UMBC is a dynamic public research university integrating teaching, research, and service to benefit the citizens of Maryland. As an honors university, the campus offers academically talented students a strong undergraduate liberal arts foundation that prepares them for graduate and professional study, entry into the workforce, and community service and leadership. UMBC emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services, and public policy at the graduate level. UMBC contributes to the economic development of the state and the region through entrepreneurial initiatives, workforce training, K-16 partnerships, and technology commercialization in collaboration with public agencies and the corporate community. UMBC is dedicated to cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility, and lifelong learning.
The UMBC community redefines excellence in higher education through an inclusive culture that connects innovative teaching and learning, research across disciplines, and civic engagement. UMBC advances knowledge, economic prosperity, and social justice by welcoming and inspiring inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.
In 1963 the Maryland State Legislature passed a bill to establish four additional campuses of the University of Maryland. The Board of Regents approved the location of UMBC on what was a 425 acre tract of land previously operated by Spring Grove State Hospital and anticipated opening in 1966.
On September 19, 1966 UMBC opened with 750 students attending. The Chesapeake Bay retriever was also chosen as the official mascot. UMBC saw quick growth, boasting an enrollment of 1400 students in 1967.
The first graduating class of 241 students walked across the stage on June 7,1970. Graduate work soon began on the Catonsville campus, with the establishment of master’s degree programs as well as the first Ph.D. program.
The 1980s marked growth among campus academic and residential buildings. Another milestone of the 1980s is the establishment of UMBC’s Honors College.
In 1993, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski became UMBC’s fifth president, and ushered in the rebranding of UMBC as “an honors university in Maryland.”
UMBC continued its path of growth in the 2000s through the designation of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. The College of Engineering and Information Technology followed soon after, creating the current college structure.
In 2022, Dr. Valerie Sheares Ashby became UMBC’s sixth president and first female president.
UMBC continues to make its mark on the local, national, and international education field and was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a best public university and most innovative school for 2022.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Period of Accreditation: Member since 1966
Last Reaffirmed: March 2, 2017
Next Evaluation Visit: 2025-2026
UMBC is authorized by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the State Licensing Authority, to confer degrees.
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 North Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Fax: (410) 332-0270
Telephone: (410) 260-4500
Specialized Accreditation by Program
Several of UMBC’s programs have gained specialized accreditation as noted below:
Accredited Programs at UMBC and Period of Accreditation:
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: 2000 - Present
- Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering: 1986 - Present
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering: 1999 - Present
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering: 1986 - Present
- Next Review: 2023-2024
American Chemical Society
- Period of Approval: April 1975 - Present
- Approved Programs at UMBC: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
- Next Periodic Report: 2026
American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
- Period of Accreditation: 1990 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology
- Next Review: 2027
Association for Behavior Analysis International
- Period of Accreditation: 2003 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Applied Behavior Analysis Track in Master of Arts in Human Services Psychology
- Next Review: 2025
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
- Period of Accreditation: May 1993 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic
- Next Review: TBD
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Period of Accreditation: March 1999 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Full program listing available at CAEP
- Next Review: Fall 2026
Council on Social Work Education
- Period of Accreditation: 1974 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
- Next Review: 2024
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
- Period of Accreditation: April 2013 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Advanced Life Support (ALS) Education Program
- Next Review: 2023
Maryland State Department of Education
- Period of Accreditation: Period of accreditation varies by program
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Full program listing available at MSDE
- Next Review: TBD
National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation
- Period of Accreditation: September 2012 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Bachelor of Arts in Dance (Education Certification, General)
- Next Review: 2023-2024
National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
- Period of Accreditation: November 2013 - Present
- Accredited Programs at UMBC: Bachelor of Arts in Composition, Jazz Studies, Music Education, Music Technology, and Performance
- Next Review: 2028-2029