May 29, 2024  
2022-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Appendices - Admissions Policies

III-4.00 - Policy on Undergraduate Admissions

(Approved by the Board of Regents, January 11, 1990; Revised October 4, 1996; Revised October 5, 2001, Revised December 4, 2009; Revised June 17, 2011)

Admission to the institutions of the University System of Maryland shall be determined without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disabling condition. The undergraduate student population of USM institutions should draw from all areas of the state and reflect the diversity of the state’s population. Consistent with their individual missions, institutions will seek to enroll the students having greatest potential to benefit from their programs. Each institution shall take appropriate actions in its admissions procedures to achieve these goals, consistent with State and Federal laws.

I. Admission of Freshmen

Each institution shall publish electronically or in print format its own decision criteria, which may be more rigorous than the system wide minimum stated below.

  1. Minimum Qualifications for Regular Admission
    1. High school diploma or its equivalent (See exception in paragraph B.)
    2. Grade point average
      A high school grade point average equivalent to a C or better is required for admission of full-time and part-time entering freshmen who have graduated from high school within three years of intended enrollment.
    3. Test Score 1
      A score on a nationally standardized examination such as the SAT or ACT is required of all applicants who have graduated from high school within three years of intended enrollment.
    4. Minimum core content proficiency requirements

In addition to the above stated requirements, high school seniors or graduates must demonstrate their readiness for college-level work by achievement at the appropriate level of competencies 1 in the core content associated with the array of courses that follows:

Subject Year  
English 4  
Biological and Physical Sciences2 3  
Social Science/History 3  
Mathematics 4  
Must include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Students who complete Algebra II prior to their final year must complete the four-year mathematics requirement by taking a course or courses that utilize non-trivial algebra3
Language other than English4 2  
or in some instances, Advanced Technology Education electives5
  1. Other criteria
    Each institution shall publish other criteria for admission that may include (a) rigor of the high school curriculum as demonstrated by advanced level coursework, (b) academic electives, (c) performance on high school assessments, (d) trends in performance, (e) citizenship and leadership, (f) special talents, and (g) personal circumstances.
  1. Early Admission
    Early admission may be granted to a high school student who has demonstrated superior scholarship, as evidenced by his or her academic record or performance on standardized entrance examinations. The expectation is that the student will make arrangements to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Each institution that offers early admission shall publish electronically or in print format its procedures.
  2. Admission of Students from Non-accredited/Non-approved High Schools.
    Freshman applicants for admission who are graduates of non-accredited/non-approved high schools will be reviewed individually, with consideration given to factors such as scores on nationally standardized tests, high school course content, performance in high school academic courses, the performance of previous students with similar academic preparation, and other appropriate criteria as developed by each institution.
  3. Admission of Students with non-US Records
    Students with international records, those who have completed part or all of their secondary and/or post-secondary education outside the United States, may be admitted using the guidelines of the following educational associations:
    1. Association of International Educators (NAFSA)
    2. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
    3. National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC)
      Each USM institution will establish procedures to insure consistency in admissions practices for its applicants with academic records from non-US institutions.
  4. Admission of Home-Schooled Students
    All home-schooled students must demonstrate compliance with state and local education regulations. Demonstration of the competencies outlined in the USM Requirements for Admission may be combined with scores on a nationally standardized examination such as ACT or SAT to satisfy the minimum qualifications for admission. For Maryland students, the home instruction program must comply with 13A.10.01 of the General Regulations of the State Board of Education.
  5. Admission of Students with Proficiency-Based standards, Standardized Examinations, or Equivalency Diplomas. Students who have graduated from regionally accredited secondary institutions with proficiency-based standards will be considered individually. Each secondary institution with proficiency-based standards will be asked to provide documentation of the student’s achievement in secondary school.

