University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park (University of Maryland, UMD, or simply Maryland) is a public research university in College Park, Maryland.[9] Founded in 1856, UMD is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. It is also the largest university in both the state and the Washington metropolitan area, with more than 41,000 students representing all fifty states and 123 countries, and a global alumni network of over 360,000.[10] Its twelve schools and colleges together offer over 200 degree-granting programs, including 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master's programs, and 83 doctoral programs.[11] UMD is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

University of Maryland, College Park
Former names
Maryland Agricultural College
Maryland State College
Fatti maschii, parole femine (unofficial)[2]
Motto in English
Strong deeds, gentle words
TypeFlagship public
EstablishedMarch 6, 1856 (1856-03-06)
Parent institution
University System of Maryland
Academic affiliations
Fields Institute
Endowment$355.3 million (2018)[3]
PresidentWallace Loh[4]
ProvostMary Ann Rankin
Academic staff
4,610 (Fall 2016)[5]
Administrative staff
5,481 (Fall 2016)[5]
Students41,200 (Fall 2018)
Undergraduates30,762 (Fall 2018)[6]
Postgraduates10,438 (Fall 2018)[6]
Location, ,
United States

38°59′17″N 76°56′41″W
CampusSuburban, 1,340 acres (5.4 km2)[7]
ColorsRed, white, black, gold[8]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig Ten

The University of Maryland's proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in many research partnerships with the federal government;[12] faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security.[13][14] It is classified as a first tier research university by the Carnegie Foundation,[15][16] and is labeled a "Public Ivy", denoting a quality of education comparable to the private Ivy League.[17][18] UMD is ranked among the top 100 universities both nationally and globally by several indices.[19][20][21]

In 2016, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore formalized their strategic partnership after their collaboration successfully created more innovative medical, scientific, and educational programs,[22] as well as greater research grants and joint faculty appointments than either campus has been able to accomplish on its own.[23][24][25] As of 2017, the operating budget of the University of Maryland is approximately $2.1 billion.[26][27] For the 2018 fiscal year, the university received a total of over $545 million in external research funding.[28] In October 2017, the university received a record-breaking donation of $219.5 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, ranking among the largest philanthropic gifts to a public university in the country.[29][30]


Early history

On March 6, 1856, the forerunner of today's University of Maryland was chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College. Two years later, Charles Benedict Calvert (1808–1864), a future U.S. Representative (Congressman) from the sixth congressional district of Maryland, 1861-1863, during the American Civil War and descendant of the first Lord Baltimores, colonial proprietors of the Province of Maryland in 1634, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km2) of the Riversdale Mansion estate nearby today's College Park, Maryland.[31] Later that year, Calvert founded the school and was the acting president from 1859 to 1860.[32] On October 5, 1859, the first 34 students entered the Maryland Agricultural College.[1] The school became a land grant college in February 1864.[1]

Bankruptcy and revival

During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers under Brigadier General Bradley Tyler Johnson moved past the college on July 12, 1864 as part of Jubal Early's raid on Washington, D.C.[33] By the end of the war, financial problems forced the administrators to sell off 200 acres (81 ha) of land, and the continuing decline in enrollment sent the Maryland Agricultural College into bankruptcy. For the next two years the campus was used as a boys preparatory school.[1] Following the Civil War, in February 1866 the Maryland legislature assumed half ownership of the school. The college thus became in part a state institution. By October 1867, the school reopened with 11 students. In the next six years, enrollment grew and the school's debt was paid off. In 1873, Samuel Jones, a former Confederate Major General, became president of the college.

Twenty years later, the federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station was established there. During the same period, state laws granted the college regulatory powers in several areas—including controlling farm disease, inspecting feed, establishing a state weather bureau and geological survey, and housing the board of forestry.[1] Morrill Hall (the oldest instructional building still in use on campus) was built the following year.[1]

The Great Fire of 1912

On November 29, 1912, a fire destroyed the barracks where the students were housed, all the school's records, and most of the academic buildings, leaving only Morrill Hall untouched. There were no injuries or fatalities, and all but two students returned to the university and insisted on classes continuing.[1] Students were housed by families in neighboring towns until housing could be rebuilt, although a new administration building was not built until the 1940s.[1] A large brick and concrete compass inlaid in the ground designates the former center of campus as it existed in 1912.

Modern history

The state took control of the school in 1916, and the institution was renamed Maryland State College. That year, the first female students enrolled at the school. On April 9, 1920, the college became part of the existing University of Maryland, replacing St. John's College, Annapolis as the University's undergraduate campus.[34][35] In the same year, the graduate school on the College Park campus awarded its first PhD degrees and the university's enrollment reached 500 students. In 1925 the university was accredited by the Association of American Universities.[1]

By the time the first black students enrolled at the university in 1951, enrollment had grown to nearly 10,000 students—4,000 of whom were women. Prior to 1951, many black students in Maryland were enrolled at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.[36]

In 1957, President Wilson H. Elkins made a push to increase academic standards at the university. His efforts resulted in the creation of one of the first Academic Probation Plans. The first year the plan went into effect, 1,550 students (18% of the total student body) faced expulsion.

