McDaniel College
Westminster, MD, USA

Reviews

McDaniel College
3.30 Average Rating

Amanda from Parkville, MD

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
McDaniel is a college with a beautiful campus and some vibrant students. Because of its size, the teachers all get to know their students and truly care about them. The campus is also small enough to get around quickly, from end to end.
Tips for prospective students
Come visit. It is pretty much what you see is what you get.
Academic Rigor
The intensity of your classes really does depend upon what your major is. We're a liberal arts college generally, but some of the biology classes (undergrad) are taught on a grad-school level.
Dorm Life
There are various dorms throughout campus, and each one is different. Chances are that you won't get an apartment until your senior year though, but all that means is you won't have a kitchen. The nicer the dorm, the more expensive so just make sure you can afford what you get.
Food and Dining
Right now we have Englar Dining Hall (our cafeteria) and the pub as our main food, but there is a vocelli's on campus now so you can have pizza on demand (and they'll deliver to your dorm).

What to do for fun
We have various programs for students and things to do (especially on weekends) ranging from comedians and singers visiting to karaoke nights in the pub. We also have certain set events like Spring Fling every year that definitely make our campus life more fun.
Great for these types of students
We have an AMAZING theater department and our theater is certainly proud of it. That may be one of the most intense things here.
Greek Life
They say Greek Life isn't big here, but it is present. We have certain floors for fraternities and sororities and there are more than you will know of when you start. We don't haze though, so... Cheers.
Campus Safety
Every student should put Campus Safety's number into their phone at the start of the year and sign up for orgsync and other programs we have to promote safety. You'll get text alerts if the school closes or if there is any threat to the campus, as well as being able to call campo if you don't feel safe-- and then they'll be there.
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a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
McDaniel College is a great place to go to school because the professors truly, genuinely care about you. Every one of them is more than happy to help with anything you need at all. McDaniel's faculty and staff is personal and approachable for anything and everything.
Tips for prospective students
Don't make your college decision on factors like where your friends are going, what the food is like, how the college looks necessarily, or other trivial matters. Focus entirely on what your college experience will be like for your four years. Talk to professors, to current students, visit a class or two, walk around campus. If you can envision yourself happy and successful there, then you're on the right track.
Academic Rigor
The academics here are challenging, but the professors want you to do your best. They are not out there to see you fail. They care about your academic success and will help you get on track and stay on track. The academics here are challenging and motivating for students who are eager to push their limits.
Dorm Life
As a commuter, I wouldn't know much about dorm life. I hear that they're ok.
Food and Dining
Englar dining hall (Glar) is a very comfortable place to get your meals. Sometimes the food isn't all that great, but there are always plenty of options to choose from.
What to do for fun
Many students play card and board games at odd hours of the night. Others play frisbee or pickup basketball. There are a bazillion clubs on campus to keep anybody occupied as well. Many, many options for what to do in your spare time.
Bang for the buck
Great bang for the buck! McDaniel was just ranked top for best value for liberal arts colleges.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Right after the convocation speech at orientation, the incoming freshman class rings the bell on campus to begin their time here. After commencement in four years, they do the same to signify the end of their time as well.
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Thao Vy from Rockville, MD

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This is a small, private school. The campus is beautiful.
Tips for prospective students
Great school for students who don't like to get involved in crowded place.
Dorm Life
Very nice
Food and Dining
Good food is provided once a while.
What to do for fun
Talk with friends.
Great for these types of students
students who don't like to be involved in crowded place.
Clubs and Activities
kind of fun, many events
Campus Safety
always available
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Patricia from Baltimore, MD

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Best professors ever had. Complete dedicated to the success of each and every student. College support staff easy to contact and return calls promptly.
Tips for prospective students
Visit Campus...
Academic Rigor
Based on speciality
Food and Dining
Satisfying
What to do for fun
travel a short distance to Baltimore
Great for these types of students
Liberal Arts and Gerontology
Campus Safety
No issues noted
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Laura from Middle River, MD

a current student here
12 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
McDaniel presents its students with a WIDE array of classes on so many topics. I was able to take a class about the relationship between madness and creativity. There's classes on South Park's take on social commentary, in-depth studies into theatre or science. If you can dream of the class, it will probably be offered at McDaniel at some point.

Also, the professors are open and willing to help any student who requests it. They love teaching their classes and it really does show.
Am enjoying being here
The Hill, a nickname for McDaniel, is a welcoming place. While you have to put yourself out there to meet new people, they are more than kind. That goes for faculty, staff, and students. Anyone you meet at McDaniel, (with few exceptions) will be fantastic.

