University of Maryland, College Park

"University of Maryland" redirects here. For the Washington Metro station, see College Park–University of Maryland (WMATA station). For the University of Maryland's Schools of Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Social Work, see University of Maryland, Baltimore. For other uses, see University of Maryland (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 38°59′15″N 76°56′24″W / 38.98750°N 76.94000°W / 38.98750; -76.94000

University of Maryland, College Park
Former names
Maryland Agricultural College (1856–1916)
Maryland State College (1916–1920)[1]
Motto Fatti maschii, parole femine (Italian), unofficial[2]
Motto in English
Strong deeds, gentle words
Type Flagship public university
Established 1856
Endowment $283.123 million (2015)[3]
President Wallace Loh[4]
Provost Mary Ann Rankin
Academic staff
4,509 (Fall 2015)[5]
Administrative staff
5,315 (Fall 2015)[5]
Students 38,140 (Fall 2015)
Undergraduates 27,443 (Fall 2015)[6]
Postgraduates 10,697 (Fall 2015)[7]
Location College Park, Maryland, U.S.
38°59′17″N 76°56′41″W / 38.98806°N 76.94472°W / 38.98806; -76.94472
Campus Suburban, 1,250 acres (5.1 km2)[8]
Newspaper The Diamondback
Colors Red, gold, black, white[9]
Athletics NCAA Division IBig Ten
Nickname Terrapins, Terps
Mascot Testudo
Affiliations University System of Maryland
Fields Institute
Universitas 21 The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs

The University of Maryland, College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland, Maryland, UM, UMD, UMCP, or College Park) is a public research university[10] located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) from the northeast border of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1856, the university is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. With a fall 2010 enrollment of more than 37,000 students, over 100 undergraduate majors, and 120 graduate programs, Maryland is the largest university in the state and the largest in the Washington Metropolitan Area.[8][11] It is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

The University of Maryland's proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in research partnerships with the Federal government. Members of the 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, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The operating budget of the University of Maryland during the 2009 fiscal year was projected to be approximately $1.531 billion.[12] For the same fiscal year, the University of Maryland received a total of $518 million in research funding, surpassing its 2008 mark by $118 million.[13] As of May 11, 2012, the university's "Great Expectations" campaign had exceeded $950 million in private donations.[14]


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, a future U.S. Congressman, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km2) of the Riverdale Plantation in College Park. Calvert founded the school later that year. 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

Morrill Hall, built in 1898, is the oldest academic building on campus

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.[15] 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

The campus during the 1912 fire

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 University of Maryland campus as it appeared in 1938 before the dramatic expansion engineered by President Byrd

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.[16][17] 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.[18]

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.

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.[19]

In a massive 1988 restructuring of the state 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 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.[20]

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).[21] 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.[22]

Wallace Loh became President of the University in 2010.[4]



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.[23] For Spring 2010, the average undergraduate GPA for women was 3.22 and 3.05 for undergraduate men.[24]


A stairway in south campus

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 students meeting 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 Cyber Security, Digital Cultures & Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Honors Humanities, Gemstone, Integrated Life Sciences, and University Honors.[25]

A student working on McKeldin Mall.

The nation's first living-learning entrepreneurship program, Hinman CEOs, is geared toward students who are interested in starting their own business.[35] 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.[36] The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) has also been long considered an outstanding engineering division of the university since its inception in 1908.[37]

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;[38] Global Communities, a program that immerses students in a diverse culture (students from all over the world live in a community),[39] and the Language House,[40] 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.[41]


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."[42]

Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology

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,[43] NASA,[44] the Department of Homeland Security,[45] 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.[46]

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 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.


Admittance to the university have become highly selective. According to the US News and World Report, Maryland is rated "more selective" with a 46.9 percent acceptance rate in fall 2013.[47] The university receives about 28,000 applications a year for a freshman class of 4,000, along with 6,500 transfer applications for 2,000 available transfer spots.[48] The incoming class for fall 2015 has a middle 50% SAT of 1260–1420 and ACT of 29–33.[49] The incoming freshman class has a strong A-/B+ or better average in all coursework with many courses being honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses.[50] The incoming Fall 2015 admitted transfer profile has a 3.38 GPA.[51]

The fall semester priority application deadline for freshman students is November 1 and transfer students is March 1.[52] The fall semester regular deadline for freshman and transfer students is January 20.[52] December 1 is the priority deadline for freshman students who wish to apply for the spring semester while August 1 is the priority deadline for transfer students who wish to apply for the spring semester.[53]


University rankings
ARWU[54] 32
Forbes[55] 82
U.S. News & World Report[56] 60
Washington Monthly[57] 56
ARWU[58] 52
QS[59] 131
Times[60] 67
U.S. News & World Report[61] 41

The university is ranked as tied for 60th in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report rankings of "National Universities" across the United States, and it is ranked tied for 20th nationally among public universities.[62] An October, 2014 publication from Business Insider ranked the University of Maryland #9 in "Smartest Public Colleges in America"[63]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Maryland as 52nd in the world in 2016. The 2015–2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Maryland 117th in the world. The 2016/17 QS World University Rankings ranked Maryland 131st in the world.

