Who is eligible for the 2021 Graduate Guarantee Housing Program?

The University of California, Irvine guarantees an offer of on-campus housing to every newly-admitted, full-time Ph.D., M.F.A., J.D., and Prime-LC, LEAD-ABC, and MSTP M.D. student. Guaranteed housing offers will be made for enrollment in Fall only. Ph.D. and Prime-LC, LEAD-ABC, and MSTP M.D. students who accept this housing offer will be guaranteed placement in on-campus housing for one year less than normal time to degree (NTTD-1) for their academic program, and M.F.A. and J.D. students will be provided with housing for the normal time to degree (NTTD) for their academic programs, up to three years. Students must maintain good academic standing to remain eligible for the guarantee.

What deadlines or time constraints are attached to the housing guarantee?

The guaranteed housing application window is: March 1 - May 1, 2021 (closes at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time)

The May 1st (4 p.m. Pacific Time) application deadline is strictly enforced. Housing offers are not guaranteed for applications received after the deadline. Students receiving a housing offer should respond by the deadline listed in the offer. Guaranteed housing offers go out in June and July. Students have five days to review and accept an offer. Guaranteed students must accept an offer and be placed before the first day of class for the fall term in order to retain their housing guarantee.

Students who were admitted to their academic program after May 1, 2021 should contact gradstatus@uci.edu and must apply for housing within 14 days of submitting their SIR to be placed on a priority housing list. Student Housing will make every effort to offer housing to these students. If a late admit student moves in prior to October 1 of the first year of their program, they will be added to the Graduate Guarantee Housing Program.

Graduate Guaranteed Housing Applications

How do I apply for a guaranteed housing offer for Fall 2021?

  1. Learn about housing options, costs, and the housing process on the Student Housing website, http://www.housing.uci.edu/grad/index.html
  2. Submit your SIR and activate your UCINetID. You must submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and activate your UCINetID before you can access the housing application. There will be a 24 to 48-hour delay after you submit your SIR before you can log in to the Housing Gateway and complete your housing application.
  3. Apply for housing by 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on May 1, 2021. Application instructions are found at How to Apply.

When will I receive my Housing offer?

Applicants will receive a guaranteed housing offer (by email) in one of seven on-campus housing communities by July 31, 2021. Placement in a specific community, floorplan type or other application preferences is not guaranteed. The housing offer reflects our efforts to match your housing preferences to the spaces that are available. Follow all instructions contained in your offer email and respond by the deadline indicated.

If I do not complete the guaranteed housing process this year, will I have an opportunity to become a Graduate Guarantee student at a later date?

The graduate housing guarantee cannot be deferred, and participating students must move in by the beginning of fall quarter in order to retain their guaranteed status. Students who do not participate in the guarantee may still apply to the housing waitlist.

Housing Offers

Why was I given an offer that did not match my preferences (community, floorplan type, move-in date, etc.)?

The majority of housing spaces are already occupied by continuing students who live in our communities. The offer you receive will reflect our efforts to match your preferences to the spaces that are available. The majority of our residents are placed in a 2-bedroom apartment with July or August start dates. Students who request a second housing offer under the graduate guarantee will receive a second offer for the same community they were initially placed in.

I do not want to live in the community I was placed in, what are my options?

While we strive to match housing offers to student preferences, there will be cases where the housing offer will be for a community that was not listed as preferred in the application. If you do not want to live in the community you were placed in you have two options:

  • Accept the offer and give the community a try. Students often warm to their housing placement once they arrive on campus. If, after one year of living in a community, you are not happy with your placement, you may apply for a transfer to another housing community via the housing waitlist.
  • Your second option is to decline your graduate housing guarantee offer and either look for off campus housing or go onto the waitlist for a placement in another community. There are two risks associated with this option: (1) You may not receive a housing offer in time for fall quarter, and (2) If you don’t move in by October 1, you would lose your housing guarantee status going forward. Please Note: We expect to be fully occupied for fall quarter, and do not expect to place many students from the waitlist.

What if I cannot contact my assigned roommate?

Please reply to the emailed offer indicating that you have been unsuccessful in communicating with your assigned roommate. Upon receipt of your email, your assigned housing community will reach out to your roommate to facilitate that contact. If your prospective roommate does not respond to the assigned housing community or you by the deadline, you have three options:

  • You may accept the offer without communicating with your roommate, noting the times you attempted to contact your roommate. It is generally recommended (but not required) that roommates have a conversation before accepting an offer. Keep in mind that if you accept the offer without any communication and there are roommate concerns, you are still committed to live with your roommate for at least one year.
  • You can ask for more time and ask your assigned housing community for assistance in connecting with your roommate.
  • You may decline the offer, include the reason for the decline, and request an offer that allows you to communicate with your assigned roommate. The second offer will be from the same community and may be a completely different floorplan or move-in date based on availability.

What happens if I decline my housing offer?

