University of Maryland-Baltimore County Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Erin

Academics are taught by people that are innovators in their field and very passionate about their work. I enjoy my classes and I also appreciate the teaching techniques that are implemented

Jonathan

Academics is what its all about at UMBC. Most professors know me by name. The ones that don't, know me shortly after. UMBC is obsessed, almost too much, with the undergraduate experience. And as such, I've seen a shift from paper and pencil to group tactics in the classroom. It's quite astounding the difference that is made by that move. Since I am a science major, I spend a lot of time in labs. I love the laboratory aspect of my major, because I like the hands-on nature of learning. My favorite classes have been outside of the sciences though. I have studied Russian relentlessly, and I have loved every single class I've taken. There normally VERY small and very intimate, and the one-on-one experience has been life changing. Normally, our classes always involved a lot of conversation about modern topics and the daily news.

Ty

The quality of the classes at UMBC is definitely something to brag about. Every professor I've had has been well organized and has had a pronounced interest in the material he/she is teaching. The professors are also easy to get in contact with. Most have convenient office hours and respond to emails quickly. Class size ranges drastically. In my first semester I had an Environmental Science class with 120 other students and another class with only 11 other students in it entitled Mathematics and What it Means to be Human. Although professors are fair and the workload is only slightly above average, math and science classes at UMBC are notoriously difficult and time-consuming. The general education requirements, however, only require one math class and two science classes. The UMBC mentality is truly one that embraces interdisciplinary learning. I feel that each class I take is preparing me for life after graduation and internships I can work during my undergraduate career.

Yong

The academics are very well-disciplined. Some classes are very large, but most of the large classes have discussion sections composed of a small number of students. Professors or TA's usually know my name because the campus is not really big. Therefore, I can easily get help. My favorite classes are science classes, including Biology and Chemistry classes. The professors are very enthusiastic and helpful, and I enjoy listening to their lectures. Because most classes are small, class participation is very common. Students are very enthusiastic too, just like the professors. My major is Biochemistry, and the school provides a lot of support. I am also in the Honors College, so I have extra opportunities to get to know professors and intellectual students.

Ty

The quality of the classes at UMBC are definitely something to brag about. Every professor I've had has been well-organized and has had a pronounced interest in the material he/she is teaching. The professors are also easy to get in contact with. Most have convenient office hours and respond to emails quickly. Class size ranges drastically. In my first semester I had an Environmental Science class with 120 other students and another class with only 11 other students in it entitled Mathematics and What it Means to be Human. Although professors are fair and the workload is only slightly above average, math and science classes at UMBC are notoriously difficult and time-consuming. The general education requirements, however, only require one math class and two science classes. The UMBC mentality is truly one that embraces interdisciplinary learning. I feel that each class I take is preparing me for life after graduation and internships I can work during my undergraduate career.

Thomas

Ty

The quality of the classes at UMBC are definitely something to brag about. Every professor I've had has been well-organized and has had a pronounced interest in the material he/she is teaching. The professors are also easy to get in contact with. Most have convenient office hours and respond to emails quickly. Class size ranges drastically. In my first semester I had an Environmental Science class with 120 other students and another class with only 11 other students in it entitled Mathematics and What it Means to be Human. Although professors are fair and the workload is only slightly above average, math and science classes at UMBC are notoriously difficult and time-consuming. The general education requirements, however, only require one math class and two science classes. The UMBC mentality is truly one that embraces interdisciplinary learning. I feel that each class I take is preparing me for life after graduation and internships I can work during my undergraduate career. The academics at UMBC are the ultimate reason why the school has consistently been named the nation's #1 Up and Coming University by U.S. News.

Timileyin

Academics at UMBC are tough but you will learn a lot. Depending in your major, classes can range from 25 students to 300 students. The smaller the class, the more likely you will get to know your teacher. If you make the effort, you can still get to know your teacher in a 300 people class. Depending on the class, class participation may not be common. For example, in my cell biology class we did not participate in class but we had to answer questions using a clicker device during lecture. Students are studying all the time and especially during finals week, but we can still maintain an active social life. The school is very competitive especially for any pre-professional concentration that you maybe in. There is added pressure to do well from faculty and advisors. The competition is something that is not outright apparent. The most unique class I have taken is Shakespeare in Film. I liked the class, it was very interesting and I learned about filming techniques and how directors has different interpretation of Shakespeare's plays. I am biology, public health, and history major. The biology major is interesting and I learn a lot. This major is my most challenging major because of the amount of knowledge they tell us during one semester is a lot. The great thing about this major is that there is a curves in most of the class, allowing you to have lower grade and still be able to get an A. The professors in this department are hard but they mean well. Many times I do not talk to my professors and just talk to TA's when I need help. My public health major is interesting but I feel that the classes are not as challenging as biology. The professors in this major are nice and will prepare you for getting into graduate school by having recruiters come to class and talk to us about overall graduate school process. The professors in this major are very approachable and understanding. My history major is challenging but in a different way from biology because the professors do not want you to regurgitate facts but to think analytically at the problems faced in that part of history we are talking about. The professors for the most part are nice but some of them tend to expect way too much for an introductory class. The academic requirements for this school are tedious but are not too bad. There is a lot of requirements and depending on your major there may be additional requirements. I believe that it is manageable. Our education is geared towards finding a job or continuing toward further education.

