Baltimore, MD
University of Maryland-Baltimore County


199 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Samantha
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype at UMBC is that the school population is mostly people of asian decent. A common response to one in Maryland m...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype at UMBC is that the school population is mostly people of asian decent. A common response to one in Maryland mentioning UMBC is " U Must Be Chinese". This one is not exactly true though. Yes, there are many students who are asian but there are also tons of people of other ethnic backgrounds, being that UMBC is the second most diverse campus in the country.

Jonathan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I believe I made the right choice by attending UMBC. It is the school that will get me to my goal with the least dis...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I believe I made the right choice by attending UMBC. It is the school that will get me to my goal with the least distractions that can derail my plans. The problem with most universities is that college life overtakes what you're actually suppose to be doing in college, which is obtaining your degree. While UMBC is not devoid of college life, it does take second place to academics by a large margin. The best thing about UMBC is that its a relatively small school which somehow has a large student population. While at UMBC, most of the time, it won't feel like there are as many students as the number of attendees. So I feel it's just right. The one thing I would change is the fact that there is no football team. I feel this would instill more school spirit, which I feel a slightly lacking. However, if the football team did not do well, I don't think school spirit would be any higher anyways. The opinion of others, depends on who matters. If you tell locals or others from Maryland you attend UMBC, there is an automatic comparison to UMD College Park. However, if you tell an employer you attended UMBC, there are advantages in that area. UMBC recent successes have translated to a higher employment rate. On top of that, Baltimore was polled highly as a "College Town" recently by US News and World Report. This fares well for the school, but transportation to Baltimore from UMBC isn't always apparent. Nevertheless, having Baltimore as your "college town" beats living in a small town that's obsessed with your school but there's nothing to do there. Our president is Freeman Hrabowski, who is relatively renowned in his own right. He appeared on 60 minutes speaking about UMBC and its success in attracting and graduating high-caliber students. The rest of the administration are passionate about 2 things: Academics and Student Life. Career placement is also huge at UMBC. There's a career fair, job placements, etc almost every single week. UMBC has also taken advantage of technology to help students reach the next level of their lives. This is a huge advantage to other schools I have attended which have been labyrinths when trying to obtain help regarding employment or tutoring or just about anything else. At UMBC, you ACTUALLY get the help you need, instead of searching relentlessly for it. Additionally, if you're a socialite, you won't feel awkward at UMBC. There is a robust student life, its just subdued and not visible during the weekend. However, a lot of students at UMBC have cars and making friends who can take you places is very, very easy. Therefore, you're not limited to remaining on campus or in Baltimore, but you are open to visiting other locales, such as Washington DC and New York.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics is what its all about at UMBC. Most professors know me by name. The ones that don't, know me shortly after. UMBC is obsessed, almost too much, with the undergraduate experience. And as such, I've seen a shift from paper and pencil to group tactics in the classroom. It's quite astounding the difference that is made by that move. Since I am a science major, I spend a lot of time in labs. I love the laboratory aspect of my major, because I like the hands-on nature of learning. My favorite classes have been outside of the sciences though. I have studied Russian relentlessly, and I have loved every single class I've taken. There normally VERY small and very intimate, and the one-on-one experience has been life changing. Normally, our classes always involved a lot of conversation about modern topics and the daily news.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

UMBC is a very diverse school. It is primarily seen as a commuter school, which is stereotypically true. However, there have recently been a push to change the image of the school to a more tradition university. UMBC does not have a football team, and this is because the school is heavily focused on career pathways and other extracurricular activities. The focus of the school is heavily academic, particularly in the natural and physical sciences. However, a recent shift has increased the influence of the arts on campus. Including a new building debuting in 2013 dedicated to the arts.

jennyfer
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say that I should be more inf...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say that I should be more informed about college before taking any decisions on where I would like to go. Knowledge is a wonderful tool, and knowing the right information would be the start to a rewarding experience. At college you will expand your points of view about life and become a problem-solver. I would also advise to not procrastinate. Most of the times good opportunities will cross you path to success however, if we let them go, there is no turning back. Finally, I would like to remind myself that I may not always get what I have planned but as everybody knows: "when a door closes a window opens," and if I push myself my goals will be accomplished, and my hard-work will be worth it. I will like to thank you for giving students this opportunity; we have to overcome a lot of obstacles to reach to our goals. With this scholarship you are helping a hard-working student to get closer to his/her goal.

