Now that housing selection for the 2024-25 school year has passed, Brandeis students may be wondering what the next year will look like depending on where they’re living. This week, the board would like to provide the student body with an honest take on what the available housing options are like, as well as some advice for rising sophomores. A lot of housing options on campus are not always as bad as people say. 

East Quad

Sophomores are typically extremely upset when they end up in East Quad. They lament their inability to live in Skyline, but this editorial board wants to assure these sophomores that East is not as scary as people say. One member of this editorial board lived in East for two years and loved it. The singles and doubles are a good size, with a large desk, a set of drawers and a wardrobe where you can hang up lots of clothes. 

Additionally, the beds raise up a lot, so there is a lot of storage space. This board recommends  not raising the bed all the way up, but rather to the rung right below from the top. 

This makes it easier to get onto the bed, while still being able to fit a set of those plastic drawers from Target or Walmart underneath. 

Those are so important to bring for extra storage! This editorial board also wants to alleviate some tensions about the bathrooms. Some floors have better showers than others, but those are easy to find by either going up or down a floor. The water pressure is good, and members of this editorial board have never experienced flooding.

One floor is underground, but that is the same as the freshman quads, so East is not unique in that sense. The layout is also slightly confusing, but like any other dorm, you get used to it. 

As a warning, one side of the dorm room is brick, so be sure to bring sticky tack in order to hang up any posters or decor you may want. Another thing to think about is  that if you are on a higher floor, it can get really hot when you first move in. This only lasts for a couple weeks, but it’s important to bring a good fan. However, if you are on one of the high floors, you may get a good view of the Boston skyline. This editorial board also wants to acknowledge that the stairs and inclined ramps leading to East are a hassle, but there is very little to be done about it. 

Be sure to bring shoes with traction, as Massachusetts weather can result in a slippery path. Additionally, there is only one water fountain in the East, which is a challenge. It is best to invest in a Brita water pitcher to refill every once in a while. The windows are also fairly large, so it’s helpful to keep the shades down the majority of the time if you are on one of the lower levels. 

This editorial board believes that East is not nearly as bad as people say, so if you end up in East, don’t fret too much. There is plenty of room to decorate and store things, especially if you are transitioning from a forced triple to a double or a single. East can be a great place to live — you just have to take advantage of the space.  

Rosenthal Quad

Rosenthal Quad, more fondly referred to as “Rosie,” is made up of three buildings — Rosenthal North, East and South. Rosie only houses sophomores, and rising sophomores who currently live in Massell will find it a comfortable transition, as the quads sit adjacent to one another. Because of this, not much about your daily routine will have to change — Sherman Dining Hall will still be right next to your dorm and most of your classes will still be within a reasonable walking distance — likely 10 minutes or less. 

Though, the relocation won’t be too drastic, suite-style living is very different to the individual double or single rooms that most first-years are used to. Each Rosie suite houses eight students, with two double rooms, four singles, a common area, and two bathrooms. As a result, Rosies are usually very social spaces and can be a great place to live with a group of friends. However, for this same reason, these buildings can be rather noisy, so communication with your suitemates is key to keep disturbances to a minimum. 

While Rosie is a coveted housing option for rising sophomores, there are still some limits to the buildings’ facilities. There is only one laundry room in the quad, located in Rosie North, so East and South residents have to walk across the quad to do laundry. The buildings also do not have elevators and for those who live on higher floors, going up the stairs after a long day of classes can feel like a never-ending Sisyphean feat (but it’s great exercise!). Additionally, the kitchens on the first floor of each Rosie building are rather old and have electric coil stoves that often don’t heat up enough to cook. It is also important to note that the janitorial staff do not come into individual suites, so each group is responsible for cleaning and restocking bathroom necessities as well as common spaces. This may be new to many, but these responsibilities can be a great introduction to more independent living, while still having the support of your suitemates.

Skyline Residence Hall

As the newest dorm on campus, Skyline Residence Hall has few problems to complain about. While there may be the occasional ceiling leak or flood from a gender neutral bathroom with a broken shower stopper, many traditional dorm problems are avoided due to the newness of the facilities.

Skyline has the same traditional corridor style set up as first-year dorms, so there are few adjustments to prepare for. Although the building has central air conditioning, we still recommend bringing a fan. 

Due to the huge windows in the building, heat gets trapped in fast. While you technically have a thermostat to control the heating and cooling in your room, those of us who have lived in Skyline have found that it doesn’t necessarily give you much control. However, a huge plus are the trash rooms that are present on every floor, which makes it very easy to dispose of trash and recycling without having to go outside the building.

