The University of Maryland University College (UMUC), in Adelphi, Maryland is the largest public university in the state. The university was founded in 1947 as the College of Special and Continuation Studies.
Known particularly for providing education to service members and their families, UMUC is one of the largest and best-known universities for distance education in the world. UMUC offers classes on more than 130 military installations worldwide, including classroom courses for deployed service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recognition with their work with service members, UMUC won the Institution Award from the Council of College and Military Educators in 2011. Today, more than 90,000 students worldwide are enrolled at UMUC at any given time.
Although UMUC has historically been based in College Park and has a mailing address in Adelphi, the main campus is actually located in Largo, Maryland. There are numerous satellite campuses, including 21 in the urban corridor of Baltimore/Maryland. There are also satellite campuses in Florida, California, Georgia, Hawaii, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.
Campuses throughout Asia include 8 in central Japan, 9 in Okinawa, 2 in Singapore, 2 in Thailand, 15 in South Korea, 2 in Guam, and one in Australia. Campuses throughout Europe include 3 in Belgium, 24 in Germany, one in Greece, 7 in Italy, 2 in The Netherlands, 2 in Portugal, one in Spain, 2 in Turkey, and 5 in the United Kingdom. Campuses in the Middle East include 7 in Afghanistan, one in Bahrain, one in Dijibouti, 2 in Egypt, 3 in Iraq, one in Kosovo, 5 in Kuwait, and 2 in Qatar.
UMUC moved their address to Adelphi in large part to avoid confusion between themselves and University of Maryland College Park, which is a separate and distinct public university in Maryland. That said, in many ways the two universities have a symbiotic relationship with complementary strengths and complementary groups of prospective students.
The School of Undergraduate Studies offers 48 certificates and 32 bachelor’s degrees, while the Graduate School of Management and Technology offer 38 graduate certificates, 18 master’s degrees, and a Doctor of Management. The student to faculty ratio is a highly respectable 19:1.
Students in business, management, marketing, and related support services account for roughly 40% of the majors at UMUC About another 20% of students major in computer and information sciences and support services. Very few UMUC students focus on the humanities.
Online Degrees and Certificates
There are more than 25 degree programs and 30 certificates that can be earned online. Here’s a brief review of the many programs open to UMUC students around the world.
Certificates are available in: Accounting Foundations; Computer Studies; Foreign Language for Arabic and the Middle East, German, Italian, and Spanish; Management; Mathematics; and Women’s Studies.
Online associate’s degrees are available in: Accounting; Business and Management; Foreign Language for Arabic and the Middle East, German, Italian, and Spanish; General Curriculum (for students who will definitely be transferring to a 4 year program); Management Studies, Mathematics; and Women’s Studies.
Online bachelor’s degrees are available in Accounting; Anthropology; Art History and Appreciation; Business Administration; Communication Studies; Computer and Information Science; Computer Studies; Criminal Justice; Cybersecurity; Economics; English; Foreign Language Studies in Arabic and the Middle East, German, Italian, and Spanish; General and Comparative Literature; General Studies; History; Human Resource Management; Humanities; Information Systems Management; Management Studies; Marketing; Mathematics; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Social Science; and Sociology. Several minors are additionally available for students who wish to focus on more than one field at a time.
The graduate management program offers online master’s degrees in: Accounting, Acquisition and Supply Chain Management, Criminal Justice Management, Emergency Management, Financial Management, Health Care Administration, Homeland Security Management, Human Resource Management, Information Systems and Services, Intelligence Management, Marketing, Nonprofit and Association Management, Project Management, and Public Relations. The program also offers dual degrees in Business Administration and Distance Education.
The library services offered by UMUC are as unique as their classroom options. The library maintains branches in the Maryland area in the cities of Largo, College Park, Adelphi, Dorsey Station, and Waldorf. There are also branch locations in several of the classroom locations in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
For distance education students, the library organizes ebook collections on their website, including but not limited to NetLibrary, Books 24×7, Safari Books Online, Access Science, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Art Online, Oxford Reference Online Premium, Political Handbook of the World, PsycBOOKS, SAGE Reference Online Collections, Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, and the World Almanac. In addition to all these resources, the library maintains its own research database with specialized libraries for business, education, environment, nursing, political science, and sociology.
Most Popular Fields of Study
UMUC strives to provide higher education to any person who wishes to study. Undergraduate applicants must have graduated from high school or earned a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED). If the student has already completed any college work for which they wish to receive credit, they should submit an official transcript indicating a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher. No test score are required. There is a modest and non-refundable fee due with the application. Although admissions are open they are also rolling, which means the earlier you apply, the better—latecomers may find themselves having to wait an extra semester to start.
Students taking online classes need an internet connection, a web browser, an email account, a sound card with speakers or headphones, Sun Java VM (available free from UMUC), and up-to-date virus protection software in order to register for classes.
In addition to the usual options for federal and state financial aid that are available to any student, UMUC offers several of their own scholarships, including several that are targeted at distance learners and military personnel. Nearly 60% of full-time students receive financial aid.
Student Financial Aid Details
UMUC is very unusual in that there is, essentially, no student life and hardly any campus. The main campus is more administration than classroom buildings; there are no dormitories, no eating establishments, and no athletics. There are no fraternities or sororities. The school serves people who wish to receive a college or graduate education while fulfilling other commitments, such as military service, civilian work, and family responsibilities. Over 90% of students are employed full-time, with the majority of them in the military. Roughly 75% of undergraduate students attend part time.
Although there are very few student organizations, there is a small student government. The Student Advisory Council (STAC) is comprised of 12 student representatives who act in an advisory capacity to the administration of the university. STAC representatives must be undergraduates who plan to be enrolled at UMUC for at least two years after their election and have no violations of the Code of Civility of the Code of Student Conduct.
Services for Students
UUMC offers a wide range of student services, including career services, computing resources, military student resources, mentorship, tutoring, writing guidance, and proctored exams.
Online students use Web Tycho for online learning. Technical support for WebTycho and any other software support questions related to online learning can be answered by UMUC 360 Support, a service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
UMUC also provides note-taking services, reader services, tape records, tutors, and other services as needed for students with disabilities. Students seeking disability services will need to register for services four to six weeks before beginning classes with documentation such as medical or psychological reports and diagnoses and any relevant aptitude and achievement evaluations and results.
Arts and Culture
The one outstanding cultural aspect of UMUC is the arts collections which are on rotating display at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center in Adelphi. The two Maryland Artist Collections, The Art of China, and the Japanese Art Collection are all very well reviewed and respected in the art world. Student art shows are regularly available for online viewing.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Notable UMUC alumni include Associate Dean at Michigan State University Rhonda Buckley, appointee to the Maryland Higher Education Commission Emmet Paige, CEO of Constellation Energy Robert Hastings, Inspector General for the CIA David B. Buckley, Chief of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, former Maryland state senator Robert R. Neall, Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States Vivek Kundra, Maryland state senator James N. Robey, former United States attorney for Maryland Joseph Tydings, author Stepen Moore, NFL football player Ray Lewis, and Meramec Community College president George Wasson.
Well-known faculty at UMUC include senior fellow at the AASCU Betsy Boze, composer David Gaines, Judge Donald L. Graham, executive director of the Center for Women’s Business Research Sharon G. Hadary, composer Christopher Yavelow, author Kalani Kirk Hausman, author Donna Leon, and Chief Information Officer of the United States Senate J. Greg Hanson.
Art. University of Maryland University College. Web. 24 Apr. 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Undergraduate Index. University of Maryland University College. Web. 24 Apr. 2011.