On October 19, 1957, Queen Elizabeth II of England attended her first and only college football game at the University of Maryland after expressing interest in seeing a typical American sport during her first tour of the United States. The Maryland Terrapins beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 21 to 7 in the historical game now referred to as "The Queen's Game".[37]

Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at the university in 1964. In 1969, the university was elected to the Association of American Universities. The school continued to grow, and by the fall of 1985 reached an enrollment of 38,679.[1] Like many colleges during the Vietnam War, the university was the site of student protests and had curfews enforced by the National Guard.[38]

In a massive 1988 restructuring of the state's higher education system, the school was designated as the flagship campus of the newly formed University of Maryland System (later changed to the University System of Maryland in 1997), and was formally named the University of Maryland, College Park. All of the five campuses in the former network were designated as distinct campuses in the new system. However, in 1997 the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the University of Maryland, College Park, to be known simply as the University of Maryland, recognizing the campus' role as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.[39]

The other University System of Maryland institutions with the name "University of Maryland" are not satellite campuses of the University of Maryland, College Park. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees from the "University of Maryland".

21st century

In 2004, the university began constructing the 150-acre (61 ha) "M Square Research Park," which includes facilities affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, and the new National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, affiliated with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[40] In May 2010, ground was broken on a new $128-million, 158,068-square-foot (14,685.0 m2) Physical Science Complex, including an advanced quantum science laboratory.[41]

Wallace Loh became president of the university in 2010.[4]

The university's "Great Expectations" campaign from 2006 to 2012 exceeded $1 billion in private donations.[42]

The university suffered multiple data breaches in 2014. The first resulted in the loss of over 300,000 student and faculty records.[43] A second data breach occurred several months later.[44] The second breach was investigated by the FBI and Secret Service and found to be done by David Helkowski.[45] Despite the attribution, no charges were filed. As a result of the data breaches, the university offered free credit protection for five years to the students and faculty affected.[46]

In 2012, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore united under the MPowering the State initiative to leverage the strengths of both institutions.[47][48][49] The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016 officially formalized this partnership.[22][24][25]

The University of Maryland's University District Plan, developed in 2011 under President Wallace Loh and the College Park City Council, seeks to make the City of College Park a top 20 college town by 2020 by improving housing and development, transportation, public safety, local pre-K–12 education, and supporting sustainability projects.[50] As of 2018, the university is involved with over 30 projects and 1.5 million square feet of development as part of its Greater College Park Initiative, worth over $1 billion in public-private investments.[51] The university's vision is to revitalize the campus to foster a dynamic and innovative academic environment, as well as to collaborate with the surrounding neighborhoods and local government to create a vibrant downtown community for students and faculty alike.[52][53][54]



The University of Maryland offers 127 undergraduate degrees and 112 graduate degrees in thirteen colleges and schools:

Undergraduate education is centered on both a student's chosen academic program and the selection of core coursework to fulfill general education requirements.[55]


The university hosts "living-learning" programs which allow students with similar academic interests to live in the same residential community, take specialized courses, and perform research in those areas of expertise. An example is the Honors College, which is geared towards undergraduate students meeting high academic requirements and consists of several of the university's honors programs. The Honors College welcomes students into a community of faculty and undergraduates. The Honors College offers seven living and learning programs: Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students, Design Cultures and Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Honors Humanities, Gemstone, Integrated Life Sciences, and University Honors.[56]

  • Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), started in 2013, is directed by Michel Cukier and run by faculty and graduate students. ACES students are housed in Prince Frederick Hall and take a 14 credit, two year curriculum that educates future leaders in the field of cybersecurity. ACES also offers a complementary two-year minor in cybersecurity.[57]
  • Design Cultures and Creativity (DCC), started in 2009, is directed by artist Jason Farman and run by faculty and graduate students. The DCC program encourages students to explore the relationship between emerging media, society, and creative practices.[58] DCC students are housed in Prince Frederick residence hall together and take a 16 credit, two year interdisciplinary curriculum which culminates in a capstone.[59]
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) is a living and learning program for Honors College freshmen and sophomores, helping build entrepreneurial mindsets, skill sets, and relationships for the development of solutions to today's problems.[60] Through learning, courses, seminars, workshops, competitions, and volunteerism, students receive an education in entrepreneurship and innovation. In collaboration with faculty and mentors who have launched new ventures, all student teams develop an innovative idea and write a product plan.[61]
  • Honors Humanities is the honors program for beginning undergraduates with interests in the humanities and creative arts. The selective two-year living-learning program combines a small liberal arts college environment with the resources of a large research university.[62]
  • Gemstone is a multidisciplinary four-year research program for select undergraduate honors students of all majors. Under guidance of faculty mentors and Gemstone staff, teams of students design, direct and conduct research, exploring the interdependence of science and technology with society.[63]
  • Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) is the honors program for students interested in all aspects of biological research and biomedicine. The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences has partnered with the Honors College to create the ILS program, which offers nationally recognized innovations in the multidisciplinary training of life science and pre-medical students. The objective of the ILS experience is to prepare students for success in graduate, medical, dental, or other professional schools.[64]
  • University Honors (UH) is the largest living-learning program in the Honors College and allows students the greatest independence in shaping their education. University Honors students are placed into a close-knit community of the university's faculty and other undergraduates, committed to acquiring a broad and balanced education.[65] Students choose from over 130 seminars exploring interdisciplinary topics in three broad areas: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, Arts and Sciences in Today's World, and Using the World as a Classroom.[66]
  • The College Park Scholars programs are two-year living-learning programs for first- and second-year students. Students are selected to enroll in one of 12 thematic programs: Arts; Business, Society, and the Economy; Environment, Technology, and Economy; Global Public Health; International Studies; Life Sciences; Media, Self, and Society; Public Leadership; Science and Global Change; Science, Discovery, and the Universe; Science, Technology, and Society. Students live in dormitories located in the Cambridge Community on North Campus.[67]

The nation's first living-learning entrepreneurship program, Hinman CEOs, is geared toward students who are interested in starting their own business.[68] Students from all academic disciplines live together and are provided the resources to explore business ventures.

