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University of Maryland, Baltimore County Police Department

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County Police Department

"UMBC" redirects here. For the political party in Nigeria, see United Middle Belt Congress.
University of Maryland,
Baltimore County
Motto An Honors University in Maryland
Established 1966 (1966)
Type Public university
President Freeman Hrabowski III
Academic staff 740[1]
Admin. staff 1,195[1]
Students 13,637[1]
Undergraduates 10,953[1]
Postgraduates 2,684[1]

Baltimore, Maryland, United States
39°15′19.80″N 76°42′40.52″W / 39.2555000°N 76.7112556°W / 39.2555000; -76.7112556Coordinates: 39°15′19.80″N 76°42′40.52″W / 39.2555000°N 76.7112556°W / 39.2555000; -76.7112556

Campus Suburban, 500 acres (2 km²)
Colors Black, Gold[2]
Athletics The UMBC Retrievers,
19 varsity teams,
NCAA Division I
Nickname Retrievers
Mascot True Grit
Affiliations America East Conference; MAISA; University System of Maryland

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County[3] (often referred to as UMBC) is an American public research university, located in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States, mostly in the community of Catonsville. Established as a part of the University System of Maryland in 1966, the university specializes in the natural sciences and engineering, while also offering programs in the liberal arts.[4] In recent years, UMBC has gained national prestige for being a major research university and has quickly propelled into a powerhouse for producing STEM majors.


The planning of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was first discussed in the 1950s due to the post-World War II baby boom, the expansion of higher education under the GI Bill, and the large amount of growth both in population and industry in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. At this time, the University of Maryland, College Park was the main higher education source in the region, so talks began of adding a branch campus in the Baltimore area. In 1955, Governor Theodore McKeldin issued "The Needs of Higher Education in Maryland," which recommended the need for university expansion. Three years later, the "Advisory Committee on Higher Education in the State of Maryland" report proposed that the Baltimore branch of the University of Maryland be established as a two-year program, subordinate to the College Park campus.[5]

In 1963, the Maryland Legislature approved the development of several new universities throughout Maryland. By the end of that year, 435 acres were purchased from Spring Grove State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Catonsville, Maryland. The new campus would be efficiently located in Southwestern Baltimore, and would be able to be accessed from Wilkens Avenue, the Baltimore Beltway and Interstate 95. Architectural design and planning of the new campus was completed at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1965, Albin O. Kuhn, an accomplished administrator and professor at College Park was named Vice President of Baltimore Campuses, including both UMBC and the founding campus, University of Maryland, Baltimore. The new campus also included Dr. Homer Schamp of the College Park as the first Dean of Faculty, David Lewis as the first full-time faculty member and head of Social Sciences, and John Haskell, Jr as the first Librarian. [6]

The first classes began in the on September 19, 1966 with 750 students, 3 buildings, and the older wing of the Biological Sciences building, 45 faculty members, 35 support staff and 500 parking spaces. As university enrollment increased drastically over the coming years, the university would also coincide with the turbulent changes in society in the 1960s. While undergoing the Civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War, UMBC would prove to be a new and different atmosphere with open and peaceful minds during campus protests. [7] In 1971, Albin O. Kuhn resigned his position as UMBC's first chancellor, succeeded by Calvin B. T. Lee. Five years later in 1976, John Dorsey, Administrative Vice President at the University of Maryland, College Park is appointed as UMBC’s third Chancellor. [8]

By 1980, undergraduate enrollment reached 5,800 students. Also in this year, Homecoming and Quadmania were established as cornerstone events that would become UMBC tradition for years to come. During this decade, the University Center and Sherman Hall were opened, as well as Hillcrest and Terrace Apartments. In addition, University of Maryland, College Park alum Jim Henson funds the establishment of the Imaging Research Center at UMBC. In 1986, Michael Hooker becomes chancellor until 1992 when he moves to president of the University of Massachusetts system. In 1988, a proposed merger of UMBC with the University of Baltimore was considered but was voted down by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. [9]