Monet
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself to stay focused and not to procrastinate. I would also tell myself to get involved in student activities and to be open to people of different cultures, ethnicities and religions in order to make life-long friendships. I would remind myself how proud I am of myself and wish myself good luck for the future.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I would have known to be more open and friendly before coming to this school!

Lauren
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love UMBC! I love that as an Honors University it excels at excellence. I am part of the Honors college, and have benefit...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love UMBC! I love that as an Honors University it excels at excellence. I am part of the Honors college, and have benefited by getting to know the faculty and have them assist me with my projects. Although I would want more of an arts community on campus, I believe there is little else I'd change. I think the medium size of the campus is perfect, because it allows there to be community instead of anonymity found in larger campuses. There has been talk of UMBC being a nerd school with not much fun, but I would say it is just the opposite. There are groups of people who certainly know how to have fun, even if it is not in the ways that kids at College Park like to enjoy themselves. UMBC is quirky, to say it simply. There are nerds. There are hipsters (as previously stated). There are people walking on tightropes. There is Starbucks. Basically, it's the perfect college campus.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotypes of students at my school tend to be nerds and hipsters. Although I do not like to classify people based on appearance, I do believe that one's appearance can say much of one's character, and can in turn reflect a school. Therefore, I surely see UMBC as an institution with nerds in trench coats and hipsters in plaid and skinny jeans.

Olivia
What is your overall opinion of this school?

My opinion of this school: 1. UMBC is a small community so you can have a good network of friends. The teacher to student ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

My opinion of this school: 1. UMBC is a small community so you can have a good network of friends. The teacher to student ratio here is also good. Class sizes are small, except for freshman classes and beginning science classes. The professors here are awesome and I read a posting that said their effective teaching skills are tied with Yale at 4th place. 2. One this I would change is the registration system. The add/drop date is really early so most people do not get a good feel for how rigorous a class might be and end up having to drop it with a "W". I would extend the add/drop date. 3. UMBC size is just right. It a good amount of students here. It's location is away from outside neighborhoods and distractions. No major roads run through UMBC (except for arriving and leaving). It's a great distance from Arundel Mills (13min away driving) and other areas i.e Walmart (9min away driving). 4. Before there wasn't a noticeable reaction when you'd tell someone "I go to UMBC" but due to recent publicity (60min) of the school and our awesome President (meet with Obama and other higher education leaders). UMBC has received a large influx of student....which is why one of the residence halls was extended. 5. The school administration is VERY effective and thorough. If you do your work and meet the deadlines for registration, billing etc, there will be no problems. 6. UMBC does have school spirit and PRIDE but let's face we are all geeks on the down low and like to have quiet time. There are many things to do but the curriculum is tough. There are complaints that we do not have enough fun but hey, that is not what you are here for. Freshman year is the year to go all out, after that, books come first...until Senioritis

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There really aren't any serious stereotypes at UMBC. Our Frat and Greek organization are mostly based on academic achievement, volunteering purposes or awareness. There aren't any that are based solely on fun. Honestly 85% of students are geeks so whose to point fingers and make fun of anyone. Odd Stereotype 2. Only Asians go here. FALSE. Although we do have a good amount of Asian students, UMBC is VERY diverse. We have students from all over the world (ie International students). There is a club for every ethnicity on campus so feel very much at home. You can definitely find your home people down here. UMBC goes against the jock stereotype funny enough. Our esteemed sport group is actually the chess team. The jocks here are fairly good but sadly we are not a sport heavy university. This isn't to say we have no sports because we have so many (even ultimate frisbee and cricket). UMBC is more based more on academia (ie we have no football team) but we do have spirit. Our jocks are pretty smart. I tutor them in Math and Chemistry and I've even tutor some who were biology or biochemistry majors.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular activities include 1. Dancing: Which ranges from hip-hop, ballroom, cultural (ie Indian, African etc) or Liturgical. I am a part of a Liturgical Dance team called Perfected Praise and we worship God through prayer and dance movements. 2. Comedy/ Open Mic Night: There are a lot of stand up comedies and comedians on campus as well as monthly shows with just you, a mic and the crowd. 3. Modeling: The are 2 major modeling opportunities on campus. These are student run and Designers/ Model volunteers are sought to display outfits. I am currently modeling for a show and I am very excited. 4. Bands; There are numerous bands on campus and weekly performances.