    Admission may be granted to students who have been awarded a high school equivalency diploma by passing a standardized evaluation, such as the General Educational Development (GED) test or the External Diploma Program (EDP). Each USM institution will establish procedures to insure consistency in admissions practices for its applicants presenting external evaluations.
  6. Admission of Students Who Have Been Out of School More Than Three Years
    Students who have earned a high school diploma (or equivalent) with a minimum GPA equivalent to a C or better, but who are more than three years beyond high school enrollment, may be admitted without meeting the usual criteria for admission if the institution determines that the applicant has the potential for successful college work. This determination may be made by evaluation of successful work experiences, by portfolio assessment, and/or by placement testing.
  7. Special Program Requirements
    With the approval of the president, an institution may establish additional requirements for admission to specified academic programs.
  8. Admission to Two Institutions
    USM institutions that have established joint degree or cooperative programs with other institutions will outline procedures to permit students to be admitted simultaneously to two institutions to earn the targeted degree(s).
  9. Exceptions
    Each institution may admit, to a maximum of 15 percent of its entering freshman class, students who do not meet the minimum qualifications outlined in sections I.A.-G. of this policy but who show potential for success in postsecondary education. Each institution shall develop written guidelines, in accordance with this policy, concerning individual admission.

For those instances in which applicants have not completed all of the required courses for admission, each institution shall establish a method of assessment by which a student can demonstrate competence equivalent to having passed a required high school course to qualify for admission.

II. Admission of Transfer Students

This section applies to students who have earned at least twelve or more university parallel credits during a regular term or terms following high school graduation. Credits earned in courses taken during the first summer following high school graduation, concurrently with high school, by Advanced Placement, or by examination are not to be counted in the twelve. Each institution shall publish its own decision criteria that may be more rigorous than the system wide minima stated below.

  1. Minimum Requirements
    1. All transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, for all attempted college-level work.
    2. Students who have completed 23 or fewer credits are also required to meet minimum qualifications as set forth in Part I of this policy.
    3. Students transferring from institutions that are not regionally accredited shall demonstrate proficiencies comparable with Sections II.A.1 and 2.
  2. Maryland Public Institutions Of Higher Education
    1. Students who have completed an associate’s degree, or 56 or more semester hours of credit in university parallel courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from public institutions of higher education in Maryland, shall be considered qualified to be admitted to a USM institution. In cases where the number of applicants exceeds the number who can be accommodated, or where programs require higher performance standards, admissions decisions shall be based on criteria that provide fair and equal treatment for native and transfer students in accordance with COMAR Title 13B.06.01.02-1.
    2. Students wishing to transfer from public institutions of higher education in Maryland who have not completed an associate’s degree or who have completed fewer than 56 semester hours of credit shall be considered qualified to be admitted regardless of the number of credit hours earned if the student satisfied the admission criteria of the USM institution as a high school senior and attained at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent in university parallel courses. In cases where the number of applicants exceeds the number who can be accommodated, or where programs require higher performance standards, admissions decisions shall be based on criteria that provide fair and equal treatment for native and transfer students in accordance with COMAR Title 13B.06.01.02-1.
  3. Admission to Two Institutions
    To facilitate the enrollment of transfer students and to enhance relationships with community colleges, USM institutions are strongly encouraged to establish agreements with community colleges to provide for dual admission of students who first matriculate at the community college. The agreements shall stipulate requirements for eligibility, conditions for maintaining good academic standing, curricular requirements, and credit/grade transfer acceptance.
  4. Providing Transfer Information
    Each institution shall participate in the system wide computerized information system to assist prospective transfer students. In cooperation with Maryland community colleges, programs shall be developed that represent the lower division course work required for completion of a baccalaureate degree at that institution. Information about such recommended transfer programs, updated on a regular basis, shall be available to potential transfer students to serve as a basis for advisement and student planning. Students will be encouraged to seek advisement on a regular basis.
  5. Exceptions
    At the discretion of the receiving institution, transfer students with special circumstances may be admitted on the basis of criteria other than prior academic performance. Up to 15 percent of the institution’s entering transfer cohort may comprise such exceptions.

III. Admission of Second Baccalaureate Students

The application process for second degree students mirrors the process for transfer students. Please complete the online application and submit official transcripts from your previous colleges and universities. It is important that you submit official transcripts from your previous colleges and universities. It is important that you submit your transcripts from every community college and university that you have attended.