The university is among Peace Corps' 25 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges 2015.[64] Kiplinger's Personal Finance 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2015 ranked the University 9th for in-state students.[65]

For the third consecutive year in 2014, the university is ranked 1st in the number of Boren Scholarship recipients – with 12 undergraduates receiving awards for intensive international language study.[66]

In 2016, University of Maryland ranked in the Top 50 Online Colleges with the Highest Student Satisfaction by[67]


Walkway along McKeldin Mall
McKeldin Library and Jiménez Hall


The campus of the university is noted for its red-brick Georgian buildings and its large central lawn, named McKeldin Mall.[68] White columns decorate many buildings, with around 770 columns existing on campus.[69] 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.[70] 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[70] and the National Arbor Day Foundation has named the university to its 'Tree Campus USA' list.[71] 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.[72]

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.

The Armory
Near the South Commons residential area

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.[73] 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 iconic 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.[74] 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).[75] 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.[76] 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 with operating DNS.

The campus is located 20 miles (32 km) away from Fort Meade which houses the headquarters of the National Security Agency.[77]


The sundial in the center of McKeldin Mall, with McKeldin Library in the background

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.[78] According to the university's Climate Action Plan, Maryland aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.[79] All new constructions and major renovations must satisfy LEED-Silver certification requirements. The office has promoted several initiatives, including an increase in the recycling rate from 37% to a 54% recycling rate in 2008, due in part to the "Feed the Turtle" program for home football games.[80] Power Shift, a national youth climate activism summit, was held at the University of Maryland in November 2007 with 6,000 individuals in attendance.[81]

The university's first Leed Gold building, Knight Hall, opened in April 2010 as the new home for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.[82][83] 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.[84] 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.[85][86]

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.[87]

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.[88] Participating professors attend a two-day workshop in late May to learn about environmental, economic, and social sustainability.[88] 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.[88]

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, the university's dining hall, Ellicott Dining Hall, installed solar panels which would provide up to 30 percent of the energy for water heating in the dining hall. To do this the university installed 20 panels with 3 solar storage tanks, pumps, temperature sensors, and controls. The system will increasingly provide more of the dining hall's water needs due to the storage tanks.[88]

In 2011, Maryland's team won the Solar Decathlon, a competition put on by the U.S. Department of Energy.[89][90] The team designed and built a solar-powered home with a split butterfly roof in a project called "WaterShed."[91] 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," according to their website. 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.[89]

On December 2, 2011 the University Senate approved the implementation of a sustainability minor.[92] Students could begin working towards the minor during the spring semester of that academic year, as the minor uses classes that are already offered. The minor is 15 credits.[93]

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[94] 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.[95] 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.[95]

In 2012, the University Sustainability fund granted $130,000 to projects that promote sustainability.[96] 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.[96]

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.[97] Its first day saw over 1,000 visitors.[98]

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.[99] 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.[100]

Student life

Residential life

Talbot Hall in the South Hill community
Brick entryway near the South Hill Community

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 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.[101]

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.[102]


There are two main dining halls on campus: The North Campus Dining Hall ("The Diner") is located in the Ellicott Community, and the South Campus Dining Hall is located near the South Hill and South Campus Commons communities. Located in the Denton Community, 251 North is the third dining hall on campus and features the first all-you-can-eat style dining experience on campus. A food court in the Stamp Student Union provides a plethora of dining options for the university community.


College Park-University of Maryland metro station provides easy and quick access to Downtown Washington DC

The university is served by the three airports which exist in the greater Washington metropolitan area. A small public airport in College Park, College Park Airport, lies nearly adjacent to campus, but operations are limited.

A free shuttle service, known as Shuttle-UM, is available for UMD students, faculty, and staff. The university is served by an off-campus stop on the Washington DC 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 metro station every five minutes during fall and spring semesters (every ten minutes during the summer) to bring all visitors to campus (stopping in front of the Stamp Student Union). The DC Metrobus and the Prince George's County TheBus bus services also stop on campus. There is an additional service called Nite Ride which is a curb-to-curb service offered every night from 5:30 pm to 7:30 am. The service is designed to serve the areas of campus that are not included on the evening service routes.

