The University of Maryland, College Park, is a publicly supported, land grant, research institution dedicated primarily to the educational needs of Maryland residents. Within its responsibilities as a state institution, the university attracts a cosmopolitan student body and each year offers admission to a number of promising students from other states and jurisdictions. Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 3 territories, and more than 150 foreign countries are represented in the undergraduate population. Admission policies are determined by the Board of Regents.

We seek academically successful applicants with a diverse variety of backgrounds, geographic origins, and personal experiences, and who demonstrate the potential to contribute significantly to the university’s campus and community life. The Admission Committee considers each application for freshman admission individually, reviewing the student’s academic record, the rigor of the student’s high school academic program, standardized admission test scores, class rank (if available), essay, extracurricular activities, counselor recommendation, and other letters of recommendation. Maryland residency, special talents and/or abilities, personal background, and Maryland alumni/ae affiliation may be taken into consideration.

As prescribed by the Board of Regents, the university expects all applicants, at a minimum, to have completed by high school graduation the following course work: four years of English; three years of mathematics, including Algebra I or Applied Math I and II, or geometry; or three years of history or social science; three years of science in at least two different areas with at least two lab sciences; and two years of a foreign language. These criteria represent the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. Successful applicants typically present academic credentials which exceed the minimum, several honors and/or Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and additional academic electives. A fourth year of mathematics is strongly recommended.

Admission to the University of Maryland is competitive. Each year, we receive more than 22,000 applications for a fall freshman class of 4,000. As a result, we are unable to offer admission to all students who have the ability to be academically successful at Maryland.

High School Record

In general, the University of Maryland requires freshman applicants to earn a high school diploma prior to their first registration at the university. Applicants should make sure that final high school transcripts are sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions prior to enrolling. All offers of admission are contingent upon satisfactory completion of current work. Each applicant’s previous academic achievement is reviewed according to the information available on the student’s high school transcript through eleventh grade. In some cases, mid-year grades for the senior year will also be considered. The Admission Committee considers the following academic criteria when evaluating candidates for admission:

  • nature and rigor of course load,
  • grades in academic courses,
  • progress as reflected in grades over time, and
  • performance compared with high school peers.

High school grades will be reviewed in the context of the level of course work taken.

Standardized Admission Test Scores

All freshman applicants must present results from either the ACT or the SAT I. Test results should be submitted directly to the University of Maryland, College Park, by the American College Testing Program for the ACT or the Educational Testing Service for the SAT I. The applicant is strongly urged to include his or her social security number when registering for either test. The social security number will expedite processing of the application for admission.

The reporting code for the University of Maryland, College Park, is 1746 for applicants submitting the ACT, and 5814 for those submitting the SAT I. The university strongly recommends that these tests be taken as early as possible, but no later than December for priority applicants and January for general applicants. Further information on both tests may be obtained from high school guidance counselors or directly from the American College Testing Program, Iowa City, IA 52243 and the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Additional Criteria

Priority for admission is given to those students who demonstrate outstanding academic success as measured by the nature and the rigor of their curricula and academic achievements, and by their aptitude for college success as evidenced by their performance on nationally normed standardized tests. We also seek to admit students who will contribute to Maryland’s campus and community life, and look for evidence of this by considering applicants’ extracurricular activities and personal backgrounds. The most successful applicants, however, demonstrate a balance of outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Most successful applicants submit the required personal essay and counselor recommendation, a list of extracurricular activities, and one or two additional letters of recommendation from academic subject area teachers.

Application Forms

Undergraduate application forms may be obtained by calling 1-800-422-5867 or (301) 314-8385, by sending an electronic mail message to, by writing to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Mitchell Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-5235, or by visiting your high school guidance office. Applications may also be requested and submitted on-line at the Undergraduate Admissions web site.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee is required with each application. The fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $45; the fee for international students and non-immigrants is $65.

Fall Semester Freshman Admission

The University of Maryland strongly encourages all applicants to apply by our priority application deadline to assure best consideration for admission, merit scholarships, and invitation to the University Honors Program or College Park Scholars. A completed application includes an official high school transcript, SAT I or ACT scores, essay, guidance counselor recommendation form, application form, and application fee.