There are three graduate housing options on Campus. In increasing order of cost, they are Chapin, Schomburg and West. Chapin has an option to rent a shared room or a individual room. It is the farthest from the Physics department but it is connected by a "Hospital/Chapin shuttle" which runs every 15 minutes during the semester. It takes about 20 mins to walk. Only a few rooms in Chapin have AC and they usually get taken quite early on.
Both Schomburg and West are closer to the department, a 10-minute walk away. They have larger common areas than Chapin and central air.
All on campus housing has
- Gym access
- Weekly cleaning
- Full furnished (Stove, microwave, bed, table, dresser etc)
There is a sign-in process for all on-campus housing, and the rooms are available sometime in late July or early August [specifically?]. Residence-dwellers are initially uncommitted — they can find other housing and move without making any further payments. However, there are some times of the year when this changes.
Advantages of on-campus housing
If you don't have a car, on-campus housing makes the places you need to be much more accessible than off-campus housing does. You'll also be living much closer to most other students. Depending on the location it may also be easier to settle in as you'll have to bring less. Individual houses are also more likely to come with quirks that will make living in them difficult.
Most apartments close to campus are in houses that are being rented out, either in whole or as apartments. Student apartments like this typically have 4-6 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. You may or may not need to provide furniture. You can post on the Graduate Housing Group to find roommates or to find houses with open rooms. You can also look for housing on Craigslist. Additionally, there is a University-run site with a password-protected listing, for houses that are being marketed specifically to students. Do not rent an apartment sight-unseen, that is, without first sending someone to check the place out to make sure it's not a scam.
Advantages of off-campus housing
- It's generally either cheaper than on-campus housing or more comfortable, and usually both.
- You don't have to worry about a housing wait-list
- Many off-campus apartments come comfortably furnished, although some do not come furnished at all, so be aware of this when renting
Zoning controversyLong Island towns have traditionally had codes restricting the number of "unrelated people" who can rent a house together, although they are slowly being overturned by higher courts. In particular, the Town of Brookhaven has a much despised law capping rented properties to four unrelated tenants. This is the jurisdiction for most houses near Stony Brook that are not part of incorporated villages like Port Jefferson. Some landlords rent out places to five people anyway and some students split the cost with extra roommates unbeknownst to their landlords. If you are in this situation, please be respectful and help your landlord avoid a fine. Inspections by the town happen about once a year and they give plenty of notice.
- Philip Gutis. Court upsets L.I. zoning law on unrelated people in home. The New York Times, March 24, 1989.
- Giselle Barkley. Locals complaining about SBU students. SB Statesman, April 8, 2013.