Living in the Iowa City Area


The scenic University of Iowa 2,000 acre campus is situated along the banks of the Iowa River and nestled into the vibrant heart of Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature. A wealth of walking paths and bike trails traverse the rolling hills surrounding campus, providing ample recreation and beautiful commuting opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians.

Numerous coffee houses, restaurants for every taste, bookstores and clothing shops, and musical venues are within a few minutes walk from campus. A downtown pedestrian mall and the University Campus serve as staging grounds for numerous summer music and arts events. Throughout the year, campus and community theater groups stage cutting edge works and classic plays, and Hancher Auditorium hosts several Broadway shows, touring ballet companies, and a variety of musicians each year. As one would expect from a Big Ten university, collegiate sports provide major entertainment, particularly Hawkeye football and basketball. The greater corridor bridging Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids is home to a booming winery and brewery scene, numerous large-scale venues hosting big-name artists and entertainers, state parks and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities, community-supported agriculture and orchards, and a wealth of historical communities. 

A safe, vibrant and friendly town, short commutes, and plentiful reasonably-priced housing are just a few of the many features that make Iowa City a great place to spend your graduate career. Plan a visit to the Department of Chemistry and see for yourself! Write to to schedule a visit.

The UI Grad Guide

Students working with the Graduate and Professional Student Government have assembled an excellent guide for prospective, incoming, and current University of Iowa graduate and professional students. The UI Grad Guide offers information on housing, transportation, resources, events, health and wellness, and navigating University of Iowa systems.


Iowa City, Coralville, and the University maintain bus systems, bike paths, and student-permit parking lots, which allow ready access to housing within the city and the surrounding area. A variety of housing options, from apartment buildings and rooming houses to university-owned rental units are available. The University of Iowa offers a convenient off-campus housing search tool available here


The Eastern Iowa Airport, served by national and regional airlines, is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a 25-minute drive from campus. Iowa City is 110 miles east of Des Moines, and is centrally located within 300 miles of the metropolitan areas of Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City.

The University of Iowa CAMBUS serves the campus area and is free of charge to all riders. Iowa City and Coralville also offer municipal bus services. The fare for these services is one dollar each way, and a discounted U-PASS for both services is available to students and University employees.

There are many bicycle racks, motorcycle and moped parking spaces, and parking lots on campus. For more information, visit University Parking Services.

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