University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
UMBC attracts creative and motivated students and rewards them with the resources and attention...

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

The UMBC community redefines excellence in higher education through an inclusive culture that connects innovative teaching and learning, research across disciplines, and civic engagement. UMBC is a dynamic public research university that combines teaching, research, and service to benefit the citizens of Maryland. As an Honors University, the campus offers academically talented students a strong undergraduate liberal arts foundation that prepares them for graduate and professional study, entry into the workforce, community service, and leadership. At the graduate level, UMBC emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services, and public policy. UMBC contributes to the economic development of the State and the region through entrepreneurial initiatives, workforce training, K-16 partnerships, and technology commercialization. With students from nearly every state and more than 100 countries, UMBC is dedicated to cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility, and lifelong learning.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
11,067 undergraduate students
86% of undergrad students are full time
56% male — 44% female
7% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
533 full-time faculty
278 part-time faculty
19 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
75% of first year students live on campus
36% of all students live on campus

School Location

UMBC is just 10 minutes from Baltimore, 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., and six minutes from the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, making it the perfect location for job and internship opportunities, research collaboration, as well as cultural exploration. Catonsville, Arbutus, and Ellicott City also offer plenty of dining and entertainment options nearby.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


87.2% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)


63% of students graduated in 6 years



Nonresident aliens 4%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 18%
White 43%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 21%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


UMBC’s intercollegiate athletic teams, the Retrievers, participate in NCAA’s Division I and the America East Conference. Retriever student-athletes are recognized often for their great academic work and athletic prowess. In Fall 2014, Men’s Soccer went all the way to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Final Four.

Academic Programs

UMBC offers 54 majors and 32 minors, as well as 23 certificate programs spanning the arts, engineering and information technology, humanities, sciences, pre-professional studies, and social sciences.

UMBC’s Graduate School offers 40 master’s degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs and 23 graduate certificate programs. Programs are offered in education, engineering, emergency health services, imaging and digital arts, information technology, aging services, life sciences, psychology, public policy, and a host of other fields.

At UMBC, students have the freedom to dig into the world around them as well as the support from professors to follow through with their ideas. UMBC students are curious, hands-on people who aren’t afraid to try new things. The result? Well-rounded students with the confidence to challenge ideas and the skills to change the world.

Some of UMBC students’ most life-changing moments occur beyond campus. Many students discover new cultures and learn about global connectivity through Study Abroad. Others full semesters thinking big thoughts on Capitol Hill. Many students follow their academic passions to URCAD, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, to wow the community and fellow student researchers with their work.

Service Learning

Service-Learning engages students in weekly service with a designated service placement. Through this sustained partnership, students build relationships with whom they serve. This collaboration gives students the opportunity to engage in formal and informal reflections of their service, allowing them to connect their service with their learning. Service-Learning is a connector program for various Shriver Center and UMBC initiatives.

Independent Research

Not only can UMBC students conduct research in any discipline from day one, but they also find supportive faculty and an array of grants and awards to help make their projects successful. In addition to collaborating with professor mentors, students often present their research at URCAD (Undergraduate Research and Achievement Day), and some even contribute to papers published by the faculty. From student-choreographed dance performances and studies of water systems in Kenya to historical profiles and innovations in engineering, students become fully engaged in interdisciplinary, hands-on research as early as their freshman year.

Study Abroad

Some of UMBC’s students’ most life-changing moments occur beyond UMBC’s main campus in countries around the world. UMBC offers a wealth of opportunities to learn and serve abroad, and most students can even use their federal financial aid, institutional aid and scholarships, or state scholarships to fund study across the globe.


Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Opera X
Pep band X
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra X
Television station  

UMBC’s professors are dedicated and smart—but their value goes far beyond their credentials. Students of all types truly connect with UMBC professors who both challenge and inspire them.

UMBC excels in bringing students in touch with faculty who are doing outstanding research and creative work.

Inclusive Excellence

Driven by a commitment to inclusive excellence, UMBC is a national leader in developing successful, innovative models to prepare tomorrow’s professionals in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). The university develops new approaches, leveraging proven elements of its existing programs, including supportive peer networks, applied learning and internship placements, rigorous undergraduate research preparation, and living/learning communities.

  • UMBC is the nation’s #1 producer of African American undergraduates who go on to complete M.D./Ph.D. programs. UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program—the “gold standard” for increasing the number of underrepresented students earning STEM Ph.D.s—is being adapted at UNC-Chapel Hill and Penn State with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  • The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) is a national model for increasing the representation of women in engineering and information technology. This successful program offers mentoring from faculty and professionals working in the field, internship opportunities at major companies, and academic and financial support. The program also conducts programs in Baltimore-area schools to increase girls’ interest in technical careers.

