The University of Maryland is one of the top public universities in the United States, with a long history of academic and research excellence. If you’re considering applying to UMD, you probably want to know – is it actually a good school?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at UMD’s academics, student life, value and affordability, location, and more to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: With its outstanding academics, Division I sports, lively campus, proximity to Washington D.C., reasonable in-state tuition, and high return on investment, the University of Maryland scores very highly in nearly every category prospective students consider when evaluating colleges.

For most students, especially in-state ones, UMD represents an excellent educational value and a great place to spend your college years.

Academics at UMD

When it comes to academics, the University of Maryland (UMD) has established itself as a top-tier institution. With a wide range of programs and majors, UMD offers students a diverse and comprehensive educational experience.

UMD’s Programs and Majors

UMD offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, ranging from traditional disciplines like biology and psychology to cutting-edge fields like cybersecurity and data science. The university also provides various interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore different areas of study and tailor their education to their interests.

This breadth of programs ensures that students have ample opportunities to pursue their passions and develop the necessary skills for their future careers.

Faculty and Research

One of the key strengths of UMD is its exceptional faculty. The university boasts an impressive roster of professors who are experts in their respective fields. They are not only dedicated to teaching but also actively engaged in groundbreaking research.

UMD is known for its research prowess, consistently ranking among the top research universities in the nation. This commitment to innovation and discovery creates a dynamic learning environment where students have the chance to work alongside world-renowned scholars.

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio at UMD is approximately 18:1, which allows for a more personalized and engaging learning experience. With smaller class sizes, students have greater access to their professors, fostering meaningful mentorship relationships and promoting interactive discussions.

This intimate learning environment enables students to receive individualized attention and support, maximizing their academic growth and success.

Graduation and Retention Rates

UMD has consistently high graduation and retention rates, which speaks to the university’s commitment to student success. According to the most recent data, UMD’s four-year graduation rate is above the national average, and its six-year graduation rate is even higher.

Additionally, the university has a strong retention rate, with a large percentage of students returning for their sophomore year. These statistics demonstrate UMD’s dedication to providing a supportive and enriching academic environment that fosters student achievement.

Student Life at UMD

One of the most important aspects of choosing a university is the student life it offers. At the University of Maryland (UMD), students can expect a vibrant and diverse campus environment that caters to a wide range of interests and passions.

Whether you’re interested in exploring different cultures, joining clubs and organizations, participating in Greek life, or cheering on the Terrapins in athletics, UMD has something for everyone.


UMD prides itself on its diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 120 countries. This diversity not only enriches the cultural experience on campus but also fosters a global perspective that prepares students for the increasingly interconnected world.

Interacting with classmates from different backgrounds and cultures can broaden your horizons and help you develop a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity.

Clubs and Organizations

UMD offers a plethora of clubs and organizations that cater to a wide range of interests. From academic and professional organizations to cultural and recreational clubs, there is something for everyone.

These clubs provide opportunities for students to pursue their passions, make lifelong friendships, and develop leadership skills. Whether you’re interested in joining a club related to your major or exploring a new hobby, UMD has a club for you.

For example, the UMD Chess Club is a popular choice among students who enjoy strategic games and want to connect with fellow chess enthusiasts. The club organizes regular tournaments, practice sessions, and social events, creating a vibrant chess community on campus.

Greek Life

Greek life is another integral part of the student experience at UMD. With a wide range of fraternities and sororities, students have the opportunity to join a community that promotes brotherhood, sisterhood, leadership, and philanthropy.

Greek organizations at UMD organize various events and fundraisers throughout the year, fostering a sense of camaraderie and providing students with opportunities to engage in community service.

For instance, Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed service fraternity at UMD that focuses on leadership, friendship, and service. The fraternity organizes volunteer projects, leadership development workshops, and social events, providing members with a well-rounded experience.

Athletics and School Spirit

UMD boasts a strong athletic program and a lively school spirit that brings the campus community together. With 20 varsity sports teams, including basketball, football, soccer, and lacrosse, UMD offers plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Terps.

