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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


2300 Symons Hall, 301-405-4906
Dean: Jayanth R. Banavar
Associate Dean(s): Robert Infantino, Wolfgang Losert
Assistant Dean(s): Lisa Bradley-Klemko, Joelle Presson

Nationally and internationally recognized for our educational programs, research excellence, distinguished faculty and students, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) ( http://cmns.umd.edu/ ) is a critical educational and scientific resource benefiting the region and the nation.  The College offers every student a high-quality, innovative, and cross-disciplinary educational experience. Strongly committed to making studies in the sciences available to all, the College actively encourages and supports the recruitment and retention of women and minorities underrepresented in our disciplines.
Our students participate in the Honors College ( www.honors.umd.edu/ ), College Park Scholars ( www.scholars.umd.edu/ ), the First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) Program ( http://fire.umd.edu/ ), Quest ( www.rhsmith.umd.edu/programs/undergraduate-programs/academics/fellows-special-programs/quest ) and the Hinman CEOs programs ( www.mtech.umd.edu/hinman/ ), other living learning communities, departmental honors programs, and many other co-curricular opportunities.  Our students pursue research projects in faculty laboratories, or in the rich cluster of federal and private research institutions in proximity to our campus; they apply their lab and classroom skills through internships at area companies, non-governmental organizations, and in clinical settings. Excellent advising and career services guide our students through their academic program, and facilitate transition to graduate programs and professional schools, private-sector employment, and public service careers. Our innovative and entrepreneurial graduates pursue careers in a great many fields and professions.

In collaboration with the College of Education, we are working to increase the quality and number of teachers prepared to teach science and mathematics in secondary schools.  In Fall 2014, we launched an innovative new program, Terrapin Teachers ( www.tt.umd.edu/ ), support in part by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Our students in this new program are gaining experience through their science and pedagogy coursework, and are making an impact through work in local K-12 schools beginning in their first semester in the program.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen and transfer students interested in applying for admission should consult with the general university admissions information provided in Chapter 1 of this catalog.  Admission to some CMNS majors is limited - please consult the information in Chapter 1 or the following link for information about Limited Enrollment Programs ( http://lep.umd.edu/ ).  Freshmen considering a major in a CMNS discipline should pursue a high school program of studies that includes four years of mathematics - preferably including algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and calculus or more advanced topics.  Students interested in pursuing majors in the life sciences and physical sciences should take three to four courses in the biological and physical sciences with laboratory.  Students interested in Computer Science are encouraged to take high school Computer Science coursework, including AP Computer Science if it is available.  Math and science courses work at the honors/AP/IB level is strongly encouraged.

For more information about admissions to the College, please contact Ms. Eden Garosi, CMNS Coordinator of Admissions Counseling and Recruitment, egarosi@umd.edu , 301-314-8375.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements/Degree Options

Please see individual department/major entries in Chapter 7 for specific information about specific undergraduate major requirements.


Every student in the College is assigned an academic advisor, who may be a faculty member or a professional staff member of the College or academic department.  Advisors work with students to develop their programs and to ensure that they are making required progress toward the degree.  Educational and career goals, academic progress, and pre-registration course planning are among the topics discussed during advising sessions. Advisors can also help students connect to valuable opportunities and resources on- and off-campus.

Advising is mandatory for most CMNS students, and all are encouraged to take advantage of this service. Specific information about advising appears on the College website at cmns.umd.edu/undergraduate/advising-academic-planning .

The University Career Center & The President’s Promise ( www.studentaffairs.umd.edu/university-career-center-the-president-s-promise ) provides a diverse array of resources and opportunities for students to explore and develop career-related aspirations – beginning as new students and even serving Terp alumni.  The University Career Center@CMNS is a partnership that provides college-level career services support and activities more focused on the needs of CMNS majors.  For more information, contact UCC@CMNS Program Director Rachel Wobrak ( rwobrak@umd.edu ) 1320 Symons Hall.

Students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions can find additional advising support from the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office ( www.prehealth.umd.edu/ ), 1210 H.J Patterson Hall, 301-405-7805.

