Life in Durham

As you prepare to make the move to Durham, NC, use the resources on this page to learn more about the city and the University, find housing, plan for parking and transportation, find banking and local resources, and arrange for health care.


Durham, North Carolina, also known as the “Bull City” and the "City of Medicine", has been named one of the top 10 places to live by U.S. News and World Report. When you consider the temperate climate, affordable cost of living, and a culture that combines world-class research and learning institutions, and a flourishing arts and restaurant scene, it’s clear why life is great in Durham.


As a MEM or MEng student, you can also take advantage of everything that Duke University has to offer—including a library system with more than 6.8 million volumes, a full calendar of lectures, access to premier performance arts at a subsidized cost, recreational facilities, a network of campus organizations and student services, and tickets to exciting collegiate athletic events. In addition, you’ll have access to course offerings in nine other graduate and professional schools and inter-institutional registration opportunities.


On-campus housing for graduate students is limited due to Duke's commitment to providing undergraduates with three years of on-campus housing. Most graduate students live off campus. When contemplating complexes, be sure to check apartment locations against Duke's bus routes and note that some complexes are served by Duke's Safe Vans Service from dusk to dawn.

Parking and Transportation

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is less than a half hour from Duke's campus; see for transportation options on getting to Duke.

See for Duke’s Parking & Transportation department. If you plan to bring a car to campus, you can sign up for a parking permit, but there are many other options if you do not have a car or do not choose to use it.

Area Resources

You need to call home once in a while. You'll need to hit the ATM for weekend cash. And after weeks of eating campus food, you might want to venture out for sustenance from an area grocery store.  Duke's International House has a lot of useful information on getting settled into the area whether you're an international student or not. 

Health and Wellness

Take care of yourself! And be sure that you meet North Carolina's immunization requirement!