Freshman Applicant Requirements

You want to be part of a talented, diverse and interesting class at Maryland, right? Creating just that kind of class is the goal of the Admission Committee.

High school students and students with fewer than 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours of university-level credit beyond secondary school should apply as freshman applicants. For best consideration for admission to the university, merit-based scholarships and invitations to special programs, students should apply by the Priority Deadline. Freshman applicants who apply for admission to the fall semester are also automatically considered for admission to the spring semester.


Application Requirements | Application Review Process | Choosing a Major | Essay Question | Freshman Profile | International Requirements
 

Application Requirements

As prescribed by the Board of Regents, the university expects you, at a minimum, to have completed the following course work by high school graduation:

  • Four years of English
  • Four years of math, including 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 algebra. Examples of courses meeting this requirement include Algebra II, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Calculus and successor courses, Statistics, and College Algebra.
  • Three years of history or social science
  • Three years of science in at least two different areas, with at least two lab experiences
  • Two years of a foreign language


The most competitive applicants exceed these minimum requirements, earning a strong A-/B+ or better average in their high school coursework while taking several honors and/or Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses and additional academic electives. Be sure to review the application checklist for a list of all required materials for a complete application.

Application Review Process

The Admissions Committee considers 26 unique factors as part of our holistic review. This process considers all aspects of each applicant’s qualifications and offers admission to the most competitive applicants in order to build a vibrant class of first-year students. When a decision is available, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will send an email to the applicant notifying them that their admission decision can be viewed online. Information on financial aid and merit scholarships will be released at a later date.

Applications are considered complete when the online application and all required documents have been submitted. All materials must be postmarked by the appropriate deadline for consideration. Please note that it may take up to five days after submission for you to be able to view the status of your application and any submitted documents online. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm receipt of all application materials.

Choosing a Major

When you apply to Maryland, your preferred major is not considered in whether or not you are admissible to Maryland. You cannot indicate double-major preferences or minors at the time of application; after you are admitted, you can work with the academic advisor in your college to declare these preferences.

Certain majors are very popular and require a limit on the number of students they can accommodate. These majors are known as Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP). Admitted students who selected a Limited Enrollment Program as their major are then reviewed by the specific program to determine admission to that major. While the majority of students are admitted to their preferred major, some LEP applicants may not be. Students who are admitted to Maryland but not their preferred LEP major are placed in Letters & Sciences, where they will work with an advisor to meet the gateway requirements to earn admission to that major. Admitted students who did not select an LEP major are admitted directly to the major indicated on their application. All major decisions are included in the applicant’s admission decision letter.

Essay Question

In the application, students will be asked to answer one of five essay prompts, which can be reviewed in advance here. The essay provides you with the opportunity to showcase aspects of your personality and experiences that fit well with the University of Maryland community. When considering your approach to the following essay questions, think deeply about your answer, making it creative and succinct. Use this opportunity as a time for self-reflection and intellectual meditation.

Freshman Profile

For the Fall 2016 freshmen class, we received nearly 30,200 applications for a class of 4,075. For students admitted for the Fall 2016 semester, the middle 50% of SAT scores ranged from 1260 to 1420, and 29-33 on the ACT. As a result 25% of the admitted students scored below a 1260 on the SAT and 25% scored above a 1420. Admitted freshmen also earned an average weighted GPA of 4.21.

International Applicants >

Students who have completed international coursework, or who hold or intend to seek an F-1 Student or J-1 Exchange Visitor visa to study in the United States, should apply as international applicants. Review the requirements for international applicants for additional information.

All other non-immigrant visa holders (including A, E, G, H, I, and L), permanent residents and U.S. citizens who wish to apply for undergraduate admission should follow the regular application instructions for freshman or transfer admission.

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