Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Opportunities

UMBC provides the resources of a larger university with the access of a smaller one. Study abroad, internships, co-op experiences, service-learning, undergraduate research, and accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs are all within reach.

The Shriver Center

The Shriver Center, named in tribute to the vision and life’s work of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver, works in partnership with faculty, students, and community-based organizations to move us towards racial equity and social justice by bridging campus and community through engaged scholarship and applied learning. Placements through the Shriver Center combine community-based activity with coursework that allows students to reflect on their experiences and, in many cases, to earn credit towards their degrees. Programs are available for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the public sector, the non-profit sector, PreK-12 settings, and community-based organizations. Please see below for information about specific programs.

Public Service Scholars Programs

Through the Shriver Center’s Public Service Scholars programs, undergraduate and graduate students from across Maryland integrate classroom study with professional experience in public and nonprofit sectors.

These scholars programs offer competitive internships for students with a 3.00 GPA or above. Students compete locally or nationally for top-level placements that are paid. Scholars programs include the Governor’s Summer Internship Program, which places students with the heads of Maryland state agencies or in the Governor’s Office, the Maryland Department of Transportation Fellows Program, the Walter Sondheim Jr. Nonprofit Leadership Program, and the Walter Sondheim Jr. Public Service Law Fellows Program.

Service-Learning and Community Engagement Programs

The Shriver Center leads more than 1,000 service-learning and community engagement placements annually for undergraduate and graduate students, which are designed to address social problems and foster community-based engagement. In coordinating placements, the Shriver Center links service experiences to students’ academic interests, allowing them to advance their personal and professional goals while earning credit. Students who participate in service-learning and community engagement programs are involved in academic course work that includes critical reflection upon their service experiences.

Service-learning and community engagement placements allow undergraduate students to provide direct service and capacity building to non-profit organizations and local K-12 schools. Students can choose to serve in the center’s Choice Program or in one of dozens of settings. For example, students tutor Baltimore youth and adults in community-based programs or work in projects such as the College Gardens After-school Program, the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), and the Multiple Sclerosis YMCA Aquatics Program.

The Shriver Peaceworker Program, a graduate-level service-learning program, invites returned Peace Corps volunteers to participate in a rigorous, two-year program integrating three key components: community service, graduate study, and ethical reflection. Peaceworkers focus their community service and graduate study in a variety of areas of social concern, including: juvenile justice, education, health, and economic and community development. The program’s goal is to educate and train a new generation of citizens and leaders who can critically, creatively, and responsibly address the complex economic, social, and cultural problems confronting the United States, particularly its cities, today.

K-16 Outreach Initiatives

The Shriver Center is involved in a variety of sustained partnerships with PreK-12 public schools that address important unmet needs in the community. The Center connects faculty and students to elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the region to support a wide range of initiatives. These programs have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), local foundations, and corporate partners to provide stipends for students. UMBC undergraduate and graduate students have worked in classrooms supporting high school science teachers in Montgomery County, have trained teachers in elementary schools in Baltimore City on the use of Smart Board technology, and have tutored and mentored PreK-12 students through a number of other partnerships with schools throughout the state.

The Choice Program

For more than 30 years, the Choice Program at UMBC has been strengthening communities through innovative, family-focused strategies that connect youth to opportunities for positive choices. Program goals include reducing recidivism and the out-of-home placements of youth, strengthening youth and family ties to their communities through education and employment, promoting community safety, and fostering the healthy development and resilience amongst youth and families faced with adverse individual and environmental challenges. To achieve these goals, the Choice Program cultivates the leadership, community and civic engagement, and advocacy skills of AmeriCorps members, who partner with the youth and families they serve each year to become change agents in their communities. Through this cascading model of mentorship, members play an integral role in the communities they serve. As a member of the AmeriCorps network, Choice staff receive an education award upon successful completion of their year of service.

UMBC students partner with Choice AmeriCorps members through direct engagement as tutors, mentors, and project partners. The Choice Program welcomes students of all majors to join the Choice team of AmeriCorps members following their graduation from UMBC. Additionally, Choice has engaged with graduate students from a variety of majors in research, training development, internships and other special projects.

This program is supported by Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services, local management boards, local and federal government agencies, private foundations, and the private sector.

Further information on Shriver Center programs is available by visiting the Shriver Center website, calling 410-455-2493 or 410-455-2494, or visiting the Shriver Center. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Public Policy Building.