If you decline your offer, you have two options:

  • You may decline your housing offer and request a second offer in the same community.  That offer will be based on currently available spaces and may or may not be a better match to your preferences. Once you decline an offer, that space will be offered to someone else and will no longer be available to you. If you do not accept your second offer, you will not be given an additional guarantee offer. You may choose to remain on the housing waitlist for a space that better fits your preferences, but in doing so you risk losing your eligibility for the housing guarantee. Students who are offered housing from the waitlist after the first day of classes are only offered housing for the current academic year, and their housing agreement may or may not be renewable, based on space availability.
  • You may accept your guaranteed offer, and after your housing agreement begins, reapply to the waitlist for a future transfer to a floor plan that better aligns with your preferences. You must remain in your first placement for 12 months before you are eligible to receive a transfer offer for another apartment (in the same or a different community). At this time, transfer requests take approximately 14 to 16 months on average. Requests to transfer to high-demand or low-availability spaces take longer. You should list as many floorplans as you are willing to accept within your own lifestyle and budget. Transfer offers are likely to come sooner if you list a greater number of acceptable floorplans.

What if I do not like my housing agreement start date?

Housing agreement start dates are based on the date the space is available for occupancy, and that date cannot be adjusted. While we try to match up residents' preferred move-in period with the “ready dates” available, it is not always possible. While you are financially responsible for the space from the date the housing agreement begins, you may move into the space any time on or after the start date specified in the housing agreement.

The majority of apartment spaces being offered this summer will have July and August start dates. Fewer than 20% of the agreements have September start dates.

If you are displeased with your housing agreement start date you have two options:

  • You may decline your housing offer and request a second offer. See “What happens if I decline my housing offer?”
  • You may accept the housing offer and either choose to change your travel plans to move in on the housing agreement start date or decide to pay your deposit and first month’s housing charges and move in any time after your housing agreement start date. You are responsible to pay housing charges from the date listed in your housing agreement. You may enter into a sublet for your space during the summer months, but it is up to you to find a sub-tenant and you still remain responsible for housing charges and adherence to the terms of the housing agreement. For information about sublets, go to https://housing.uci.edu/communityLife/GFH_Housing_Sublet.html.

I wanted to bring my pet but I was offered an apartment that is pet-free or my roommate does not want to live with a pet in the apartment.

We do everything we can to place pet owners in a pet-friendly apartment. However, if none are available, we will be unable to offer a space that is pet-friendly. While we strive to accommodate preferences, it is often not possible. If your apartment is not pet-friendly and you want to bring a pet, you have two options:

  • You may decline your housing offer and request a second offer. See “What happens if I decline my housing offer?”
  • You may accept the apartment placement without your pet. After your housing agreement begins, apply to the waitlist for a future transfer to a pet-friendly apartment. To be eligible for a housing transfer, you must remain in your assigned space for 12 months. Offers from the waitlist are made according to waitlist category and application date. When one of the floorplans you requested for an apartment that is pet-friendly becomes available and your application completion date is reached, an offer will be extended.

Why wasn’t I placed with my preferred roommate?

To the degree possible, roommate requests are considered along with other preferences indicated on your application. It is not always possible to accommodate roommate requests because there are a limited number of fully vacant apartments available. If you were assigned to live with someone other than your preferred roommate and decide to decline your housing offer, be sure to understand the associated risks. See “What happens if I decline my housing offer?”

What do I do if my domestic status (family status) changes after I receive my housing offer?

The domestic status (or family status) provided on your housing application as of May 1, 2021 was considered to determine your housing offer. To change your status once you have received your housing offer, you may decline that housing offer and let your housing community know your status has changed. If there is availability, a subsequent offer will be sent that matches your updated status. If you decide to decline your offer and wait for a family apartment, keep in mind that students who are offered housing from the waitlist after the first day of classes are only offered housing for the current academic year, and their housing agreement may or may not be renewable, based on space availability.

I am an International Student and the housing offer I was provided is before my visa allows me to enter the United States. What are my options?

Reply to the housing offer email, letting them know about your situation. The graduate and family housing assignments team will work with you and the International Center to confirm your visa status. Once we confirm this information we will work to provide you with a housing offer that is after your visa entry date.

If your visa is currently pending and you do not know when you will be able to enter the United States please respond to the email address provided in the housing offer and explain the situation. This will allow us to start discussing options with you.

What if I am displeased with the options provided and I want to decline my housing guarantee?

We understand you need to do what is best for you and your family. You have the option to decline your offer and remain on the waitlist or look for off-campus housing. Notify your assigned housing community that you are no longer interested in the graduate guarantee program and we will deactivate your housing application. Information regarding off-campus housing is located at https://offcampus.housing.uci.edu/.


What do I need to do if I want to live with an extended family member?

