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McDaniel Local

McDaniel Local is one of the college's signature McDaniel Commitment experiences. Serving as your first introduction to Westminster, Maryland, McDaniel Local is a mandatory two-day, one-night event designed to help you get to know your new community and make connections with fellow McDaniel students. McDaniel Local will hone your sense of purpose as you head into college and provide you with the opportunity to connect with faculty advisors and register for your fall classes. 

Students on campus for McDaniel Local.

A snapshot of McDaniel Local

All students stay in on-campus accommodations for two days and one night. Meals are included in the McDaniel Local program. All program costs are included in first-year total costs, which includes tuition, room, board and fees. 

Through your McDaniel Local Experience, you will:

Students standing in circle on campus for McDaniel Local.

Make new friends and connect with current McDaniel students, staff, and faculty

Students at McDaniel Local event.

Register for your fall classes

Students taking selfie around downtown Westminster during McDaniel Local.

Explore our local community and network with local businesses

Students jumping in the air on a sidewalk in downtown Westminster.

Getting to Know Westminster

The average college student attends a college less than 46 miles away from home. With students from as close as Baltimore and as far as California, Oregon and New Zealand, finding your place in Westminster is an important part of your college experience. McDaniel Local introduces you to the city of Westminster and helps you get to know your new home. You'll walk down Main Street. Meet with City Council members. Have dinner at local restaurants and meet the owners. In short, by the time you leave, you'll feel like a local.

Students seated in classroom.

Ensuring your Success

We've designed McDaniel Local with the most cutting-edge student success and readiness strategies in mind. This means that each McDaniel Local activity prepares you in a purposeful way for the transformational college journey you're about to embark on. Some of your activities will be highly relevant to your academic success; you'll complete your first meeting with your academic advisor and register for courses during McDaniel Local. However, many of the activities are designed to ease your anxiety about college, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with others and make friends before you even arrive on campus.

Students playing rock paper scissors on campus.

Impressive Outcomes

We know the impact McDaniel Local has on our new students because we ask them. With 97% of new students attending a McDaniel Local session, we see clear evidence of improved connection and readiness for college in our pre- and post-event surveys.

When asked to measure their sense of connection to McDaniel and the community on a scale of 1-5 before and after McDaniel Local, student responses clearly demonstrated the impact of the program:

  • 2.8 (before McDaniel Local)
  • 4.1 (after McDaniel Local)
McDaniel Local crew sitting together on campus.

The McDaniel Commitment Helping students define their path to success.

A four-year integrated experience full of opportunities in research, education abroad, internships, and career development, the McDaniel Commitment is the College’s premier academic program. Students access resources and acquire the skills they need to navigate their four years on the Hill and place them at an advantage for life after McDaniel with the help of The Center for Experience and Opportunity. The one-on-one coaching helps students develop goals, engage in immersive experiences, and stand out when applying for jobs, post-graduate studies, as well as fellowships and scholarships.

Storefronts in downtown Westminster, Maryland.

Your New Home

Close your eyes and picture the quintessential college town. If you’re seeing cafés, coffee shops, and old brick buildings full of thriving small businesses—you're picturing Westminster. Of course, we’re biased, but we really do feel like Westminster has it all. Just a short walk down the Hill from McDaniel and suddenly you’re in a charming town of about 20,000 people—rich in history, culture, and comfort.