Short-Term Community Service Programs

Campus Life helps students connect with community service opportunities on and off campus. Service programs supported by Campus Life include Alternative School Break trips, campus blood drives, National Volunteer Week, and various one-day volunteer placements. Campus Life also helps students develop new service opportunities. More information is available by calling 410-455-3462 or visiting the Campus Life website.

Center for Democracy and Civic Life

The Center for Democracy and Civic Life supports students in developing the knowledge, skills, and confidence to create healthy communities and tackle challenges together. The Center hosts guided conversation and reflection programs connecting students, faculty, staff, and alumni throughout the year, including the Civic Courage Journaling Project (personal story-sharing with civic implications); Dinners with Friends (addressing issues affecting the UMBC community); Change Makers Dinners (opportunities to meet with local leaders addressing issues like food justice and voting rights), Changing Maryland (dialogues with public officials); and Together Beyond (conversations about crisis moments in our national life). Center-led courses and workshops help students explore the contributions they want to make to their communities and identify paths to fulfilling their hopes.

The Center hosts two special immersive programs for students who want to prepare and position themselves for campus and community civic leadership. At STRiVE, a five-day program during winter break, participants develop friendships; discover their strengths and values; learn how to work more effectively in groups; envision contributions they could make at UMBC; engage issues relating to identity, privilege, and systemic oppression; and tackle both simulated and real leadership and social change challenges. At Alternative Spring Break (ASB), a six-day program during spring break, participants team up to explore issues and opportunities for social change in the Baltimore region (e.g., health equity, disability justice) by meeting with community partners and envisioning paths to sustained engagement. Learn more on the Center’s website and myUMBC group.

Career Center

The UMBC Career Center aims to empower all students and graduates to create their own success stories. The Center works with students at every academic level, from first-year students to graduate students.

The Career Center provides both in-person and online services to help students explore career options, engage in applied learning (internships, co-ops, and research), develop effective job-search strategies, plan for graduate or professional school, and meet potential employers.

The team offers individual career counseling and hosts a wide variety of professional skill-building workshops. The Center also organizes regular career fairs and employer events for students seeking internships and full-time or part-time employment. Students should use Handshake (UMBC’s online job database) to look for full-time jobs, part-time jobs, internships/co-ops, and research opportunities.

Undergraduate and graduate students at all levels are encouraged to take advantage of the Career Center’s programs and begin building their professional skills and networks.

Further information, including extensive online resources and information about how the Career Center can help students prepare for the future, is available on the Career Center website. Students may also call 410-455-2216 or visit the Career Center in the Math/Psychology Building room 201. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary by a group of students dedicated to the culture of the intellect for its own sake. Students elected by Eta of Maryland, which is sheltered on the UMBC campus, and its 285 colleague chapters are considered to have given evidence that they share that dedication and show promise of pursuing that intellectual culture for the remainder of their lives. In reviewing potential candidates for election, the chapter seeks to identify those who, because they enjoy the rigor of intellectual challenge and are assuaging an unbounded curiosity, have pursued a broad curriculum of liberal studies well beyond minimal institutional requirements.

Eta of Maryland of Phi Beta Kappa currently uses the following criteria in selecting candidates for election to Membership in Course. It is emphasized that these are only the minimum criteria for consideration for election and that meeting all of these criteria does not guarantee election.

  • 90 credits in liberal studies subjects at a college or university
  • 36 credits at UMBC
  • 3.5 grade point average in liberal studies subjects
  • Completion of General Education Program requirements in language
  • Competence in mathematics through the precalculus level. Students may demonstrate competence in mathematics by completing high school or college courses or by proficiency examination.
  • Completion of at least six courses (18 credits) in a coherently structured program of liberal studies outside a student’s major discipline

Students can contact Dr. Cynthia Hody, 410-455-2193 or hody@umbc.edu.

Education Abroad

The Education Abroad Office is housed in UMBC’s Center for Global Engagement. It works with both undergraduate and graduate students to find academically appropriate, affordable, credit-bearing study abroad programs for any academic major.  Students can participate on short-term programs led by UMBC faculty, giving an international perspective to their degrees. UMBC also offers exchange and study programs with partner universities throughout the world, UMBC students can also take advantage of tuition exchanges around the world, studying at one of our partner institutions throughout Australasia, Africa, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere. 

Federal and state financial aid, as well as UMBC merit scholarships, can be used for most study abroad programs. Both merit- and need-based scholarships are available to support students to fund their international experiences. 

The Education Abroad Office also supports students interested in global study awards, such as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, the Boren Program for Study Abroad, DAAD-Rise for STEM research in Germany, and the Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program for Young Professionals, among others. These global scholarship opportunities offer students the chance to continue their international experiences after graduation. 