In 1990, undergraduate enrollment reached over 10,000 students. In 1991, a merger plan between UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore was approved in the Maryland House of Delegates, but was rejected by the Senate. Throughout the last decade of the twentieth century, the university opened the Engineering and Computer Science Building and Potomac Hall. The current university president, Freeman A. Hrabowski III was appointed in 1993. [10]


UMBC offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of areas of study. There are 44 majors, 41 minors, 20 certificate and 13 pre-professional program offerings in its undergraduate program. UMBC's Graduate School offers 37 master's degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs and 21 graduate certificate programs.,[11] The university is divided into three colleges, two schools, as well as its graduate school.


  • The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. It also home to the new Department of Marine Biotechnology.[12]
  • The College of Engineering and Information Technology offers different areas of study in five departments: the Departments of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Information Systems, and Mechanical Engineering.[13]
  • The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences houses the most departments in the university and awards more than half of all undergraduate and graduate degrees.[14] Among many others, it includes the departments of Ancient Studies, History, Music, Political Science, Sociology, Media and Communication studies, and Visual Arts. Many of the departments will be soon housed in the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building. Groundbreaking[15] and a grand opening ceremony for the Performing Arts building was held on September 19, 2012.[16]


  • The Erickson School of Aging offers undergraduate and graduate level programs that focuses on various aspects of aging studies, including policy and management issues.
  • The School of Social Work links with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Social work in offering undergraduate and graduate level programs.



UMBC's main entrance is approached from Metropolitan Boulevard where there is a UMBC Campus exit that leads to UMBC Boulevard. Soon after the campus exit, UMBC Boulevard intersects Research Park Drive which leads into UMBC's Research & Technology Park. UMBC's campus is also served by Wilkens Avenue, which provides access to the Baltimore Beltway and Rolling Road. Entrances off of Wilkens Avenue include Hilltop Road and Walker Avenue. Hilltop Road leads towards Catonsville's Business District on Frederick Road and Spring Grove Hospital Center. On the other side of the campus, Poplar Avenue gives direct access to Arbutus's Business District on East Drive. The campus core is served by Hilltop Circle, which creates a complete circle encompassing the campus.

Academic Row is known to be the central concourse in the campus that borders along a series of buildings. Beginning south at Administration Drive, the pathway is covered by mature trees on either side. Academic Row is bordered by the Administration Building, the Retriever Activities Center, Janet and Walter Sondheim Hall, Sherman Hall (Previously named Academic IV), University Center, Math and Psychology Building, Biological Sciences Building, and the Meyerhoff Chemistry Building. At the northern end, the walkway is intersected by Schwartz Breezeway leading to the Commons, the university's student union. Academic Row terminates at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, where multiple paths radiate across Erickson Field towards the Commons, the Physics and Public Policy Buildings, West Hills, Hillside, and Terrace Apartments, as well as additional dormitories.[17]

On the southern side of the Commons, a large grassy area known as the Quad is where many student events and activities take place throughout the school year. Another area of student congregation is at UC Plaza in front of the University Center. The University Center houses multiple dining options, the UC Ballroom, as well as additional university event and teaching space.[18]


UMBC's campus is located on 500 acres. It is 15 minutes from Baltimore's Inner Harbor and 45 minutes from Washington, D.C. It is also 45 minutes away from Fredrick. Baltimore-Washington International Airport is five minutes away, as are AMTRAK and Baltimore Light Rail stations (BWI Airport and BWI Business District). In addition, the MARC Penn Line serves the UMBC population at Halethorpe Station, which is located approximately two miles away on Southwestern Boulevard in Arbutus, Maryland. The Halethorpe/Satellite bus transit line transports students to and from the train station. UMBC, three miles outside the Baltimore city limits, successfully lobbied the government to use 'Baltimore' as its address. While its suburban campus has minimal interaction with its surroundings, students variously consider it to be located in the towns of Catonsville (by CDP) or Arbutus (whose street grid it borders). The campus is undercut by a series of tunnels.

