Housing & Transportation

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Case Western Reserve University's campus is just minutes away from downtown Cleveland in University Circle, which encompasses 550 park-like acres in a vibrant urban environment. University Circle, the cultural center of Cleveland, is home to our nationally ranked Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as to Severance Hall and the renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Admission to all our museums is free for postdocs.

Housing Resources

  • Airbnb
  • Summer CWRU Campus Guest Housing
    • Guest housing is available for all visitors on campus, including postdocs, during the summer months (specific dates are determined by the academic year and the housing office). Accommodations range from shared rooms to private studio apartments. Rooms are available from a one-night stay to the entirety of the summer. Billing is done on a per night basis, and the housing office accepts multiple forms of payment. If you are looking for an affordable and temporary housing option for your visit or during your move to CWRU, check out this options. Please note that no on-campus housing is available for guests during the academic year.  
  • Apartment List
    • If you're searching for an apartment on Apartment List, simply adjust your lease length preferences to something short-term. Oftentimes, a rental property won't directly advertise month-to-month leases on their sites. This is largely due to preferring renters signing a fixed-term lease. However, if you see short-term leases for three or six months, chances are a month-to-month lease is also available. Calling the property directly and seeing the lease options is your best bet.
  • Apartments.com
    • Make sure to change the length to Short Term in the filters.
    • Off-Campus Housing Listing Service
    • Montlack Realty Apartment Listings - A variety of apartments are available in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. $100 off first month rent when entering a one-year lease agreement.
    • K & D Management - largest portfolio of apartment listings in Northern Ohio. Those signing a 12 month lease will be offered a 2.5 percent discount on the market rent, reduced security deposit, job transfer/loss addendum, home purchase addendum and free pool pass
    • Apartments.com (*some postdocs personally recommend Kemper Place or Ambassador apartments)
    • Trulia
    • Fairhill Towers
    • Integrity Cleveland Heights Apartments
    • CWRU Housing, Sublets, and Roommates - Facebook page where a lot of students or young professionals post to rent or lease. This is a private group so you will need to send a request to be accepted. 
    • CWRU Sabbatical and Temporary Housing
      • Newly created in July 2022, these listings are offered solely by CWRU faculty members (current or emeriti), current staff members, and current students.
    • Residence Inn by Marriott (.5 miles from campus; near Cleveland Clinic campus) - Free hot breakfast, wireless internet, and shuttle to CWRU and within 2 miles of property included.
    • CWRU's Cleveland Area Preferred Hotels
    • CWRU Postdocs Group Facebook page
      • After joining the group, make a new post or look through recent posts
    • CASE Apartments and Housing Facebook Page

    Interactive maps to help you decide where to stay: NeighborhoodScout and CrimeGrade


    Many apartments are not fully furnished when moving to the area. Here are some local resources to find furniture:

    • CWRU Physical Resource Center
      • The PRC is a student-run initiative that offers free resources such as clothing, furniture, kitchen supplies, school supplies, and a food pantry to help all faculty, staff, postdocs, and students while promoting a culture of sustainability.
    • CWRU Postdocs Group Facebook page
      • After joining the group, make a new post or look through recent posts
    • CASE Apartments and Housing Facebook Page
    • Thwing Furniture Sale
      • Every year in May, there is a furniture sale in the Thwing Atrium. Watch for announcements in the CWRU Daily for event details.
    • Local thrift stores, yard sales pages online, or furniture stores. 

    Nearby Neighborhoods

    The CWRU campus, located in University Circle, is situated on the edge of beautiful residential neighborhoods. Students live in apartments, two-family houses, rooms in private homes, and single-family houses that several students rent together. Housing in these neighborhoods is close to CWRU and many students live within walking or biking distance. In addition, buses run from University Circle to these areas via Mayfield and Cedar Roads.

    The following neighborhood list is organized by proximity to the CWRU campus , focusing on neighborhoods with fast and/or direct connections to CWRU. 