Interested students should contact the Center for Global Engagement’s Education Abroad Office, located in 207 University Center. Additional information is also available at the Education Abroad Office’s website.

Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships

UMBC offers many opportunities for undergraduates in every major to gain significant experience with independent creative work, scholarship, and research.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) features research, scholarship, and creative work carried out by UMBC undergraduates. Student work is shared through oral presentations, posters, artistic exhibits, performances, and film.

Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) provide up to $1,500 to undergraduate students to support their research or creative work with a UMBC faculty mentor on an original project. UMBC students of all years and disciplines are invited to apply.

UMBC Review (Journal of Undergraduate Research) Published annually, this peer- reviewed journal features academic papers written by UMBC undergraduates.

Travel Awards Students who are invited to present their work at a conference or festival may apply for funds to support their travel.

Research Opportunities Assistance with finding and applying to summer REUs and other research opportunities.

Prestigious Scholarships Support for students applying for prestigious scholarships such as Rhodes, Gates-Cambridge, Marshall, Truman Goldwater, and others.

Faculty members, professional advisors, graduate students, staff, workshops, and online resources are available to help all students identify appropriate independent creative projects, scholarship, and research experiences. This professional-level experience helps students explore career interests, improve learning, and establish mentors.

Interested students should contact the Undergraduate Research/Prestigious Scholarships Office, located in Sherman Hall - A Wing, Room 114. Additional information is also available at the Undergraduate Research website.

Evening and Special-Sessions Classes

UMBC offers academic courses in the evening and on the weekend, as well as during the day. Often, full-time undergraduates schedule evening classes because they find this to be an excellent way to combine class work and part-time jobs. Additionally, UMBC offers many three- and four-credit courses during summer and winter sessions. These are excellent opportunities for students to get ahead in their degree programs and progress toward graduation.

Summer and Winter Sessions

During summer session, students can catch up, lighten their fall course load, stay on track to graduate, earn credits for the major, or take a class for personal enrichment. Current, visiting, and new students are invited to enroll. Courses from a wide range of academic areas are scheduled in four-, six-, eight- and 12-week sessions. Courses offered include STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), general education requirements, major and minor courses, special topics, study-abroad options, internships and field experiences. Many summer courses are online or in a hybrid delivery format. UMBC summer courses are also offered at The Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD. Courses at the main campus as well as Shady Grove are open to all students and are conveniently scheduled throughout the day and evening.

More information is available by visiting the Summer Session website, emailing summer@umbc.edu, or calling 410-455-2335.

The winter session is a condensed, accelerated semester in January. Current, visiting, and new students can earn up to 4.5 credits in less than four weeks. Courses include pre-requisites, special topics, foreign language courses, general education requirements, major and minor courses, study-abroad options, internships and field experiences. Many hybrid and online courses are also available during winter session.

More information is available by visiting the Winter Session website, emailing winter@umbc.edu, or calling 410-455-2335.

Reserve Officers Training Corps Programs (ROTC)

UMBC students may participate in the Naval and Army ROTC program on campus, as well as Air Force ROTC through other area universities. ROTC programs are elective courses of study that allow full-time college students the opportunity to earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard while pursuing a regular college degree.

Naval ROTC offers scholarship and non-scholarship opportunities to students. Naval Science courses are completed at UMBC. More information by contacting the Naval Science Department at 410-455-1484, emailing nrotc@umbc.edu, or visiting the Naval Science website.

Army ROTC is available on the UMBC campus and is partnered with The Johns Hopkins University Department of Military Science. Scholarships are available. Further information is available by contacting the JHU Department of Military Science at 410-516-7474 or by visiting the Johns Hopkins Army ROTC website.

Air Force Reserve officer training is available at the University of Maryland, College Park. When participating in the four-year program, students attend classes at College Park once a week. Juniors and seniors may complete the two-year program by attending a four-hour weekly session at College Park. More information is available by calling the Office of Air Force Aerospace Studies at UMCP at 301-314-3242.

