From the dorms to the diag: A commute time guide for incoming freshmen

By Zane Harding March 27, 2019
Sprawling recreation!

It feels like just yesterday I showed up to Couzens Hall for the first time as an incoming freshman at U-M. If you’re joining us as part of the #Victors2023, you are about to go through all of the feelings I went through in 2016.

As soon as I paid my enrollment deposit in April, I spent the next few months eagerly waiting to hear which dorm I would be placed into. I researched the pros and cons of each dorm online and pictured what it’d be like to live in each and every one of them.

Finally, the day arrived that I received my assignment: a single in Couzens Hall. I was ecstatic! Couzens has been renovated within the past ten years and is one of the nicest dorms on campus (in my opinion). I realized something shortly thereafter, however: Couzens is in the Hill Neighborhood ( which U-M students refer to as “the Hill.”) The first thought I had? Wait a second: How far am I going to have to walk every day?

Over two years later, I have compiled the commute time from the dorms to the Diag. This isn’t just for Couzens, however: this is for every dorm on campus. Note that these estimates might vary slightly if you’re a fast or slow walker or commute in another way. Nevertheless, here are the walk times from every dorm to the Diag (which is the heart of central campus where you will have most of your classes; for students taking most of their classes on North campus, I will also include nearby bus stops for the Commuter buses).


North Campus

If you live on North Campus, you will have to take a bus down to your classes on Central Campus. Thankfully, the Bursley/Baits buses will pick you up right by your dorm. If you end up living in Northwood, there is also a bus from Northwood. Here are the commute time estimates for all North Campus dorms to the Diag:

  • Bursley: 10-15 minutes (dependent on traffic)
  • Baits II: 10-15 minutes (dependent on traffic)
  • Northwood: 11-16 minutes (dependent on traffic)

Based on my conversations with students who have lived on North Campus, you should not have to set aside more than 20 minutes to commute down to Central Campus.


Central Campus

The quads

Located very close to the Diag, the quads have the quickest walk to the Diag of any dorm on campus. You will have to walk about two minutes over to the Law School or the Michigan Union to hop on a Commuter bus to North Campus, however. Here are the commute times for the quads to the Diag:

  • North Quad (sophomores only): ~6 minutes
  • South Quad: ~5 minutes
  • East Quad: ~6 minutes
  • West Quad: ~5 minutes


All-women dorms

There are three all-women dorms on Central Campus that freshmen may live in: Newberry Hall, Betsy Barbour, and Martha Cook. Fun fact: These dorms are the closest to the Diag of any of the dorms on campus! They are also located close (about a three minute walk away) to the Commuter bus stops at the Union. Here are the commute times for the all-women dorms to the Diag:

  • Newberry: ~3 minutes
  • Betsy Barbour: ~3 minutes
  • Martha Cook: ~3 minutes

Other Central Campus dorms

The smallest dorm at the University of Michigan, Fletcher Hall, is located right next to the Intramural Sports Building on the southern end of Central Campus. Commuter bus stops are available at the IM building.

For Oxford students, you will need to take the Oxford Shuttle to the Central Campus Transit Station and then hop onto a bus to North Campus from there. You will also probably want to take a bus to your classes on Central Campus. Here are the commute times for Fletcher Hall and Oxford to the Diag:

  • Fletcher Hall: ~5 minutes with bus, ~10 minutes without
  • Oxford: ~10 minutes with bus, ~15-20 minutes without


The Hill

Finally, we have the Hill, which has four dorms primarily dedicated to freshmen (Couzens, Alice Lloyd, Mosher-Jordan, and Markley) as well as one sophomore-only dorm (Stockwell). Commuter stops are available at Couzens, Mosher-Jordan, and Markley. Here are the commute times to the Diag from the Hill:

  • Couzens: ~10 minutes
  • Alice Lloyd: ~11 minutes
  • Mosher-Jordan: ~11 minutes
  • Stockwell (sophomores only): ~10 minutes
  • Markley: ~7-8 minutes with bus, ~15 minutes without



Zane Harding
Zane Harding

Zane is a graduating senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with a major in English. He first became passionate about writing when he helped found the Michigan Society for American Baseball Research (better known as M-SABR) and joined SB Nation's Bless You Boys contributing articles on the Detroit Tigers. Zane has spent the past month living vicariously through his Animal Crossing villager and looking at U-M job listings to pass the time during social distancing.