    Interactive maps to help you decide where to stay: NeighborhoodScout and CrimeGrade

    University Circle and Little Italy

    Walk time: <10 minutes / Bike time: <10 minutes

    These neighborhoods are the location of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and are therefore the most convenient if you want to walk everywhere. Aside from CWRU, this area is home to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Natural History Museum, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Next to CWRU are the main campuses of the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The neighborhoods of Hough and Glenville to the north are also seeing construction of many new apartment buildings which may be of interest to you. These areas are a quick bike ride from campus, but offer less amenities and do not have robust transit connections. These neighborhoods are generally expensive, with most of the newer apartments and higher quality housing commanding higher rents. 

    There are a number of restaurants, bars, and other amenities in the immediate area. This neighborhood is served by the Red Line and HealthLine buses. This area has direct connections to Cedar Fairmount, Coventry, Midtown/Downtown, Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Edgewater (where the beach is located!), and the airport.


    Walk time: 15 minutes / Bike time: 10 minutes

    This neighborhood is located in Cleveland Heights, immediately up the hill from CWRU. The neighborhood is home to many historic apartment buildings and offers a selection of restaurants and bars. Many CWRU postdocs and graduate students live in this area. The neighborhood is also home to many families and older houses and is therefore quieter and more subdued than University Circle. This neighborhood is served by the #11 bus and is a 15 minute walk from CWRU.


    Walk time: 25 minutes / Bike time: 15 minutes

    This neighborhood is located near Cedar-Fairmount. The neighborhood offers many historic apartment buildings. Aside from restaurants, there are music venues such as the Grog Shop. Many students live in this neighborhood. 

    This neighborhood is served by the #9 bus and is a 25 minute walk from CWRU.

    Shaker Square

    Bike time: 20 minutes / Transit time: 20-30 minutes

    This neighborhood is southeast of Cedar-Fairmount. The neighborhood offers many historic apartment buildings grouped around a cluster of restaurants and businesses with a train line running down the center of the main boulevard. While being relatively close to CWRU, the commute is a bit longer via transit because you have to transfer from the Blue or Green train line to the Red Line. There is also the #48 bus, which runs directly between Shaker Square and University Circle, but is less frequent. The neighborhood is generally very affordable.

    Midtown and Asiatown

    Bike time: 20 minutes / Transit time: 20 minutes

    Midtown is located between University Circle and Downtown. This neighborhood has a mix of apartments and industrial buildings as well as well-known venues such as the Agora Theater. There are fewer restaurants and entertainment options in the immediate vicinity, but the neighborhood is located close to Asiatown which has a significant number of restaurants and is home to events such as the Cleveland Asian Festival and Night Market

    This neighborhood is served by the HealthLine and is less than a 20 minute bike ride from CWRU.

    Downtown Cleveland

    Bike time: 25 minutes / Transit time: 25 minutes

    This neighborhood is the center of the city and is home to many large apartments, sports stadiums, and destinations such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Downtown also includes many large theaters in the Playhouse Square district, which is the second largest theater district in the USA. Downtown has many restaurants, bars, and other amenities scattered throughout, including notable hubs such as East 4th Street and the Warehouse District. The neighboring Flats is also a large draw for nightlife and events. 

    Downtown is served by the Red Line, HealthLine, and many other transit lines. The neighborhood is about 25 minutes from CWRU using public transit or bicycle.

    * Near West Side - Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit Shoreway

    Bike time: 40 minutes / Transit time: 30 minutes

    This collection of neighborhoods comprises the city immediately west of Downtown. Generally speaking, these neighborhoods have become primary locations for art galleries, restaurants, and other entertainment amenities. There is an extensive walking and biking trail network that connects these neighborhoods to larger parks throughout the city, and these neighborhoods also present some of the best access to Lake Erie for swimming, boating, and other outdoor recreation.

    These neighborhoods are served by the Red Line as well as a large number of other bus lines. The commute from Ohio City to CWRU is roughly 30 minutes by train, while Detroit-Shoreway would be closer to 35 minutes (plus whatever time was needed to walk to the station). Tremont is a little more separated, but is still a 20 minute walk from the train. The most convenient areas in these neighborhoods are the area around W 25th St and Lorain Avenue (Market District - near the famous West Side Market) and W 65th St and Detroit Avenue (Gordon Square).