Imaging Research Center (IRC)

Students have the opportunity to enhance their education by taking part in the visual arts department Visiting Artist Program. Throughout the year, a mix of prominent and emerging artists visit the department to present their work, attend classes, etc. Presentations are open to the public. Past artists include Vito Acconi, Carolee Schneeman, Fred Wilson, and Janine Antoni. The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture exhibits contemporary art by nationally known artists. Students have the opportunity to exhibit their works in an annual exhibition. The Imaging Research Center (IRC) is a state-of-the-art facility combining research, education and professional training in animation and computer visualization. The IRC’s student internship program provides advanced students with opportunities to work on actual 3-D animation projects and develop a portfolio of work. In coordination with the Shriver Center’s cooperative education and internship program, advanced-level visual arts majors may obtain internships at area firms and companies in design and production disciplines related to the student’s field of study. Student Organizations. Filmmakers Anonymous is a student-run group providing an open forum for cinematic arts students, as well as others interested in the field of cinema. Filmmakers Anonymous offers the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and to show work in a critical, yet supportive, environment. American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Baltimore Student Chapter is a student-run organization which fosters a community for graphic design students in the visual arts department. It organizes programs relevant to design and visual communications issues. The Visual Arts Council of Majors (ARTCOM) meets on a regular basis to discuss issues and develop programs relevant to visual arts majors.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Programs

Students interested in pursuing an accelerated bachelor’s master’s degree program should make their intentions known to the appropriate graduate program director. This is usually done early in the junior year, although some programs allow earlier admission. Completion of the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program application form is required at that time. The application form is available from the Student Forms section of the Graduate School website.

An undergraduate may apply to participate in an accelerated program even if the desired graduate program is in a department other than the one in which the student is majoring.

A major advantage of this program is that it enables the student to double count up to nine credits toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If admitted, the student follows a prescribed course of study in which a maximum of nine credits of graduate-level courses may be taken as an undergraduate and counted later toward the master’s degree. They may be enrolled on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Students must apply and be admitted to the Graduate School at least one semester prior to the completion of bachelor’s degree requirements. There will be no retroactive admissions to the program once the student has received the bachelor’s degree. The Graduate School application fee of $50 is waived for students applying to this program.

The bachelor’s degree may be awarded after successful completion of bachelor’s degree requirements (usually at least 120 credits); master’s degree requirements depend upon the individual program, but a minimum of 141 total credits are required for both degrees.

This program is selective. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered, and some programs have more stringent requirements. The Graduate Record Examination usually is waived for applicants in this program; some graduate programs waive other application requirements, as well (e.g., letters of recommendation). If admitted, students must develop with the graduate program director a plan of study for the remainder of their undergraduate career. Students in these accelerated tracks must continue to be in good academic standing throughout the course of their studies.

A student admitted to the program may be allowed to take a break between the bachelor’s and master’s careers, but the graduate courses taken as an undergraduate must be “used” toward the master’s degree within five years.

Once students are admitted to Graduate School and are enrolled, they must complete a Transfer of Credit form to transfer up to nine graduate credits taken as an undergraduate into the master’s program. Note that only the credits are transferred, not the grade received.

No more than one master’s degree may be earned through a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program.

Division of Professional Studies

UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies (DPS) partners with academic departments to offer a broad array of professionally focused master’s degrees, graduate certificates, undergraduate programs, individual courses, and non-degree training programs. The quality, diversity, and flexibility of these education and training programs make it possible for students to pursue their educational goals, whether for professional advancement, personal enrichment, or an academic credential. Building on UMBC’s strengths in cutting-edge research and academic excellence, these programs provide relevant skills, knowledge and credentials that offer students new opportunities and address regional and national workforce shortages in areas of high demand.

  • Professional Master’s Degrees and Post-Baccalaureate Certificates
  • UMBC’s Campus at The Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland
  • Summer and Winter Sessions
  • English Language Institute

DPS partners with UMBC academic programs to develop high-quality graduate programs that are responsive to the needs of working professionals, as well as government and corporate clients. These programs engage top UMBC faculty, industry experts, distinguished professionals, and thought leaders to teach courses and advise students. Courses and training are offered in modern, state-of-the-art learning centers with small classrooms, and leading-edge technology. 

More information is available from the DPS website.

UMBC Training Centers UMBC

UMBC Training Centers offer non-credit certificate programs and industry certifications that develop valuable practical skills and obtain professional certifications to help students begin or advance in their careers. Current UMBC students receive a 50% discount on eligible programs. 

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

UMBC Training Centers offers one of the area’s most highly regarded programs in diagnostic medical sonography. This program is accredited and includes concentrations in cardiac, general, and vascular sonography. It involves classroom instruction and significant hands-on experience in our sonography lab, as well as at hospitals and other clinical sites in the Baltimore region. This program offers a certificate upon completion.

More information is available by calling (443) 692-6588, visiting the UMBC Training Centers website, or emailing info@umbctraining.com.