Attending games and sporting events not only promotes school spirit but also provides an exciting and fun way to support your fellow students and connect with other fans.

The UMD men’s basketball team, for example, has a rich history of success and has garnered a passionate fan base known as the “Maryland Madness.” The team’s electrifying performances and the enthusiastic support of the fans create an unforgettable atmosphere during home games.

Value and Affordability of UMD

When considering whether the University of Maryland (UMD) is a good school, one important factor to consider is the value and affordability it offers to students. UMD prides itself on providing a high-quality education at a reasonable cost, making it an attractive option for many prospective students.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

One of the primary factors that can impact the affordability of attending UMD is whether a student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident. In-state tuition is significantly lower than out-of-state tuition, making UMD a more affordable choice for Maryland residents.

According to the UMD Office of Student Financial Aid, the difference in tuition for in-state and out-of-state students is over $20,000 per year. This significant difference in cost can make UMD a more appealing option for those who live in Maryland or are planning to establish residency in the state.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

UMD is committed to making education accessible to students from all backgrounds. The university offers a variety of financial aid options, including grants, loans, work-study programs, and scholarships.

UMD’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides comprehensive resources to help students navigate the financial aid process and find the funding they need to afford their education. Additionally, UMD offers numerous scholarships, both need-based and merit-based, to help offset the cost of tuition.

These scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden on students and make UMD a more affordable option for many.

ROI and Post-Grad Salaries

Another important aspect to consider when evaluating the value of attending UMD is the return on investment (ROI) and post-graduation salaries. UMD has a strong reputation for producing successful graduates who go on to secure well-paying jobs.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, the median earnings of UMD graduates ten years after entering the university are higher than the national average. This indicates that attending UMD can lead to a promising career and a higher earning potential.

It’s important to note that the value and affordability of UMD can vary depending on individual circumstances, such as residency status and financial need. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the resources available through UMD’s Office of Student Financial Aid and carefully consider their own financial situation when determining if UMD is a good fit for them.

Location and Campus of UMD

The University of Maryland, located in College Park, is renowned for its beautiful and expansive campus. Spread across 1,250 acres, the campus offers a vibrant and stimulating environment for students to learn and grow.

Campus Amenities and Facilities

UMD boasts state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring that students have access to the resources they need to excel academically and pursue their passions. The campus is equipped with modern classrooms, well-stocked libraries, cutting-edge research labs, and advanced sports facilities.

Additionally, students can take advantage of various recreational amenities, including fitness centers, art galleries, and performance spaces. The university is committed to providing a well-rounded experience for its students.

Surrounding Area

The University of Maryland’s location in College Park offers a unique blend of academia and local community life. The surrounding area is filled with a plethora of diverse dining options, shopping centers, and entertainment venues.

Students can explore the nearby town and discover a range of cultural experiences, from live music and theater performances to local festivals and events. This vibrant atmosphere creates a sense of community and enhances the overall college experience.

Proximity to Washington D.C.

One of the major advantages of attending the University of Maryland is its close proximity to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Being just a short distance away, students have unparalleled access to internships, networking opportunities, and cultural attractions.

The university’s location allows students to engage with the political, social, and economic hub of the country, providing a unique advantage for those pursuing careers in various fields, including government, business, and the arts.

Furthermore, the university organizes regular trips and events to Washington D.C., allowing students to explore and learn from this dynamic city. Whether it’s visiting historical landmarks, attending conferences, or participating in community service projects, the close proximity to the nation’s capital enriches the educational experience at UMD.


In conclusion, the University of Maryland shines in nearly every area that matters to students – it provides top-tier academics, engaging student life, reasonable affordability (especially for in-state students), and an excellent location near the opportunities of Washington D.C.

While it may not be the perfect fit for every student, UMD offers a great educational experience for the majority of prospective applicants. If you’re considering applying to the University of Maryland, chances are high that you’ll thrive during your college years and beyond.

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