The QUEST (Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams) Honors Fellows Program engages undergraduate students from business, engineering, and computer, mathematical, and physical sciences. QUEST Students participate in courses focused on cross-functional collaboration, innovation, quality management, and teamwork.[69] The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) has also been long considered an outstanding engineering division of the university since its inception in 1908.[70]

Other living-learning programs include: CIVICUS, a two-year program in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences based on the five principles of civil society;[71] Global Communities, a program that immerses students in a diverse culture (students from all over the world live in a community),[72] and the Language House,[73] which allows students pursuing language courses to live and practice with other students learning the same language.


The university's faculty has included four Nobel Prize laureates. The earliest recipient, Juan Ramón Jiménez, was a professor of Spanish language and literature and won the 1956 prize for literature. Four decades later, physics professor William Daniel Phillips won the prize in physics for his contributions to laser cooling, a technique to slow the movement of gaseous atoms in 1997. In 2005, professor emeritus of economics and public policy Thomas Schelling was awarded the prize in economics for his contributions to game theory. In 2006, adjunct professor of physics and senior astrophysicist at NASA John C. Mather was awarded the prize in physics alongside George Smoot for their work in the discovery of blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. In addition, two University of Maryland alumni are Nobel Prize laureates; Herbert Hauptman won the 1985 prize in chemistry and Raymond Davis Jr. won the 2002 prize in physics.

The university has many notable academics. Professor of mathematics Sergei Novikov won the Fields Medal in 1970 followed by alumnus Charles Fefferman in 1978. Alumnus George Dantzig won the 1975 National Medal of Science for his work in the field of linear programming. Professor of physics Michael Fisher won the Wolf Prize in 1980 (together with Kenneth G. Wilson and Leo Kadanoff) and the IUPAP Boltzmann Medal in 1983. James A. Yorke, a Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Physics and chair of the Mathematics Department won the 2003 Japan Prize for his work in chaotic systems. In 2013, professor of Physics Sylvester James Gates was awarded the National Medal of Science.[74]


On October 14, 2004, the university added 150 acres (61 ha) in an attempt to create the largest research park inside the Washington, D.C., Capital Beltway, known as "M Square."[75]

The University of Maryland's location near Washington, D.C. has created strong research partnerships with government agencies. Many of the faculty members have funding from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health,[76] NASA,[77] the Department of Homeland Security,[78] the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Security Agency. These relationships have created numerous research opportunities for the university including:

  • taking the lead in the nationwide research initiative into the transmission and prevention of human and avian influenza.[79]
  • creating a new research center to study the behavioral and social foundations of terrorism with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • launching the joint NASA-University of Maryland Deep Impact spacecraft in early January 2005.

The University of Maryland Libraries provide access to scholarly information resources required to meet the missions of the university.

The University of Maryland is an international center for the study of language, hosting the largest community of language scientists in North America, including more than 200 faculty, researchers, and graduate students, who collectively comprise the Maryland Language Science Center under the leadership of Professor Colin Phillips. Since 2008 the university has hosted an NSF-IGERT interdisciplinary graduate training program that has served as a catalyst for broader integrative efforts in language science, with 50 participating students and contributions from 50 faculty. The University of Maryland is also home to two key 'migrator' centers that connect basic research to critical national needs in education and national security: the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) and the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC).

The Center for American Politics and Citizenship provides citizens and policy-makers with research on issues related to the United States' political institutions, processes, and policies. CAPC is a non-partisan, non-profit research institution within the Department of Government and Politics in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

The Space Systems Laboratory researches human-robotic interaction for astronautics applications, and includes the only neutral buoyancy facility at a university.

The Joint Quantum Institute conducts theoretical and experimental research on quantum and atomic physics. The institute was founded in 2006 as a collaboration between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).[80]

The Center for Technology and Systems Management (CTSM) aims to advance the state of technology and systems analysis for the benefit of people and the environment. The focus is on enhancing safety, efficiency and effectiveness by performing reliability, risk, uncertainty or decision analysis studies.

The Joint Global Change Research Institute was formed in 2001 by the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The institute focuses on multidisciplinary approaches of climate change research.

The Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) was formed in 1985 at the University of Maryland. CALCE is dedicated to providing a knowledge and resource base to support the development of electronic components, products and systems.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) launched in 2005 as one of the Centers of Excellence supported by the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. START is focused on the scientific study of the causes and consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world.[81]


Admission to Maryland is rated "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report.[82] The university received 28,301 applications for the Class of 2019 (entering Fall 2015) and admitted 12,637 (44.7%) of applicants; but only 3,937 enrolled, an admissions yield of only 31%. For the Class of 2019, the middle 50% range of SAT scores of the enrolling freshmen was 590–690 for critical reading and 620–730 for math; the average high school grade point average (GPA) was 4.22.[83] Beginning with the 2017-18 admissions cycle, the University of Maryland uses the application provided by The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success,[84] joining over 130 top public and private universities using the platform to streamline the college application process.[85][86] Starting in August 2018, the University of Maryland will waive the college application fee for U.S. military veterans and current service members applying for the 2019-2020 academic year.[87] According to The Washington Post in 2017, the University of Maryland in 2016 was more selective than in recent decades as the general increase in public school applications had helped Maryland then rise in apparent prestige, at the time appearing to be the ninth most selective public flagship university in the nation. Of course, this selectivity prestige was based on number of applicants versus those accepted, but not the quality of applicants.[88]


University rankings
ARWU[89] 29
Forbes[90] 63
Times/WSJ[91] 75
U.S. News & World Report[92] 64
Washington Monthly[93] 45
ARWU[94] 46
QS[95] 136
Times[96] 91
U.S. News & World Report[97] 51

USNWR graduate school rankings[98]

Biological Sciences 62
Business 40
Chemistry 41
Clinical Psychology 31
Computer Science 16
Earth Sciences 28
Economics 21
Education 33
Engineering 22
English 30
Fine Arts 82
History 27
Mathematics 22
Physics 14
Political Science 29
Psychology 39
Public Affairs 25
Public Health 32
Sociology 24

The university is ranked as tied for 64th in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report rankings of "National Universities" across the United States, and it is ranked tied for 24th nationally among public universities.[99] In 2015, Business Insider ranked the University of Maryland #9 in their list of "Smartest Public Colleges in America" for the second year in a row.[100]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Maryland as 43rd in the world in 2015. The 2017–2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Maryland 69th in the world. The 2016/17 QS World University Rankings ranked Maryland 131st in the world.