The extra-curriculars are also worth mentioning here: there is something for everyone, and I'm not kidding.
Religious groups, movie groups, environmental, international, gender/sexuality issues groups, varied job opportunities, ROTC, sports, creative visual/performing arts groups. Anything.
Bang for the buck
McDaniel College is an expensive place, though they are very generous with their aid and scholarships.

I think the cost is definitely backed up by the quality of the staff (95% hold the highest degrees in their fields), the education that they offer, the varied opportunities that are available, and in the lifestyle that one has the opportunity to experience.
Tips for prospective students
VISIT THE SCHOOL! There is no way around it (and this applies for all schools). When I was searching, there was a gut instinct-type thing involved. Some places just didn't feel right.
Sit in on a class.
Talk to students (We're all on facebook).
Look at the housing and the students. Would you want to live with them?
Be honest with yourself.
Foremost, do everything you can to do the best in your semesters prior to applying and keep it up. You want that scholarship.
Great for these types of students
I love my school and am not ashamed to admit it, but McDaniel can't be right for everyone

It is a small campus surrounded by a small town. While the area is rather conservative, the campus is liberal, forward-thinking, young place. To be comfortable with that is a big step to take.

I would recommend McDaniel to:
Any prospective teaches (Check out their education minor)
Anyone who has no idea (So many people to guide you)
Those who wish to meet a lot of new people and friendly faces
Anyone who wants an involved faculty
Anyone who likes the idea of a small, beautiful campus

And finally, anyone who can walk on the campus, and feel that McDaniel could be their new home.
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Hanna from Prince Frederick, MD

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
At any college, you're only going to get out of your education what you put into it, but at McDaniel, the possibilities are endless. First-Year Seminar courses like Music and Words as a Quest for Meaning and Horror Fiction help freshmen adapt to college life. The Honors Program allows you to take special courses in topics such as Great Works of the Western World, A Hero's Journey, and Nanotechnology. Sophomore Interdisciplinary Studies courses feature topics like September 11 and its Aftermath and South Park and Contemporary Issues. Most professors have the highest degree in their field, and I have never had a professor that was not willing to talk to you in person for extra help or even just friendly conversation. Even outside the classroom, students have so many opportunities that promote skill-building and learning, such as internships, campus employment, and a huge variety of extra-curricular activities.
Am enjoying being here
I know that McDaniel is where I was meant to be. The campus is small (you can walk across it in under 10 minutes), but that's what makes it so great. Students are not mere numbers, and there is a strong feeling of community. In addition, I like to keep busy, and it's so easy to get involved that I'm involved in 5 different campus organizations and hold offices in 3 of them. At a larger school, that would be impossible to do as a sophomore.

McDaniel is located in Westminster, MD, which is a quiet little town a couple hours away from Baltimore and Washington, DC. The College, sponsors movies on Friday nights, campus organizations hold clubrooms (dances) usually at least once a week, tailgating is HUGE, and there is usually something fun going on. When there's not, it's easy enough to find something to do. The game room is now free, you can go swimming in Harlow Pool, or play intramural sports. McDaniel is becoming increasingly diverse, and I think it's awesome that I've gotten to meet so many different people. Everyone is so friendly, too! I'm having so much fun and learning quite a bit.
Bang for the buck
I'm not going to lie- Tuition is expensive. However, a huge percentage of students receive financial aid and scholarships, and the education you receive is worth the cost. I can honestly say that if you put time and effort into your studies and get involved on campus, you will receive an education worth as much as or more than the money you paid to attend this college. Furthermore, there are so many opportunities to connect with faculty and staff that will help you not only in your coursework, but also in your job search and future endeavors.
Tips for prospective students
If you have a chance to visit camps, DO IT! This is true for ANY college you are considering applying to. I knew after visiting McDaniel that this was the place for me. Even if you don't come to the same conclusion that I did, you'll at least have eliminated an option.

Check out the undergraduate admissions website (http://admissions.mcdaniel.edu/). Especially read the student blogs. E-Ambassadors (like myself) update their blogs weekly to give prospective students an idea of what they're in for. Additionally, McDaniel Admissions has Flickr and YouTube accounts that are worth taking a look at.