IV. Admission of Non-Degree Students

  1. Minimum Requirements
    Procedures for admitting non-degree students shall be established by each institution. Criteria for changing from non-degree to degree status must be equivalent to, or exceed the minimum requirements set forth in this policy, sections II.A.1 and 2, for students transferring between Maryland public institutions.
  2. Concurrent Enrollment
    Concurrent enrollment may be granted to a high school student who has demonstrated superior scholarship, as evidenced by his or her academic record or performance on standardized entrance examinations. Each institution may allow such students to enroll in its undergraduate classes concurrently with their enrollment in high school.

V. Admission of Out-of-State Students to Undergraduate Programs

Each institution may establish for out-of-state students standards that are higher than the undergraduate admission standards for in-state students. If a choice must be made between applicants of roughly comparable ability and promise, preference will be given to the Maryland resident.

Excluding UMUC students and all students enrolled exclusively in distance education programs, the number of out-of-state undergraduate students in any institution shall not exceed 30 percent of its total undergraduate student body.

VI. Implementation

  1. Effective date
    The revised freshman admissions requirements are effective for those students entering ninth grade in the academic year 2011.
  2. Mathematics Requirement
    The University System of Maryland in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education will review local school system courses to determine their appropriateness in meeting this requirement.
  3. Publication of Standards
    The USM shall publish electronically or in print format the content, competencies, achievement levels, and skills required for success in college. Each institution shall publish its admission standards in its catalog and shall submit them to University System of Maryland Office for information.
  4. Maintenance of Records
    Each institution shall maintain in each enrolled student’s record evidence that minimum criteria for admission have been met. Lacking such evidence, the record shall contain a note that the student is an exception, and whether the exception was based on minimum GPA, lack of standardized test scores or demonstration of competency in the required courses.
  5. Application Fee
    Each constituent institution in the University System of Maryland may assess a non-refundable admission application fee for each applicant, unless the fee is waived in accordance with institutional policy.

Replacement for: BOR I-1.00, 1.10, 1.11, 1.20, 1.30, 1.40, 1.50, 1.60, 1.80, 13.00 and BOT II-D.3, X-A.1, X-A.2, X-A.3, X-A.4, X-A.5, X-A.7, X-A.8, X-A.9, X-A.11, and X-B

Foot Notes:

  1. Students applying to Salisbury University under its test-optional program are exempt from this requirement.
  2. A grade equivalent to a C or better in required courses would normally demonstrate the minimum level of preparation for college-level work.
  3. The courses completed must be in at least two different subject areas. Two of the three must include a laboratory experience. For students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) related careers (such as medicine, engineering, the sciences, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, etc.), four years of science are recommended in three different science areas, with three laboratory experiences.
  4. Non-trivial algebra is intended to mean that the level of mathematical concepts discussed and the level of problems that are used in the course would be at least as sophisticated as those that relate to problems appearing in the Achieve ADP Algebra II test. Examples of courses meeting this requirement include Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus, Calculus and successor courses, Statistics, and College Algebra. An important feature of any such course is that it utilizes algebra in a substantive way, so the student does not lose the algebraic and numerical skills achieved in earlier courses.
  5. The two units must be in the same language. American Sign Language is among the languages accepted.
  6. Advanced Technology is an instructional program in which students develop in-depth skills and understanding related to one or more of the following: impacts of technology; technological issues, and engineering design. At the time this policy was approved, Advanced Technology Education electives are acceptable in lieu of language at the following institutions: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Frostburg State University, the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Students should consult the admissions office of the USM institution they are seeking to attend to determine if advanced technology is accepted in fulfillment of this requirement.

VIII-2.70 Policy on Student Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes

(Approved by the Board of Regents August 28, 1990; Amended July 10, 1998; Amended November 27, 2000; Amended April 11, 2003; Amended June 23, 2006;Amended February 15, 2008; Amended September 18, 2009)

I. Policy

  1. Purpose
    To extend the benefits of its system of higher education while encouraging the economical use of the State’s resources,1 it is the policy of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM) to recognize the tuition categories of in-state and out-of-state students for the purpose of admission and assessing tuition at USM institutions.
  2. Burden of Proof
    The person seeking in-state status shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that he or she satisfies the requirements and standards set forth in this Policy. Assignment of in-state or out-of-state status will be made by the applicable USM institution upon a review of the totality of facts known or presented to it.
  3. In-state Status
    To qualify for in-state tuition, a student must demonstrate that, for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to and including the last date available to register for courses in the semester/term for which the student seeks in-state tuition status, the student had the continuous intent to:
    1. Make Maryland his or her permanent home; and
    2. Abandon his or her former home state; and
    3. Reside in Maryland indefinitely; and
    4. Reside in Maryland primarily for a purpose other than that of attending an educational institution in Maryland.

