FAQs

Enrolling for Fall 2020
  • I’m interested in applying for Fall 2020. Do I need to submit an SAT/ACT?
    At this time, UMBC is only test-optional for the Fall 2021 semester, so if you wish to apply for the Fall 2020 semester, you will still need to submit your SAT or ACT score.
  • How will I receive my application decision letter for Fall 2020?
    We will be sending your decision letter through email. You may also check your application status online using your myUMBC account.
  • How do I access myUMBC account to accept my enrollment, scholarships and financial aid, and sign up for Orientation?
    You should log into your myUMBC account at my.umbc.edu. If you forgot your password or have any trouble accessing your myUMBC portal, please reach out to our Technology Support Center at 410-455-3838.
  • It’s after May 1; can I still enroll?
    Currently, we are still welcoming student enrollments for the Fall 2020 semester on a space-available basis.
  • Will UMBC still be holding Orientation?
    Orientation for all incoming first-year and transfer students will be moving to a virtual format to protect your health while also enabling us to continue to provide the academic and social support you will need to successfully transition to our UMBC community. Through a number of different tools and resources, you’ll foster meaningful and consistent connections with each other and our community, and register for Fall 2020 classes. For Orientation-specific FAQ and updates, please reference the Orientation website and feel free to contact the Orientation team at orientation@umbc.edu.
  • Will UMBC be returning to Campus this Fall?
    We understand that students and families want to know as soon as possible about future plans for instruction, research and creative achievement, campus life, and operations. We are regularly updating our Retrievers Return Roadmap, and encourage you to visit it regularly for the latest information.
  • If I choose not to enroll this Fall, can I defer my enrollment to the Spring or Fall of 2021?
    Yes, you can change your start term by emailing your request to admissions@umbc.edu. If you are granted a deferral, you must maintain your first-year status (i.e., you should not be attending another college or university, although you can take up to 11 credits after your high school graduation). If you attend another college or university, you will need to reapply as a transfer student. Additionally, in order to hold your place in a future term, you are required to pay your full enrollment deposit. If applicable, you must separately request a deferral of your UMBC Scholarship by completing the UMBC Scholarship Deferral Request Form as soon as possible.
  • My family’s financial circumstances have changed since I submitted the FAFSA. Would I be reconsidered for more financial aid?
    We encourage you to connect with your financial aid counselor to determine whether or not your specific situation would be eligible for an appeal. Financial aid counselors are assigned by last name and can be reached through the Financial Aid website.
Test-Optional Program for Fall 2021 Applicants
  • I’m interested in applying for Fall 2020. Do I need to submit an SAT/ACT?
    At this time, UMBC is only test-optional for the Fall 2021 semester, so if you wish to apply for the Fall 2020 semester, you will still need to submit your SAT or ACT score.
  • How do I know if I should apply test-optional or not?
    UMBC’s 25th – 75th percentile test score range is 1190 – 1360. Given this information, you can decide whether or not your test scores would benefit your application. Learn more about our typical first-year class profile. Our approach to evaluating applications is holistic and–most importantly–additive. Each element of your application accumulates to help us understand who you are as a prospective student and scholar. We will evaluate you based on what we know about you, as opposed to what we don’t know about you.
    If you have any test scores (ACT, SAT, AP, IB, etc.) you feel are good indicators of your academic ability, we invite you to send those to us. If you do not have those scores or do not feel they are good indicators of your academic ability, you will not be penalized if you choose not to submit them. We encourage students to reach out to an admissions counselor if you would like to discuss your academic record in more detail.
  • Do any majors or colleges require that I submit an SAT/ACT?
    UMBC is test-optional for Fall 2021 across all majors, programs, and colleges.
  • How will this impact homeschoolers who apply with non-traditional transcripts and courses?
    Our approach to evaluating applications is holistic and–most importantly–additive. Each element of your application accumulates to help us understand who you are as a prospective student and scholar. We will evaluate you based on what we know about you, as opposed to what we don’t know about you.
    If you have any test scores (ACT, SAT, AP, IB, etc.) you feel are good indicators of your academic ability, we invite you to send those to us. If you do not have those scores or do not feel they are good indicators of your academic ability, you will not be penalized if you do not submit them.
