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General FAQs

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The Honors College is Maryland’s highly acclaimed living-learning community for students with extraordinary aspiration and promise. We offer students the opportunity to join a community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to promoting justice and inclusivity and to engaging with the world.

The students. Dedicated faculty and staff. The programs. Smaller classes. Honors students are intellectually energetic, full of diverse perspectives, from all majors, and are leaders in just about everything on campus. Faculty teach Honors courses on exciting, often interdisciplinary, topics. The faculty and students work together to create an exceptionally powerful and inspiring learning environment.

Absolutely. The Honors College is an interdisciplinary experience, and all majors are welcome.

Expect to find a wide range of opportunities to explore, including research, internships, study abroad, and small, interdisciplinary, sophisticated courses with outstanding faculty who encourage you to expand your thinking. The Honors community is intellectually stimulating, diverse, inspiring, and supportive.

  • We’ve added anti-racist curricular and cocurricular programming;
  • We’ve continued our efforts in working with the Honors Student Advisory Boards and other Honors College groups to create networks of support, mentors, faculty contact, community, and opportunity. This includes PrePAIR Mentoring Program, a peer mentor program where first-year underrepresented minorities are paired with current underrepresented minority students to help guide them through their first year;
  • We sponsor the Black Honors Caucus and W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society to increase opportunities for students of color to dialogue and interact with people from different global cultures, through community and service;
  • We've established mechanisms of accountability across the Honors College to support continuous evaluation of how we are doing and to solicit major stakeholders’ input for additional actions;
  • Other support resources across campus include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which houses resources for the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education, the Nyumburu Cultural Center, and #UMDSolidarity - events and opportunities for solidarity and reflection.

For students applying to enter in fall 2022, submitting test scores is optional. All applicants will continue to be considered for admission into the Honors College and will be considered for academic merit scholarships regardless of their submission of standardized test scores. For more information, please visit Test-Optional FAQs.

Invitation to the Honors College is very competitive. On rare occasions, students are able to appeal to be invited to the Honors College. At this time, we are no longer able to consider any further appeals for fall 2021. There are opportunities to apply to join the Honors College at the end of a student's freshman year.

Current students who have completed one year of coursework at the University of Maryland can apply to join the Honors College. Admission for current UMD students is highly competitive and the number of spaces available is extremely limited. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 is required to apply.

Upperclassmen may also become members of the Honors College by joining a Departmental Honors Program in their academic department or college.

Academic FAQs

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No. Depending upon your specific Honors program, you may have some extra requirements, but Honors provides opportunities rather than constraints. Honors courses punctuate your course work; they do not dominate it. Honors College students frequently complete a major and a minor, or double major, and participate in research, study abroad, and internships.

All students invited to join the Honors College will be placed into one of our eight living-learning programs. Students may select a specialized program with a specific topic or one that is more interdisciplinary. Living-Learning programs range from two-year programs like the multidisciplinary University Honors (UH), Interdisciplinary Business Honors (IBH) and Honors Global Communities (HGC) to the more focused Design Cultures & Creativity (DCC), Honors Humanities (HH), Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) and Integrated Life Sciences (ILS), to the multidisciplinary four-year research program - Gemstone (GEMS). Programs are not connected to majors. They are designed to allow you to explore your varied intellectual interests.

AP and IB credits do not count towards honors citation requirements; however, the university does accept these credits, which often gives students the flexibility to declare a double major or to pursue other exciting opportunities such as study abroad.

Visit Transfer Credit Services for more information and a comprehensive chart of the university's credit exemptions.

The Honors citation (for completing the requirements in an LLP) is a transcript notation that is typically completed during a student's first two years on campus. Departmental Honors is for upperclass students and results in a diploma notation. Many Honors students complete both the Honors Citation and earn Departmental Honors.

Deferrals go through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) and, if approved, their invitation to the Honors College and their LLP are held for one year. More information can be obtained by contacting the OUA.