Fatima

The school work on its own isn't very hard but it's just a lot of WORK. You need to stay on top of your game and take things head on. High school procrastination is definitely something that you cannot carry on with you once you start college. Everyone says that your first semester of college isn't really a big deal. False. Although the first semester of your college career may not be a big deal in actuality, it really hits the core when you find out close to finals week that you're failing more than half of your classes because you slacked off after attending the first two days of classes, deciding that it wasn't necessary to attend lectures that were not mandatory. However, even if your professors say that classes are not mandatory, I beg of you - go to class! By going to class, talking to the TAs, asking questions, and visiting office hours, professors will know you by name and may even bump you up a decimal of a point or two at the end of the year if you're on a borderline grade. I may sound like another repetitive professor in the classroom, but trust me. I just got done with my first semester of college and boy, did it hit hard. But it really isn't all about books, books, books. Sure, you're going to hear every single student in the library cafe talking about their mind-boggling with new ideas and the struggle of figuring out what they want to major in when they're done 3/4 of their college career. And then you'll see those kids who just hang around the Commons the whole time in the Game Room or Sportszone but pass all their classes. My point being here is this--whether you work your lazy little butt off or your smarts are inked in to your genes, you can do it while having fun. There isn't much competition between peers and friends are easy to make. With so much diversity, it would be impossible not to make friends. Then when the time comes to skip a class because of a family emergency and you send out a mass email to the class roster for the notes you missed, you can count on getting a handful of replies that supply you with more notes than you could have ever even imagined of taking. UMBC is a very career-oriented school. if you come in with a path set in mind, it will be that easier for you to get your requirements done. But for those of us who still aren't sure what we want to do with our lives or haven't even begun to think about it, well, that is where general graduation requirements come in. You can take any gen ed. classes that you like your first semester of college if you aren't sure of what to take. Or you can do the basic math, science, english, and humanities class. But of course, if you're the plan ahead type of guy or girl, you may already be able to get into Biology141, Chemistry101, Math150, and a linguistics course which is what I did seeing as I am majoring in Major Languages and Linguistics while on the Pre-Med track. Oh, yes. The pre-med track. For all of you pre-professional students out there who want to go into pre-law, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmarcy, or pre-med, hear me out. You DO NOT need to major in a science related field to go pursue a career in any one of these fields. You can major in photography or music or english and still become a world renowned cardiologist. Your major defines YOU. Your pre-professional track only guides you to the classes that you will be required to have completed in order to apply to your school after undergrad--in my case, Medical school. I know this is a lot to take in, especially if you're a senior in high school right now and have no idea what to do with your life. But taking it one step at a time and with the help of the people around you, you will master it all. College is just the game. Life itself is the real thing. This is just the beginning.

Fatima

The school work on its own isn't very hard but it's just a lot of WORK. You need to stay on top of your game and take things head on. High school procrastination is definitely something that you cannot carry on with you once you start college. Everyone says that your first semester of college isn't really a big deal. False. Although the first semester of your college career may not be a big deal in actuality, it really hits the core when you find out close to finals week that you're failing more than half of your classes because you slacked off after attending the first two days of classes, deciding that it wasn't necessary to attend lectures that were not mandatory. However, even if your professors say that classes are not mandatory, I beg of you - go to class! By going to class, talking to the TAs, asking questions, and visiting office hours, professors will know you by name and may even bump you up a decimal of a point or two at the end of the year if you're on a borderline grade. I may sound like another repetitive professor in the classroom, but trust me. I just got done with my first semester of college and boy, did it hit hard. But it really isn't all about books, books, books. Sure, you're going to hear every single student in the library cafe talking about their mind-boggling with new ideas and the struggle of figuring out what they want to major in when they're done 3/4 of their college career. And then you'll see those kids who just hang around the Commons the whole time in the Game Room or Sportszone but pass all their classes. My point being here is this--whether you work your lazy little butt off or your smarts are inked in to your genes, you can do it while having fun. There isn't much competition between peers and friends are easy to make. With so much diversity, it would be impossible not to make friends. Then when the time comes to skip a class because of a family emergency and you send out a mass email to the class roster for the notes you missed, you can count on getting a handful of replies that supply you with more notes than you could have ever even imagined of taking. UMBC is a very career-oriented school. if you come in with a path set in mind, it will be that easier for you to get your requirements done. But for those of us who still aren't sure what we want to do with our lives or haven't even begun to think about it, well, that is where general graduation requirements come in. You can take any gen ed. classes that you like your first semester of college if you aren't sure of what to take. Or you can do the basic math, science, english, and humanities class. But of course, if you're the plan ahead type of guy or girl, you may already be able to get into Biology141, Chemistry101, Math150, and a linguistics course which is what I did seeing as I am majoring in Major Languages and Linguistics while on the Pre-Med track. Oh, yes. The pre-med track. For all of you pre-professional students out there who want to go into pre-law, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmarcy, or pre-med, hear me out. You DO NOT need to major in a science related field to go pursue a career in any one of these fields. You can major in photography or music or english and still become a world renowned cardiologist. Your major defines YOU. Your pre-professional track only guides you to the classes that you will be required to have completed in order to apply to your school after undergrad--in my case, Medical school. I know this is a lot to take in, especially if you're a senior in high school right now and have no idea what to do with your life. But taking it one step at a time and with the help of the people around you, you will master it all. College is just the game. Life itself is the real thing. This is just the beginning.