One other thing to prepare for is the sense of isolation that often comes with living in Skyline. 

This can be a culture shock if you are coming from a first-year dorm. While halls in the North and Massell Quads are full of students who are eager to make connections with their neighbors, Skyline is packed with sophomores and upperclassmen who have already found their communities elsewhere.

Unfortunately, if you are still looking for your niche at Brandeis, you likely will not find it in Skyline, so be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and venture outside of your dorm. 

The Village   

Like all dorms on campus, Village has its pros and cons. However, the advantages of living there outweigh the disadvantages. Village consists of three towers of traditional corridor-style rooms with a variety of double and singles. These rooms are open to sophomores, study abroad and midyear students. 

If you live in Village you can look forward to central air conditioning, several common spaces and an elevator that works the majority of the time. Even though Village has air conditioning, think about bringing a fan as the rooms can get hot during the summer months. The common spaces provide several places to study, spend time with friends and create. One popular space in Village is the common area with a piano. Additionally, Village has both a gym and a dance studio that are commonly used. The gym has gained more popularity since its recent refurbishment. There is a community in Village if you are looking for one. 

However, there are a few things to be aware of before living in Village. The walls in Village are fairly thin, so if you do not feel like listening to your neighbor or noise from South Street, invest in a noise machine or good quality headphones with a noise canceling feature. Additionally, if you plan to use the communal kitchen, be aware that they get quite dirty, especially the fridges, which people steal things out of from time to time. Finally, in the winter months be careful walking up the stairs to Village A as they are not thoroughly salted. Despite these problems, Village can be a nice place to live.

The Charles River Apartments

The Charles River Apartments, or “Grad,” may appear undesirable due to the fifteen minute walk from the quad to campus, but there’s much more to then. The campus shuttle is pretty consistent — there have only been a handful of problems in the past two semesters — and comes every 20 minutes to take residents to campus. The walk, if taken, is not bad either. 

If you take a look at Grad and think, “Huh, everything about its design looks wrong,” you would be correct. The quad has four buildings in total, each of which technically have two numbers assigned to them: their address and their building number. There are no hallways — each apartment is accessible through “towers,” and a good number of the bedrooms have their own entrance. Its design is confusing to say the least, but it does not take long to get used to. 

The majority of the apartments are two person apartments with a kitchen and a bathroom. Those apartments do not have a living room, but the bedrooms are some of the largest singles you can find on campus. 

There are a small number of two person apartments that include a common space where the bedrooms are a bit smaller. There are also five person apartments, three person apartments and a few “efficiency singles” in each building. 

Having your own bedroom, especially after sharing one during your first year, is refreshing. Not having to share a bathroom with ten other people can make your year. Being able to cook your own meals and not have to rely on campus dining can ensure adequate nutrition. Even without a common space, Grad provides students a way to get away from campus and relax in their very own apartment, either alone or with friends. 

While there are many benefits to Grad, it is important to remember its drawbacks. The walls are insanely thin and in some apartments you can hear nearly everything happening in your neighbor’s room — and yes, that means everything. 

Apartments are laid out so there is another apartment on the other side of your wall that is essentially a mirror-image and privacy is limited. 

You cannot always expect your neighbors to be respectful, and sometimes no amount of banging on their wall at 2 a.m. will get them to be quiet. If your wall neighbors or the apartments in your stairwell are making too much noise past quiet hours, try to talk to them first. If that does not work, you can talk to your community advisor about next steps. 

You can also buy noise machines or earplugs if needed. The windows are drafty, so be prepared for the cold weather. Some residents put towels or blankets along their window sill to try to block the draft. Bring lots of blankets and turn up your thermostat! It also gets very hot in the summer months, so bring a fan.

While the buildings are not flawless and no apartment is exactly the same, Grad can be great to live in. A member of this editorial board has willingly lived there nearly three years consecutively. If you have friends nearby, Grad life gets that much better as well. Enjoy your time in Grad and make the most of it! 

Ziv Quad

You might have heard some horror stories about living in Ziv Quad. In the past year, we’ve had a sewage overflow, mold in the showers and rats scurrying around the dorm. But in reality, living in Ziv isn’t that bad. 

All older buildings have problems like these — and there are ways to avoid some of them. For example, keeping the shower room windows open can help with air circulation, which can prevent mold and limit stinky smells. 

