The University of Maryland College Park (UMD), was founded in 1856. The suburban campus, located on 1,250 acres, caters to about 30,000 undergraduate and 11,000 postgraduate students. The school is well-known for its graduate programs in education, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the Robert H. Smith School of Business.
The school is affiliated with several US agencies, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, NASA, and the FDA. This provides UMD students the opportunity to conduct research in partnership with these organizations. The university also offers a Federal Semester program where students can participate in internships with government policy-makers.
Undergraduates can select from over 90 majors in 12 different colleges. The most popular areas of concentration are criminology; accounting; economics; psychology; and speech communication and rhetoric. The student to faculty ratio is around 18 to 1, and about 45% of UMD classes have less than 20 students.
UMD also offers 19 unique programs called Living and Learning, where students can live in the same residential buildings as individuals who are studying similar majors. One of the programs is called Digital Cultures and Creativity (DCC); students live in one hall and take a two-year interdisciplinary curriculum on thinking in the digital world. Another program is Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) for UMD students who wish to focus their studies on biological research and biomedicine. The Gemstone Program is a four-year research program for undergrad honors students with a focus on science and technology. Students more interested in liberal arts can take part in the Honors Humanities program.
Outside of the classroom, there are many social opportunities for undergraduates. The campus offers over 800 clubs and organizations, as well as 56 Greek groups. The Greek organizations are run by one of four groups: the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, the Panhellenic Council, and the United Greek Council. In order to remain active, the fraternities and sororities must meet all requirements, including performing a certain amount of community service and conducting alumni or faculty outreach. UMD students can also get involved with the student newspaper, The Diamondback, which was originally founded in 1910.
The University of Maryland sports teams compete as the Terrapins (a type of Diamondback turtle, which is also the state reptile). The teams play in the NCAA Division I B1G. Students who wish to be exposed to a variety of academic challenges should investigate the University of Maryland’s programs.