Fatima

The school work on its own isn't very hard but it's just a lot of WORK. You need to stay on top of your game and take things head on. High school procrastination is definitely something that you cannot carry on with you once you start college. Everyone says that your first semester of college isn't really a big deal. False. Although the first semester of your college career may not be a big deal in actuality, it really hits the core when you find out close to finals week that you're failing more than half of your classes because you slacked off after attending the first two days of classes, deciding that it wasn't necessary to attend lectures that were not mandatory. However, even if your professors say that classes are not mandatory, I beg of you - go to class! By going to class, talking to the TAs, asking questions, and visiting office hours, professors will know you by name and may even bump you up a decimal of a point or two at the end of the year if you're on a borderline grade. I may sound like another repetitive professor in the classroom, but trust me. I just got done with my first semester of college and boy, did it hit hard. But it really isn't all about books, books, books. Sure, you're going to hear every single student in the library cafe talking about their mind-boggling with new ideas and the struggle of figuring out what they want to major in when they're done 3/4 of their college career. And then you'll see those kids who just hang around the Commons the whole time in the Game Room or Sportszone but pass all their classes. My point being here is this--whether you work your lazy little butt off or your smarts are inked in to your genes, you can do it while having fun. There isn't much competition between peers and friends are easy to make. With so much diversity, it would be impossible not to make friends. Then when the time comes to skip a class because of a family emergency and you send out a mass email to the class roster for the notes you missed, you can count on getting a handful of replies that supply you with more notes than you could have ever even imagined of taking. UMBC is a very career-oriented school. if you come in with a path set in mind, it will be that easier for you to get your requirements done. But for those of us who still aren't sure what we want to do with our lives or haven't even begun to think about it, well, that is where general graduation requirements come in. You can take any gen ed. classes that you like your first semester of college if you aren't sure of what to take. Or you can do the basic math, science, english, and humanities class. But of course, if you're the plan ahead type of guy or girl, you may already be able to get into Biology141, Chemistry101, Math150, and a linguistics course which is what I did seeing as I am majoring in Major Languages and Linguistics while on the Pre-Med track. Oh, yes. The pre-med track. For all of you pre-professional students out there who want to go into pre-law, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmarcy, or pre-med, hear me out. You DO NOT need to major in a science related field to go pursue a career in any one of these fields. You can major in photography or music or english and still become a world renowned cardiologist. Your major defines YOU. Your pre-professional track only guides you to the classes that you will be required to have completed in order to apply to your school after undergrad--in my case, Medical school. I know this is a lot to take in, especially if you're a senior in high school right now and have no idea what to do with your life. But taking it one step at a time and with the help of the people around you, you will master it all. College is just the game. Life itself is the real thing. This is just the beginning.