Honors College students are often recipients of both merit and need-based scholarships and awards. Admission to the Honors College does not guarantee a scholarship award. All students who wish to be considered for merit or need-based financial aid should apply by the priority deadline of November 1 and complete the FAFSA form by the university deadline. Merit awards offered to a select group of incoming freshmen include the Banneker/Key Scholarships, the President’s Scholarship, and the Dean’s Scholarship.

Interdisciplinary Business Honors FAQs

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Designed for exceptional students of all majors, IBH is a premier undergraduate program challenging students to imagine the future of work and business. This two-year Honors College program features an advanced and unique interdisciplinary approach, offering a big picture view of business in connection to the many fields, concerns, and callings in life involved with it. Students combine access to cutting-edge professional and technical business skills with broader thinking about the role of business in the world, and in relation to multiple academic fields. Students apply this knowledge to thinking creatively and critically about the great challenges of our time, including social, environmental, public health, and human rights topics, as well as the almost unlimited range of current endeavors, work opportunities, and issues in some way intersecting with business. This is a program both for students who will become leaders in business, and for others who will pursue other callings but in ways and a world inflected by business.

During your freshman year you will take two core courses—“The Future of Work” and “The Future of Analysis”—that will teach you to think creatively and critically about markets, equitable growth, artificial intelligence in the workplace, the creative destruction process, healthcare affordability, social justice, social and climate risks, and much more. In your sophomore year, you will take advanced courses linking business with other interdisciplinary concerns and fields, as well as pursuing an experiential learning opportunity in the form of internships, research projects with faculty members, business-related study abroad options or a capstone project. All courses are taught by distinguished faculty in the Smith School of Business and from across campus.

All participants in IBH will be Honors College students. In addition to working alongside other equally motivated students, you all have big imaginations and a wide range of diverse interests, perspectives, and backgrounds -- just like you!

The opportunity for students to live together as they learn together is fundamental to IBH, as it is to all other Honors College living-learning programs. IBH students will be living in Prince Frederick hall.

For the initial year of the program (beginning fall 2022), we plan to enroll approximately 60 students.

Yes! Study abroad is always a welcome option, and in fact, if your study abroad opportunity involves business in ways approved by the program, study abroad can fulfill the Experiential Learning Opportunity course requirement in the program.

All students who are invited to the Honors College will have an opportunity to tell us their preferences between all 8 of our Living-Learning Programs. Not all students will receive their top choice of program, but all students who submit the preference form by the deadline will be placed in one of our Honors LLPs. Students will find out which program they are invited to by the middle of March, and will have until May 1 to confirm their enrollment at the University of Maryland.

If you applied to UMD as a business major, that information will be in your UMD admission letter, along with your invitation to the Honors College. Invitation to one of our Honors Living-Learning Programs (including IBH) will come later, after you submit the preferencing form.

IBH is an interdisciplinary business program, open to all majors. You do not need to be a business major to participate. .

Interdisciplinary means an approach to a subject from the perspective of more than one field. It means not understanding a subject like business as apart from other fields, but rather connected to many fields and to the complex, ever-changing, and multi-faceted world in which we live.

While most of Smith’s programming and initiatives are closed to Smith students, non-majors may participate in a select group of organizations housed within the Smith Undergraduate Student Association.

We are in the process of requesting approval to have the honors courses count towards the Business major. Dr. Joe Bailey, Assistant Dean, is managing this process.

No. Students are evaluated separately for admission into Smith.

The Business, Society, and the Economy Program is a part of College Park Scholars, and IBH is a part of the Honors College. Based on their UMD application, students may be invited into either the Honors College or College Park Scholars program.

The Leadership Fellows Program is open to Smith majors only. If you are a Smith major, you could be in any Honors LLP as well as the Leadership Fellows Program.

QUEST is for rising sophomores in the business, engineering, and science disciplines. Students in IBH and one of these three colleges may consider applying to QUEST in their second semester of their first year at Maryland.