Satisfying all of the requirements in Section II (and Section III, when applicable) of this policy demonstrates continuous intent and qualifies a student for in-state tuition. Students not entitled to in-state status under this policy shall be assigned out-of-state status for admission and tuition purposes.

  1. Presumption
    Either of the following circumstances raises a presumption that the student is residing in the State of Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution and therefore, does not qualify for in-state status under this policy:
    1. A student is attending school or living outside Maryland at the time of application for admission to a USM institution, or
    2. A student is Financially Dependent on a person who is not a resident of Maryland. This presumption may be rebutted. The student bears the burden of rebutting the presumption. See “III. Rebuttal Evidence” below.

II. Requirements

Before a request for classification to in-state status will be considered, a student must comply with all of the following requirements for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to and including the last date available to register for courses in the semester/term for which the student seeks in-state tuition status. The student must demonstrate he or she:

  1. Owns or possesses, and has continuously occupied, including during weekends, breaks and vacations, living quarters in Maryland. The student must provide evidence of a genuine deed or lease and documentation of rent payments made. In lieu of a deed or lease, a notarized affidavit from a landlord showing the address, name of the student as occupant, term of residence, and history of rent payments made will be considered. As an alternative, a student may demonstrate that he or she shares living quarters in Maryland which are owned or rented and occupied by a parent, legal guardian or spouse.
  2. Has substantially all of his or her personal property, such as household effects, furniture and pets in Maryland.
  3. Has paid Maryland income tax on all taxable income including all taxable income earned outside the State and has filed a Maryland tax return.
  4. Has registered all owned or leased motor vehicles in Maryland.
  5. Possesses a valid Maryland driver’s license, if licensed.
  6. Is registered to vote in Maryland, if registered to vote.
  7. Receives no public assistance from a state other than the State of Maryland or from a city, county or municipal agency other than one in Maryland.
  8. Has a legal ability under Federal and Maryland law to live permanently without interruption in Maryland.
  9. Has rebutted the presumption that he or she is in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution, if the student’s circumstances have raised the presumption.

III. Rebuttal Evidence

Satisfying the requirements listed in paragraphs A through I of Section II, does not rebut the presumption that a student is in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution. To overcome the presumption, a student must present additional evidence.

To determine a student’s intent, the University will evaluate evidence of a student’s objectively verifiable conduct. Evidence that does not document a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to and including the last date available to register for courses in the semester/term for which the student seeks in-state tuition status is generally considered an unfavorable factor under this policy. Evidence of intent must be clear and convincing and will be evaluated not only by the amount presented but also based upon the reliability, authenticity, credibility and relevance of the evidence.

The absence of objective, relevant evidence is generally considered an unfavorable factor. A student’s statement of intent to remain in Maryland in the future is generally not considered to be objective evidence under this policy.

Additional evidence that will be considered includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Source of financial support:
    1. Maryland employment and earnings history through sources beyond those incident to enrollment as a student in an educational institution e.g., beyond support provided by work study, scholarships, grants, stipends, aid, student loans, etc. (Tuition costs will be considered as a student expense only to the extent tuition exceeds the amount of any educational scholarships, grants, student loans, etc.), or
    2. Evidence the student is Financially Dependent upon a person who is a resident of Maryland.
  2. Substantial participation as a member of a professional, social, community, civic, political, athletic or religious organization in Maryland, including professionally related school activities that demonstrate a commitment to the student’s community or to the State of Maryland.
  3. Registration as a Maryland resident with the Selective Service, if male.
  4. Evidence showing the student uses his or her Maryland address as his or her sole address of record for all purposes including on health and auto insurance records, bank accounts, tax records, loan and scholarship records, school records, military records, leases, etc.
  5. An affidavit from a person unrelated to the student that provides objective, relevant evidence of a student’s conduct demonstrating the student’s intent to live permanently in Maryland.

