Living in the University District – How I Survive Among the Academics?

Living in the University District in Seattle is an experience like no other.

A neighborhood with a higher crime rate than practically all others, but still attracts a high number of people to move there.

How is that possible? As someone who used to live in that part of town for several years, and loved it, I will share my two cents.

Well, let us see what is going on with this place.

Location and Accessibility

The U District is a mere five miles north of Downtown Seattle, which means you can almost smell the overpriced coffee and tech bro ambition wafting over.

Here are the most important things you need to be aware of when it comes to accessibility:

Feature Description
Proximity to Downtown Just 5 miles north, making it easy to access city center without living in the chaos.
Public Transportation Numerous bus lines ensure you’re never more than a short walk away from a ride.
Major Highways Access Easy access to I-5 and WA-520 for swift commutes and getaways.
Walking and Biking Highly walkable with plenty of bike lanes; Burke-Gilman Trail offers scenic, extensive routes for biking and walking.
Local Amenities Shops, cafes, and parks are within easy strolling distance, enhancing the walkability and community feel.


Housing in University District

The U District offers a delightful range of housing options from studios that resemble shoeboxes to slightly larger apartments that resemble slightly larger shoeboxes.

If you’ve ever dreamt of living in a space where you can cook, eat, sleep, and work all within arm’s reach, this is your paradise.

Here are the delightful average rents:

  • Studio: $1,291
  • One Bedroom: $1,713
  • Two Bedrooms: $2,201
  • Three Bedrooms: $2,700

Despite these prices, it’s still more affordable than other upscale Seattle neighborhoods. So, count your blessings!

While you might be paying an arm and a leg for rent, at least you’re not paying both arms and legs like you would in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or Queen Anne.

The U District’s housing market is a perfect blend of slightly more reasonable pricing with all the benefits of city living.


University District living

Let’s not sugarcoat it: the U District has above-average crime rates compared to other Seattle neighborhoods. For example, it has higher rates than the national average in all three major fields:

  • Total crime – 231%
  • Violent crime – 130%
  • Property crimes – 250%

Despite the higher crime rates, the community doesn’t live in constant fear.

That’s not to say you should walk around paranoid, but a healthy dose of caution can go a long way.

For instance, I recommend you do the following:

  • Secure your valuables
  • Lock your doors
  • Invest in a sturdy bike lock

But hey, what’s life without a little excitement and the constant fear of being mugged or having your bike stolen? Keeps you on your toes, right?

It adds a certain edge to daily life, encouraging you to be more aware of your surroundings.

Job Opportunities

University District lifestyle

If you’re into the grind culture, this place is heaven. Opportunities in education, healthcare, and tech are as abundant as the rain here.

There are countless options, but we will focus on the best-known ones:

Employer Industry Opportunities
University of Washington Education/Research Academic positions, administrative roles, research jobs, support staff
Seattle Children’s Hospital Healthcare Clinical roles, nursing, administrative positions, research opportunities
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Research/Healthcare Research positions, clinical trials, administrative roles
Various Tech Companies Technology Software development, project management, IT support, tech startups
Co-working Spaces (e.g., WeWork, The Riveter) Various Flexible office space, networking events, business support services for entrepreneurs

For those who prefer to work in their pajamas, several co-working spaces cater to the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner who can’t afford actual office space.

These co-working spots are perfect for anyone who values flexibility and enjoys the company of other like-minded, caffeine-fueled individuals.

They offer all the amenities you need, from high-speed internet to networking events, without the soul-crushing commitment of a long-term lease.


Seattle University District Schools

For those with kids or just an unhealthy obsession with education, the U District offers access to highly-rated public and private schools. Highlights include:

School Description
Roosevelt High School Rigorous academics and vibrant extracurriculars.
John Stanford International Elementary Global education with language immersion programs.
University Child Development School Early childhood education focusing on critical thinking and social skills.

The area is also rich with resources for families, including daycare centers and parks, so you can pretend to be the perfect parent while juggling your hectic life.

Daycare options range from cozy home-based setups to larger centers that provide comprehensive care and early learning programs.

Parks and playgrounds are scattered throughout the neighborhood, offering plenty of spaces for your little ones to burn off energy while you catch up on emails or pretend to relax.

Entertainment and Recreation

Sports in Seattle University District

Entertainment options are as abundant as the rain here. The most prominent ones in the neighborhood are:

  • Burke Museum
  • Husky Stadium

The Burke Museum is a local gem, showcasing natural history and culture with exhibits that can make even the most disinterested visitor take a second look.

Husky Stadium is a must-visit for sports enthusiasts, especially on game days when the energy is palpable, and the crowd’s enthusiasm is contagious.

If you’re into performing arts, local theaters offer a variety of performances ranging from student productions to professional plays, ensuring there’s always something new to experience.