    Bike time: 45 minutes / Transit time: 35 minutes

    The housing in the area is primarily historic apartment buildings in Edgewater (near the lake and beach) or rental houses throughout the rest of the neighborhoods. There is a growing number of restaurants and amenities in Edgewater. This area is generally more affordable than the above neighborhoods, but is still accessible via public transit and biking. These neighborhoods are served by the Red Line and Cleveland State Line as well as the 25 and 26 bus lines. The train commute between this neighborhood and CWRU is about 35 minutes, but only if you live near one of the train stations.


    Western neighborhoods such as Lakewood offer a lot of recreational activities and housing options, but are somewhat restrictive in terms of transit. If you do end up getting a car, Lakewood is worth a look. Lakewood is known to be LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood.

      Considerations when looking for a house/apartment:

      • If you do not intend to purchase a car, you should consider renting an apartment/house within walking distance of campus. Neighborhoods that are on our campus shuttle bus route may be of interest to you: 
      • You may need to put down first and last months rent and/or a deposit on an apartment. Additionally, there could be delays with receiving your SSN which will delay your first paycheck. Take this into account and have 1-3 months pay saved up as a buffer.
      • Many apartment/house rental agencies do not accept cash/wire transfer. The applicant needs to have an international credit card or pay using a debit card with an added fee for international transaction and currency exchange. 
      • Apartments/homes will not have electricity or gas connection when one moves in. Oftentimes the electricity will last one or two days from the time of moving in unless the tenant calls the respective companies and arranges for them. The landlord should provide you with the contact information of the utility companies.
      • If the tenant doesn't have a Social Security Number (SSN), then they need to notarize an affidavit that contains details of at least two government issued documents. One of which should have a photo. Some international postdocs have used a passport and a US visa as the documents and had the affidavit notarized by one of the notaries available on CWRU campus. This same affidavit may then be faxed to the electric/gas company (your department administrator may be able to assist you with faxing documents.)

      Renter's Insurance

      Living in an apartment or rental house? GET RENTER’S INSURANCE!

      Contrary to what you may think, your landlord’s property insurance DOES NOT cover your possessions (cell phone, computer, stereo, TV, furniture, professional clothing, etc.) in the event of FIRE, THEFT, VANDALISM, OR WATER DAMAGE. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs highly recommends that postdocs take a detailed inventory of their personal belongings AND also thoroughly document the condition of their apartments at/around the time of move-in. Websites such as Zillow's Move-in Checklist can help you to create a lasting record of your possessions, while the Ohio State Bar Association can help you better understand the Tenant & Landlord Rights and Obligations. Photographs and videos are also excellent ways to capture what you own and items that may need to be repaired.  

      Renter’s Insurance also protects you if someone has an accident in your home for which you might be liable. The amount of insurance you need is based on how much stuff you have, where you live, and how much of a deductible you wish to pay. Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive ($250-$300/year) and can save you BIG money if you end up with an emergency like those listed above.

      HELPFUL HINT: If you happen to already have car insurance, consult your insurance agent about getting Renter’s Insurance; there are typically discounts given with multiple policies. Having things such as working smoke detectors can provide a discount. Be sure to shop around to see where you get the best plan for your needs.

      Safety and Crime

      The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is often asked about what are the “safe neighborhoods” in Cleveland. The answer is not so easy as “crime has no zip code” and can happen anywhere. As such, we encourage all incoming postdocs to do their own research about safe neighborhoods using sources like "Spot Crime": https://spotcrime.com/. Other websites that can help you make good choices include Homesnacks and Area Vibes

      Interactive maps to help you decide where to stay: NeighborhoodScout and CrimeGrade

      Some other tips to keep you safe:

      • Put the technology away and be aware of your surroundings
      • Set up your phone with the ability to "find/retrieve" it (in case it gets stolen, it can really help the police)
      • CWRU CAMPUS IS ONE OF THE SAFEST PLACES IN ALL OF CLEVELAND (we are served by multiple police departments)
      • CWRU is equipped with the following safety measures (among others): Rave Guardian app, CWRU Shuttle buses, Safe Ride, and Walking Escorts for public safety.

      Living Spaces in the U.S.

      Living spaces in the USA may be very different from those in your home countries. Please pay attention to the differences to avoid problems with landlords or the University.