Research and Technology Park

UMBC Research and Technology Park is a 71 acre development on the campus hosting technology, bioscience and research organizations, many of which are engaged in partnership with the University.[19] Research Park tenants include the US Geological Survey, US Forestry Service, CardioMed Device Consultants, Audacious Inquiry, Med-IQ, Physician Practice, Inc., Retirement Living TV, Ascentium Corporation, Solvern Innovations, RMF Engineering, Inc., Convergent Technology, Clear Resolution Consulting, Fearless Solutions, and Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center.


UMBC has several bus shuttle lines that are available to UMBC's students, faculty, and staff. All but the Wave 'n Ride are free by showing of one's campus identification card. The Wave-n-Ride is available to anyone who needs intracampus transport around Hilltop Circle and UMBC Boulevard. The university's transit system has seven lines:[20]

  • Arbutus/Irvington Line: Serving the Arbutus & Irvington Communities
  • Arundel Mills/Light Rail Line: Serving the nearby Arundel Mills Mall & BWI Light Rail Station
  • BWI/MARC Line: Providing access to the BWI / MARC Train Station
  • Catonsville Line: Serving the Catonsville Community (Frederick Road Business District) and CCBC Catonsville bus stop on Rolling Road
  • Halethorpe/Satellite Line: Serving the Halethorpe Train Station, South Campus Satellite Lot, and Main Campus
  • Route 40/Rolling Road Line: Providing connection to the U.S. Route 40 Business District
  • Wave 'n Ride Line: Provides curb side shuttle service for any potential rider on the intra-campus looping route on part of Hilltop Circle and UMBC Boulevard.

UMBC transits now offers Wifi.

The Maryland Transit Administration offers additional service to the University of Maryland Baltimore County community. Bus lines 35, 77, and 95 offer service to the campus.

Campus Police

UMBC maintains a 24-hour police staff of sworn officers, supplemented by non-sworn security officers and student marshals. Unlike the campus police of the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the campus police are not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.[21][22] Accreditation is expected by the University System of Maryland mandated 2013 deadline. The UMBC police logs all crime reports and statistics as required by law on the UMBC Police Webpage.[23]

Student Life

The Resident Student Association and Student Events Board provide social programming during all academic semesters at UMBC. Over 200 student-run organizations exist on campus.[24]

LLC (Language Literacy & Culture)

This unique interdisciplinary doctoral program draws upon faculty from disciplines in the humanities and social sciences from eight departments and programs at UMBC: Africana Studies; American Studies; Education; English; History; Gender and Women's Studies; Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication; and Sociology and Anthropology.[25]

LLC (Living Learning Community)

A living learning community (LLC) is essentially themed housing. A hallway of one of UMBC's residence halls is set aside for students who share a certain academic ground. LLCs are intended to provide residents with social, academic, and career opportunities related to their theme. Many sponsor a one credit course in which students are required to enroll.[26]

UMBC has eight LLCs, listed below.

The Center for Women in Technology

The Center for Women in Technology LLC houses women and men who major in engineering or information technology, with the special intention of providing a community for females in this traditionally male dominated academic area. It offers academic, social, and career opportunities.[26]

Discovery Scholars

The Discovery Scholars LLC helps students of an undecided career path explore possible majors and careers. Participants must enroll in its sponsored one credit course. Discovery Scholars are provided with social excursions, career exploration services, academic advising.[26]

Honors College

The Honors College LLC houses members of UMBC's honors college, providing an environment for socialization outside the classroom. Graduates of the Honors program must earn at least an "A" or "B" in special honors-level courses in various categories of academic disciplines. [26]

Humanities Floor

The Humanities Floor LLC is composed of students interested in—though not necessarily majoring in—the humanities. It facilitates intelligent discussion and field trips related to the humanities. Residents must attend four sponsored events and assist in planning floor activities.[26]