  • Do the Scholar Programs or Honors College still require SAT/ ACT? Will I be at a disadvantage if I choose not to submit my test scores? 
    The Scholars Programs and Honors College will consider a variety of factors, including your grade point average, academic trend, strength of curriculum, personal statement, letters of recommendation, other achievements, and standardized test scores (if provided). Additionally, they will evaluate your application based on your interests and your specific application to the program(s). Please rest assured that you will not be penalized if you do not submit your standardized test scores.
  • Is there a disadvantage to choosing to apply test-optional?
    Our approach to evaluating applications is holistic and–most importantly–additive. Each element of your application accumulates to help us understand who you are as a prospective student and scholar. We will evaluate you based on what we know about you, as opposed to what we don’t know about you. If you have any test scores (ACT, SAT, AP, IB, etc.) you feel are good indicators of your academic ability, we invite you to send those to us. If you do not have those scores or do not feel they are good indicators of your academic ability, you will not be penalized if you choose not to submit them.
  • Do I need to submit my scores if I’m a transfer student with less than 30 credits?
    Transfer students who are applying for the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 semesters who have less than 30 credits are not required to submit their test scores.
  • Will UMBC be test-optional for semesters beyond the 2021-2022 academic year?
    Due to the circumstances prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, UMBC has adopted a test-optional admission program for the 2021 application cycle. Early in 2021, we will evaluate what future applicants to the University will be required to submit as part of the application review process.
Communications and Events During COVID-19
  • How can I contact the UMBC Admissions Office?
    While the physical Admissions office is closed, please send your questions and concerns via email to admissions@umbc.edu and we will respond to your message within 24 hours. We do not currently recommend reaching out by phone since we are not on campus and are unable to answer.
    If you are looking for general information on UMBC’s programs and offerings, we encourage you to explore our website.
  • Is UMBC still hosting on-campus events and tours?
    All in-person events and tours are suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. We are actively working to create opportunities for you to engage with our admissions team online and to get you the information you need. We encourage you to review our Campus Visit and Events page for updates, as well as ways to explore campus virtually.
  • Can I still mail documents related to my application or enrollment to UMBC?
    Unfortunately, access to UMBC’s mailroom is extremely limited. Therefore, to expedite the receipt of this information, we’d ask that you please send documents to admissions@umbc.edu.
General Questions
  • How can I visit UMBC?
    UMBC offers a number of ways for prospective students and families to connect with UMBC faculty, students, and admissions counselors. To learn more about our visit options, please click here.
  • Where is the UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions located?
    The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation is located in the Albin O. Kuhn Library (pondside). Designated Admissions visitor parking is available in the Administration Drive parking garage. Overflow pay-to-park visitor spots are also available in the Administration Drive parking garage, as shown on the campus map.
  • How do I apply for financial aid and scholarships?
    UMBC offers a range of financial aid and payment options so that all students may benefit from a UMBC education. Students may apply for need-based financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may also be considered for general merit scholarships by meeting priority admissions application deadlines. For more information, please visit our Financial Aid and Scholarships Website.
  • Who should I speak with if I have additional questions?
    The UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions is open Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You may contact our office via phone (410-455-2292) or online, or by visiting in person.
  • Will UMBC award credit for my AP exam scores?
    UMBC will continue to award credit and/or placement based on the scores indicated on UMBC’s list of approved Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. To receive credit for AP exams, you must have an official Advanced Placement score report sent to the UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • How should I submit necessary documents like transcripts and test scores for my application to UMBC?
    We know that for many applicants, it may not be possible at this time to have official documents mailed to UMBC. Below, you’ll find information on what you need to know about submitting various information:
    • Transcripts: Please email your unofficial transcripts to admissions@umbc.edu. Our counselors will read and issue decisions based on these unofficial documents, although you’ll still need to submit your official transcripts once you have access to do so.
    • Standardized Test Scores: We are accepting unofficial test scores for the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, AP, IB, etc. Please send a PDF copy of your score sheet from the testing provider’s secure website to admissions@umbc.edu.
First-Year Application Questions
  • How do I apply for admission?