There are also benefits to living in Ziv. For one thing, everyone gets their own room. While you can hear the voices of your roommates through the vents sometimes, the walls are actually pretty thick. Living in a suite is truly the best of both worlds: You can interact with suitemates when you want to, but you can also retreat to your room when you’re in need of solitude. 

If you’ve been placed in Ziv with people you don’t know, you don’t have to be too worried, as it’s possible that you will barely see them. The setup of Ziv — including single rooms, multiple entrances and a hallway dividing some rooms from the common room — makes it possible to avoid your suitemates if you want or need to. The only things you’ll need to talk to your roommates about is heating and cooling, keeping the common room clean and managing trash and recycling. Although you do technically have control over the temperature of your room, the system is shared with your next-door neighbor, and you may not be in the bedroom with the controls.

If you haven’t lived in a suite before, be warned: You will go through copious amounts of toilet paper! Also, be sure to purchase cleaning supplies, because you will be responsible for cleaning your own bathrooms and common room. For the best results, set up a “chore chart” or cleaning schedule with your suitemates. If cleanliness is important to you, it’s important to discuss expectations with your roommates beforehand! 

If you’re looking to make use of your common room — or if dim lighting is a problem for you — be sure to purchase additional lighting for your suite. The overhead lighting in Ziv still leaves rooms quite dark, so fairy lights, LEDs, desk lights and floor lights will leave your suite feeling more like home! 

567 South Street Apartments

Compared to other on campus housing, 567 South Street Apartments are probably the least known dorms on campus. The dorm was used as quarantine housing two years ago and has turned into sophomore housing. It is located near the Brandeis/Roberts train station. 

Although it is not directly on campus, it is relatively close to the campus compared to the Charles River Apartments. 567 shares a similar walking distance to other parts of the campus. The shuttle stops across from 567, giving you another choice if you don’t want to walk. 

567 South Street Apartments have either two single bedrooms or double efficiency rooms that have two beds in a large bedroom. Both have a common area with a kitchen and a bathroom, which makes it one of the only two campus housing options for sophomores that provides a private kitchen. 

The bedrooms are sizable and for two bedrooms dorms there’s a closet for each person: one in one of the bedrooms and the other in the common area. The common area is not big, but it has a dining table and is a good place to share a meal with your roommate. If you’re too tired to cook, AK’s is right next door and they serve great food!


Known as one of the best dorms on campus, Ridgewood has many pros! You can live with three of your friends in a four person suite or there are a few six person suites. This building has reliable heating and air conditioning, and it is also an accessible campus dorm as it has automatic doors as well as an elevator. 

As one of the more recently built dorms on campus, it has many amenities. Living in Ridge, each person gets a single room, a common room, a bathroom and a kitchen. 

The common space comes with three sofas. The kitchen has four stools, a full sized sink with a garbage disposal, a full sized fridge, a microwave, an electric coil stove and cabinet space for dry goods. The bathroom has a sink with cabinet space underneath, a toilet and a shower with good water pressure. 

There are also trash and recycling rooms on each floor. The bedrooms themselves are adequately sound-proofed and all have the typical amenities of Brandeis housing: a bed, a desk and a wardrobe.

The location is ideal as it’s on lower campus, which means it’s a short walk to most food options on campus. It’s in the same area as both Village and Ziv, and you are close to Village’s gym and dance studio. 

Some of the few cons of living in Ridge are the lack of control of the heating and cooling system that you get in Ziv despite having a control panel. The windows also barely open, which makes the sensitivity of the fire alarm worse.

Foster Mods

So, you’ve made it through your first two years at Brandeis, and you now have access to upperclassman housing! Foster Mods are Brandeis’ townhouse-style housing available to juniors and seniors. 

They are located next to the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, which is closer to campus than Grad, but still requires a trek uphill to access any of the academic buildings. The shuttle does not currently stop at Foster Mods. 

For many students, this is the first opportunity to experience campus living outside of a standard dorm room. This editorial board understands that it can be a bit of a change, so we want to give you an inside look at the quad and how to take full advantage of your new space. 

If you end up in Foster Mods, you can look forward to a pre-furnished home with a spacious kitchen and common room — perfect for hanging out with friends or just burning the midnight oil. 

We recommend decorating to make the space more homey. As for the individual rooms, the bedrooms in Foster Mods are smaller than most corridor-style singles on campus. That being said, there are plenty of windows and natural light to open up the space. 

