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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


The University of Maryland is a publicly funded land grant institution and the flagship of the University System of Maryland. The University's Mission Statement expresses a commitment to achieving excellence as the state's primary center for research and graduate education and the institution of choice for undergraduate students of exceptional ability and promise. Consistent with this mission, the University counts the diversity of its students among its greatest strengths and as an integral component of the educational process and a contributing factor to the academic excellence of the institution.

The undergraduate admission process, which reflects the University's educational mission, seeks to identify those applicants, who as individuals and as a group, will enrich and benefit from the campus learning environment, and thus benefit the entire student body. The process is structured to build entering classes of students whose varied backgrounds and experiences provide substantial evidence of their potential to:

1. Meet the University's requirements for academic success.

2. Enrich the University as a heterogeneous community.

3. Add new perspectives to the University's curriculum and scholarly pursuits.

4. Develop personal skills, including leadership, self-confidence, and intellectual engagement.

5. Contribute to the intellectual, cultural, social and political life of the University, state, and nation.

As the University must make fine distinctions among large numbers of highly qualified applicants, the ability to assess consistently all information presented in the application becomes increasingly important.  Therefore, the University employs a rigorous review process that engages the expertise of professional educators in performing individualized and holistic evaluations of each application. Each applicant is assessed on the basis of achievements and potential in a broad range of academic categories, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges the applicant has faced.

These categories include:    

1. Strength of educational performance, as measured by the nature and rigor of high school curriculum and academic achievements.

2. Potential for college success, as evidenced by performance on nationally normed standardized tests.

3. Potential to promote beneficial educational outcomes and to make a positive contribution to campus and community life.

4. Persistence, and commitment to educational excellence, as evidenced by demonstrated success in facing adversity and overcoming obstacles.

Application Forms

The undergraduate application and supporting documents may be completed and submitted online via the web at  www.admissions.umd.edu .

Fall Semester Freshman Admission

The University of Maryland strongly encourages all applicants to apply by our November 1st priority application deadline to assure best consideration for admission, merit scholarships, and invitation to the Honors College, College Park Scholars and other living and learning programs. Admission to the University of Maryland is competitive. We typically receive more than 30,000 applications for a fall freshman class of approximately 4,100. As a result, we are unable to offer admission to all students who have the ability to be academically successful at Maryland. A completed application includes a submitted application form, official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, essays and activity statement, school counselor and teacher recommendations and the application fee.

Applying by the November 1st priority deadline is encouraged. For updated deadline information, please visit our undergraduate admissions website: www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/ .

Spring Semester Freshman Admission

Students may be admitted for the spring semester by applying directly for spring admission or by having their fall application identified for spring admission through the application review process (as a result of space limitations). A completed application includes an application form, official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, essays and activities, school counselor and teacher recommendations and the application fee.

Applying by the priority deadline is encouraged. For updated deadline information, please visit our undergraduate admissions website: www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/ .

Freshman Admission Deadlines:

Priority deadline:  November 1st

Regular deadline:  January 20th

Financial Aid Applications

The priority deadline for Financial Aid is February 15th. Students seeking financial assistance should complete the FAFSA before receiving their letter of admission. More information is available about Financial Aid in Chapter 2 .

Early Admission Options for High-Achieving High School Students

Concurrent Enrollment:  Talented high school seniors have the opportunity to enroll at the University of Maryland for two courses, or seven credits, each semester.  Successful applicants will have pursued a rigorous high school program and will have indicated exceptional performance and ability achieved over time.  To apply, students must submit: the completed application and fee; high school transcript; an essay explaining why they are interested in the program; a letter of recommendation from the high school; and a letter of permission from the parents or guardian.  Students must live within commuting distance.  Tuition is assessed on a per-credit-hour basis. All mandatory fees apply in full.

Summer Enrollment:  High school students with a strong high school record may be considered for enrollment in courses during the summer preceding their junior or senior year.  They must file an application for admission, and submit an official high school transcript.  Tuition is assessed on a per-credit-hour basis.  All mandatory fees apply in full.  For more information, students should visit the Office of Extended Studies – www.oes.umd.edu .

Early Admission:  Although the University of Maryland generally requires applicants to earn a high school diploma prior to their first full-time registration, the University will admit a limited number of well-qualified students without high school diplomas. Successful applicants will have pursued a rigorous high school program and will have indicated exceptional performance and ability achieved over time. Students must be within two credits of high school graduation and have the commitment of the high school to award a diploma after successful completion of the freshman year at Maryland. To apply, students must submit: the completed application and fee, high school transcript and SAT or ACT results, an essay explaining how they will benefit from the program, a letter of permission from the parents or guardian and a letter of support from the high school which details the school's agreement to award the high school diploma. Early admission students are eligible for on-campus housing, scholarships based on academic achievement, the Honors College, College Park Scholars, and other living learning programs. Early application is strongly advised.

High School Equivalency Examination (GED)

Maryland residents who are at least 16 years of age and who have not received a high school diploma may be considered for admission provided they have earned the high school General Education Equivalency (GED) certificate. In order to be considered for admission, the applicant must submit a completed application (including SAT scores if the applicant has been out of high school for less than three years) and present an above average total score as well as above average scores on each of the five parts of the test.

Non-Accredited/Non-Approved High School

Students from non-accredited/non-approved high schools who seek admission to the University of Maryland should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for additional information.

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled applicants should meet the same minimum high school course requirements expected of all applicants. Additional information from home-schooled students is required in the following areas of the application: 

Transcript:  should provide course descriptions, books used, methods of evaluation, and the grades received, as well as a statement providing general information about the home-school curriculum.  If college-level courses have been taken simultaneously, an official college transcript should be included with the application. 

Letters of Recommendation:  the University of Maryland requires two recommendations from all freshman applicants. In the case of home-schooled students these recommendations should be provided by 1) an individual acting in a supervisory or evaluative capacity with regard to the student's curriculum, and 2) from a teacher in any setting (home-school program, community college course, etc.). 

Prior Learning Credit

The University of Maryland awards credit for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced Level (A-Level)/Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level) exams when an appropriate score has been achieved.  It is important to note that not all exams are awarded credit. All departments reserve the right to re-evaluate the content of exams and to change the assignment of credit and course equivalencies.  There are other types of college level exams that may be awarded credit on a case-by-case basis. These include Caribbean Advance Proficiency Exam (CAPE), or Abitur.  For additional information on the transferability of these exams, please see Prior Learning Credit - AP, IB, A-Level/AS-Level, CLEP, Credit-by-Exam, Basic Military Training section in Chapter 4.

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