The university is ranked among Peace Corps' 25 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges for the seventh consecutive year in 2018.[101][102] The University of Maryland is ranked among Teach for America's Top 20 Colleges and Universities contributing the greatest number of graduating seniors to its 2017 teaching corps.[103] Kiplinger's Personal Finance 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2015 ranked the University 9th for in-state students.[104]

For the fourth consecutive year in 2015, the university is ranked 1st in the U.S. for the number of Boren Scholarship recipients – with 9 students receiving awards for intensive international language study.[105] The university is ranked as a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars for the 2017-2018 academic year by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.[106][107]

In 2017, the University of Maryland was ranked among the top 50 universities in the 2018 Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report based on its high academic research performance and global reputation.[108][109]

In 2018, the university was ranked among the top 10 universities in The Princeton Review's annual survey of the Top Schools for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; this was the third consecutive such ranking.[110][111]


The campus of the university is noted for its red-brick Georgian buildings and its large central lawn, named McKeldin Mall and nicknamed "The Mall", which is the largest academic mall in the United States.[112][113] White columns decorate many buildings, with around 770 columns existing on campus.[114] Spanning the university's 1,250 acres (5.1 km2) are 7,500 documented trees and garden plantings, leading the American Public Gardens Association to designate the campus the University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Garden in 2008.[115] The designation has allowed the university to showcase species and gardens, including native plantings. There are arboretum tours, such as the centralized Tree Walking Tour which is based around McKeldin Mall and features 56 specimen trees.

Additionally, there are nearly 400 acres (1.6 km2) of urban forest located on campus[115] and the National Arbor Day Foundation has named the university to its 'Tree Campus USA' list.[116] The recreational Paint Branch Trail, part of the Anacostia Tributary Trails system, cuts through campus, as does the Paint Branch stream, a tributary of the Northeast Branch Anacostia River.[117]

McKeldin Mall serves as the center of campus. On the east and west ends of McKeldin Mall lie the Main Administration Building and McKeldin Library. Academic buildings surround McKeldin Mall on the north and south ends, and are the homes to many departments in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. West of McKeldin Mall is the North Hill Community, and south of McKeldin Mall lies Morrill Hall and the Morrill Quad, which was the original center of campus. South of the Morrill Quad are the South Hill and South Campus Commons Communities, and to the southwest is the Southwest Mall and the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Running parallel to McKeldin Mall to the north is Campus Drive, the main thoroughfare through campus.

The Adele H. Stamp Student Union sits along Campus Drive near the center of campus, and serves as a transit center for campus, where Shuttle-UM (the university's bus service) and municipal buses pick up and drop off passengers. Hornbake Plaza home to Hornbake Library and several buildings housing academic departments also lies on Campus Drive, east of Stamp. Stamp serves as a center which includes a food court, bowling alley, book store, and space for major events such as freshman orientation or career fairs.

Outside of the Stamp Student Union on Campus Drive is the Jim Henson Statue and Memorial Garden, in honor of the late Jim Henson, a Maryland alumnus. A likeness of Henson is seated on a park bench, facing arguably his most famous creation, Kermit the Frog.[118] To the north and northwest of Stamp and Hornbake Plaza are the North Campus communities, Maryland Stadium, the Eppley Recreation Center (the main gym on campus), the XFINITY Center, and the Wooded Hillock, a 22-acre (8.9 ha) forest located next to the XFINITY Center; Stadium Drive runs between the more southern Maryland Stadium and the rest of these. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center sits to the west of Maryland Stadium.

Another thoroughfare, Regents Drive, runs perpendicular to McKeldin Mall and is home to the Memorial Chapel and the Campus Farms. Regents Drive crosses Campus Drive at the campus hallmark "M" Circle, which is a traffic circle with a large "M" formed by flowers in its center.[119] The northeast quadrant of campus, formed by Campus and Regent Drives, is home to many of natural sciences and applied sciences departments.

The university is also divided by U.S. Route 1, known locally as "Baltimore Avenue." While most of campus lies to the west of Baltimore Avenue, fixtures such as fraternity row and the Leonardtown Communities lie to the east. Sitting on the western edge of Baltimore Avenue are the Visitors' Center, also known as The Dairy, The Reckord Armory, and The Rossborough Inn, which, built during the years of 1798 to 1812, is the oldest building on campus (and is older than the university itself).[120] There are five regularly used entrances to campus; the main entrance, off of Baltimore Avenue and onto Campus Drive, is referred to as North Gate and features the Gatehouse, an ornate gateway honoring the university's founders.[121] The 140-acre (57 ha), 18-hole University of Maryland Golf Course sits at the northern edge of campus, as does the Observatory. The campus is also home to one of the root servers, responsible for operating DNS.