Fatima

The school work on its own isn't very hard but it's just a lot of WORK. You need to stay on top of your game and take things head on. High school procrastination is definitely something that you cannot carry on with you once you start college. Everyone says that your first semester of college isn't really a big deal. False. Although the first semester of your college career may not be a big deal in actuality, it really hits the core when you find out close to finals week that you're failing more than half of your classes because you slacked off after attending the first two days of classes, deciding that it wasn't necessary to attend lectures that were not mandatory. However, even if your professors say that classes are not mandatory, I beg of you - go to class! By going to class, talking to the TAs, asking questions, and visiting office hours, professors will know you by name and may even bump you up a decimal of a point or two at the end of the year if you're on a borderline grade. I may sound like another repetitive professor in the classroom, but trust me. I just got done with my first semester of college and boy, did it hit hard. But it really isn't all about books, books, books. Sure, you're going to hear every single student in the library cafe talking about their mind-boggling with new ideas and the struggle of figuring out what they want to major in when they're done 3/4 of their college career. And then you'll see those kids who just hang around the Commons the whole time in the Game Room or Sportszone but pass all their classes. My point being here is this--whether you work your lazy little butt off or your smarts are inked in to your genes, you can do it while having fun. There isn't much competition between peers and friends are easy to make. With so much diversity, it would be impossible not to make friends. Then when the time comes to skip a class because of a family emergency and you send out a mass email to the class roster for the notes you missed, you can count on getting a handful of replies that supply you with more notes than you could have ever even imagined of taking. UMBC is a very career-oriented school. if you come in with a path set in mind, it will be that easier for you to get your requirements done. But for those of us who still aren't sure what we want to do with our lives or haven't even begun to think about it, well, that is where general graduation requirements come in. You can take any gen ed. classes that you like your first semester of college if you aren't sure of what to take. Or you can do the basic math, science, english, and humanities class. But of course, if you're the plan ahead type of guy or girl, you may already be able to get into Biology141, Chemistry101, Math150, and a linguistics course which is what I did seeing as I am majoring in Major Languages and Linguistics while on the Pre-Med track. Oh, yes. The pre-med track. For all of you pre-professional students out there who want to go into pre-law, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmarcy, or pre-med, hear me out. You DO NOT need to major in a science related field to go pursue a career in any one of these fields. You can major in photography or music or english and still become a world renowned cardiologist. Your major defines YOU. Your pre-professional track only guides you to the classes that you will be required to have completed in order to apply to your school after undergrad--in my case, Medical school. I know this is a lot to take in, especially if you're a senior in high school right now and have no idea what to do with your life. But taking it one step at a time and with the help of the people around you, you will master it all. College is just the game. Life itself is the real thing. This is just the beginning.

Fatima

The school work on its own isn't very hard but it's just a lot of WORK. You need to stay on top of your game and take things head on. High school procrastination is definitely something that you cannot carry on with you once you start college. Everyone says that your first semester of college isn't really a big deal. False. Although the first semester of your college career may not be a big deal in actuality, it really hits the core when you find out close to finals week that you're failing more than half of your classes because you slacked off after attending the first two days of classes, deciding that it wasn't necessary to attend lectures that were not mandatory. However, even if your professors say that classes are not mandatory, I beg of you - go to class! By going to class, talking to the TAs, asking questions, and visiting office hours, professors will know you by name and may even bump you up a decimal of a point or two at the end of the year if you're on a borderline grade. I may sound like another repetitive professor in the classroom, but trust me. I just got done with my first semester of college and boy, did it hit hard. But it really isn't all about books, books, books. Sure, you're going to hear every single student in the library cafe talking about their mind-boggling with new ideas and the struggle of figuring out what they want to major in when they're done 3/4 of their college career. And then you'll see those kids who just hang around the Commons the whole time in the Game Room or Sportszone but pass all their classes. My point being here is this--whether you work your lazy little butt off or your smarts are inked in to your genes, you can do it while having fun. There isn't much competition between peers and friends are easy to make. With so much diversity, it would be impossible not to make friends. Then when the time comes to skip a class because of a family emergency and you send out a mass email to the class roster for the notes you missed, you can count on getting a handful of replies that supply you with more notes than you could have ever even imagined of taking. UMBC is a very career-oriented school. if you come in with a path set in mind, it will be that easier for you to get your requirements done. But for those of us who still aren't sure what we want to do with our lives or haven't even begun to think about it, well, that is where general graduation requirements come in. You can take any gen ed. classes that you like your first semester of college if you aren't sure of what to take. Or you can do the basic math, science, english, and humanities class. But of course, if you're the plan ahead type of guy or girl, you may already be able to get into Biology141, Chemistry101, Math150, and a linguistics course which is what I did seeing as I am majoring in Major Languages and Linguistics while on the Pre-Med track. Oh, yes. The pre-med track. For all of you pre-professional students out there who want to go into pre-law, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmarcy, or pre-med, hear me out. You DO NOT need to major in a science related field to go pursue a career in any one of these fields. You can major in photography or music or english and still become a world renowned cardiologist. Your major defines YOU. Your pre-professional track only guides you to the classes that you will be required to have completed in order to apply to your school after undergrad--in my case, Medical school. I know this is a lot to take in, especially if you're a senior in high school right now and have no idea what to do with your life. But taking it one step at a time and with the help of the people around you, you will master it all. College is just the game. Life itself is the real thing. This is just the beginning.