Ty
What is your overall opinion of this school?

To be honest, I was skeptical about UMBC at the start. About half of the school's students commute, which severely reduces th...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

To be honest, I was skeptical about UMBC at the start. About half of the school's students commute, which severely reduces the liveliness of the campus on the weekends and hinders school pride. Luckily, the administration acknowledges these problems and is doing its best in conjunction with the Student Events Board and Student Government Association to find practical solutions. This relates to the most unique, and my personal favorite, aspect of UMBC- the administration is constantly looking to form partnerships with individual students and whole organizations to enhance student life and shape UMBC to address the needs and desires of all students. The Office of Student Life is unbelievably encouraging for students who want to better the UMBC experience and the Student Government Association provides funding for concrete ideas that students develop through Prove It! and other events. Although I do feel that school pride is lacking, it's definitely getting better. I find that when I tell people that I go to UMBC they're impressed, but also a little hesitant to comment because they do not know all that much about the university. People complain about the lack of school pride and the absence of a football team, but there are a lot of redeeming qualities about the university that students overlook. There are a lot of places to simply relax and amazing opportunities to build a community with not only other students, but also with faculty and staff. Overall, I think UMBC is a great place for driven students looking to get a great education, gain experience in their field and start a career.

What are the academics like at your school?

The quality of the classes at UMBC is definitely something to brag about. Every professor I've had has been well organized and has had a pronounced interest in the material he/she is teaching. The professors are also easy to get in contact with. Most have convenient office hours and respond to emails quickly. Class size ranges drastically. In my first semester I had an Environmental Science class with 120 other students and another class with only 11 other students in it entitled Mathematics and What it Means to be Human. Although professors are fair and the workload is only slightly above average, math and science classes at UMBC are notoriously difficult and time-consuming. The general education requirements, however, only require one math class and two science classes. The UMBC mentality is truly one that embraces interdisciplinary learning. I feel that each class I take is preparing me for life after graduation and internships I can work during my undergraduate career.

What's the Greek scene like?

There are quite a few fraternities and sororities, but it's not a huge part of campus life. You'll see a Greek t-shirt, walk through a Greek bake sale, or hear about a Greek party every so often, but there isn't any pressure to join a fraternity or sorority. If you do decide to rush, though, there's a variety of chapters to choose from and most everyone I've met who is a part of Greek life is really nice!

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Nothing at this school is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. If you want to find people you really click with or do well in your classes, you need to put in at least a little effort. Some of the stereotypes are true and some of them are not. It's really up to you to have the college experience you want. First year students should also know that the majority of the students at UMBC have cars, so the school doesn't do very much to provide transportation to DC or Baltimore or even other colleges if you want to get out for the night. Be ready to befriend someone with a car!

Describe your school to someone who's never heard of it.

The campus is a 2-mile loop. The residence halls are grouped at the northeast part of the campus and the apartments are just outside the loop at the northern part of the loop. Fields and parking lots surround the outside of the circle. Most of the academic buildings line academic row at the southeast part of the loop. The Retriever Activities Center (our gym) is conveniently between academic row and the residence halls at the southern-most part of the loop. The library and commons are at the heart of the campus. Every class is no more than a 15-minute walk away from the residence halls.

What do students complain about most?

The biggest complaints students have are usually about school spirit or the lack of people and events on campus during the weekend.

Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

Because I live in a social dorm, it can sometimes be hard for me to get work done on my floor. Although my room is usually pretty quiet, sometimes I feel the need to remove myself from all of the things in my dorm with which I can distract myself. One of my favorite places to get work done is the 6th floor of the library. Designated as an "Absolute Quiet" floor, the most noise you ever hear is someone typing on a keyboard or unzipping a backpack. It's a great place to study and work for people who need utter silence to focus. I also like studying in the Commons in the morning. Although busy, the Commons is a very comfortable place to get work done. The hundreds of tables and chairs offer a place to study and eat at the same time or just sit for a few minutes and go over notes before class.

Describe the dorms.

UMBC offers a few different living options. Susquehanna, Potomac, Patapsco, and Chesapeake are the most traditional dorms. These dorms offer singles and suites in which each room is connected to another by a bathroom with a shower. Each floor has a common room area with a mini-kitchen. Each suite has two beds, a sink, two desks, a medicine cabinet, a window, and a wardrobe with drawers and space to hang clothing. Laundry rooms are located in the basement of each building. Erickson and Harbor also offer suite living, but offer far more closet space, a larger bathroom, and a common room for each set of rooms. There are also on-campus apartments normally reserved for upperclassmen that are more spacious. I live in one of the most social dorms. It's nice because a lot of people leave their doors open and often study in the common room. My roommate, suitemates, and I all get along and I feel that we have an adequate amount of space. My floor is coed, which I love, and everyone is pretty friendly with each other. It can get loud at night, but I've never had problems getting the sleep I need.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

It's really easy to get involved on campus. Within a few weeks of my first semester I joined the Student Government Association's First Year Council and Senate as a First Year Ambassador. I've also made a few appearances to Rock Climbing Club meetings. At the start of each semester an event called Involvement Fest is held. Most of the university's student groups and organizations set up a table on the quad and try to recruit new members. It's an easy way to find out what's going on on campus, how to get involved, and discover an organization of which you want to be a part. Organizations and clubs cover a wide range of interests and the school makes it very easy to start your own club if you find that what you want isn't on campus yet. Both club and varsity sports are also fairly popular. Soccer, basketball, and volleyball games are usually well-attended. There are also a lot of free lecture series on campus that cover many fields of study. UMBC's art culture thrives through orchestra performances, open mic nights, the school's theater, a cappella performances, musical theatre club, and the Albin O. Kuhn Art Gallery in the library. Even if you decide not to join a club residence halls, dining halls, and majors periodically host fun and quirky events.

Describe a typical weekend.

The social scene is most active on Thursday nights. There's a local club that is 18+ on Thursday nights for UMBC students and usually some parties. Friday night is almost as active. Fraternities and teams usually have parties on Friday nights and there is an event or two on campus scheduled every Friday. Saturday and Sunday are much different. Unless a performance is scheduled, there is very little to do on campus and the only dining options are the Dining Hall and Salsaritas. Sometimes the campus feels like a ghost town on the weekends because so many people go home or go visit friends at other colleges. There are parties and minor campus events, but the typical Saturday and Sunday are spent lounging around the dorm and hanging out with friends.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

I was accepted by six of the eight schools to which I applied. Although I had no intention of attending a university in the state of Maryland during the application process, I applied to the University of Maryland- College Park and UMBC. Accepted by both, I reviewed the financial aid packages that each school offered me. Both schools were generous, but I still had my heart set on places much further from home. A couple of months after UMBC offered me a Merit Scholarship and an invitation to join the Honors College, I was invited to interview for the university's Humanities Scholars Program. Entrance to this program is granted to up to 15 scholars every year. Each class of scholars takes two classes together freshman year that involve the humanities in some way. The scholars form their own little community by taking free trips to museums and performances together, discussing course work, attending Humanities Lectures, and sometimes living on the Humanities Floor as a Living Learning Community. It is the community and scholarship this program offered that convinced me that UMBC would be the right choice for me.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Because UMBC is an honors university many people assume UMBC students are extremely committed to their studies and, consequently, very straight-laced and boring. I've found that this stereotype holds true for a portion of the UMBC community, but it doesn't take too much effort to find students who know how to balance doing coursework and having fun. Although there is a reason the stereotype exists, many students on campus want nothing more than to defy the stereotype of the typical UMBC student.

When you step off campus what do you see?