The four-person Office of Sustainability was created in summer 2007 after University President Dan Mote became charter signatory of the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) with the goal of campus climate neutrality. The Climate Action Plan Work Group completed an inventory of campus emissions from 2002 to 2007, and finalized a Climate Action Plan in August 2009.[122] According to the university's Climate Action Plan, Maryland aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.[123] All new constructions and major renovations must satisfy LEED-Silver certification requirements. The office has promoted several initiatives, including an increase in the campus recycling rate from 17% in 2003 to 89% in 2014.[124] In 2008, the recycling rate rose from 37% to a 54% due in part to the "Feed the Turtle" program for home football games.[125] Although recycling rates have increased across campus, not every bin is able to be recycled due to high contamination rates on some parts of campus. For example, as of 2017, the Stamp Student Union had 54% contamination rates in their recycling bins, which means that over half of the waste in the recycling bins at Stamp had to be thrown into the trash.[126] Power Shift, a national youth climate activism summit, was held at the University of Maryland in November 2007 with 6,000 individuals in attendance.[127]

The university's first Leed Gold building, Knight Hall, opened in April 2010 as the new home for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.[128][129] The university added solar panels in the spring of 2010 to the roof of "The Diner" dining hall in North Campus, and plans to add solar panels to the roof of Cole Field House, as well as additional campus buildings.[130] The university's announced 158,068-square-foot (14,685.0 m2) state-of-the-art Physical Sciences Complex (set to be completed in July 2013) will meet LEED-Silver certification requirements.[131][132]

In 2008, the Office of Sustainability started the Sustainability Advisors program, in which teachers invite a peer educator to give a lecture covering sustainability concepts.[133]

The Office of Sustainability began an initiative called "The Chesapeake Project" in 2009, in which professors integrate sustainability education into pre-existing classes across every discipline.[134] Participating professors attend a two-day workshop in late May to learn about environmental, economic, and social sustainability.[134] All participants receive a $500 stipend. By the end of summer, workshop participants submit a revised course plan for at least one course offered the following academic year. Since the inaugural workshop in 2009, 71 professors have participated in the program, implementing sustainability education into over 80 courses across all 12 colleges at the school.[134]

In 2003, bioretention facilities were installed in the campus with collaboration from the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources. Since this time, research has continued on the effectiveness of these bioretention sites in controlling water flow and filtering pollutants. A prime example is the research of Professor Allen Davis in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which has examined and improved upon the removal of contaminants with rain gardens. [135]

Starting in 2010, the University System of Maryland and the Department of General Services began three projects that were to be continued for the next twenty years. The three projects included: a solar project in Mount St. Mary's University, a wind project in Western Maryland, and another wind project in West Virginia. The first of these projects, the solar project, is a 16 megawatt project. The first wind project is 10 megawatts, and the second is 55 megawatts.

The projects will allow the university to receive 15 percent of their purchased energy from these renewable energy resources. Also in 2010, Ellicott Dining Hall installed solar panels which would provide up to 30 percent of the energy for heating its water. The university installed 20 panels with three solar storage tanks, pumps, temperature sensors, and controls. The system will increasingly provide more of the dining hall's water needs.[134]

In 2011, Maryland's team won the Solar Decathlon, a competition put on by the U.S. Department of Energy.[136][137] The team designed and built a solar-powered home with a split butterfly roof in a project called "WaterShed."[138] The house was "inspired and guided by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, interconnecting the house with its landscape, and leading its dwellers toward a more sustainable lifestyle."[139] Over 200 students contributed to the project. Maryland's design beat out submissions from 20 other universities from all over the world, including China, New Zealand, Belgium, and Canada.[136]

In the 2017 Solar Decathlon, the University of Maryland's team won 1st place in the U.S. and 2nd place in the world.[140][141] The 100% solar powered house, named "resilient Adaptive Climate Technology" (reACT), was largely inspired by the environmentally conscious traditions of the Nanticoke people and other local Native American tribes in Maryland, such as water reuse, home gardening, and composting.[141]

Maryland also promotes the use of reusable to-go containers at the dining hall, or OZZI containers, since the official launching of the program in August 2011.[142] Students pay a $5 fee to initially use the container, but receive a coin when they return it to the dispenser. With the coin, the use of the container is cost-free.

In January 2011, Maryland installed occupancy sensors in nearly all of the 300 general-purpose classrooms.[143] These occupancy sensors automatically turn off the lights after 30 minutes if there is no motion in a room. The project is estimated to cut energy consumption by 30 percent and save the university $100,000 annually.[143]

In 2012, the University Sustainability fund granted $130,000 to projects that promote sustainability.[144] The money was generated from an $8 mandatory sustainability fee, a fee that will increase to $12 by 2014. Mark Stewart, Project Manager at the Office of Sustainability, expects the fund to grow to $300,000 by 2013.[144]

On May 2, 2012 the Wellness Coalition hosted its first Farmers Market at Maryland, a weekly tradition that supplies produce from farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.[145] Its first day saw over 1,000 visitors.[146]

In October 2013 the University's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) became the university's first college to form their own Sustainability Task Force. In April 2014 the Task Force produced BSOS's Sustainability Plan to advance campus sustainability and complement the University's Climate Action Plan to help the university become a national model of a green university. It is the first plan of its kind at the college level at the university, and was designed to serve as a guide for other colleges to join BSOS in this effort to improve the sustainability of the campus and community as a whole.[147] In September 2014 the BSOS Sustainability Task Force expanded to include a student Sustainability Task Force. The student Task Force is an interdisciplinary team focused on addressing sustainability problems on campus.[148]

In August 2015, compost bins were placed in two residence halls, and, after a successful year, were placed in nine other residence halls in August 2016.[149] As of 2017, the University of Maryland increased its compost collection by nearly 450% since 2010.[150] While efforts have been made to add composting collection sites on campus in academic buildings and residence halls, many have been removed due to high contamination rates. Some Greek life houses as well as some on-campus apartment buildings used to have composting, but in 2017 and 2018 many of them had to be removed since they were causing more harm than good.[151]

Student life

Residential life

There are two main residential areas on campus, North Campus and South Campus, which are further divided into seven residential communities. North Campus is made up of Cambridge Community (which consists of five residence halls), Denton Community (which currently consists of four halls, including Oakland hall which opened in the fall semester of 2011), and Ellicott Community (consisting of three halls).