Grace

I've noticed that unlike other school, many of the courses here are only 3 credits unless it's a science or math course. But don't let the credits fool you, UMBC has some pretty rigorous courses even at the 100 level. Many of the classes here (at least the ones I've taken) have your grade consist of a few exams and possibly a paper, you're not given any busy work. This may be great for some people or a struggle for others but either way, you'll need to study hard if you want to make it in this university. Many of the professors I've interacted with are nice and usually respond to your emails fairly quickly. If you need help, all you need to do is ask them a question because many of them are eager to answer; they don't want their students to fail because that would look bad on their part. I'm currently a political science major and a psychology and philosophy minor and have taken classes in all three fields. All of the classes are uniquely interesting and won't completely destroy your life with studying and work. The most unique class I've probably taken so far is abnormal psychology (psych285) where my professor (who is a psychiatrist) goes into grave detail about he disagrees with many aspects of psychology and his arguments are actually convincing. He tells many tales about former patients he's had that coincide with the particular disorder we were learning about the stories are so bizarre, it really makes you remember the material. I wouldn't say that students are competitive at all but a lot of them are really focused on their education and want to get the most out of their money.

Martina

If you are looking for a school that offers high quality academics in a great setting than UMBC is the place for you. The work can be hard but there are many resources set in place to help you succeed. All teachers are required to have office hours so that students can know that at a certain time each week they can be found in their office willing to help. How many hours they are available each week is up to the professor but they are usually willing to make an appointment with you if you need more time or are not available during their office hours. Classes usually base part of your grade on participation; this being defined as being present for classes and participating in class discussions if applicable. However there are professors who realize you are adults and whether or not you come to class is your problem. Also, other students are often willing to form study groups. Chances are if you are struggling not only is there someone else that is struggling but there is someone that is willing to help. UMBC also offers tutoring for most lower level classes free of charge. The school really is student centered and a sense of camaraderie is often felt within classes. Once you get to your major courses you will more than likely end up with a group of students that are in a majority of your classes. The largest class I've had was psychology 100 freshman year and there were about 200 students, my smallest would be the 400 level math class I'm currently in and there is about 18 students.

Brittany

The academic aspect is suppose to be challenging, but it definitely helps you to gain better study skills, organizational skills, and networking. It's almost imperative that you quickly learn how to manage your time for studying as well as your social life. Learning how to work with others in your class to form study groups exercises our abilities to successfully work with one another.

Brittany

The academic aspect is suppose to be challenging, but it definitely helps you to gain better study skills, organizational skills, and networking. It's almost imperative that you quickly learn how to manage your time for studying as well as your social life. Learning how to work with others in your class to form study groups exercises our abilities to successfully work with one another.

Kyle

The academics are one of the best things about this place. Any Major has so many classes and teachers and sessions that they can go to help them learn. Plus you can always find a way to get help if you need it because the school tries so hard to help you succeed. I am a Computer Science major and there are so many things that I have learned because of the help that the school is willing to give me. And there are plenty of times that I need help because I tend to be a slow learner.

Ao

I do not recall a single professor who did not know my name, and were not helpful when I had questions about the lecture material, or just plain simply wanting to know about the course content deeper. Although there are some classes that uses lecture halls, those are usually the lower-level undergraduate classes like the PSYC 100 or PHIL 150. The upper-level courses rarely ever uses lecture halls (meaning there isn't more than 100 people in class), and the biggest upper-level class volume I encountered was maybe about 30-40 people. Class participation during the lecture is not mandatory; however, it really depends on the size of the particular class, and most professors do encourage class participation. I do not really consider the students at UMBC being competitive when it comes to academic area of campus life, however, those who do have a GPA above 3.75 or higher usually are inducted to honor societies that are invitation only such as the ones I am part of: Golden Key international Honour Society, Sigma Alpha Lambda, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and so on, where you get certain privilages and helps aid in school financial matters, scholarships, better job placement, and being able to make new friends who are just as equally academically inclined as you are.

Adam

We are a mid-sized school which means that in the intro science courses have 300 people in them. However, that doesn't mean that teacher-student relationships do not exist! As long as you sit in the front of the class and go to office hours, there won't be any problem forming a relationship. My favorite class, ironically, was Organic Chemistry. Although, this class was definitely challenging, the professor I had definitely made the material easier to understand. I wouldn't say the students are competitive in a mean way. We all want to do well in our classes but we help each other achieve our goals. The classes here are definitely harder than at other schools. From what I have heard, UMBC tries to fit it more material than other schools. UMBC is definitely a science oriented school and the majority of students are biology majors but we do have a lot of english, history, theater, and other arts majors. This past year, the cast from one of the plays one a national competition and got to perform at the Kennedy Center in DC. The President of UMBC was recently on 60 Minutes and he explained that UMBC prepares their students for careers and life. I highly agree with this and have gained so much knowledge and life skills since starting at UMBC.

Arabia

At UMBC the grading is very hard if you are not use to it. The professors teach as if you are at an Ivy League University. There is a lot of studying required in order to pass your classes at UMBC. The library is always packed because students are studying of all of their classes. The professors give work as if you only have their class to take for the entire semester.

