Crowd goes wild at UMBC homecoming soccer game

So, you’re thinking about becoming a Retriever? Here are 10 reasons why we know you’ll love it here at UMBC. (Twelve, if you count the puppies and squirrels.)


#10:  Our Community of Retriever Believers…

Retrievers stick together in and out of the classroom…and long after we graduate. We create together, we build together, and we learn together — and we have a lot of fun together, too. One afternoon you could be playing Humans vs. Zombies and the next cheering on one of UMBC’s 17 Division I sports teams — like the men’s basketball team, which made NCAA history in 2018 by becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed. Here you can help save the Earth, experience new cultures, and make discoveries together — all in the same day. And after you graduate, you’ll always be a part of #RetrieverNation.

#9:  ….Who Change the World Every Day

Want to make a lasting mark? Through classes, clubs, internships, and research opportunities, UMBC lets you follow your passion through to practice. You’re also never in it alone. Faculty mentors guide our students at every step, and also know when it’s time for students to take the lead on projects themselves, to take their work over the finish line.  And, with more than 70,000 alumni touching lives through their work every day, you’ll be part of a proud tradition of global and local impact that’s uniquely UMBC.

#8:  Professors Who Know Your Name…

U.S. News and World Report repeatedly recognizes UMBC’s professors for their incredible commitment to teaching. In fact, in 2019, UMBC ranked #8 nationally on its closely-watched list of universities with a “strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” alongside Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, and Rice. So, what does that mean for you? It means small classes and plenty of one-on-one time with academic all-stars whose first concern is you.

#7:  …And Take You Beyond the Classroom

Speaking of commitment, that professor-student relationship doesn’t stop when class is over. At UMBC, you’ll find opportunities not only to team up on research and creative projects, but to explore even further through amazing internships. Collaboration between people in different fields results in an experiential, interdisciplinary learning environment. UMBC students are able to be active learners prepared for a multi-dimensional workforce.

#6: A World-Class Education…

Whatever your passion, at UMBC you’ll find a prestigious academic program with a reputation to truly challenge and excite you. Don’t know what you want to study yet? We’re here to help. UMBC’s mentoring and guidance can help you figure it out. Plus, we’re always looking to the future, so you’ll be prepared for grad school or a career — or both! Check out our areas of study.

#5: …For an Amazing Value

There’s a reason UMBC has been selected by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as a “Best Value” and the Fiske Guide to Colleges as a “Best Buy” year after year. Our students get an amazing value for their dollar, earning a top-notch education while graduating with less debt than students at other universities. Read more about our grad and undergrad rankings.

#4:  Baltimore is an Exciting College Town…

Craving a concert or an amazing meal? How about a ball game? Museums, theaters, performance halls, clubs, restaurants, hiking and biking trails, and professional sports are right around the corner to test your mind, challenge your creativity — and make sure you have plenty of good times. 

#3:  …With Easy Access to a World of Opportunity

Nestled between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and minutes from airports, trains, and bus routes, UMBC’s beautiful campus is perfectly situated to help you explore your passions. Learn more about our city at

umbc commencement

#2:  Our Impressive Career Network

Not only does the Baltimore/Washington corridor brim with internships and job opportunities, you’ll also find tens of thousands of Retriever alums nearby to help you get a foot in the door. A little grit goes a long way at UMBC.

#1:  UMBC Believes in You

A big part of what makes UMBC different is that we’re truly a community of learners. Whoever you are, whatever your interests, you’ll find friends and professors here who will share your passions and broaden your perspective. You can be yourself — and become your best self — at UMBC. We can’t wait for you to join us!

BONUS REASONS #11 and 12: Our Amazing Wildlife

If you ever drop a French fry while walking between classes, not to worry. One of our trusty campus squirrels will gladly pick it up for you. UMBC’s squirrels are so friendly that many think of them as honorary mascots. But they just can’t compete with the best doggo mascot out there…

Our mascot, True Grit, is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, one of the smartest, most loyal pups out there. Gritty can be seen dancing with the Pep Band at games and Homecoming, and he’ll always give you a high five when you meet him walking down the street. Need a little luck? Just rub the nose of our True Grit statue in front of the RAC for a little extra Retriever magic – and don’t forget to pose with him on graduation day.

We love you, Gritty!


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