The University of Maryland College Park began in 1856 when the Maryland Agricultural College was chartered. In 1859, the college opened and a formal dedication was held with Joseph Henry, the head of the Smithsonian Institution, as the guest speaker. In 1864, the Maryland legislature designated the Maryland Agricultural College as the land grant institution for the state.
Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, the college struggled with finances, debt, student enrollment and graduation rates, and overall leadership. Eventually the state of Maryland took over the college completely in 1916, changing the name to the Maryland State College of Agriculture. Women were first admitted to the college in 1916, as well. The University of Maryland was established in 1920 when the College Park and Baltimore campuses were linked.
Today, the University of Maryland College Park is one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities, serving more than 37,000 students. It is ranked 21st among public universities by U.S. News & World Report and 14th by Forbes Magazine. The Institute of Higher Education, which ranks the top universities based on research, ranks Maryland 38th in the world.
University of Maryland College Park Accreditation Details
The University of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Accreditation ensures that an institute of higher learning has met specific criteria that indicates they are meeting the highest standards. In addition to university accreditation, specific programs at the college are accredited by the following organizations:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
- Accrediting Council on Education on Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
- American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- American Library Association (ALA)
- American Psychological Association, Committee on Accreditation
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
- American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Council on Rehabilitation Education
- Institute of Food Technologists
- Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB)
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
- National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
- National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- Planning Accreditation Board
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
University of Maryland College Park Application Process
Freshmen entering the University of Maryland College Park must complete an online application and pay a non-refundable fee. Students must provide two letters of recommendation and an official high school transcript. Students must also provide official ACT or SAT scores and provide a resume showing any activities or awards the student has received. Transfer students must submit official copies of college transcripts from any college or university attended. Students who have earned less than 30 semester or 45 quarter hours must also provide high school transcripts.
Graduate students must have a 3.0 grade point average in all undergraduate work and must have already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Students must provide letters of recommendation and submit official GMAT or GRE scores. Students must provide a statement of their career objectives and the relationship to their chosen program of study. Some programs may require additional material in order to apply for graduate study.
University of Maryland College Park Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate tuition at the University of Maryland College Park is $8,152 for residents and $29,300 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $602 per credit hour for Maryland residents and $1,298 per credit hour for non-residents.
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work study. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition, Maryland resident should apply for Maryland Financial Aid as there are additional scholarships and grants available to residents of Maryland that may not be available to residents of other states.
All financial aid awards are based on cost of attendance and the ability of the student’s family to pay. The amount families are expected to pay is normally generated through the FAFSA. Special financial circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Financial Aid Office.
University of Maryland College Park Student Experience
With 90 undergraduate majors and more than 50 graduate majors offered at the college, students are sure to find a degree program that best meets their career objectives. Undergraduate programs include innovative options such as Film Studies, Japanese and World Language Education. Graduate programs include Agriculture and Resource Economics, as well as Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Student life on the campus of the University of Maryland College Park is unique. Students celebrate many traditions such as rubbing Testudo’s nose for good luck and jumping into the ODK fountain. With easy access to Metro transportation, students can pursue internships in Washington, DC while taking classes from award-winning professors. Just a short subway ride takes students to downtown Washington DC where they can visit the world’s best museums, attend concerts that range from nationally recognized pop starts to classic symphony orchestras.
There are over 800 student organizations on campus that help students develop leadership skills, learn social responsibility and increase multicultural competence. Students may participate in student government or join a number of fraternities or sororities.
Sports is a huge part of the campus experience with both men and women’s sports teams taking top honors in national contests. From football to women’s basketball to golf, there is a sport for almost anyone who wants to demonstrate their athletic ability. The new Cole Field House has been called the most technologically advanced and innovative training facility in intercollegiate athletics.
Despite humble beginnings and struggles in its history to remain a highly respected institute of higher learning, the University of Maryland College Park has grown into a world-renowned research facility that provides outstanding education to all students who attend. In addition to the excellent academics, the campus also offers access to an area rich with cultural and entertaining options to enhance a student’s learning experience both on campus and off.