Somebody read a little too much Harry Potter.

One of the University of Maryland's specific strengths is its Honors College, which provides small, supportive residential communities for all of its students.

Most students live in
University Honors, which has -- no joke, four houses and a House Cup. Students who have even more specialized interests can join more focused communities:

Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students: Students live together in UMD's newest dorm as they complete the ACES courses. Emphasis is on group projects and industry connections.

Design Cultures & Creativity: For students whose interests lie somewhere between engineering and art with a healthy serving of social justice.

Gemstone: Terrific for intense thinkers who want to spend four years watching an idea come to life with a team of classmates.

Honors Humanities: A small liberal arts college inside a large state school.

Integrated Life Sciences: A running start for aspiring pre-meds or any other student who wants to be surrounded by science-minded and service-minded peers.

Neurodiversity at Maryland

The University of Maryland also offers SIGNA, a fee-for-service executive functioning and social skills coaching program.

This program is highly unusual in two ways: first, it does not require any formal diagnosis for participation, and second, its emphasis on "neurodiversity" makes it welcoming for exceptional students who either do not have a diagnosis or who actively resist identifying with a diagnosis.

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A version of this article originally appeared in the College Spotlight newsletter. Subscribe to read more about the University of Maryland and other colleges.

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