Professional Facilities

With its new, state-of-the-art facilities and venues, the award-winning Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB) welcomes people throughout greater Baltimore and the region to participate in UMBC’s vibrant cultural life. The Proscenium Theatre and Black Box Theatre feature productions by UMBC’s award-winning theatre department—one of the most frequently invited college theatre programs to perform at the Kennedy Center. Other PAHB venues hosting dozens of lectures and performances annually include the visually striking and acoustically outstanding Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall. The PAHB is also home to the James T. and Virginia R. Dresher Center, which hosts the Humanities Forum to inspire the community with a series of talks by nationally known experts in philosophy, history, culture, language, literature, and the arts.

These pioneering group labs are also inspiring new ways of learning across campus. For instance, the Retriever Learning Center, located in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, is a 24/7, 21st-century learning environment that offers space for both individual and group learning. The center is student-driven, created in response to students seeking a 24-hour study space.


Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 186 283 330 184 144 120 57 1304

Getting Involved

UMBC’s friendly and energetic campus is home to nearly 4,000 students. Students enjoy living with direct access to the faculty, facilities, activities, and other services on campus, including a shuttle to downtown Baltimore. UMBC offers more than 250 student organizations, ranging from kinetic sculpture and a cappella to groups that are centered on social, cultural, and academic interests.

Opportunities abound for students to get involved on and off campus, from department forums and speakers to arts and culture performances, volunteer outings, celebrations of student research, and pick-up games on the Quad.

Student organizations are created and run by current UMBC students, offering a wide array of opportunities for everyone to get involved in what they’re most interested in. These organizations are not only fun, but they also enhance the educational experience as a whole, offering a forum for leadership development, critical reflection, and civic engagement. Joining a student organization will broadens perspectives, open opportunities, and deepen their connections with the interests and issues important to them.

Living Learning Communities

UMBC hosts nine Living Learning Communities, special residential halls where students with varying interests can participate in academic and extracurricular programming specially designed for them. Living learning programs, housed within the residential community, are sponsored by academic departments and programs.

  • Center for Women in Technology (CWIT)
  • Discovery Scholars
  • Honors College
  • Humanities
  • Intercultural Living Exchange (ILE)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS)
  • Shriver – Service Learning
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WIL)

Service to the Community

UMBC’s BreakingGround initiative encourages and supports students to make practical, innovative contributions to the common good. The “Stories of Deindustrialization” radio series and “Mapping Baybrook” website grew from several courses that examined deindustrialization’s impact on the relations between people, place, and community. Students learned about the value of supporting communities’ own efforts to share their experiences by partnering with former Sparrows Point steelworkers and Baybrook community members to document local cultural heritage.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students X
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options X


Other: Gender-Inclusive Housing

UMBC has built a reputation as a university that prepares its students well for the working world or graduate school. That comes not only from its strong academics and career services, but UMBC’s proximity to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., as well as relationships with alumni and business partners in the region. UMBC’s students and graduates are interning and working at great places, including Google, T. Rowe Price, the Maryland Historical Society, the Smithsonian, Redbeacon (Silicon Valley), the Baltimore Sun, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and many other impressive places.


Nestled between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, UMBC provides easy access to an array of internships. UMBC students frequently intern locally at the Smithsonian, T. Rowe Price, Northrop Grumman, the Maryland Historical Society, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baltimore County School System, and Everyman Theatre. UMBC also has its very own on-campus research park, offering numerous internship and work opportunities in a variety of fields.


Admissions Fall 2016

10,812 Total Applicants 
6,144 Total Admissions 
1,518 Total Freshmen Enrollment

56.83% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Feb 1
Priority date: Nov 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay

Class rank

Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Volunteer work
Work experience

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 550 650
SAT Math 570 670
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 24 29
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    




Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $11,264 $24,492
Fees $125 $125
Total $11,389 $24,617
Room and Board (on campus) $11,568 $11,568
Estimated Total On Campus $22,957 $36,185


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 ESTIMATED

$10,402 First year students
$8,415 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 ESTIMATED

54% on average, the percentage of need that was met
11% of financial need students that had need fully met

$8,415 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,256 Average need-based loan

Scholars Programs

UMBC is especially known for seven named scholars programs—the Center for Women in Technology Scholars, Cyber Scholars, Humanities Scholars, Linehan Artist Scholars, Meyerhoff Scholars, Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars, and Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars. These competitive programs combine financial awards with special opportunities for advanced research, specialized seminars, internships, study abroad and more. Scholars define their future through innovative approaches to study, and unique relationships with faculty and mentors. To learn more about scholarships and financial aid, please visit

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