Managing living expenses can be challenging in the San Francisco Bay Area due to the high cost of living. Here are some resources and help compiled by our Program.

  1. Housing
  2. Budgeting
  3. Food Security
  4. Student Discounts
  5. Personal Finance Resources


  • PMB Housing Guide:
    Housing guide from Rocio regarding finding a place to live in and around Berkeley and the East Bay
  • UCSF On-Campus Housing:
    Student housing through UCSF. Please be advised that UCSF tenants are subject to 2-year term limits in campus housing.
  • Rent Map:
    The database of rent prices and locations of housings occupied by BioE students.
  • Sample Rental Application:
    An example rental agreement of the kind that you would be filling out when you rent a house or an apartment.


  • Sample Budget:
    A budget spreadsheet used by one of the graduate students. It is meant to be a basic guide for how to be financially responsible while still maintaining a good quality of life as a graduate student.
  • Tax Information:
    Unofficial tax information and links

Food Security

If you are struggling with food security, please do not be afraid to reach out to your specific campus for help

Student Discounts

Personal Finance Resources

  • Personal Finance courses at UC Berkeley — Fred Selinger is a fun lectuerer, there’s a course specifically for grad students and it’s just 2hrs/wk
  • Starting with less than zero — Good advice if you’re coming into grad school with debt you’re currently paying off — look into getting extra money by being a grader/reader, tutoring, etc!
  • Twocents — Practical, current advice that explains things such as how new policies/tax bills/etc from the federal government will directly affect you, has reminders on when to contribute to IRA’s, plus the usual gamut of financial advice