Local Atmosphere

Baltimore, MD
Tuition (in-state)
$20,825 ($9,764)
Admission Difficulty
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1 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is nothing near this campus, at least not walking distance, and for a school with crappy transportation this causes issues for students. The scenery on campus is nice but there aren't many food options, and there is really nothing to do outside going to classes.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The school itself is pretty secluded, and there isn't a lot of night life, or activity on weekends. But Baltimore is only a short trip away, so its pretty easy to find something to do if you can work out transportation.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The school's in Baltimore County, not Baltimore City, so there's not a huge amount of attractions nearby (Inner Harbor is at least like 15 minutes away). The closest thing to UMBC is Catonsville and Arbutus (who the heck has heard of either of those?), and the highway. There is a movie theater and 7-11 in Arbutus that's a very short drive, so that pushes the rating up to 3. Also, the staff at Arbutus Middle School treated me and my friends who tutored there with respect so the local attitude seems toward students seems to be good.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The RAC is definitely smaller than my community college's gym at Harford Community College, however I enjoy the campus. I am apart of many groups so there are many things to do.

1 person found this useful Report
College Junior

Local Atmosphere: I don't tend to leave campus - there's too much to do on campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Luanna Azulay
Arlington, Va./Recife, PE, Brazil
Political Science
View all previous student authors

Catonsville is not a stereotypical college town. This Baltimore suburb is mostly home to upper- and middle-class families who are overall very friendly and helpful toward students, but there are very few stores or entertainment options within walking distance of campus. Students tend to go home on the weekends, but this is changing due to the increase in student programming on the weekends, which is keeping more students on campus. If you’re looking to get off campus, UMBC is located close to Baltimore City, Washington, DC, and Old Ellicott City, all of which are easy to get to via public transportation, shuttle, or car.

Baltimore City has a large selection of stores, museums, concert venues, bars, and restaurants. The downside is that safety at night can be a concern. Old Ellicott City offers students a large selection of restaurants, bars, and small local stores. Washington, DC, a 40-minute drive from campus, has a large variety of museums, parades, and international festivals, where students can enrich themselves culturally and intellectually. DC also offers a much wider variety of entertainment than Baltimore City.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The county does not include the city-Baltimore became an independent city in the mid-1800s.
  2. Catonsville was used as a summer getaway for rich Baltimoreans, who built large homes here.
  3. The Social Security Administration is based out of Baltimore County.
  4. In addition to UMBC, Baltimore County is home to Towson University, Goucher College, and Stevenson University.
  5. One of the oldest continuously running psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. is located in Catonsville. Spring Grove Hospital Center was founded in 1797.
Notable Natives
  • Tom Clancy - author
  • David Hasselhoff - actor
  • Tupac Shakur - rapper
  • Sisqo - R&B and pop singer
  • Frank Zappa - singer/songwriter
Points of Interest
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Fells Point
  • Inner Harbor
  • National Aquarium
Shopping Centers
  • Arundel Mills
  • Columbia Mall
Movie Theaters
Cinemark Egyptian 24
7000 Arundel Mills Circle
(443) 755-8990
Movie Theaters
Hollywood Cinema 4
5509 Oregon Ave.
(410) 242-1188
Major Sports Teams
  • Baltimore Blast: Soccer
  • Baltimore Orioles: MLB
  • Baltimore Ravens: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Baltimore: MD: 15 minutes
  • Washington: DC: 1 hour

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 83 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 84 responses

  • 5% Painfully remote.
  • 56% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 10% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 14% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 15% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 84 responses

  • 4% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 42% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 55% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 83 responses

  • 23% No way.
  • 59% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 18% Totally.



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