miles, 40-50 minutes
  • Mahtomedi – 25 miles, 40-45 minutes
  • White Bear Lake – 20 miles, 40 minutes
  • St. Paul (near State Capitol building) – 9 miles, 20 minutes
  • Shoreview – 11 miles, 30-40 minutes

Southern Tier

  • Inver Grove Heights  - 18 miles, 40 minutes
  • Mendota Heights – 10 miles, 20-30 minutes
  • South St. Paul – 14 miles, 30 minutes

Eastern Tier

  • Falcon Heights – 7 miles, 15 minutes
  • North St. Paul – 15 miles, 30 minutes
  • Oakdale – 15 miles, 30 minutes
  • Roseville – 7 miles, 15 minutes

 Surrounding Areas


  • Forest Lake – 29 miles, 40-50 minutes
  • Osseo – 19 miles, 35-45 minutes


  • Apple Valley – 22 miles, 45 minutes
  • Farmington – 31 miles, 60-75 minutes


  • Lake Elmo – 21 miles, 35-45 minutes
  • Stillwater – 25 miles, 45 minutes
  • Woodbury – 18 miles, 35-45 minutes


  • Prior Lake – 27 miles, 60-75 minutes
  • Excelsior – 23 miles, 60-75 minutes

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Additional Resources

Rental and Home Search

Cost of Living

Twin Cities Community Information

Furniture Rental