South Campus includes the North Hill Community, made up of nine Georgian-style halls and Prince Frederick hall (which opened in the fall semester of 2014) located immediately west of McKeldin Mall, South Hill Community, made up of fourteen small residence halls for upperclassmen, Leonardtown Community, which offers apartment-style living and is further divided into Old Leonardtown (consisting of six buildings) and New Leonardtown (also consisting of six buildings), the South Campus Commons Community, which consists of seven apartment-style buildings (the seventh and most recent building being opened in January 2010), and the Courtyards, a garden style apartment community in north campus consisting of seven buildings.

The South Campus Commons Community and Courtyards, while built on campus, are managed by a private company, Capstone On-Campus Management, as part of a public-private partnership between the company and the University of Maryland.

The university does not have family housing. As of 2011, some students with families have advocated for the addition of family housing.[152]

Residential life is overseen by the Department of Resident Life, which consists of a staff members and departments. For instance, resident assistants, who are full-time undergraduates facilitating the student interaction and development of floors within their assigned floor, building, or community, are supervised by resident directors. The Department of Resident Life offers its residents and other students many programs, including the Math Success Program, Academic Success Program, Common Ground Dialogue Program, and many Living and Learning programs.[153]


There are three dining halls on campus: the North Campus Dining Hall ("The Diner") is located between the Ellicott Community, the South Campus Dining Hall is located near the South Hill and South Campus Commons communities, and the 251 North Dining Hall is located in the Denton Community. As of the fall of 2016, the University of Maryland Dining Services changed their dining plan from a pay a la carte to an all-you-can-eat style dining experience. A food court in the Stamp Student Union provides a plethora of dining options for the university community. The Maryland Food Collective, popularly known as the Co-Op, is a worker-owned collective that has been providing a wide array of vegan and vegetarian food options, along with local, organic, and fair-trade fruits and vegetables since 1975 but then closed in 2019.[154][155]


The university is accessible through the three airports which exist in the greater Washington metropolitan area: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.[156] A small public airport in College Park, College Park Airport, lies nearly adjacent to campus, but operations are limited to the Washington metropolitan area. The College Park Airport is the oldest continually operating airport in the world and the site of many significant aviation firsts.[157][158]

A free shuttle service, known as Shuttle-UM, is available for UMD students, faculty, staff, and some residents of College Park and Greenbelt.[159][160] The university is served by an off-campus stop on the Washington Metro Green Line called College Park – University of Maryland. The station is also served by the Camden Line of the MARC Train, which runs between Baltimore and Washington. A Shuttle-UM bus (Route 104) arrives at the station every five minutes during fall and spring semesters (every ten minutes during the summer) to bring visitors to campus (stopping in front of the Stamp Student Union).

Metrobus and Prince George's County TheBus bus services also stop on campus. Beginning in early 2012, TheBus services for Route1Ride (Route 17) were made free of charge to all University of Maryland students and staff, providing service on Route 1 from the Washington, D.C. border to the IKEA in College Park, with a stop at the College Park–University of Maryland Metro station.[161][162] There is an additional service called Nite Ride which is a curb-to-curb service offered every night from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. The service is designed to serve the areas of campus that are not included on the evening service routes.

Over 21,000 parking spaces are on campus, in parking lots and garages.[163] There are a total of 16 electric vehicle charging stations on campus in 7 locations that are free and open to the public, with plans to add more stations.[164] Zipcar service is also available on campus for all UMD students, faculty, and staff.[165]

The university has been attempting to make the campus more bike-friendly by installing covered bike parking and bike lockers on campus,[166] introducing a bike-sharing program,[167] and plans to add more bike lanes on campus.[168] As of Spring 2011, the university has encouraged cycling on campus by installing covered bike storage outside of the newly built Oakland dorm as well as security lockers in the Mowatt Lane Garage.[169][170] In addition to increased storage options, the university runs the Campus Bike Shop where students can get their bikes repaired and learn how to maintain them on their own.[171]

As of Fall 2019, electric scooter stations were placed around campus in order to facilitate the introduction of an electric scooter, hybrid bike, and manual bike sharing system on campus. Over the course of the semester, private scooter companies introduced and slowly increased the number of scooters and bikes available for rental on campus. All the bikes and scooters for pay-by-the-minute rental are only available between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm each day. Over the Fall 2019 semester personal scooters have also seen a drastic increase on campus.

