Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the questions most frequently asked of the Graduate School staff and their answers. We encourage you to follow the links provided to information already included on the Graduate School website. If you still have questions after reviewing the information, please contact the appropriate Graduate School staff member or graduate program representative.

Admissions | Current Students (Progressions) | Degree Completion and Graduation


Admissions

Application materials
Q. Do I need to send in all my application materials at the same time, or can some things be sent separately?
A. Your application materials may be sent separately (as long as your name is on each document); they do not all need to arrive at the same time.

Application to another program
Q. If I have already been admitted to one graduate program but want to apply to another one, do I need to send in new documents?
A. You will need to send in a new application and application fee. But if you have applied to a UMBC graduate program within the past two years, we will still have your supplemental documents on file (e.g., transcripts). We maintain your documents even longer if you have enrolled as a graduate student at UMBC. Please contact the appropriate Graduate School staff member to make certain that we have the documents you sent with your first application.

Deadlines
Q. Where can I find out when the deadline is for submitting my application?
A. Please refer to the Applications Requirements and Deadlines chart.

Denials
Q. Why was I denied admission?
A. Contact the graduate program to which you applied. Most programs will explain the reasons for a denial decision. The Graduate School does not provide this information.

GRE exams
Q. Do I need to take the general GRE or the subject GRE?
A. Please refer to the Admissions Requirements and Deadlines chart. If you still have questions, please contact your graduate program’s representative.

International applicants
Q. I am an international student. What do I need to do to apply?
A. Please refer to the International Admissions section of this website.

Letters of recommendation
Q. I am having problems with getting my online letters of recommendation submitted. What do I do?
A. Contact Alicia Lew in the Graduate School.

Matriculation fee
Q. What is the matriculation fee?
The matriculation fee is a fee split over two semesters which covers orientation, support and completion programs, as well as graduation. This fee cannot be waived.

Residency
Q. I have been classified by the university as “out-of-state,” even though I am a long-time resident of Maryland. Why?
A. In most cases this happened because you left unanswered some questions on the residency form; contact the Graduate School for assistance.

Status of application
Q. How do I find out the status of my application—either whether all my documents have been received, or whether an admission decision has been made?
A. Please refer to the Application Status section of this website.

Q. How do I find out the status of my relative’s or friend’s application?
A. Because of U.S. privacy laws, we are unable to provide information on an application to anyone but the applicant, unless he or she has provided us with a written (letter or email) authorization to share this information with a specific person other than the applicant regardless of your relationship to the applicant.

TOEFL
Q. I am an international student applying from India (where English is spoken). Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A. Please refer to the International Admissions section of this website. Applicants from India are required to take the TOEFL.

Q. I am an international student, and although English is not my native language, I have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A. If you have a degree from a U.S. university, you do not need to take the TOEFL. Please refer to the International Admissions section of this site.

 Q. I am an applicant whose native language is not English. I do not have a degree from a U.S. university, but I have lived for many years in the U.S. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A. In most cases the TOEFL is required; occasionally it may be waived if your experience of working in the U.S. and speaking English is extensive. Please refer to the International Admissions section of this site. If questions remain, contact Kathy Ruth in the Graduate School or your Program Director.

Q. Do you offer conditional admission?
A. We do have a conditional acceptance program for those who must complete English classes or take the TOEFL exam before seeking full admission to the graduate school.

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Current Students (Progressions)

Add/Drop classes
Q. The registration period is over, but I need to add (or drop) a class. How do I do this?
A. Contact Lisa Portis Morgan in the Graduate School for assistance. 

Billing error
Q. I have a Graduate Assistantship, and have received a bill that is incorrect. How can I get it corrected?
A. Contact Kathy Coleman in the Graduate School for assistance.

Blocked registration
Q. I was not registered last semester, and now I want to register this semester, but the system says I am blocked. What do I do?
A. Contact Lisa Portis Morgan in the Graduate School for assistance.

Drop only course
Q. How can I drop my only course? The system won’t let me.
A. If you are an international student, you are not allowed to drop below full-time status, because this will cause you to be legally out-of-status with U.S. Immigration. If you are a domestic student and drop your last course, this will cause you to be withdrawn from the university, unless you obtain a Leave of Absence. Contact Lisa Portis Morgan in the Graduate School for assistance. 

Inter-Institutional student
Q. I want to take courses on another campus (or I am at another campus and want to take courses at UMBC). How do I do that?
A. Go to the Inter-Institutional form and follow the instructions.

Leave of absence
Q. I need to take a leave of absence (either for past semesters or this semester). How do I do that?
A. This request must be reviewed by the Graduate School. Please contact Lisa Portis Morgan.

Transfer to different degree-level
Q. I want to transfer from master’s to doctoral level (in the same graduate program). OR I want to transfer from a doctoral to a master’s level (in the same graduate program). How do I do this?
A. Contact your Graduate Program Director for permission.

Transfer to different graduate program
Q. I want to transfer from the program that I’m currently in to a different one. How do I do that?
A. If the new program is in the same department in which you are now enrolled, ask the Graduate Program Director for permission, and he/she will see that this transfer is officially made. If the new program is in a different department, please consult the Forms section of this website for the Program Change Approval Form.

Transcript
Q. How can I get a copy of my UMBC transcript?
A. Please refer to the Registrar’s website to request a form. 

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Degree Completion and Graduation

Bound copies of dissertation/thesis
Q. How do I get personal copies of my dissertation (or thesis) bound?
A. All theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically. Please refer to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation section of this website.

Deadlines
Q. Where can I find the deadlines for degree completion and graduation?
A. Please refer to the Degree Requirements and Deadlines section of this website.

Deferred graduation
Q. Last semester I submitted all my graduation forms but then deferred graduation until this next semester. Why do I have to submit all NEW forms again?
A. Because some of the information on the previously submitted forms is now different and must be updated.

Extension for degree completion
Q. I have exceeded my time-to-degree allowance (e.g., 5 years for a master’s degree). What do I do to get this extended?
A. Ask your mentor to write a letter to the Associate Dean, Dr. Robert Deluty, providing an explanation for this delay in your degree completion and requesting an extension for a specific length of time.

Final semester enrollment
Q. I plan to graduate this coming semester, and I have completed all required courses. What do I register for?
A. Either register for 799 (master’s student research credit) or 899 (doctoral student research credit), or 7700 or 8800 (special study) if the research credit courses are not appropriate.

Q. Why do I have to register for something my final semester even though I have completed all degree requirements?
A. UMBC’s policy of continuous enrollment requires that you must be registered for something every semester. If you have completed all degree requirements, you may register for 7700 or 8800 special study during your final semester.

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