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University of Maryland, University College appears in these rankings:

4 Best Value Online Schools in Maryland

The University of Maryland University College is one of the most unique colleges in the United States because it offers so many options and different ways for students to take classes. Founded as part of an extension program offered by the University of Maryland, it originally began life on the main campus of that school system and primarily only offered courses for adults and working professionals. It became a separate school for adults during the 1940s before the University of Maryland absorbed it once again in the 1980s and named it one of its satellite schools.

Despite being part of the UM school system, the University of Maryland University College has a strong reputation all of its own. Not only does it have its own campus in Largo, but it also has several satellite campuses throughout Maryland that offer classes to recently graduated high school students and working adults. It also has a number of campuses overseas that let students study in countries and cities throughout Europe. Best known for its distance learning programs, the University of Maryland University College gives students the option of taking classes at any of its campus in the U.S. or abroad and/or taking classes online to finish their degrees.

University of Maryland University College Accreditation Details

The University of Maryland University College, also known as UMUC, bills itself as one of the best accredited colleges in the nation. It is so proud of its accreditation that it shares information about its accreditation online and encourages students to learn more about the process. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is a division of the Higher Learning Commission, granted accreditation to UMUC for its general education programs. This gives the university the right to grant college degrees to students. The United States Department of Education recognizes that organization and lists details regarding the accreditation of UMUC on its own website.

Several of the advanced graduate degrees offered by UMUC come with accreditation as well. The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education offered accreditation for its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, and its Master of Health Informatics Administration has accreditation from the Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The European Foundation for Management Development-Technology-Enhanced Learning also granted UMUC accreditation for its distance learning programs that allow students to earn degrees as they study in cities in the United States and around the world. Other organizations awarded accreditation for other programs at the graduate level.

University of Maryland University College Application Requirements

UMUC makes it easy for new students and former students to apply for admission. Any student who withdrew from courses and did not attend the school within the last two years will need to apply again. Students need to submit an official transcript that shows he or she received a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a traditional 4.0 scale. They also need to submit the scores they received on a standardized test like the SAT or ACT. After filling out the application online, students will pay the application fee and await a decision from the university.

UMUC also established guidelines for students who attended home school and other special students. Home school students will need to meet all the same requirements as other students, but they will also need to submit records of the curriculum they studied and submit several letters of recommendation from those familiar with their schoolwork. Students transferring to UMUC must show a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher. If the student has a lower GPA, the university may admit the student on a conditional or provisional basis. Students will have one year to improve their grade point average and demonstrate they can handle the work required at UMUC.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of Maryland University College offers three different tuition rates based on a student's status and where that student lives. In state tuition is available for all students currently living in Maryland and those who are a resident of the state when they begin their studies. Those living outside of the state pay out of state tuition rates. UMUC also offers reduced tuition rates for active members of the military, their spouses and their dependents. In state tuition costs $279 per credit hour, and students living out of state pay $499 per credit hour. Military members and their families pay tuition rates of $250 per credit hour.

Though UMUC works hard to keep tuition costs down, students will also need to pay for their books and other supplies, and some students may need to purchase a new computer and/or pay for Internet access. UMUC has several types of financial aid available for all its students. Those who complete the FAFSA may qualify for federal loans and grants. There are also private loans and scholarships available, and UMUC offers a few scholarships of its own. UMUC can also work with students who receive tuition assistance from their employers and those using veterans benefits to pay for college.

Degree Options for Students

The programs offered by UMUC prepare students for working in many fields later, and many of the programs focus on business and administration. Though the university offers nearly 100 different programs, some of the more popular include computer science, criminal justice, legal studies and social science. Criminal justice students develop a strong understanding of the legal profession and later work as probation officers, detectives and parole officers. Legal studies is similar to criminal justice but better prepares students for working as paralegals or attending law school. Those who study social science may seek work as social workers, and computer science majors learn how to write operating system and develop new forms of software. Most of these programs require the completion of 120 credit hours of work.

UMUC also offers a number of different minor choices for students, including finance, art history, fraud investigation, small business management and entrepreneurship and political science. Students typically take three to six courses relating to that minor, and those courses may serve as the electives they need to take for graduation. There are also several associate degree programs available through the school for those currently enlisted in the military, which makes it easier for military men and women to earn a degree through UMUC.

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