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What's life like in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona?

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine students working on laptops

A top city for young professionals

Westward Ho in Phoenix by Nader Abushhab

Most populous city in Arizona

Be engaged and get involved

There are many student groups, special interest groups, and activities on campus where you can get involved. Participating in social activities is a great way to get support from your peers, meet new people, and expand your horizon beyond medicine and science.

Student groups

Mayo Clinic students and trainees at a social event

Student groups on campus are student-led and supported by faculty members and staff. Everyone is welcome — and there is no shortage of variety. Find groups related to professional associations, special interests, or social activities.

While specific organizations vary by school, below is a sampling that represents the wide variety of options. If you don’t see what you like, start something new! We have resources for that too.

  • American Medical Women’s Association
  • Basic Sciences Journal Club
  • Graduate Student Association
  • Interest groups in most every specialty
  • Mayo Arizona Book Club
  • Mayo Fellows Association
  • Med Students Care AZ
  • Mentorship Program

Student activities

Mayo Clinic students and trainees at a Phoenix gallery

We want to make sure you get plugged into the events and activities happening around campus. While specific events vary by school and program, there are a few types of activities that learners look forward to every year:

  • Academic Excellence Day
  • Graduate Student Association social events
  • Leisure and lifestyle activities programs
  • Mayo Fellows Association social events
  • Various lectures, symposia, and seminar series on a variety of topics

Volunteer opportunities

Mayo Clinic students volunteering at St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix

Many of our students and trainees find ways to give back to the community. There are all sorts of volunteer opportunities available in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. Learn more about some of the popular options among our students:


Explore a variety of local resources to get a better idea of everything that Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, have to offer.

Housing resources

Housing costs in the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Scottsdale, are within the national average for cities of comparable size. Costs vary widely depending on the accommodations.

Apartments are available to rent or lease within easy commuting distance of the campus. Students often share apartments, reducing their rent.

ResourceApartmentsHomes for saleHomes for rent X   X
Apartment Finder X    
Apartment Guide X    
Century 21   X  
HotPads X X X X X X
Trulia X X X
Zillow X X X

These resources may help you find housing options near campus. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science does not endorse any of these resources and provides them for informational purposes only.

Community resources

We've pulled together some local resources you might find helpful, from choosing a weekend getaway spot to finding a dentist.

In addition, the Phoenix metropolitan area is home to a wide variety of religious faiths and denominations, with places of worship conveniently located in Phoenix and surrounding communities.

Parent and family resources

Well-being resources

During your time at Mayo Clinic, you’ll have access to resources on campus and within the community to maintain your well-being. We value the importance of well-being and support work-life balance all throughout your training in order to instill the lasting skill of resilience.

Food and drink


A melting pot of flavor

The cuisine in Phoenix is directly influenced by the combination of Mexican, Native American, and southwestern U.S. cultures.

Phoenix has a rapidly growing and diverse foodie scene and is bristling with bars, offbeat restaurants, breweries and distilleries, juice bars, and food trucks. Stop by one of the city’s many Sonoran hot dog joints. If you’re craving something sweet, grab some artisan ice cream or try piñon pie, a favorite local dessert.

Annual food and drink events include the Arizona Taco FestivalDevour Culinary Classic Weekend, Cinco De Mayo Phoenix Festival, Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Urban Ale Trail, and Scottsdale Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival.

Sports and recreation

Group of people hiking in Phoenix area

A mecca for sports and outdoor activities

The Phoenix and Scottsdale area is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and professional sports fans alike.

Phoenix and Scottsdale are located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert — a strikingly beautiful, rugged, southwest landscape. Year-round recreational opportunities include a nationally recognized park system, 200 golf courses, tennis courts, camping, skate parks, and miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Hiking Camelback Mountain is a local favorite. You can also find city sports leagues for yourself or the kids.

Sports fans will find collegiate and professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey teams in the Phoenix area. Phoenix is also home to Major League Baseball spring training sessions.

Unplug and refresh in nature with a visit to nearby South Mountain Park and Preserve, the nation's largest municipal park, or the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a permanently protected 27,800-acre sustainable desert habitat open for nonmotorized trail use.

Arts and theater

Phoenix residents at art gallery

Rich variety of cultural and entertainment options

The Phoenix metropolitan area offers a rich variety of cultural and entertainment options that include art galleries, museums, music, theater, and botanical gardens.

Scottsdale itself has more than 100 art galleries, which you can explore through the city’s ArtWalk. The Phoenix Center for the Arts is a hub for arts and culture events.

Beat the heat by visiting one of the area's museums, like the Phoenix Art Museum or Arizona Science Center.

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts exhibits, music, and dance performances, live adult and children's theater, and outdoor concerts and festivals year-round.

Events and entertainment

Phoenix Crescent Ballroom concert

Always something going on

Whether you’re into the art scene, sports, music, or dining, there is an endless array of opportunities for specialty events and entertainment.

In Downtown Phoenix, you’ll enjoy an eclectic art scene, sports arenas, concert venues, and endless dining options, while Old Town Scottsdale’s entertainment district is the nightlife destination of choice for many.

The area also has a lot to offer shopping enthusiasts, with a blend of retail options that includes unique specialty boutiques, major department stores, and outlet malls like Old Town Scottsdale, the redeveloped Roosevelt Row, and Biltmore Fashion Park, to name a few.

When you need a break from studying, you’re just a car ride away from popular regional attractions. Several lakes just north of Scottsdale are popular places for weekend fishing and boating. Try rafting in the Grand Canyon or skiing near Flagstaff, just two hours away.

Vacation hotspots include California, Nevada, Mexico, and the ski resorts of northern Arizona and the western Rocky Mountains.

Ready to get started?

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