Under the administration of former President C. Daniel Mote Jr., the university was the primary source of opposition in Prince George's County to the installation of one or more light-rail stops on campus as a part of the proposed Maryland Transit Administration's Purple Line out of concern for student safety and to protect sensitive lab equipment.[172][173] This sentiment was similar to previous transit positions taken by the university in the 1980s, specifically when the administration rejected Metro's first proposal of having the College Park–University of Maryland station run underground through campus connecting to Adele H. Stamp Student Union, and strongly opposed their second proposal to put the stop right next to campus in downtown College Park on Route 1, with the reasoning to protect student and resident safety.[174][175]

In 2017, former Maryland Governor and Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening admitted that the decision made by the university to have the Metro station as far away from campus as possible (1.6 miles) was a "disaster" and racially biased, largely due to administrators and community residents saying they did not want crime or undesirable people coming to campus on the Green Line from the poorer neighborhoods of Washington.[175][176]

Under President Wallace Loh's vision in 2011, the administration recognized the transit mistakes of the past and embraced having the Purple Line on campus as it would drastically increase transportation access for students and faculty, while encouraging more walkable transit-oriented developments in downtown College Park.[174] The Purple Line route, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022, will have five stops on and around the university's campus: M Square, the College Park Metro station, the main entrance to the campus on Route 1, near Stamp Student Union on Campus Drive, and on the other edge of campus on Adelphi Road.[177][178][179]

The Diamondback

The Diamondback is the independent student newspaper of the university. It was founded in 1910 as The Triangle and renamed in 1921 in honor of a local reptile, the Diamondback terrapin, which became the school mascot in 1933. The newspaper is published daily Monday through Friday during the spring and fall semesters, with a print circulation of 17,000 and annual advertising revenues of over $1 million.[180] It has four sections: News, Opinion, Sports, and Diversions.

For the 2008–2009 school year, The Diamondback earned a Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists, placing second nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and first in its region in the same category.[181] Three years earlier the newspaper had finished third place nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and first in its region.[182]

Notable journalists who have been with the paper include David Simon of HBO's The Wire and NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street; disgraced Jayson Blair, who was editor-in-chief in 1996 (he did not graduate, instead taking a job with The New York Times); Norman Chad, who was editor-in-chief in 1978; cartoonists Jeff Kinney, who created the Diary of a Wimpy Kid fiction series and whose Igdoof strip appeared in The Diamondback; Aaron McGruder, who first published his cartoon The Boondocks in The Diamondback; and Frank Cho, who began his career with the popular University Squared for The Diamondback.


WMUC-FM (88.1 FM) is the university non-commercial radio station, staffed by UMD students and volunteers. WMUC is a freeform radio station that broadcasts at 10 watts. Its broadcasts can be heard throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Notable WMUC alumni include Connie Chung, Bonnie Bernstein, and Aaron McGruder.

WMUC Sports

WMUC Sports is the online sports division of WMUC-FM that provides live broadcasts for over 10 Division I University of Maryland sports, including the Terrapin football and basketball teams.

Greek life

Approximately 15% of men and 20% of women in Maryland's undergraduate student body are involved in Greek life.[183] Many of the fraternities and sororities at the school are located on Fraternity Row and the Graham Cracker, which are controlled by the University. Fraternity Row is the background of several recently produced films.

All social Greek organizations are governed by one of five groups: the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, the Pan-Hellenic Council, the United Greek Council, or the Professional Fraternal Association. All cultural Greek organizations are governed by the United Greek Council. These councils assist in the creation and governance of chapter by-laws, risk management plans, and philanthropic activities, with support from the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.[184][185] Each year, every Greek organization must fulfill certain requirements, including doing a service and conducting a program/event related to community service, diversity, or alumni and faculty outreach.


The university sponsors varsity athletic teams in 20 men's and women's sports. The teams, named the "Terrapins," represent Maryland in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I competition. Maryland became a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1952, but left to join the Big Ten Conference on July 1, 2014. As of 2017, Maryland's athletic teams have been awarded 44 national championships by the NCAA, USILA, AIAW, and NCA.[186][187] In 2008 and 2010, The Princeton Review named the University of Maryland's athletic facilities the best in the nation.[188][189] The Terrapins nickname (often shortened to "Terps") was coined by former university president, football coach, and athletic director H. C. "Curly" Byrd in 1932.[190] The mascot is a diamondback terrapin named Testudo, which is Latin for "tortoise."[191] Since the early 20th century, the school athletic colors have been some combination of those on the Maryland state flag: red, white, black, and gold.[192]

Men's basketball

Men's basketball is one of the most popular sports at the university.[193] Long-time head coach Lefty Driesell began the now nationwide tradition of "Midnight Madness" in 1971.[194] Beginning in 1989, alumnus Gary Williams revived the program, which was struggling in the wake of Len Bias's death and NCAA rules infractions. Williams led Maryland basketball to national prominence with two Final Four appearances, and in 2002, a national championship. On February 7, 2006, Williams won his 349th game to surpass Driesell and became Maryland's all-time leader among basketball coaches. In May 2011, Williams retired as head coach, which allowed for the entrance of the new head coach, Mark Turgeon. The court at XFINITY Center was named in honor of the beloved coach, Gary Williams. Maryland football is also popular at the university.[193] The Terrapins were awarded the national championship by the wire services in 1953, and in 1951, by several retroactive selectors.

Beyond the two "revenue sports," the university fields 18 other varsity teams. The women's basketball team rose to prominence in the 2000s (decade), and head coach Brenda Frese guided the Lady Terps to their first NCAA title in 2006.[195]

Men's lacrosse

Maryland men's lacrosse remains one of the sport's top programs since its beginnings as a squad in 1865.[196] The team most recently won the national championship in 2017, breaking a 42-year drought. The team has won ten USILA and NCAA national championships since its promotion to varsity status in 1924 and is a regular fixture in the NCAA tournament.[197][198] The women's lacrosse team has the most national championships of any program in the nation, including most recently in 2017.[199][200]

Men's soccer

The men's soccer team has won four NCAA Division I College Cup national championships, most recently in 2018.[201] Under the guidance of head coach Sasho Cirovski, the soccer team has reached nine Final Fours and won three College Cups since 1997. The soccer team has developed a large, devoted fan base among students and the local community. The attendance record at Ludwig Field was set in 2015 when 8,449 fans saw Maryland win over top-ranked UCLA in extra time.[202] The annual total attendance increased dramatically from 12,710 in 1995 to 35,631 in 2008.[203]

