The first Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) was held in 1997. The event showcases both original research and creative works by students, who have the opportunity to present through posters, oral presentations, performances, film, and more. URCAD emphasizes collaboration between students and mentors, and therefore only accepts projects that have been supported by a faculty mentor at UMBC. There are also Undergraduate Research Awards available, giving selected students up to $1,500 to complete their research. The annual URCAD event is usually held during the third or fourth week of April.
The first URCAD featured work from students across all disciplines, from Ancient Studies and Social Work to Mechanical Engineering and Biochemistry. Presentations included an exhibit on the history of Cowdensville, a project on the experience of Alzheimer's caregivers, and research exploring wavelength modulation in bottlenose dolphin visual pigments
The first edition of the UMBC Review was published in 2000 under student editors Victoria Crane and Stanford Ward. As an extension of the goal of URCAD, the publication seeks to exhibit the academic and creative talents at the university. The first journal featured ten pieces of work, from an exploration of lunar imagery in Jane Eyre to a paper on the distribution of cone photoreceptor pigments in the striped bass retina.
Traditionally, both presenters and attendees are given a metal URCAD pin to wear throughout the day.