Residential life at UMBC is excellent. There are various options for housing, as well as ways to socialize and participate in the residential community. The dorms are clean, large, and safe—students need to either swipe or show their residential identification cards to enter the building. There are private bathrooms in every dorm, and students can opt to either share or have their own room. Guests have to be accompanied or swiped in by a student who lives in the building or must leave a form of identification with the front desk. Upperclassmen and transfer students have the choice to live in campus apartments. Students who live in the dorms are required to purchase a meal plan, unlike students who live in the University-owned apartments. Apartments, for the most part, have four bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen equipped with an oven. Living in the apartments offers more freedom than the dorms, which is the main reason most social gatherings/parties tend to take place in the apartments.
In both the dormitories and the apartments, there is a team of students, residential directors, and residential assistants who organize events, like cookouts or game nights, for students living in that building. These events allow students to grow more acquainted with those who live near them and become more integrated into their residential community. Although these events happen regularly and are well promoted, most students don’t take advantage of them, often due to conflicts with class schedules, involvement in other organizations, and other programming on campus. Apartments and dorms are both conveniently located, but many of the apartments are up a hill, which makes getting back from classes a bit tiring. The longest it may take a student to get to class from their respective dorm or apartment is around 10 or 12 minutes.