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University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a branch campus of the University System of Maryland in southern Baltimore County, Maryland. It was founded in 1966 and specializes in the natural sciences and engineering.

The campus is almost completely bereft of character, and is closer in ambiance and feel to a community college than anything approaching a resident university. The quality of the faculty is high, but students tend to be somewhat pedestrian. The extremely diverse student body offers an opportunity for cross-cultural enrichment which is happily ignored by self-segregating groups of students of all ethnicities.

Almost all of the students filter in from the surrounding 25 miles or so, and many of them are commuters, which doesn't contribute to the sense of community that UMBC is so sorely lacking.

On the plus side, academics are usually pretty good (for technical subjects), and the instruction somewhat compensates for the lack of a creative, vibrant peer-community, which would be the key trait of the 'little MIT' that UMBC earnestly strives to become, however misguidedly. UMBC is extremely cheap for Maryland residents.

UMBC has a chess team that's beaten Harvard, which actively recruits new members and inspires the selling of chess-related t-shirts in the school store.

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