Departments and Centers

The following academic departments deliver undergraduate courses and degree programs in CMNS:

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science ( www.atmos.umd.edu/ )
Department of Astronomy ( www.astro.umd.edu/ )
Department of Biology ( http://biology.umd.edu/ )
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics ( http://cbmg.umd.edu/ )
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ( www.chem.umd.edu/ )
Department of Computer Science ( www.cs.umd.edu/ )
Department of Entomology ( http://entomology.umd.edu/ )
Department of Geology ( www.geol.umd.edu/ )  
Department of Mathematics ( www-math.umd.edu/ )
Department of Physics ( http://umdphysics.umd.edu/ )

Undergraduates in CMNS also participate in research and co-curricular activities of the research programs, institutes, and centers of the college listed in the Research Units section below.


Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
Biological Sciences
Computer Science
Environmental Science and Policy - Biodiversity and Conservation
Physical Sciences


The College offers minors in the following areas: Actuarial Mathematics, Astronomy, Atmospheric Chemistry, Atmospheric Science, Computer Science, Earth History, Earth Material Properties, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Hydrology, Mathematics, Meteorology, Physics, Planetary Science, Statistics, and Surficial Geology.

Living-Learning Programs

The College sponsors several living-learning programs which offer special academic and co-curricular opportunities to participants.

Advanced Cybersecurity Experiences for Students (ACES) ( www.aces.umd.edu/ ) is the newest living learning program in the Honors College ( www.honors.umd.edu/ ).  It exposes students to the breadth of technical and non-technical aspects of this emerging field, preparing future leaders in the field of cybersecurity through an interdisciplinary curriculum, hands-on experience with real-world problems, and internships with companies and government agencies.  Program Director - Dr. Michel Cukier.

The Integrated Life Sciences Program (ILS) ( www.ils.umd.edu/ ) in the University Honors College was created to offer students enhanced cross-disciplinary training in the life sciences through an innovative curriculum and research and internship opportunities.  The ILS program is directed by Dr. Todd Cooke. 

CMNS faculty members also contribute to the course offerings of the Digital Cultures and Creativity ( http://dcc.umd.edu/ ) honors program that emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to exploring emerging technologies and their global impacts.

The College sponsors three programs in the College Park Scholars (CPS) ( www.scholars.umd.edu/ ) living-learning program which draw upon the breadth of the academic disciplines and faculty expertise in CMNS.  Each of these two-year programs brings students together around a common disciplinary focus through courses, seminars, and experiential learning opportunities.  The programs inspire students to develop their interests and intellectual capacity by building a community in which everyone has shared interests in scholarly pursuits, in close contact with faculty who are working at the forefront of their fields of expertise.

CPS - Life Sciences ( www.scholars.umd.edu/programs/ls )  
Director: Dr. Reid Compton
Assistant Director: Ms. Jess Wilke

CPS - Science, Discovery & the Universe ( www.scholars.umd.edu/programs/sdu )
Director:  Dr. Alan C. Peel
Assistant Director: Ms. Natalie Gaudette

CPS - Science and Global Change ( www.scholars.umd.edu/programs/sgc )
Director:  Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Associate Director: Dr. John Merck, Jr.

Specialized Academic Programs

An important part of the content of CMNS majors is delivered outside the classroom, with the greatest emphasis being on leveraging our strength: research. Our students experience scientific discovery first hand, as conceptual learning in class is integrated and applied. Each major provides access to a variety of research experiences that will provide opportunities to collaborate with faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate students. Our geographic location also offers many unique opportunities for students to gain research and internship experience in federal laboratories and agencies, private companies, and non-governmental organizations. Employers and graduate schools look for research experience in applicants. Be a part of the science discovery in CMNS, which places the college among the top public and private universities worldwide.  More information about research opportunities are provided on the college website ( http://cmns.umd.edu/undergraduate/research-internships ), and on departmental webpages.