    UMBC is a member of the Common Application. To apply for admission, you must submit the completed Common Application, a $75 application fee, and official high school transcripts. Submitting official SAT and/or ACT scores is optional. A maximum of two letters of recommendation will also be accepted.
  • What do you consider when reviewing my application for first-year admission?
    The Admissions Committee weighs a number of factors in making its decision. In addition to grade point average, the strength of your curriculum, class rank, other achievements, your essay, and standardized test scores (if provided) will be considered.
  • How can I check the status of my application?
    Once your application is processed, an acknowledgment e-mail is sent to the email address listed on your Common App which includes instructions on how to create a myUMBC account. Once you’ve created your myUMBC account you will be able to monitor the status of your application.
  • When can I expect to receive my decision?
    Students who apply for our November 1 Early Action deadline will receive a decision notification in the mail in late-December. Applicants for our February 1 Regular Decision deadline will receive decision letters beginning in late-February.
  • What can I do if I was not offered admission?
    If you are waitlisted or we were unable to offer you admission, please know that this is not the end of your UMBC journey. Many students follow different paths in obtaining their college degree and our staff is always willing to assist you in any way they can. Click here to learn more.
Transfer Application Questions
  • How do I apply for admission?
    UMBC is a member of the Common Application. To apply for admission, you must submit the completed Common Application, a $75 application fee, and official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. It is the applicant’s responsibility to request transcripts from each of their prior colleges.
  • What do you consider when reviewing my application for transfer admission?
    The Admissions Committee evaluates transfer applicants on the basis of their academic record at previous institutions. Cumulative grade point average as calculated by UMBC, academic trends, strength of curriculum, and performance in courses related to the intended area of study are considered.
  • When can I expect to receive my decision?
    UMBC accepts transfer application for both our Fall and Spring terms. Our Fall deadlines for admission are March 1 (Priority) and June 1 (Regular), and our Spring admissions deadlines are October 15 (Priority) and December 1 (Regular). Applicants can expect a decision notification 3-4 weeks from the time a completed application is received by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • How should I prepare to transfer?
    We know that three of the most asked questions regarding transfer are: How will my credits transfer? How long will it take to graduate? and How much will it cost? That’s why we’ve created Transfer Central. Rather than simply giving you a list of the courses that typically transfer to UMBC, we’ve gone a step farther. This interactive tool will give you real-time credit estimates, best-fit major recommendations, and access to important dates, milestones, and transfer resources that you’ll need along the way.
  • What can I do if I was not offered admission?
    If you were not offered admission to UMBC, you can be considered for another term after completing additional college coursework to improve your academic record. Competitive applicants typically present an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all college-level coursework.
Additional Information
  • Does UMBC offer on-campus housing?
    UMBC offers on-campus housing options for both incoming first-year and transfer students. First-year students, who are guaranteed on-campus housing if they meet the required deadlines, live in one of five residence halls while transfer and upperclass students may apply to live in the residence halls, suites, or apartments. For more information, please visit our Residential Life Website.
  • What services does UMBC offer for Veterans?
    Whether you are a prospective or current student veteran, UMBC Veteran Services can provide assistance with VA education benefits, financial services, and connecting veterans on-campus, among other resources. For more information, please visit our UMBC Veteran Services Website.
  • Does UMBC offer services or accommodations for students with disabilities?
    The Office of Student Disability Services at UMBC ensures that UMBC students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs, services, and activities of the university through the provision of accommodations and reasonable modifications that result in equal access and full inclusion. Learn more about available services or requesting accommodations.
  • If I have prior disciplinary or criminal history, can I apply for admission to UMBC?
    Previous disciplinary or criminal history does not automatically preclude an applicant from being considered for admission. During the admissions process, applicants with prior disciplinary or criminal history will be asked to schedule an interview with the Office of Student Judicial Programs to discuss the incident(s).
  • If I have prior academic misconduct, can I apply for admission to UMBC?
    Previous academic misconduct does not automatically preclude an applicant from being considered for admission. During the admissions process, applicants with prior or current academic misconduct will be asked to schedule an interview with the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Standards and Policy Administration to discuss the misconduct. Read more on the application proces
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