If you're worried about getting accepted, relax. It is competitive, but SAT scores and grades are not the primary focus of your application. Put most of your time into your essay, because that is the element of your application that will make you stand out. If you're still worried, talk to your admissions counselor. They're friendly and more than willing to talk to you and answer questions.
Great for these types of students
Listed in Colleges that Change Lives and A+ Colleges for B Students, McDaniel is the place for anybody that is looking for an amazing liberal arts education and a welcoming community.

Slackers beware- This college is not for you. Sure, there are people that skate on by, but you will get the most out of a McDaniel College education if you want to learn.
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Sarah from Keedysville, MD

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
McDaniel is overall a wonderful school. While there are a few issues, mainly concerning internet speed, residence halls, and Campus Safety officers, the professors of McDaniel truly make it a place of learning. I do not regret my decision to come here, as I've learned a great deal in my first year.
Tips for prospective students
Take all the AP Courses you possibly can in high school, do the best you can on SATs, and good things (like a lot of financial aide) will come your way!
Academic Rigor
As a Freshman, I tested out of the required English course, so I took a 3000-level British Literature course in my first semester. I barely stayed afloat, but the professor and the material covered just absolutely blew my mind. I love the English department here and can't wait for three more years in the English building!
Dorm Life
The Freshman Girls' dorm is newly renovated and wonderful. The Boys' dorm, however, should honestly be condemned. Be prepared for one year of living in squalor, gentlemen, but persevere- dorm life gets progressively better each year! By Senior year, you're living in gorgeous apartments or your own house right off campus!
Food and Dining
The dining hall, appropriately called GLAR (short for Englar), kind of sums up the dining experience at McDaniel. Honestly, it's all edible....but every day it's kind of a hit-or-miss situation. Deli sandwiches and pizza are always safe back-ups, and the baked goods are generally fantastic!
What to do for fun
There are Club Rooms once a month, random little events like Paint Your Own Pottery or a psychic, plays and concerts, and just a lot of cool people to hang around with!
Bang for the buck
McDaniel is renowned for its financial aide. While I certainly don't have a full-ride, I know that I am getting an education worth what my parents are paying for.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The McDaniel golf course is great for sledding in the winter! When it snows, the giant hill is crowded with kids on make-shift sleds.
Great for these types of students
Students who want professors to know them by name should look into McDaniel. It's a small campus, so the student:teacher ratio allows for individual attention in the classroom.
Clubs and Activities
There's a good bit to do, despite McDaniel's rural location! The college takes our free time into account, so they provide a lot of new, different, fun events and activities throughout the year (which are generally free to students, which is always a plus)!
Greek Life
There are a lot of fraternities and sororities on campus. Though Greek Life isn't for me, persay, I know a lot of girls who are just absolutely ecstatic about pledging and have found a home with their new Sisters.
Campus Safety
The only issues surrounding Campus Safety are that for every polite, professional, considerate, and genuinely good Campus Safety Officer, there is also one who just seems to be out to get you. One officer, for example, apparently hid in a tree and jumped out at some students he believed her smoking illegal substances.
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Ryan from LA Plata, MD

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The campus is absolutely beautiful. The teachers are always there to help when possible. The campus atmosphere is calm, relaxed, and you can get to know everyone on campus without too much difficulty if you so choose.
Tips for prospective students
Regarding the price required to attend, don't let that frighten you off. They're very good with giving out financial aid to those who need it, making this school possible to attend even for those with less than stellar financial situations.
Academic Rigor
The classes do ask for you to put effort into them, but not too much for you to handle, and the teachers are available to help you understand the material after class or during their office hours.
Dorm Life
Can't vouch for the regular freshman dorms, as i live in the Honors dorms, but these dorms are great. Small like any other dorm, but each room comes with an air conditioner window unit in the hotter months while the other dorms don't. Hows that for incentive to do well in school, huh? These dorms have smaller floor sizes, with only say, 7 dorm rooms per floor, but that means that those people get closer as friends than those on dorm floors with dozens of rooms.
Food and Dining
A lot of people may try to hate on the cafeteria food, but that's because they've become a bit jaded to it. The food is great, and always has a great variety. The only thing i can say, is to not wait until the last second to go get food, because at that point, some of the food may not be as good as it could be. Also, included in the meal plan are vouchers for the restaurant on campus, called the Pub. (and no, this does not mean it has alcohol. nice try.) The food there is always cooked for you after you order, and the wait time is reasonably short, and the only exception is the lunch rush when there could be ten orders in line to be filled at a time, all of which are trying to be made at the same time. Even then, the wait is only a few minutes longer than normal.
Bang for the buck
The school is very good about giving out enough financial aid to allow even those from lower income families to attend. I would know, I'm one of them.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
During freshman orientation, after the Convocation speech, all of the students file out to the center of campus, to a spot known as Red Square, and every student rings the bell there to signify their entering the college. The only time this bell is rung again by a student is upon graduation. That night, the students are a part of the candlewalk ceremony, where each student is given an unlit candle and they file in two lines around campus, through the Arch into Big Baker Memorial Church. Once inside, every candle is lit, and the lights are turned off. This is a symbol for the students going from darkness into the light of higher knowledge, and how it is all of us together that brings this about.
Clubs and Activities
There's a multitude of clubs to join if you so please, and there are always events to attend, every few weeks, and sometimes every week or every day during a week. If you're the kind of person to attend these kinds of things, you will not be for want of such a thing here.
Greek Life
Can be a big part of your life on campus, but you don't feel left out if you don't participate, as you might on other college campuses
Campus Safety
All of the campus safety officers I've met have been polite and helpful, as well as quick to assist whenever you have problems, even if that problem is being locked out of your dorm room when your roommate (if you have one) can't get you in.
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Myeisha from Baltimore, MD