College Honors Program

In addition to our living learning programs described above, CMNS departments offer research-intensive departmental honors programs to which students may apply.  Based on a student's performance in a multi-semester mentored research project and defense of a written thesis, the department may recommend that candidates receive their bachelor's degree with Departmental Honors or Departmental High Honors.  Successful completion of departmental honors is recognized on a student's diploma and transcript.  Participation in the University Honors College is not a prerequisite for participation in departmental honors programs.  See individual CMNS department websites ( http://cmns.umd.edu/departments ) for more information.


Financial Assistance

The College Scholarships page ( http://cmns.umd.edu/undergraduate/scholarships ) provides a list of scholarships and awards administered at the College level for currently enrolled students, and information about the application process. Students complete an electronic application to be considered for all merit and need-based scholarships administered by the College for which they are eligible. The annual application deadline for scholarship applications for returning students is in May.

See department websites ( http://cmns.umd.edu/departments ) for more information about undergraduate scholarships based in the departments of CMNS.



See the College website for a complete listing of undergraduate scholarships and awards ( http://cmns.umd.edu/undergraduate/scholarships ).


Research Units

In addition to our academic departments, many undergraduate students pursue mentored research projects in the College's research centers and institutes.  Contact information for the centers and institutes are provided below.  Information about the scope of research in the unit, as well as affiliated faculty, is provided on the website of each center or institute.

Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ( www.cbcb.umd.edu/ )
3115 Biomolecular Sciences Building, 301-405-5936
Professor and Director:  Eytan Ruppin

Center for Health-related Informatics and Bioimaging ( www.chib.umd.edu/ )
2119 A.V. Williams Building, 301-405-6722
Professor and Director: Amitah Varshney

Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials ( www.cnam.umd.edu/ )
0368 Physics Building, 301-405-8285
Professor and Director: Chris Lobb

Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling ( www.cscamm.umd.edu/ )
4149 Computer Science Instructional Center, 301-405-0648
Professor and Director: Pierre-Emmanuel Jabin

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center ( http://essic.umd.edu/ )  
5825 University Research Court, 301-405-5599
Professor and Director: Antonio J. Busalacchi

Institute for Advanced Computer Studies ( www.umiacs.umd.edu/ )
2119 A.V. Williams Building, 301-405-6722
Professor and Director: Amitabh Varshney  

Institute for Physical Science and Technology ( www.ipst.umd.edu/ )
4211 Computer and Space Sciences Building, 301-405-4814
Professor and Director:  Christopher Jarzynski 

Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics ( http://ireap.umd.edu/ )
Energy Research Facility, 301-405-4951
Associate Professor and Director: Thomas E. Murphy

Joint Quantum Institute ( http://jqi.umd.edu/ )
2207 Computer and Space Sciences Building, 301-405-1300
Professor and Co-Director:  Steve Rolston
Co-Director: Dr. Charles Clark

Joint Space-Science Institute ( https://jsi.astro.umd.edu/ )
Professor and Co-Director: James Drake

Maryland Cybersecurity Center ( www.cyber.umd.edu/ )
3400 A.V. Williams Building
Professor and Director: Jonathan Katz

Maryland Nanocenter ( www.nanocenter.umd.edu/ )
1119 Kim Engineering Building
Professor and Director: Gary Rubloff

Maryland Pathogen Research Institute ( http://cbmg.umd.edu/mpri )
3102 Bioscience Research Building, 301-405-2156
Professor and Director: David Mosser

Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications ( www.norbertwiener.umd.edu/ )
2211 Mathematics Building, 301-405-5058
Professor and Director: John J. Benedetto

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) ( www.sesync.org/ )
One Park Place, Suite 300, Annapolis MD, 410-919-4810
Professor and Director: Margaret Palmer


Student Engagement and Service Units

The College Student Services Office coordinates orientation and advising services, reviews dean's exception to policy requests, and fields inquiries about academic regulations, transfer credit review, study abroad, and other undergraduate program matters. Each department is also served by an undergraduate program office which coordinates departmental academic advising

CMNS Student Services Office
1300 Symons Hall

Students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions can find additional advising support from the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office ( www.prehealth.umd.edu/ ), 1210 H.J Patterson Hall, 301-405-7805.

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