Mikayla

There are not that many "easy A" classes, especially in the sciences. You definitely have to work for your grades, no matter what your major is. Some professors make classes much more difficult than they need to be. Students work hard, but are often willing to help each other. There is a lot of tutoring available for freshman and sophomore classes.

Dan

The academics at my school are based on the sciences and engineering. As a media and communications major I get to see a different side of it and in my experiences, a little over half of the professors will know your name. Many times class participation is a requirement and the students are very competitive. But even with the competition, students help each other in and out of class and you can even get extra help from professors during their office hours.

Dan

The academics at my school are based on the sciences and engineering. As a media and communications major I get to see a different side of it and in my experiences, a little over half of the professors will know your name. Many times class participation is a requirement and the students are very competitive. But even with the competition, students help each other in and out of class and you can even get extra help from professors during their office hours.

Reese

Most professors do know your name, unless you are in big lecture classes. My favorite class was Cultural Anthropology 211, it was very fun and informative. My least favorite was Econ 101, I just never understood anything. Students study, however not all the time, that's why you are never pressured too hard but relaxed by the school atmosphere. Class participation is common. UMBC students do have intellectual conversations, people mix in groups of different academic and ethnic backgrounds. Students are not that competitive, but more about "working together." I do go visit some of the professors that have helped me out.

Lindsay

UMBC's Professors are awesome. When I was trying to figure out what college to go to, 'hospitality of professors' was not high on my list of what was important, for I had heard the horror stories of how professors at most universities are, and I assumed all professors were lecturers who didn't really care about their students but just taught the material and then expected you to do your job as a student. At UMBC, professors are not so cold and unattached to their students. I've been in classes of 100 students where the professor knew everyone's name, and this was amazing to me. For the most part, the professors are friendly and care about their students. There are many professors who are willing to get to know their students in and out of academics. In fact, on quite a few occasions I've spoken or emailed with professors about random things that had nothing to do with the class. Alternately, professors are always willing to help if you are having problems with a class as well.

Kate

Academics at UMBC are tough. Professors are hit or miss. Some are great, some are god awful! Ratemyprofessor.com is a great tool for our school. The teachers for the most part get to know your name and if you go to their office they for sure will remember you. Participation is a major part of most classes, even large lecture classes. UMBC offers a wide variety of classes, we have a facebook class! Overall sometimes I dread class but it's only because of the few very weak professors.

Kelly

Students are very competitve. Most of the professors are fair and helpful but there are a few that don't deserve to teach. My favorite class so far was Abnormal Psych with Dr. Resta.

Bridget

Professors at UMBC are required to do research, this means that there are a ton of opportunities to get to know more about what your teachers are interested in. I’ve really had great professors at this school (although I’ve never had the computer science professors; I’ve heard bad things) For the most part, all my classes were great, with interesting material and enthusiastic professors.

Alex

Most of my professors have been very helpful and taught at the pace of the class. However, a lot of professors are part time or not fully tenured, so do not expect to become familiar with your entire department quickly. People who come here tend to be either highly intelligent or average, so there is a lot of variation in class stimulation. One thing that is very advantageous is that the school tailors the curriculum of its programs to the demands of the local economy. For example, a new certificate was recently added which combines accounting and information systems. It was added specifically because there are a lot of jobs for people with those qualifications. For the most part, the focus of the classes is to help you get hired after you graduate.

Fred

Academics are very good at UMBC. Classes can be very challenigng. There are definitley some professors to stay away from, especially in the Chem dept. you know those that have to curve a full letter grade in itro chem classes... Most professors try to learn your name I know a lot of mine have even in some larger lecture halls. Participation in classes is done in the for of CPS or 'clicker' questions. (it's a little remote pad that lets you answer multiple choice questions during lecture) Often you will hear students having intellectual conversations outside of classrooms it's your choice to get involved or not. The students can be extremely competitve especially in those science majors.

Nico

Academic is rigorous at UMBC. Everyone attending UMBC including the undergraduates, graduates, professors and staff are all dedicated to providing an excellent education. There are so many opportunities for internships and research (for which UMBC is well known). If you are really dedicated in and outside of class to what you study, there are endless opportunities for you at UMBC.

Aditya

The campus focuses mainly on the sciences and the arts seem to get short handed much of the time. Being a biology or chemistry major is hard on campus because you are in the majority and are lost in the sea of all the others. I am squeaking by easily in the English major, not too pressured by campus life in succeeding there.