Intercultural Living Exchange

The Intercultural Living Exchange LLC aims to promote cultural diversity. Residents are mentored by international students and participate in social events centered around cultural items, such as holidays, movies, or cuisine. Students earth academic credit for participating in this LLC. [26]

Shriver Living-Learning Center

The Shriver Living-Learning Center LLC is centered around service learning. Students build leadership skills by volunteering three to five hours weekly. They are required to take the LLC's sponsored academic course. Residents also hear presentations from guest speakers and give presentations on their own service experiences. Students are able to earn academic credit for their participation.[26]

Visual and Performing Arts

The Visual and Performing Arts LLC provides students interested in the arts chances to deepen their experience of the arts through learning new skills, holding intelligent discussions, and attending relevant events.[26]

Women Involved in Learning and Leadership

The Women Involved in Learning and Leadership LLC is intended to promote leadership skills in social issues. Residents hear speakers, activists, and organizations involved in social change as well as plan and attend related events. Though not its sole focal points, feminism and gender issues predominate this LLC.[26]

Greek Life

UMBC has 23 officially registered sororities and fraternities with nearly 5% of UMBC's undergraduate students belonging to one of them.[27]

Residential life

There are ten housing areas housing approximately 3,900 students, which are: Potomac Hall, Chesapeake Hall, Erickson Hall, Harbor Hall, Patapsco Hall, Susquehanna Hall, Hillside Apartments, Terrace Apartments, Walker Avenue Apartments, West Hill Apartments.[28]

  • Shared rooms (usually two students per room)
  • Shared bathrooms (usually four students per bathroom/two rooms per bathroom)
  • Includes basic furniture (bed, desk, chair, closet), Internet access (Ethernet), a telephone, and access to cable television
  • Special activities and events every week in the dormitories
  • Potomac Hall, Harbor Hall, and the on-campus apartments are open all year, including holiday breaks (called "continuous occupancy").
Most international students prefer Potomac Hall because it is always open. (The other dormitories close during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.)
  • Erickson Hall rooms include a living area between the two bedrooms, with the bathroom located in the living area. (living room shared by four students)



UMBC has won the Pan American Chess Tournament 9 times in 13 years (1996–2009). The school provides substantial chess scholarships to outstanding high school graduate players at the International or Grandmaster level. Former UMBC team captain GM Alexander Onischuk has gone on to become US Champion in 2006.[30] Professor of Computer Science Alan Sherman has been instrumental in building up the UMBC chess dynasty by recruiting players from around the world.


Main article: UMBC Retrievers

The school's sports teams are called the Retrievers, with colors black and gold. The mascot of the University is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the state dog of Maryland, named True Grit. There is a statue of True Grit that stands in front of the Retriever Activities Center (RAC). The Retrievers participate in NCAA Division 1 as a part of the America East Conference, fielding 17 varsity sports; eight men and nine women. The Retrievers fight song is the UMBC Riser, and was written by Dr. George LaNoue, a professor of policy sciences.

In 2009, the men's lacrosse team secured their fifth consecutive outright or shared America East regular season championship and their third America East tournament championship in four years. UMBC has secured a berth in the NCAA tournament each of the past four seasons.[31][32] In 2007, the unseeded Retrievers upset seventh-seeded Maryland, 13–9, in the NCAA tournament to advance to the Division I second round for the first, and so far only, time in school history.[33]

The Retrievers won their first regular season American East Men's Basketball title in 2007-08, and also qualified for their first NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. They had previously competed in the Division II men's basketball tournament.

The Retrievers Men's Soccer Team won the America East Conference in 2010 receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament. The Retrievers won their first round game against Princeton but lost in the second round in a shootout to a ranked William and Mary team. This is the best UMBC has ever done at the tournament. Star striker, Levi Houapeu, from that 2010 team was drafted as a 5th pick in the 3rd round of the 2011 MLS Superdraft by the Philadelphia Union. He is the first UMBC player to be drafted into the MLS. The men also won the conference again in 2012, and advanced to the NCAA tournament once again. They won their first round game against Old Dominion, but lost in penalty kicks in the second round to defending champion, UNC Chapel Hill. They are ranked #7 in the nation (as of October 1, 2013).

