Life in San Francisco

Destination San Francisco
There’s no more stimulating a place to further your education

San Francisco is a world-class city that is one of the most interesting and picturesque places in the world. Visitors are drawn to San Francisco to visit iconic attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge or the painted ladies; ride on the world-famous trolley cars, or take a boat to Alcatraz. Others are drawn to San Francisco for its culture of innovation and free spirit — some stay for a short visit, while others never leave…


San Francisco is a serious foodie city. The farm-to-table movement originated in the Bay Area and cuisine ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food inhabit every corner of the city. The famous Napa and Sonoma wine regions with their award-winning wineries are only an hour or two away. Farmer’s markets are available throughout the region and UCSF hosts year round farmer’s markets every Wednesday on both the Mission Bay and Parnassus campuses.


UCSF is committed to reducing housing costs for students. Students can apply to live in UCSF campus housing for up to two years during their educational program. UCSF only offers graduate education so all student housing is graduate student housing. Learn more about student housing, check out floor plans or take a virtual tour at Campus Life Services.

Sports & Recreation

San Francisco is a sports-lovers paradise and is home to the world champion Giants baseball, Warriors basketball, and 49ers football teams. Both the Giants and Warriors stadiums are walking distance from the Mission Bay campus. Discounted tickets are often available through Campus Life Services. Nearby San Jose hosts the Sharks (NHL hockey) and Earthquakes (MLS soccer).

Student athletes and weekend warriors can take advantage of the multitude of fitness classes, pools, recreational athletic leagues, personal trainers, outdoor programs and gear rentals offered by UCSF Fitness and Recreation. 

Student Success

Success in school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life. UCSF is committed to providing resources and services to help you succeed. Visit the Student Success Center.


Getting around is easy, even without a car. City buses, streetcars, BART, CalTrain and ferry service connect to UCSF, or nearby, from all directions. Bike, scooter and car sharing services (Uber and Lyft were invented in San Francisco!) are also readily available.  The majority of external clinical training sites are accessible by public transportation.

UCSF operates a fleet of free shuttle buses that connect to all campus locations, including Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Mount Zion and more. Specific shuttles from the Mission Bay and Parnassus campuses also stop at the 16th Street BART station. All shuttles are ADA accessible and equipped with bike racks. See the shuttle routes and time tables.


San Francisco and the Bay Area has a Mediterranean type of climate, with warm and dry summers, and mild and wet winters. Temperatures remain relatively stable.

Spring through fall temperatures average in the low to mid-70s (Fahrenheit) and winters average in the mid-50s to low 60s. Numerous microclimates in the region can alter the average temperatures as well as the presence of San Francisco’s famous fog; affectionately named Karl. Overall, the Bay Area climate is highly conducive to year-round outdoor activity and recreation.