Full units are only for students in a domestic partnership, married couples, and students with children. While we recognize that our residents may all define family differently, in terms of the housing agreement, family housing is only provided to students, their spouse or partner, and their custodial children under the age of 18. If you are planning to live with family members other than those indicated above, you must request an exception to the housing agreement terms. To request an exception, students must submit a written petition for approval to live with an extended family member, which will be reviewed by the Exceptions Committee. To request an exception, please contact the Associate Director for Residential Life in your community for information about this process.

What if I or someone in my household has an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) need for an accommodation that impacts housing?

The UCI Disability Services Center will determine any and all accommodations required and will provide written verification to Student Housing. If you or someone in your household has an ADA need that may affect your housing placement, contact the Disability Services Center (DSC) by completing the DSC Intake Form found at https://dsc.uci.edu/register/. Completion of the DSC Intake Form initiates the process for accommodation consideration from the DSC office. You may also include a note in the comment section of your housing application to make us aware of your accommodation request.

Can I bring an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or Service Animal?

Service animals trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are not pets and are permitted. Students/occupants with service animals agree to comply with community requirements necessary to ensure the safety of the service animal, the safety of the student/occupant, and the safety of other occupants (if applicable) prior to bringing the animal onto the premises as well as during occupancy. Registration of a service animal with the UCI Disability Services Center (https://dsc.uci.edu/register/) and/or with the community is completely voluntary and at the sole discretion of the student/occupant.

Emotional support animals require approval for an accommodation from the UCI Disability Services Center prior to bringing the animal onto the premises. Students/occupants with a disability that requires the accommodation of an emotional support animal must initiate the process for accommodation consideration by completing the Disability Services Center (DSC) Intake Form found at https://dsc.uci.edu/register/.

For more information regarding emotional support animals in housing you can email esainhousing@uci.edu or visit https://dsc.uci.edu/dsc-policies/#Policy-tab-1.

Can I enter into a sublet for my apartment?

If you were given a housing agreement start date earlier than you wanted, you have the option of entering into a sublet for your apartment for a portion or all of the summer. Please note that anyone you sublet to needs to be a current UCI student. You may find more information at: https://www.housing.uci.edu/communityLife/GFH_Housing_Sublet.html.

How do I take advantage of the guaranteed housing for eligible service members, reservists, and veterans?

Eligible service members, reservists and veterans are guaranteed on-campus housing for four years or Normal Time to Degree (whichever is greater). Register with UCI Veteran Services in order to confirm your Veteran Housing Guarantee status and to learn more about available campus resources. Once you have confirmed with UCI Veteran Services, contact Joseph Caldwell at joseph.caldwell@uci.edu in Housing Administrative Services to verify your housing priority. The housing guarantee applies to eligible students who are single and those with families.

The housing guarantee will remain in place if a degree program is interrupted by a deployment.

Is Gender-Inclusive Housing available?

Student Housing welcomes individuals of all gender identities and gender expression and offers gender-inclusive housing. The housing application will ask what gender identities you are willing to be assigned with. This information will be utilized by the assignments team to place students and make roommate matches, based upon availability. To communicate with a staff member about your specific needs in Graduate and Family Housing, please contact the Associate Director of Residential Life in your housing community. For more informaiton on gender inclusive housing visit https://housing.uci.edu/communityLife/Gender_Inclusive.html.

I deferred my 2020 guaranteed housing offer due to COVID-19. How can I request an offer for Fall 2021?

In order to receive an offer for on-campus housing, students must have been part of the Fall 2020 Graduate Guarantee Housing Program and must apply for 2021-2022 housing between March 1 - July 1, 2021. (If you deferred arrival for your Fall 2020 guaranteed offer, your housing guarantee will be intact when you arrive.

I cancelled my graduate and family housing contract in Spring 2020 through March 1, 2021 due to COVID-19. How can I request an offer for Fall 2021?

If you canceled your Guaranteed Graduate and Family Housing contract in spring 2020 (or during the 2020-21 academic year) and now plan to return to campus and want housing, submit your 2021 housing application by July 1, 2021. Student Housing will make priority housing offers to returning guaranteed students in July for fall  placement. You must apply by July 1, 2021 and meet all eligibility criteria (be enrolled as a student, be in good financial standing, etc.). Students who do not apply by July 1, 2021, will no longer be eligible for a priority waitlist offer, but may still apply to the Graduate and Family Housing waitlist: https://housing.uci.edu/grad/waitlist.html.

Once you accept an offer and move-in, the original terms of your guarantee will apply to your eligibility and length of stay. 

Please Note: Graduate and Family Housing expects to be full this fall. The majority of housing spaces are already occupied by continuing students who live in our communities. The offer you receive will reflect our efforts to match your preferences to the spaces that are available. If you received an offer that did not reflect your preferences, it is because a space was not available that matched with these preferences indicated on your application. You can either accept the offer provided in July or decline and wait for a better match through the waitlist. Please e-mail gradstatus@uci.edu with any additional questions or concerns.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?

If you don’t find answers on the website or in email communications, you can email them to gradstatus@housing.hsg.uci.edu.