The Retrievers, Men's Swimming and Diving Program captured their 13th straight conference championship in the 2009-2010 Season. Since Joining the America East Conference in 2004, the Retriever Men have not lost their crown.

Retrievers Basketball games are broadcast by Paul Mittermeier and Gary Stein as well as Troy Greene and Dan Levin.

In 2010, a contest was launched to find a new logo for Athletics.[34] In May 2010, the UMBC Athletic Department unveiled a new logo for the Retrievers created by Jim Lord.

Financial aid and scholarships

The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at UMBC is a program focused on the cultivation of underrepresented minority scholarship and awareness in the math, science, and engineering disciplines. Other scholarship programs include the CWIT Scholars Program, the Humanities Scholars Program, the Dresher Humanities Fellowships, Honors College Fellowships, the Linehan Artist Scholars Program, the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program and the Sherman Teacher Education Scholars Program.


University rankings

UMBC rankings

  USNWR National University[35] 157
  USNWR Up-and-Coming Schools[35] 1
  USNWR Public Universities[35] 83
  USNWR High School Counselor[35] 147
  USNWR Undergraduate Teaching[35] 4
  USNWR Engineering[36] 118
  USNWR Computer Science[37] 72
  USNWR Public Affairs[38] 67
  USNWR Mathematics[39] 98
  USNWR Physics[39] 122
  USNWR Psychology[39] 117
  USNWR Chemistry[39] 107

The University is ranked 158th in the latest 2013 U.S. News and World Report rankings of "National Universities" across the United States, and it is ranked 85th nationally among public universities.UMBC ranks fourth among U.S. research universities in the production of IT degrees and certificates, according to U.S. Department of Education data. The data shows UMBC ranking #21 in MS, and #31 in PhD IT degree production.[40]

In 2012, U.S. News and World Report rated UMBC as the 12th most under-performing university, citing a gap between academic reputation and performance in the academic indicators.[41] The Carnegie Foundation classifies UMBC as a research university with high research activity.[42]

UMBC is one of 50 public institutions in the United States recognized by The Princeton Review as a “Best Value College” offering a combination of educational excellence and affordability. For the past 14 years, UMBC has been named one of America’s top 5 “Up-and-Coming” national universities by U.S. News and World Report. For the 3rd year in a row, UMBC has been named #1 Up-and-Coming national university.

In addition, UMBC has received a high rating of 4 out of 5 from Campus Pride, an LGBT-friendly campus climate index. [43]

Notable professors

  • Maurice Berger - Research Professor and Chief Curator of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
  • Irene Chan - artist[44]
Aging Studies
Computer Science
Emergency Health Services
Gender and Women's Studies
  • Anne Brodsky - Director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program.
  • Carole McCann - Researches reproductive politics, cultural politics of gender, sexuality, race and science, and U.S. women's history.
Geography & Environmental Systems
  • Kate Brown, 2009 Guggenheim Fellow
Language, Literacy, and Culture
  • Christine Mallinson - Sociolinguistics scholar and co-author of Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools.[47]
Media and Communication Studies
  • Jason Loviglio - Radio expert and author of "Radio's Intimate Public: Network Broadcasting and Mass-Mediated Democracy"[48] #MCS101
  • Nancy Beith - Lecturer on collaborative piano and student advisor[49]
  • Stephen Carraciolo - Professor of voice, choral methods, and conducting. director of Camerata, the UMBC choir [49]
Political Science
  • James Franson - Quantum information science, Fellow of the American Physical Society.
  • Anthony M. Johnson - Ultra-fast nonlinear optics, Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, Past President of the Optical Society of America.

Notable alumni

Arts and entertainment


External links

  • Official website
    • Official athletics website

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