UMBC doesn't have much of a campus town. There are neighboring suburbs with quaint restaurants and places to shop, but these can be a pain to get to without a car. Baltimore City, however, can be seen from the top of the library and is only a short ride away.

What's unique about your campus?

The most unique aspect of UMBC is that it is still developing. It's such a young, growing institution and I'm constantly surprised by administration's openness to student ideas that have the potential to improve the school. The administration's extreme willingness and desire to partner with students to make UMBC better is really unique to the institution.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Other than the traditional dining hall, UMBC has an area called The Commons that hosts something like a mall food court. The Commons offers freshly prepared sushi, Chinese food, pizza, burritos, quesadillas, subs, burgers, chicken tenders, gelato, vegetarian options, a cafe, and a convenience store that offers practically all the same things as 7/11 or Wawa. The campus also has its own Starbucks and Chick Fil A that are a part of the meal plans! Food is available at all hours and easily accessible. With so many options, it's difficult to complain!

Describe the students at your school.

Like the majority of schools, UMBC constantly boasts about its diverse student population. But I would venture to say that UMBC is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country. The students are predominantly from the counties surrounding UMBC, but these students have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. I think students from any ethnic, religious, and socio-economic background are able to feel comfortable on campus.

Fonjia
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

UMBC is best known for its ambition to stay as one of the country's highest ranked schools in this area. Professors here are ...

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

UMBC is best known for its ambition to stay as one of the country's highest ranked schools in this area. Professors here are focused on education before anything, and prepare students for the outside world. While there are two campuses, one is just for those who are in specific majors and cannot make it to the main campus. Both have the same teachers, and the same curriculum. It is a great name to add to anyone's resume, and the counselors are geared toward helping you.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Focus on education, and get it out of your mind that college/university is a time of freedom and partying. Pray constantly, and no matter what; do not give up on God.

Patrice
Describe the dorms.

The dorms are suite style. Basically, there are two student to each room, but these two students share a bathroom with two ot...

Describe the dorms.

The dorms are suite style. Basically, there are two student to each room, but these two students share a bathroom with two other students in the room next to them. Each room has its own sink. From what I've seen, the dorms are relatively clean, and I believe that they are all carpeted. Not unlike most college dorms, they're pretty small, so you're definitely living in close quarters..

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There are several jocular proposals for what UMBC really stands for, and one of the most popular is: "U Must Be Chinese." This mainly stems from the fact that UMBC actually does have quite a strong presence of Asian students (close to 25% of first year students identify themselves as "Asian.") The stereotype also has its roots in another feature of UMBC : its notable emphasis on the sciences and technology. Thus, the stereotype of Asian students being highly tech savvy also plays into the perceived accuracy of the name, and some people appear to be under the impression that UMBC is only for "computer nerds" and "science junkies." They say that it lacks a creative vibe with regard to the fine arts, and that the students tend to be rather boring. But these stereotypes are totally overblown. Sure, UMBC certainly has great strength in the fields of science and technology, which is one of the positive aspects of the university that attracted me in the first place, but it is also one of the most ethnically, socially, and ideologically diverse universities in Maryland. So naturally, there are many students with a myriad of interests, many of which don’t have anything to do with computer engineering or biochemistry. I have several friends who major in the humanities or fine arts and never step foot into another science or math class after they've fulfilled their general requirements for such courses. I know a student who is double majoring in biology and dance, and in her free time she works as a writing tutor in the Writing Tutorial Center. I myself am an environmental science major, but I'm also a scholar of the Sondheim Public Affairs Program, which focuses on service learning experiences and public policy issues. I'm also training to become a writing tutor, and I study Spanish as a minor under the Modern Language and Linguistics Department. In other words, despite my major being concentrated in science, I, like many other students, am still pursuing my many other interests that are not directly related to the focus of my studies in environmental science. Additionally, UMBC is filled with young people who actively participate in recreational and competitive sports as well as in student organizations that range from College Democrats and Model UN to the Break Dance club and the Cleftomaniacs (an a cappella group.) UMBC’s campus is a multicultural environment filled with students who have a wide array of interests, talents, and skills that they continue to develop throughout their time at the university.

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