Local Area

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Local Area


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2 College Sophomore

Local Area: There is absolutely nothing to do in Arbutus and Catonsville.

3 College Junior

Local Area: Ellicott City is wonderful and only about ten-fifteen minutes from campus. However, if you do not have a car, there are very few places within walking distance. Most entertainment is located in Baltimore City or Columbia.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: There is always something to do.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: UMBC is in its own world, it is easy to feel separated from the outside world.

3 College Junior

Local Area: There aren't many things to do around campus also not many food places. Students have to drive at least 10-15 mins to go to good restaurants and shops

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 103 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 104 responses

  • 15% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 16% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 11% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 50% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 8% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 104 responses

  • 52% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 41% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 7% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 103 responses

  • 17% Totally.
  • 54% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 28% No way.



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