Field hockey

The Maryland women's field hockey team has won eight NCAA championships.[204]

The Mighty Sound of Maryland marching band attends all home football games and provides pre-game performances.[205] During basketball season, the marching band becomes the University of Maryland Pep Band, which provides music in the stands at men's and women's home games and during tournament play.[206]

On July 1, 2012, the university cut seven varsity teams: men's cross country, men's indoor track, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's acrobatics and tumbling, women's swimming and diving, and women's water polo. The men's outdoor track team had been scheduled to be cut, but the team raised $888,000 of a target amount of $940,000, sufficient to avoid elimination.[207]


In 1932, Curley Byrd—who served as the university's football and baseball coach, athletic director, and president—proposed adopting the diamondback terrapin as a mascot. The first statue of Testudo cast in bronze was donated by the Class of 1933 and displayed on Baltimore Avenue in front of Ritchie Coliseum. However, the 300-pound sculpture was subjected to vandalism by visiting college athletic teams.[208] One such incident occurred in 1947 when students from Johns Hopkins University stole the bronze statue and moved it to their campus. Maryland students traveled to Baltimore to retrieve it, laying siege to the house where it was hidden. Over 200 city police responded to quell the riot.[209] In 1949, University President Byrd was awakened by a phone call from a University of Virginia fraternity requesting that Testudo be removed from their lawn. Testudo was later filled with 700 pounds of cement and fastened to his pedestal to prevent future removals, but students at rival schools continued to vandalize it. It was moved to Maryland Stadium in 1951. In the 1960s, Testudo was moved back to a spot in front of McKeldin Library.[210][211][212][213]

In 1992 a duplicate statue was placed at Maryland Stadium, where the football team touch it for good luck as they pass by before games. Additional Testudo statues now sit outside of the Gossett Team House near the stadium; XFINITY Center, the school's basketball arena; the Riggs Alumni Center; in the lobby of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union; and on the courtyard of Van Munching Hall.[212][214] In 1994, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation to name the diamondback terrapin (malaclemys terrapin terrapin) as the official state reptile and the legally codified mascot of the University of Maryland.[215] Beginning in the 2000s, the university promoted the slogan "Fear the Turtle" as a rallying cry for school pride.[216]

The statue's nose is polished by passers-by that have rubbed it for good luck. Around finals week, students start giving offerings to Testudo in the hope of good grades. In 2013, the Testudo statue caught fire because of an ill-advised mixture of offerings and a lit candle. Local news channels reported about this event and it trended on Twitter.[217]

Notable alumni

Notable alumni include House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer;[218] Google co-founder Sergey Brin;[219] The Muppets creator Jim Henson;[220] The Wire creator David Simon,[221] as well as Seinfeld co-creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David.[222] Former NFL Quarterback Norman "Boomer" Esiason. Prominent alumni in business include Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers; Jim Walton (journalist), President and CEO of CNN; Kevin Plank, founder of the athletic apparel company Under Armour; Leonard Kevin "Len" Bias, a first team All-American college basketball forward; Chris Kubasik, former President of Lockheed Martin; Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; and telecommunications entrepreneur Brian Hinman.[223]

Television personality Connie Chung; E! News reporter Giuliana Rancic graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. ESPN reporters Bonnie Bernstein and Tim Kurkjian graduated from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Scott Van Pelt, also of ESPN, attended the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, but finished a few credits short of graduation.

Journalist Carl Bernstein, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, attended the university but did not graduate. Mark Rosenker, Former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and now CBS NEWS Transportation Safety Analyst graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in radio and television. Kiran Chetry, co-host of CNN's American Morning, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism. Jean Worthley of Maryland Public Television hosted Hodgepodge Lodge and co-hosted On Nature's Trail after enrolling in the Graduate School of Education. TV and media critic David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun graduated with a doctorate in American Studies.

Heidi Collins of CNN Newsroom graduated with a Bachelor of science. Former Maryland governor Harry R. Hughes also attended. Gayle King, editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine, graduated from Maryland with a degree in psychology. Television show host Bruce DePuyt, host of News Talk on NewsChannel8 graduated from Phillip Merrill College of Journalism.

Attendees within the fields of science and mathematics are Nobel laureates Raymond Davis Jr., 2002 winner in Physics; Herbert Hauptman, 1985 winner in Chemistry, and Fields Medal winner Charles Fefferman. Other alumni include George Dantzig, considered the father of linear programming; late NASA astronaut Judith Resnik, who died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission STS-51-L; engineer James S. Albus, founder of a division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin.

Several donors have distinguished themselves for their sizable gifts to the university. Businessman Robert H. Smith, who graduated from the university in 1950 with a degree in accounting, has given over $45 million to the business school that now bears his name, and to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, which bears his wife's name.[224] Construction entrepreneur A. James Clark, who graduated with an engineering degree in 1950, has also donated over $45 million to the college of engineering, which also bears his name.[224] Another engineering donor, Jeong H. Kim, earned his PhD from the university in 1991 and gave $5 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art engineering building.[225] Philip Merrill, a media figure, donated $10 million to the College of Journalism.[226] Robert E. Fischell, physicist, inventor, and holder of more than 200 U.S. and foreign medical patents[227][228][229] donated $30 million to the A. James Clark School of Engineering,[230] establishing the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. Brendan Iribe, a co-founder of Oculus VR, donated $31 million to the university in 2014 towards a new computer science building and scholarships.[231]

In addition, the university has a number of executive trustees who are elected and have a diverse array of professional backgrounds.[232]


The university's campus has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and music videos.

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