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
McDaniel is a great small, liberal arts school. The small size of the school makes each student feel comfortable and welcome. The professors are able to interact with students personally when needed.
Tips for prospective students
If you don;t know what career choice you desire, don't worry. You'll have to take several courses in different subjects so this will expose you to different areas of study. If you need help with anything, feel free to ask the staff of the school.
Academic Rigor
The academics are really good. The professors are usually always over qualified for their positions and can teach several courses. The work will be challenging but the professors are there to help.
Dorm Life
Living in a dorm is fun, especially when students live with friends. Be sure to take care of the furniture placed in the dorms so residents won't get charged for damages. Also, students should get to know their roommate(s) before deciding to live together.
Food and Dining
The cafeteria food is mediocre. It's not the best but some days it has really good food. This is usually when there is a theme like Wing Night or Asian Cuisine. The Green Terrace has really good sandwiches and I recommend students visit it.
What to do for fun
The best thing to do is hang out with friends. There are some parties on campus and we have events like Movie Night and Spring Fling and it's good to attend those. We also have a game room with X-Box and Wii games systems, Pool and Ping-Pong for students to enjoy.
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Viktoria from Rowland, PA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
McDaniel is a tight-knit family consisting of passionate experienced professors and students who truly want to learn. It has the small campus atmosphere with all the opportunities of a bigger school. I absolutely love McDaniel and it is the perfect place for me to receive my education.
Tips for prospective students
If you're looking for a small school with dedicated professors, McDaniel is a great place for you. McDaniel is a school that truly becomes your home. If you're looking for a party lifestyle, I'd suggest going elsewhere. Although, of course, there are parties at McDaniel, they're not the kind of crazy college parties you see on television and in movies. I chose McDaniel because I knew I would get a great education and would not get distracted by partying.
Academic Rigor
McDaniel challenges you and prepares you for your future life after college. Classes are taken seriously and you actually need to show up if you want to pass. The classes are not ridiculously hard, but you definitely need to put in the effort, do the work, and study in order to do well.
Dorm Life
As long as you don't have a horrible roommate, dorm life isn't bad. Sometimes the bathrooms will get a little dirty but they are cleaned 5 days a week so it really should not be a problem. As long as everyone is respectful of each other and their surroundings, the dorms will stay clean and nice to live in.
Food and Dining
Let's be honest, no matter what college you go to, the food isn't going to be great. At McDaniel there are three on campus choices to eat and quite a few places off campus in town that you could walk to if you'd like. You can always find something decent to eat. Just explore your options.
What to do for fun
My friends and I hang out together all the time even if it's just to do homework. The great thing about McDaniel is that it's really easy to make friends. Since you all live near each other, it's easy to always be around someone and find something fun to do.
Bang for the buck
I applied and was accepted to eight different colleges. McDaniel had the best financial aid out of all of the schools by far. None of the rest even really compared financially. They really try to help you be able to realistically afford your education.
Clubs and Activities
There are plenty of fun clubs and activities around campus. If McDaniel doesn't have something that you like, you can always start your own club!
Campus Safety
Campus is always a safe place to be. There is relatively no crime on campus whatsoever. Off campus at night can be a little sketchy but as long as you're not stupid about it, you'll be fine. Pretty much, just don't go walking down Pennsylvania Avenue by yourself at 3 in the morning.
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