IV. Non-Residents WHO May Temporarily Qualify for In-State Status

In addition, persons with the following status shall be accorded the benefits of in-state status for the period in which they hold such status:

  1. A full-time or part-time (at least 50 percent time) regular employee of USM or a USM institution.
  2. The spouse or Financially Dependent child of a full-time or part-time (at least 50 percent time) regular employee of USM or a USM institution.
  3. A full-time active member of the Armed Forces of the United States whose home of residency is Maryland or one who resides or is stationed in Maryland, or the spouse or a Financially Dependent child of such a person. Students that qualify under this provision will retain in-state status for tuition purposes as long as they are Continuously Enrolled regardless of a change in military assignment or status of the active member of the military.
  4. A veteran of the United States Armed Forces with an honorable discharge who, within one year of discharge, presents documentation that he or she attended a secondary school in the State for at least three years, and graduated or received the equivalent of a high school diploma from a secondary school in the State. The veteran must present documentation and register at a USM institution within one year of discharge for this provision to apply.
  5. A member of the Maryland National Guard, as defined in the Public Safety Article of the Maryland Annotated Code, who joined or subsequently serves in the Maryland National Guard to: (i) provide a critical military occupational skill; or (ii) be a member of the Air Force Critical Specialty Code as determined by the National Guard.
  6. For UMUC, a full-time active member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty, or the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty.
  7. A graduate assistant appointed through a USM institution for the semester/term of the appointment. Except through prior arrangement, this benefit is available only for enrollment at the institution awarding the assistantship.

V. Procedures

  1. An initial determination of in-state status will be made at the time of admission. The determination made at that time, and any determination made thereafter, shall prevail for each semester/term until the determination is successfully challenged in a timely manner.
  2. A change in status must be requested by submitting a USM institution’s “Petition for Change in Classification for Tuition”. A student applying for a change to in-state status must furnish all evidence that the student wishes the USM institution to consider at the time the petition is due. The due date is based on the deadline set forth by the USM institution at which the student seeks to enroll. If the applicable USM institution has no such deadline, the due date is the last published date to register for the forthcoming semester/term for which the change in classification is sought.
  3. The student shall notify the USM institution in writing within fifteen (15) days of any change in circumstances which may alter in-state status.
  4. In the event incomplete, false, or misleading information is presented, the USM institution may, at its discretion, revoke in-state status and take disciplinary action provided for by the institution’s policy. Such action may include suspension or expulsion. If in-state status is gained due to false or misleading information, the institution reserves the right to retroactively assess all out-of-state charges for each semester/term affected.
  5. Each USM institution shall develop and publish additional procedures to implement this Policy. Procedures shall provide that on request the institution President or designee has the authority to waive any requirement set forth in Section II if it is determined that the application of the requirements creates an unjust result. These procedures shall be filed with the Office of the Chancellor.

VI. Definitions

  1. Financially Dependent: For the purposes of this policy, a financially dependent student is one who is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.
  2. Parent: A parent may be a natural parent, or, if established by a court order recognized under the law of the State of Maryland, an adoptive parent.
  3. Guardian: A guardian is a person so appointed by a court order recognized under the law of the State of Maryland.
  4. Spouse: A spouse is a partner in a legally contracted marriage.
  5. Child: A child is a natural child or a child legally adopted pursuant to a court order recognized under the law of Maryland.
  6. Regular Employee: A regular employee is a person employed by USM or a USM institution who is assigned to a State budget line or who is otherwise eligible to enroll in a State retirement system. Examples of categories NOT considered regular employees are graduate students, contingent employees, and independent contractors.
  7. Continuous Enrollment:
    1. Undergraduate Student - An undergraduate student who is enrolled at a USM institution for consecutive fall and spring semesters, until completion of the student’s current degree program or unless on an approved leave of absence or participating in an approved program off-campus.
    2. Graduate and Professional - Continuous enrollment for a graduate or professional student is defined by the institution in accordance with program requirement.

VI. Implementation

This policy as amended by the Board of Regents on September 18, 2009 shall be applied to all student tuition classification decisions made on or after July 1, 2009.

1 Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §12-101.