3835 Campus Drive
Architecture Building (145 ARC)
College Park, MD 20742
United States

UMD PLACEHack logo

Student Challenge to Create UMD’s Next Great Space

PLACEHack challenges student teams to tackle a place-based problem in College Park—an underused space, a dangerous intersection, post-COVID dining spaces—and disrupt its course. At PLACEHack, unconventional ideas, teamwork and pizza converge to inspire great spaces@UMD.


What is PLACEHack?

PLACEHack is a 24-hour undergraduate hackathon that challenges students to devise cultural, environmental and built solutions to existing place-based problems in College Park to create engaging, inclusive spaces.

Who can participate?

All UMD undergraduate students are eligible to participate in PLACEHack. Teams require three-to-five students and must represent three different disciplines from at least two colleges (for example, two architecture students, a fine arts student and an engineering student). Registration is limited to 100 students.

Don’t have a team? Need another person to round out your group? Find your people at the PLACEHack meet-up, March 30th.

What happens at PLACEHack?

Teams choose one of five challenges presented at the start of PLACEHack and will have 24 hours to flesh out their idea. Teams are encouraged to work wherever feels comfortable, either in-person or virtually. The Architecture Building’s Great Space will serve as PLACEHack headquarters, equipped with 24/7 sustenance (snacks, drinks, meals, etc.) and plenty of space to spread out. Judging and awards will take place in the Great Space during the final hour on April 2.

What kind of challenges CAN WE CHOOSE FROM?

That’s the fun part—you won’t know until PLACEhack begins. But examples could be creating a better pedestrian path in a part of campus, conceiving outdoor classroom spaces, or developing a map or app that crowdsources the best campus study spaces. It could also be a challenge centered within Greater College Park.


Yes! Your team won’t go it alone. Subject matter experts and faculty mentors will be at the ready to help students understand the problem context, provide additional information and offer general support. There are no budgetary constraints on your ideas—sky’s the limit!

What is the prize?

Five $1,000 prizes will be awarded, one for each challenge, plus additional surprise cash awards.

How do I register?

You can register individually or as a full team here. Registration closes March 28.

Important Dates:

March 1: Registration opens

March 28: Registration closes

March 30: PLACEHack meetup and information session

April 1, 6:30PM: Opening reception, challenges assigned—let the hacking begin!

I still have questions. No problem. Contact us at


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