Lexi

Proffessors at UMBC MAKE the school. The physics department in particular works very well, because of its small size. You get to know the professors on a personal level if you make the effort (i.e. meet with them outside of class, etc.) because they are very available, but the classes are not too small that the professors breath down your neck for you to get the work done. Perfect balance between support and free reins. The history and political science faculty are particularly amazing. Though UMBC gets more recognition as a science school, the faculty in these departments are balanced, progressive, and GENUINELY interested in what they are teaching. EVERY professor I have taken in ANY department (except many I've had in the math department) have been extremely open & inviting, interested my individual work, and extremely available for help. The academic requirements for UMBC aren't difficult to get, and for most people it's fun because there are so many interesting and well-run classes in other departments that you can take to fill your requirement. The only real issue I have with the requirements is a caveat you will meet if you plan to pursue two majors. To graduate, you need a minimum of 120 credits, though many people graduate with more. If you pursue two majors and make between 120-150 credits, you get ONE degree, and one lame certificate thing that isn't really a degree, it just states that you finished the work for another major. In order to get TWO degrees (which you deserve after completing all the work required for two majors) you need to have at least 150 credits. This of course, is complete crap, because there are no requirements for the last 30 credits, you could take the most meaningless courses on campus to fulfill those credits, but they make you take them to get two degrees. Basically they just want your money even if you can get two majors done in under 150 credits.

Maria

As a member of the new Media and Communications major at UMBC I am proud to say that we offer a huge diversity of majors, minors, and certificates and UMBC. Class sizes at UMBC are small and very involved, professors attempt to learn all their students names and always encourge students to email questions. Office hours are also required by all the teachers. My favorite class would have to be between Professor Hummel's Television in American History and Professor Snyders Video Games and American Culture class, both classes were exciting and interesting to participate in and I really learned a lot. Most students try and study about 2-3 hours a day and take the weekend off unless its finals week. I love all my professors in the Media and Communications department and find it fun when we meet outside of classes and are able to talk about media in a social friendly manner. UMBC requires a lot of their students but it's doable if you choose to simply do a major and minor. For me I'm doing a double major and a education certificate so five years here at UMBC looks likely. The Shriver Center on campus helps students find jobs and internships, and we have several very larger job fairs come to campus each semester so when you graduate many students have jobs.

Reese

The classes are, for the most part, pretty small. All my professors know my name. As a music major, i know almost all of the other music majors, and we routinely study and practice together. I fell a part of a family, though i think sometimes the music professors could be a little harder on us.

Dawn

Once you get into upper level classes, they become smaller and all my professors but one knew my name this semester. The classes are hard, but very doable and provide one with an execellent education. UMBC students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class, since one of the main reasons people attend UMBC is for academic reasons. Learning is geared both towards learning for its own sake and towards getting a job depending on what classes one decides to take.

Matt

Some professors will know you by name, others won't or just don't care to. Classes aren't entirely challenging intellectually. Professors won't go too far out of their way to help you. Most of the classes seem geared toward getting a job as opposed to the pursuit of knowledge.

Alex

I have had a successful semester but I was challenged. There were a good amount of projects and papers with clear expectations from my professors. While I was challenged, I rarely felt frustrated. Even in a class I struggled in (dreaded science) that I felt for a survey class was pretty intense I still proved successful. Luckily, I had an hour or so every day between classes to study or work on upcoming assignments and it was put to good use. Few people I think would be able to get away with not doing the readings, and applying themselves. Class participation is a must. Even in my largest class with over a hundred students the individual student could be and was encouraged to be heard. The requirements for graduation are straight forward and the ability to utilize advisors that really are invested in the success of their advisees is a plus. The great thing about my advisor for one thing is that not only was she able to give advice on what classes I need but also the availability of some courses so I can plan ahead. She even helped me to change my minor so that I could meet my personal goal of graduating on time while working. In my major my education is to build a competent social work generalist, but it is also to ground me in enough theory and history in the profession so that I can understand my place in the work and my responsibility to affect change. It's aimed at yes, making sure I have the tools to break into the profession and grow within but there is also opportunity to explore the various issues and perhaps even research topics for personal etification and perhaps even publication.

Michelle

Professors know your name, even in lecture classes, if you speak up or have to contact the professor about something. One of my favorite classes was a history 101 class because the professor was so engaging. My least favorite class was a humanities forum where there was supposed to be discussion, but instead the professor lectured the whole time. In every class there are always 1 or 2 people who speak up a lot, a few who speak up occasionally, and several who never speak up unless called upon. In my experience, most students are not competetive, we're all trying to survive college together. The most unique class I've taken was a humanities forum on the Philosophy of Love. That was great, but it was only available to humanities scholars. The English department is good. I'm a humanities scholar, and we have a great advisor. I don't spend time with professors outside of class, but I know they are available. UMBC's academic requirements seems to be fitting.

Grace

I hate hearing people undermine the intelligence of the students here because a lot of my friends were near or at the top of their graduating class in high school and have gotten 4.0s here. We are all really competitive but we also support each other. Classes here range from less than 20 people to 300 people! No matter what the size though, there is always help to be found. Professors can be visited during office hours and are usually extremely helpful. Several of them now know me by name. There are also a couple of free tutoring centers you can go to if you have questions.

