Program Descriptions


UMBC offers 42 majors, 41 minors and 17 certificate programs in the physical and biological sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics, information technology, the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. UMBC’s Graduate School offers 33 master’s degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs and 20 graduate certificate programs in education, engineering, emergency health services, imaging and digital arts, information technology, aging services, life sciences, psychology, public policy and a host of other areas of interest. In addition, UMBC Division of Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS) delivers high-quality programs in biotechnology, social science, professional development, education and engineering and information technology that support the academic and professional success of our students.

Inquiry is central to UMBC’s curriculum. UMBC faculty and researchers actively seek collaborative research opportunities and consistently encourage students to obtain “real world” experiences via research, internships, co-op experiences and service learning. Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue their own research questions with the support of faculty mentors.

The University attracts high-achieving students through the nationally acclaimed Meyerhoff Scholars Program and a number of other specialized programs including the Humanities Scholars, the Linehan Artist Scholars, the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars and the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Scholars.

Since the 2003 Facilities Master Plan the University has added various programs to support its mission, including seven new undergraduate degrees and seven upper division certificate programs, as well as eleven new graduate degrees and twelve post-baccalaureate certificate programs.

For a List of Programs Implemented Since 2003 Click Here


Research Sponsored Projects

In terms of funding, UMBC is among the nation’s fastest-growing research universities. The University’s research funding has grown to $88.8 million, up from $36 million in 1996. UMBC has a dynamic faculty committed to research, a commitment borne out in professors’ successes in competing for research funding and external support.

The University is home to an impressive number of research centers and institutes, including:
•    the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR);
•    Hilltop Institute (formerly the Center for Health Program Development and Management (CHPDM);
•    Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE);
•    Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center;
•    Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship;
•    Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture;
•    Center for Space Science and Technology (CSST);
•    Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT);
•    Shriver Center,
•    Imaging Research Center (IRC);
•    Joint Center for Astrophysics;
•    Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET);
•    Center for Advanced Sensor Technology (CAST);
•    Dresher Center for Humanities, and the
•    Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR).

UMBC ranks among the top U.S. universities in NASA funding, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The University’s NASA-funded centers are the Joint Centers for Earth Systems Technology, the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center and the Center for Space Science and Technology.

Click Here for a table illustrating Research Funding Growth



Success for UMBC athletic programs, including lacrosse, swimming, soccer and basketball, has grown meteorically over the last ten years. UMBC teams are ranked nationally and generate a high level of pride and school camaraderie. More than 400 student-athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division l sports. Showcasing brains as well as brawn, UMBC takes great pride that their chess team has won the premier national chess tournament, the President’s Cup – not just in 2009, but five of the last nine years.

Facilities for athletic programs include a 4,500 seat stadium and track and field complex, the 4,000 seat Retriever Activities Center (RAC) arena, an indoor and outdoor aquatics complex, tennis courts, a soccer stadium, baseball and softball fields, as well as associated practice fields and training areas. These facilities host a wide range of events besides UMBC athletic competitions. In the last two years the Retriever Activities Center has hosted such diverse activities as the 2008 First Lego League robotics state finals, the 2007 America East Conference men’s basketball championships and the Maryland state girl’s high school basketball championships. These events draw large crowds from the community.


Community Outreach

UMBC prides itself on the synergies created by its academic, research and athletics programs. This community outreach is as varied as it is integral to the region.

Visual and performing arts programs also draw an audience to the campus from the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The campus community hosts visual arts exhibitions in the galleries of the Fine Arts Building and the Albin O. Kuhn Library. The University has an active outreach arts program with area schools.

UMBC was named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, recognizing innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Shriver Center’s Choice Program has become a national model for supporting at-risk youth. This delinquency prevention program, administered by UMBC’s Shriver Center, has provided support to 18,000 children throughout Maryland. Choice was successfully replicated in Hartford, Connecticut in 1997, San Diego, California in 1998, and Syracuse, New York in 2003. UMBC’s effective Internship, Co-op and Research Programs through The Shriver Center received the 2009 Best Practice Award from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).

Synergies between research and economic development are enhanced through the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. Comprised of eight buildings, including the five new buildings immediately adjacent to the main campus, bwtech@UMBC is a leading generator of jobs and income for the region.