      Common differences:

      • There are no drains in the floors of bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.
      • Water on the floor will damage carpet and wood floors
      • Water on the floor will likely go down the walls into apartments on lower floors and damage walls, ceilings, etc.
      • Windows may be sealed shut. If they are, do not open them
      • Walls are usually painted drywall, not cinder block and whitewash
      • Appliances may be either electric or gas, so you will want to check which one you have
      • Quiet hours may be strictly enforced
      • Heat may be controlled by the landlord or management company rather than by you
      • Pet policies are strictly enforced
      • You may be held financially responsible for any damage you cause, even if you cause it by accident
      • Lease agreements are binding contracts for the length of the lease—follow the terms of your lease agreements carefully

      Getting Around

      * Shuttles on the CWRU Campus

      Find information and maps on campus shuttles, which are FREE to use! 

      * Train or Bus

      Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Mobile Ticketing

      How to Ride the RTA

      Transit App

      The Red Line train has a station directly next to campus. You can access campus by disembarking at the Cedar-University Station. This train also connects directly to the airport and you can access it from inside the main airport terminal.

      The HealthLine bus also runs between Downtown and CWRU. This route is useful if you are staying Downtown.

      You can download the RTA mobile app and purchase tickets via that app. You can also purchase tickets at train stations and at HealthLine stations. Regular buses will require you to pay in cash if you don't have a mobile ticket, so we recommend just using the app.

      You can find an interactive public transit system map here.

      * Car

      You can purchase a parking permit to park in the lots around campus. See the list of available lots here. If the lot is full, you may need to get on the Waitlist and wait until a spot opens up. 

      * Safe Ride

      In addition to the university's Shuttle Bus Service, Safe Ride carries students, faculty and staff around campus and part of University Circle. The service is an after-hours addition to public transportation. It runs seven days a week, between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. Security officers drive all Safe Ride vehicles.

      * Scooter / E-Bike / Bike

      Cleveland also has a number of scooter and e-bike sharing options. Depending on weather there may also be options (it can be a bit snowy and wet in the winter!). 

      The Office of Public Safety at CWRU offers bike registration and a free lock

      * Car Share

      The CarShare program at CWRU has been reintroduced after being one of the most successful university programs in the country! Two hybrid Toyota Prius sedans are available for member rental in addition to a hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan and a hybrid Toyota RAV4 SUV. Program membership provides a practical transportation option to students and employees who may need a rental car for as little as a few hours as well as others who need multi-day rentals. Find the rates, requirements, and fees here

      * Car Rental Agencies

      You can contact our Travel Office for rental car discounts at Hertz, Enterprise, or National Rental car. You will need to email travel@case.edu to get the contract access code. Hertz currently has the best rates.

      Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) - Getting Your License:

      * The BMV is where you go to get a Driver’s License or state-issued photo identification.

      * Also where you need to go to register your car (if you purchase one).

      • 8039 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103
      • 2765 E 55th St, Cleveland, OH 44104
      • 2173 S Taylor Rd, University Heights, OH 44118
      • 16945 Chagrin Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120

      International postdocs can get a learner's permit, which is valid for one year, but can take the road test after waiting 2 weeks. 

      Residency StatusYou must have legal status in the United States. The specific documents required may vary based on your visa type (e.g., DS2019).

      Gather Required Documents: Typically, you'll need to present the following documents at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):

      • Passport or other proof of legal presence in the U.S.
      • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or other visa documentation.
      • Proof of residency in Ohio, such as utility bills or rental agreement.
      • Proof of your full legal name, date of birth, and identity.
      • Proof of Social Security Number (if eligible) or an official letter from the Social Security Administration indicating you are not eligible for an SSN.
      • Completed application form. 

      Pass a Knowledge Test or written test: You will be required to take a written knowledge test to demonstrate your understanding of Ohio's traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices.

      Link1: (https://driving-tests.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/OH_hsy7607Apr23.pdf)

      Link2: (https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-gdl.aspx)

      Pass a Vision Test: You must meet the minimum visual acuity standards to be eligible for a driver's license.

      Pass a Driving Skills Test: You'll need to pass a road test to show your ability to operate a vehicle safely. It has two steps. (Maneuverability Test Step and Road test) 

      Pay Fees: There will be fees associated with obtaining your Ohio driver's license, and these fees may vary based on the type of license and its duration.

      Proof of Insurance: Before you receive your license, you will need to show proof of automobile insurance.