While living in Foster Mods is an exciting time, filled with newfound independence in a “wet quad,” there are some things to keep in mind before moving in. First off, the buildings were originally designed as temporary living spaces, which were only renovated later on to serve as a permanent structure. Given the age of the buildings and the questionable construction, you’ll likely encounter many parts of the building that are falling apart or being held together by tape. In addition, there are community-wide issues with the plumbing and ant infestations, so be careful about what you flush down the drain, and bring ant traps. 

All in all, living in Foster Mods can be a lot of fun as long as you take care of the space. With an entire home to clean, we recommend scheduling chores with your roommates, taking out the trash often and stocking up on communal cleaning supplies and toilet paper. Bringing some decor and perhaps a projector for the living room can make the place a lovely temporary home for your upcoming academic year!

Off-campus housing

Off-campus housing can be a great (and sometimes only) option for students. As a board with some members familiar with the process, we would like to give some advice regarding how to get started and what to look for. 

First, while you may not have gotten housing on campus, this can be a blessing in disguise. Brandeis housing prices are often much higher than those of surrounding Waltham houses and apartments with similar, and sometimes better amenities.

As you begin the process of searching for housing, we recommend that you connect with a friend, colleague or club member that has gone through this process before. Often, a lease for a place that you know and love comes with good reviews that can be passed on to you. Additionally, it is important to meet your landlord in advance. 

Members of this board have had negative experiences with off-campus housing due to landlords, which can be avoided by a short conversation or phone call — though meeting in person is preferred.

We also advise you to look into the location of Branvan stops as you are searching for a place. Utilizing free Brandeis transportation can extend the range available for you to live and sometimes lead to lower rent prices. While the Branvans aren’t always the most reliable, they are a resource that should be considered during this process.

This board will also provide you with some advice in terms of the requirements that you can expect when signing your first lease, as they can often take some time to obtain. It is important to keep a cosigner in mind, as this will often be required for you as a college student, and they will have to provide much of the same documentation as you. 

You will also need a credit report, bank account information, some form of legal identification, personal references, tax returns, a W9 form and often a social security number. We understand that not all college students have these things readily accessible, so it is important to start collecting them early. You will also have to provide a down payment of some kind which often consists of multiple months of rent, a security deposit that can be returned if the house is left in good condition and a broker’s fee. Be sure that you are able to pay this larger amount of money before signing the lease.

Check in with your landlord regarding pets! If you already have one, you may have to fill out a renters profile for them too (even sometimes for fish!).

Additionally, it is helpful to locate your nearest grocery and big box stores such as Hannaford, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco etc. When living off campus, planning meals and errand runs to fit within your busy class and extracurricular schedule is crucial. 

While it might seem daunting at first to curate pots, laundry baskets and to fill your fridge, after the first couple of months it becomes second nature. Also, knowing your neighborhood trash pick-up day will be beneficial for you each week as you can anticipate when it’s time to take your bin out to the curb. 

You can visit The City of Waltham website to know exactly what days it occurs. Living off campus is a great way to break out of the campus bubble and explore the Waltham community. There are various events, farmers markets and walking trails all at your fingertips, so don’t be afraid to venture out and explore. 


While commuting doesn’t have the same appeal as living near campus, all of the worries that come with living at Brandeis don’t apply since you’ll be at home! In the comfort of your own living situation, there’s no need to stress about any of the external factors that living in on-campus housing poses. However, commuting still has some important aspects to consider.

The most important thing about being a commuter is securing your parking pass in the designated commuter lots so that you won’t rack up $20 fees for parking where you are not allowed to. 

Brandeis typically emails instructions for purchasing a parking pass before the beginning of the academic year, but if they don’t, instructions are easily accessible online. The fee is $120 and lasts for the full year. Currently, the lots available to commuters are the Theater lot and the parking lot outside of the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Once you purchase the pass all you have to do is swing by the public safety office before the fall semester starts and put the sticker on the back of your car.

It’s also important to understand the typical traffic patterns on your way to campus. Depending on your class schedule and your proximity to campus, you may need to leave at a certain time to ensure you’ll be able to park and make it to class on time. When in doubt, leave early! Both commuter lots tend to fill up pretty quickly throughout the day, but if you drive around, there’s usually a spot open. 

Good luck to everyone and we hope you make the most of your housing next year!

Editor’s Note: Lin Lin Hutchinson ’25 is a Community Advisor and is employed by the Department of Community Living, and did not contribute to nor edit any parts of this editorial pertaining to DCL