Overall… not actually that bad!

Location: 562 W 113th Street

  • Nearby dorms: Broadway, 600 W 113th
  • Stores and restaurants: Milano Market, Oren’s Coffee, Dig Inn, Wu & Nussbaum, Tom’s Diner
  • Cost: The 2023-2024 housing rate for upperclassmen is projected to be $11,574/year.


  • Bathrooms: Seven single-use bathrooms per floor, plus one on the ground floor by the entrance.
  • AC/Heating: If you’re in a shafted room (meaning that your window view is of the air shaft at the center of the building), you get AC! No AC if you’re in a non-shafted room, but do you really need it for any time of the year besides the first two weeks of September? There is heating, thankfully, but the radiators (one in each room) can be kind of iffy (i.e. leaving it on for even a couple of hours will turn your otherwise-freezing room into a sauna. But it could be worse).
  • Kitchen: Not phenomenal, but they exist and work. There is a communal kitchen/lounge on every floor with cabinet space, a stove, oven, and sink (no fridge). The lounge area has a table and chairs and a TV. Meanwhile, the building has a pretty nice lounge on the ground floor with lots of tables and chairs and three vending machines.
  • Laundry: All of the laundry machines in all the dorms got replaced with new ones over the summer, which is lovely. McBain’s laundry room gets messy at times but is very nice and spacious, with a whopping 13 washers and 13 dryers.
  • Computers/Printing: PawPrint station set up on the ground floor under the stairs.
  • Gym: There is a small one on the fourth floor.
  • Elevators: Two, both small and slow. Be healthy and take the very quaint, steep, and narrow staircase!
  • Flooring: Hardwood in rooms. Carpet in the hallways.

Room Variety:

  • 41 singles for 8 RAs and 33 very lucky sophomores. Everyone else gets a double, of which there are 175. Most rooms are between 180 and 216 square feet.
  • McBain is a fairly big dorm, with around 60 people living on each of the 8 floors.


  • Data from 2022 room selection shows that McBain is made up of 100% sophomores.

Bwog Recommendation:

In general, McBain is known as the last-choice sophomore dorm, where you end up if you have a lottery number near the bottom and every other dorm is taken. Although this was technically true, at least in last year’s housing selection, McBain is not actually bad, just… not exceptional. It does have an extremely convenient location, unlike the other all-sophomore dorm, Carlton Arms (which beats McBain in terms of nice facilities and pretty exterior, but loses when it comes to proximity to campus/letting you be on time to class). McBain is a fairly social dorm considering the number of sophomores who live here, but it’s not like it’s too loud on weeknights or anything. It’s really nice that McBain has single-use bathrooms, and despite the large number of people per floor, it’s usually not too hard to find a free bathroom when you want to take a shower. The kitchens are pretty basic and there’s only one for each floor, but people do manage to cook there (and you can always just stay on the dining plan if you’d rather let the dining halls do your cooking for you). Overall, McBain is unremarkable, but totally serviceable if you’re a sophomore with a less-than-great lottery number, and not really deserving of its last-choice reputation. And, if nothing else, McBain’s great spot on 113th and Broadway ensures that you’re close to campus, lots of restaurants and stores, and all of your friends in the slightly fancier dorms in the near-campus region!

Resident Opinions:

  • “Living in McBain is a time—whether it’s a good or bad one depends on who is on your floor. That being said, it covers all the necessities for your basic college dorm.”
  • “It’s nice to be close to campus! McBain has a bad reputation but the reputation is undeserved.”
  • “A little dependent on who’s on your floor—if people are gross, the reputation of being nasty is all you think and worse. If people are clean (like my floor!) it’s honestly pretty inoffensive.”

Messy McBain single

McBain Hall via Bwarchives

Room images via Ava Slocum