Emmerson

All the science classes are very difficult. If you are not doing well in a science class and needs to talk to your professor, some of the science professors may come across as being too intimidating. However, if you open up yourself to criticisms and admit to your professor that you really need some extra help, all the professors will be more than happy to help you.

Thomas

Honestly, academics is though here at UMBC. The president has stated that getting a B in a science or engineering course is like getting an A in other major state universities. While they don't try to flunk you due to overcrowding, you have to work hard and know your stuff. The administration even advises retaking courses if needed. There are some students that study all the time, and others avoid it without care. This is even within the same major. It really varies, but in general, there is some concern for academic effort amongst students. It's certainly not a very competitive campus, but the classes still hold students to a high enough standard on their own. Those who excel, so so in a seemingly relaxed and non edgy manner. Early classes can have a few hundred in them, and half of the professors will take a real effort to learn your name, others will not care. Later, classes get smaller and more personalized. Most courses present learning purely for the sake of learning, but there is a clear focus at UMBC to assist students in their professional endeavors. There is UMBCworks, visits by major companies for mock interviews, and other advising offered. There are several very interesting courses offered here. One that I recently took was the History of Rock and Roll. I highly recommend it as it was presented wonderfully by Dr. Morin and provided not only a chance to listen to samples of all kinds of rock twice a week, but also to learn about the history that created it. There were also some very inspiring lessons given that made me think about my life in general. And the grading was super easy to boot! It's also noteworthy that the study abroad department is very dedicated to seeing that all students get the chance to go where they wish if they are so inclined. Very cool!

Denise

All my professors end up knowing my name by the end of the semester. My favorite class was my softball (that was actually wiffleball b/c it was still winter). Class participation is halfway common but possibly more often than other campuses. I find more students working together to study or solve a problem than I see competition between classmates. We're not here to one-up the next person in our major. We're here to learn and you can learn from your classmates. I love my Information Systems department. They truly care about you and your time here at UMBC. They make time to meet with you and advise you on your schedules. I think UMBC's academic requirements are on par with College Park's requirements and in some fields, we even outperform them, such as our Information Technology field.

Chelsea

Except for GFR courses which are usually lecture style, most of your classes for your major are very small. I know all of my professors personally. I have never had a bad professor, either. All the classes I've taken have been pretty great.

Tanya

Tough, High expectations. worst than harvard....

Harper

The most damnit aspect of academics at UMBC is the students. There are many great professors who are understanding of students' issues and time constraints, and whose focus is to make sure that people are learning the material regardless. Unfortunately, due to the administration's imaging of the university as one of sheer academic rigor, students are taught to dislike these professors and feel disenfranchised when the main focus of the course is not strict, hard deadlines and unforgiving grading. Because of this, tools which professors previously used effectively, such as final exam exemption for passing the first 3 exams in the course with As, and which genuinely inspired students to do well and to learn by way of positive reenforcement, are banned from use. Students are taught that professors who do not abide by administration policy are therefore not good professors, and should be rated poorly. This causes professors who are good people, and whose focus is on helping students to learn, to be driven away from the university by the administration, by the individual departments, and even by the students.

elle

again disconnected.

Rachel

UMBC is known for excelling in academics; (which is probably why we gained the stereotype of nerds) while I'm not suggesting this should change since it's obviously a positive thing, maybe we shold cut back on the number of professors who SUCK at speaking english.

Sandy

I think UMBC does a great job with the academics part of college. Other than your intro classes that are large lecture hall classes, the other classes are a realistic class size. Professors often learn your name if you put yourself out there and actually talk to them. My favorite class has to have been Anatomy and Physiology purely because of the professor. Dr. Fleischmann gets so excited about the course content that it makes you excited about it. She has unique ways of explaining the material and is very open to questions and conversation within class. It is a great learning environment, and she makes you want to do well. Class participation is common in classes once you get to your smaller classes. Yes, UMBC students have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students are very competitive in classes and you can tell that most students here want to excel and be successful. The most unique and entertaining class had to be Introduction to Moral Theory. This class was taught by Jim Thomas and he made the class anything a student could ask for and more. He relates the theories in a way that makes you think and really can apply them to your life. He is quite entertaining and makes you stay engaged in class. He also seeks a lot of class participation, and with that comes a lot of different opinions. A great class. In the psychology department, most of the professors are very friendly and are willing to work with students. They are very approachable and if you go see them during office hours, they will help you with anything you do not understand. The only time outside of class I see professors is when I go to their office hours or arrange a time with them to meet in their office about class. I think UMBC's academics are very demanding, and in turn hopefully will prepare us well for getting into the work force or going on to graduate schools.

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