Why You Should Apply to 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.
- Take Advantage of On-Campus Resources
- Get Access to Opportunities for Involvement
- Create Personal Connections
Take Advantage of On-Campus Resources
The University of Maryland has some phenomenal faculty – being so close to DC really attracts some of the best and brightest minds around. Faculty members include Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates and members of National Academies. They are frequently quoted in research as experts in their field – and they definitely know what they’re talking about as they’re lecturing at UMD.
Not only does the school prioritize having great faculty, but they ensure all of the students have access to the professors. Although the University of Maryland is a large institution with 30,000 graduate students, they still value small class sizes, with an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
About two thirds of UMD’s classes are actually 30 students or fewer, and about 40% are 20 students or fewer. While there are the larger lecture halls that you might be thinking about when it comes to college, less than 10% of classes actually have over a hundred students. And in those larger classes, all of the lectures will break down into smaller groups for you to meet with throughout the week to engage in discussion, ask questions, talk to your peers, and get to know your professor a little bit better.
Up-to-Date Research Facilities
On campus, there are a ton of resources for our students to use. Having up-to-date learning and research facilities is paramount to student success, not just in your undergraduate career, but in preparing for post-undergraduate life.
For example, the school has a wind tunnel that can simulate up to Category 3 hurricane wind speeds. There is also a neutral buoyancy pool that can simulate zero gravity.
Get Access to Opportunities for Involvement
Internship and Experiential Learning
As much as being in the classroom is important, the University of Maryland also understands that not all of the best learning happens in the classroom, and education should definitely extend past it whenever relevant.
The school makes sure that its students are exposed to research and internship opportunities. UMD’s President, Darryll J. Pines, is committed to having students who are interested in doing research as the school is an R1 institution. R1 is not affiliated with any one specific program or organization but it does mean there is a high level of student research happening on campus.
Similarly, there are plenty of internships available on campus, as well as off-campus opportunities with faculty in the close and accessible Washington DC and Baltimore city areas.
The school also encourages students to go abroad, with over 400 relevant programs. These programs range from short-term during the winter or summer, to slightly longer-term such as a semester, or even year-round, depending on what you’re looking for. There is also the Office of Community Engagement and Service, which connects students with service opportunities in the community.
Living and Learning Communities
UMD is nationally-recognized for its Living and Learning programs, which students have access to if they apply by the early action deadline. Though it does not guarantee that you will be invited to a living and learning program, if you submit your application by the November 1st early action deadline, you’ll automatically be considered for an invitation to one of them.
For instance, one of the communities is the Honors Program. The honors program allows students to start taking honors courses. They are able to choose one of eight different programs available to them based on their academic interests.
There is also College Park Scholars, which is one of the most innovative Living and Learning programs in the country. Scholars has 12 programs for students to choose from, relating to media and society, government and politics, and technology. There are also academically-focused ones, such as CIVICUS for students who are interested in civil engagement and BioFire, for scholars who are interested in the biological sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, and neuroscience. Although they might not be directly tied to your major of interest or field of interest, there’s definitely something for everyone there.
Create Personal Connections
The faculty and students at UMD are very diverse – 47% of the undergraduate population identifies as students of color. There is also a very large Jewish presence on campus, and over 4,000 international students representing over 110 different countries. Thus, plenty of diverse perspectives come together on campus.
This ties into both outside-of-the classroom learning, and bleeds into the classroom. The school is committed to providing its students with a variety of different perspectives, many of which may differ from their own to broaden the lens through which they are tackling different questions.
Though the school does not have pre-professional majors, there is pre-professional support in the form of advising. So whether you are pre-med, pre-law, or interested in those professional programs, you’d be able to pick any major of your choice and still receive pre-professional advising on the side to make sure that you get the necessary courses in an appropriate timeline, in order to have the relevant prerequisites under your belt by the time you graduate. Not only do they help with preparing for those graduate school programs, but also with finding a graduate school to attend.
If you are struggling with choosing one or finding research and internships, UMD’s Career Center also does a very great job of connecting its students to different opportunities. One such example of this is a newsletter students can sign up for that delivers co-op opportunities on a weekly basis directly to your inbox.
Post-Graduate Alumni Community
One of the really wonderful things about the University of Maryland is that you’ll come to campus and get into a community, meeting friends and connecting with your professors. But current students can also reach out to alumni through the Alumni Association to network with graduates. They can learn how to move forward in getting to where they want to go. Some notable and alumni include Sarah Gay, the co-founder of Google, and Kevin Plank, the founder and former CEO of Under Armour.
After graduating from UMD, you become one of nearly 400,000 Terps (the term for UMD students, crafted after the diamondback terrapin turtle) living around the world. So wherever you go, whatever you do, you will have a support network to tap into.