Honors Global Communities FAQs

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FAQ for Honors students entering in fall 2022 or later

Honors Global Communities will offer students the opportunity to study and engage contemporary global affairs and issues through the dual lenses of social science and data science. The two-year program is an adaptation of the existing and highly successful Global Communities program, which will move to the Honors College beginning in fall 2022. Honors Global Communities will empower students to understand major global challenges by integrating multiple social science fields and analytical methods. They will develop an ethic of global accountability and citizenship. In addition to specialized courses with distinguished faculty, students will pursue original research on global questions as well as internship and study abroad experiences that take advantage of the University’s location in the nation’s capital area and its strong connections abroad.

Students are housed in Dorchester Hall, which is located in the North Hill section of campus. North Hill is located at the center of campus conveniently near the Stamp Student Union, the Health Center and McKeldin Library. This fully air conditioned building was recently renovated and has a number of amenities including study lounges, laundry room, and modern kitchens.

Beginning in fall 2022, students admitted to the Honors College will be invited to identify the Honors Global Communities Program as one of their preferences along with other Honors living and learning programs. The target number of students in the cohort is 75 students per class. As with all Honors programs, students are encouraged to consider several programs in case their first choice fills up.

In your first year, you will take foundational courses introducing contemporary global challenges, global frameworks of understanding, and methods of analysis drawing across social science fields (politics, economics, sociology, and more) and data science. The second year curriculum includes advanced global issues seminars on particular topics, and experiential learning opportunities including a choice of an internship, original research, study abroad, or capstone project.

No. Although all Honors Global Communities students will participate in a globally-related experiential learning opportunity, there is no requirement to travel abroad. Students can choose to study or pursue an internship abroad, but there are opportunities for a global experience without leaving the country. These include admission to the Global Fellows Program in Washington, D.C. for instance, in which students intern in DC in positions that address foreign policy. Others may choose to pursue relevant study abroad experience, conduct original research with a faculty member, or complete a capstone project.

FAQ for Global Communities Students who entered in fall 2021

Students who entered Global Communities in fall 2021 can complete their original 10 credit notation program but may apply to complete a 15 credit Honors citation option, assuming they meet the Honors College academic requirements. There will be more details on how to complete this Honors citation option coming soon. Students who entered Global Communities prior to fall 2021 will complete the 10 credit notation program only.

FAQ for Global Communities students and alumni who entered in fall 2020 or earlier

Global Communities alumni are a deeply valued part of the combined Global Communities/Honors Global Communities network. Alumni of the Global Communities Program will continue to be engaged with current students in the program as alumni mentors and professional contacts. This move will not interrupt the wonderful network of friends and scholars that has been developed in Global Communities over many years. It will simply enhance the opportunities for students in the program going forward to take advantage of Honors College resources and opportunities in addition to those of the Global Communities program. Our goal is for the extraordinary community of friends, alumni, and professional colleagues in the Global Communities tradition to continue to thrive and grow with the move to the Honors College.

Global Communities alumni who completed their citation prior to the move to the Honors College will remain Global Communities alumni. Only students who enter in fall 2022 or later, or who entered in fall 2021 and completed the Honors College citation, will be Honors College alumni.

Housing FAQs

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All eight Honors programs are living and learning communities, each with its own residence hall. Honors College students currently live in either the Ellicott Community (Hagerstown, LaPlata, Ellicott Halls) or the North Hill Community (Prince Frederick and Anne Arundel Halls). Many Honors upperclassmen live in the South Campus Commons apartments. Each year, a few students choose to commute or opt for non-Honors housing. You should ask a living-learning Program Director about housing options, if you think you might choose to live outside the program’s residence hall.

Some residence halls do not have A/C; however, the common rooms within those residence halls do have A/C. Current students have said that having no A/C has actually helped get to know other students, since they all congregate within the common areas. More information on resident life can be found here.