In addition, beginning in early 2012, Prince George's County TheBus bus services were made free of charge to all students and staff.[103]

Over 21,000 parking spaces are on campus, in parking lots and garages.[104] Zipcar service is also available on campus for all UMD students, faculty, and staff.[105]

The university has been attempting to make the campus more bike-friendly by installing covered bike parking and bike lockers on campus,[106] introducing a bike-sharing program,[107] and plans to add more bike lanes on campus.[108] 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.[109][110] 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.[111] The installation of one or more light-rail stops on campus as a part of metropolitan Washington's proposed Purple Line is an ongoing debate.[112][113]

The Diamondback

Main article: The Diamondback
Atrium of Stamp Student Union, near the food court and co-op

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.[114] 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.[115] Three years earlier the newspaper had finished third place nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and first in its region.[116] Notable journalists who have been with The Diamondback 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 (Blair 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.


Main article: WMUC-FM

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.

Greek life

Administration building, seen from end of reflecting pool

About 12% of men and 17% of women in Maryland's undergraduate student body are involved in Greek life.[117] 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.[118] 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.


Main article: Maryland Terrapins
XFINITY Center, home of Maryland basketball

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 July 1, 2014. As of April 2015, Maryland's athletic teams have been awarded 42 national championships by the NCAA, USILA, AIAW, and NCA.[119] In 2008 and 2010, The Princeton Review named the University of Maryland's athletic facilities the best in the nation.[120][121] The Terrapins nickname (often shortened to "Terps") was coined by former university president, football coach, and athletic director H. C. "Curly" Byrd in 1932.[122] The mascot is a diamondback terrapin named Testudo, which is Latin for "tortoise."[123] 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.[124]

Maryland Stadium on game day

Men's basketball is one of the most popular sports at the university.[125] Long-time head coach Lefty Driesell began the now nationwide tradition of "Midnight Madness in 1971.[126] 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, Gary Williams won his 349th game to surpass Driesell and became Maryland's all-time leader among basketball coaches. In May 2011 Williams retired allowing for the entrance of new head coach, Mark Turgeon. The court at XFINITY Center at the UMD was named in honor of the dearly beloved coach, Gary Williams. Maryland football is also popular at the university.[125] 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.[127]

Maryland fields one of the nation's premier lacrosse programs.

Maryland men's lacrosse remains one of the sport's top programs since its beginnings as a squad in 1865,[128] although it last won the national championship in 1975. 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.[129] The women's lacrosse team has the most national championships of any program in the nation, including most recently in 2014.[130]

The men' soccer team has reached six Final Fours since 1997 under the guidance of head coach Sasho Cirovski and captured the College Cup in 2005 and 2008. 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 2008 when 6,500 spectators saw MD take on Wake Forest. The annual total attendance has increased dramatically from 12,710 in 1995 to 35,631 in 2008.[131]

The women's field hockey team has won seven NCAA championships.[132]

The Mighty Sound of Maryland marching band attends all home football games and provides pre-game performances.[133] During the 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.[134]

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.[135]


Statue of Testudo on campus

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.[136] 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.[137] 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.[138][139][140][141]

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; and in the lobby of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.[140] 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.[142] Beginning in the 2000s, the university promoted the slogan, "Fear the Turtle" as a rallying cry for school pride.[143]

The most popular Testudo statue lies in front of the McKeldin Library. 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. At that time, one can find Testudo weighted down with anything from trash to TVs to couches, all of which disappears by the next morning (with the help of cleaning staff). Some of the most unusual offerings have included a door, a light pole, a car, and a lighted Christmas tree.

In fall 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.[144]

Notable alumni

Kappa Kappa Gamma Memorial Fountain in front of the Riggs Alumni Center

Notable alumni include House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; Google co-founder Sergey Brin; The Muppets creator Jim Henson; The Wire creator David Simon, and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. 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 was a first team All-American college basketball forward; Chris Kubasik, former President of Lockheed Martin; Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Paula Kerger, President and CEO of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS); Telecommunications entrepreneur Brian Hinman, Hamad Al Sayari, Former governor of the Saudi Arabian Central Bank (Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency); and Hugo Santana CEO of IBM Mexico.[145]

An arched gateway on campus

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.

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.[146] 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.[146] 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.[147] Philip Merrill, a media figure, donated $10 million to the College of Journalism.[148] Robert E. Fischell, physicist, inventor, and holder of more than 200 U.S. and foreign medical patents[149][150][151] donated $30 million to the A. James Clark School of Engineering,[152] establishing the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

In addition, the university has a number of executive trustees which are elected and have professional backgrounds.[153]


The university's College Park Campus has featured in films.


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