How Majors Work at University of Maryland
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Alexander Oddo in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Tools for Undecided Majors
The University of Maryland has 12 academic schools that offer over 100 majors and 80 minors. Even if you enter as an undecided major, there is a 13th academic school that helps you navigate choosing a major. Whether you are ready to declare or have no idea what major you’re interested in, there is an advising house just for you.
You will be placed with an advisor starting the first semester of your freshman year. This advisor will help you get into those introductory classes so that you can make an informed decision when you’re ready to.
You don’t have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year, but these advisors are there to ensure you aren’t making a blind decision.
Limited Enrollment Programs
Limited enrollment programs consist of programs with the most popular major. They are reviewed every 5 to 10 years and can be tricky to navigate at first. Because they’re the most popular programs, there are more incoming freshmen interested in these majors than there are spaces available. If as a freshman you are not admitted to the program of your choice, don’t worry. These programs aren’t the same as majors.
Let’s say you are admitted to the University of Maryland as a computer science major in the limited enrollment programs; then congratulations, you don’t need to apply to any program. However, if you are admitted as a computer science major and not admitted to the limited enrollment program, then you will need to apply in your sophomore year. This process is known as an internal transfer and is very common. There are many advisors at the University of Maryland that will help you navigate this process.
For each limited enrollment program, there will be an information session before the application process. In these sessions, they will go over the necessary qualifications to be admitted into their program. These qualifications vary depending on which program you are applying to, but they commonly consist of a minimum grade point average and a list of pre-requisite courses. If you’ve never heard of pre-requisite courses don’t worry, they will be explained to you by your university. Pre-requisite courses are classes you need to have taken before you can take more advanced classes.
Communicating with Your College Advisor
Your biggest resource when it comes to understanding the majors and programs available at your school is through your college advisor. Every college student at the University of Maryland will have an advisor that can guide you through the enrollment structure.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to clearly communicate to your advisor your goals. If you have a minor you are interested in or need help understanding how to switch your major, your advisor is the person that will help you. Advisors can even help you with the study abroad process.
Keep in mind that these advisors aren’t mind readers though, so if there is an area of the college that interests you, then tell them. The University of Maryland places a lot of importance on helping their students throughout their college careers, and these advisors are how they do that.