Moving for graduate school can be intimidating. Moving to New York can be downright daunting. With so many housing choices and so little time to choose, what’s an incoming Fordhamite/NYC neophyte to do?
In what follows, we provide a bit of guidance on housing matters. In so doing, we hope to ameliorate incoming students’ (understandable) anxiety. We also hope to show that the Bronx isn’t such a bad place. In fact, many of our graduate students quite like it here.
Below, we describe neighborhoods and locations that are particularly popular among philosophy graduate students at Fordham. We then turn to some general housing tips.
While Fordham doesn’t offer on-campus housing to graduate students, it does offer off-campus housing in the form of a dormitory known as Arthur II. Some notable features: each student receives a private room, security guards are present 24/7, and–fittingly–the building is located on Arthur Avenue (see below). Arthur II is an especially good option for students who are new to the area and who don't have time to hunt for apartments, though it is a bit more expensive than comparable apartments in the area.
The Belmont neighborhood is centered on Arthur Avenue, known by Bronx natives as “the real Little Italy of New York.” Indeed, Arthur offers an embarrassment of Italian culinary riches; upscale restaurants, pizza-by-the-slice joints, open-air markets, gelato shops, and espresso bars all line the avenue. In addition to their close proximity to Arthur, students living in Belmont enjoy short walks to campus and rents that are below those of most other NYC neighborhoods.
Like Belmont, Bedford Park offers inexpensive rent and close proximity to campus. But unlike Belmont, Bedford Park borders the New York Botanical Garden, to which Fordham students have free year-round access. Bedford Park is also a stone’s throw away from other parks and is particularly close to Manhattan-bound B and D subway lines.
A rather large community of Fordham philosophy graduate students calls Woodlawn home. For those who prefer the silence and solicitude of a small town or suburb to the bustle of the big city, Woodlawn is a welcome haven. It’s an historically Irish neighborhood, and there’s no shortage of quaint pubs and fish-and-chips joints. Woodlawn also enjoys fairly low rents (though they’re pricier than those of Belmont and Bedford Park) and is a mere 10 minute Metro-North ride away from campus.
An increasing number of Fordham graduate students (philosophy and non-philosophy alike) are flocking to Inwood. The neighborhood enjoys several virtues: it boasts some of the most reasonable rents in Manhattan; it’s home to large riverside parks, to restaurants and nightspots, and to the renowned Cloisters art museum; it’s a stone’s throw away from the (also lovely) West Side; and it’s a short bus ride away from Rose Hill.
General Housing Tips
- Talk to a current graduate student before locking down an apartment. What seems desirable on Craigslist might not seem desirable in person. Current graduate students have a better lay of the land and can fill you in on matters of safety, community, and transportation. Don't underestimate the wisdom of those who have "lived it." (Note: if accepted to Fordham, you will be put in touch with a welcome committee composed of philosophy graduate students; they will be able either to answer your housing questions or to refer you to students who can.)
- If at all possible, visit before signing the lease.
- Consult the GSAS Housing FAQ.