Admission to Graduate School

Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the Dean of the Graduate School. Academic department and program offices review admissions applications and credentials and make admissions recommendations to the Graduate Dean. In cases where credentials were earned abroad, the staff of International Student and Scholar Services is consulted. The standards maintained by the Graduate School and individual departments and programs are applied to ensure that applicants admitted to the University are well qualified and trained to study at this institution and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program. Standards for admission to doctoral degree programs are frequently higher than those for admission to master's degree programs. In many degree programs, the number of applications received from qualified applicants for graduate study regularly exceeds the number of applicants who can be accommodated. In such cases, only the most highly qualified are offered admission. The number of spaces available in various departments is limited according to the availability of faculty, special resources, and funds for students requiring financial assistance.

Criteria for Admission

Those applicants who have earned or will earn a bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States (or the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in another country) are eligible to be considered for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Maryland. With the exception of established dual-degree programs, an applicant can matriculate in only one graduate program for a specified objective.

Admission to graduate programs is highly competitive and space is limited. The decision to admit an applicant to a program is based primarily on a combination of the following criteria, evaluated from a complete application:

1. Quality of previous undergraduate and graduate work. The Graduate School requires as a minimum standard a B average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university.) Adequate performance in prerequisite courses is required. Applicants with international credentials must submit in the original language those academic records that are not written in English. Such credentials must be accompanied by a literal English translation. Both must be submitted at least six months prior to the first day of classes of the semester for which the applicant seeks admission.

2. Strength of letters of recommendation from persons competent to judge the applicant's probable success in graduate school. These letters are usually from the applicant's former professors who are able to give an in-depth evaluation of the applicant's strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. Additional recommendations may come from employers or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant's work experience.

3. Scores on a nationally standardized examination. The three most widely used standardized examinations are the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Because the predictive utility of these test scores may vary from one group of applicants to another, a discriminating use of all relevant materials will be made in each applicant's case. The TOEFL is required of international applicants who are not native speakers of English.

4. Statement by the applicant of academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. These statements help the program identify students whose goals are consonant with its objectives and expertise.

5. Other evidence of graduate potential. Some programs require other evidence of graduate potential, such as a portfolio of creative work, completion of specialized examinations, personal interviews, or an example of scholarly work.

6. Availability of an advisor in the applicant’s specific field, space in the program, and competitive rating.

Prospective students may apply for admission to the University of Maryland during or after their final year of undergraduate study but must furnish proof of graduation before the end of their first semester of enrollment at the University. Students applying for admission to a graduate degree program in a field of specialization in which they already hold that same degree or its equivalent may do so only if the previous degree program was of substantially different character or was not accredited. Summer-only students applying for entrance in either of the two summer sessions should check the Summer Sessions Bulletin to determine if the courses they wish to take will be offered. To obtain this publication, write to the Office of Continuing Education, Summer and Special Programs, 2103 Reckord Armory, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742- 5321. This information may also be accessed online at

The Admission Process

To be considered for admission to the Graduate School, each applicant must complete the Graduate School Application, available at, and pay the requisite application fees. The individual graduate programs also have specific requirements of which all applicants should be aware prior to beginning the application process. Should the application arrive after the stated deadline, the application will automatically be considered for the next admissible semester.
The most efficient and effective method of applying to the University of Maryland is by completing our online graduation application. Applying online saves time and money, is more environmentally friendly than the traditional application, and reduces the chances for human error in processing. The University strongly encourages all eligible applicants to the Graduate School to apply online.

Note: Those applying for the MBA or joint degrees in Business Administration may not use this Internet process. Please contact the Smith School of Business at to request the appropriate application materials. Those applying for a Master of Life Sciences also may not use this Internet process. Please go to: for further information and to apply.
The online application is the first part of the application process; both the Graduate School and the graduate programs require additional supplemental information from all applicants. Some graduate programs require students to complete an online Application Supplemental Form (ASF), which asks for more program-specific information; these programs notify their applicants via email of this requirement. Some departments require applicants to download and print additional forms. To print these required forms, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Required Materials for All Applicants

The following materials should be submitted online or sent to:

Enrollment Services Office-Graduate Admissions
Application for Graduate Admission
Room 0130 Mitchell Building
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD 20742

1. A completed application form located at For other application options, please go to

2. A non-refundable application fee of $60.00. If an applicant did not process his or her fee payment online via the on-line application, he or she may send it to the Enrollment Services Office using the Credit Card/International Check form.

3. One complete set of transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and graduate work elected or in progress. Each transcript must bear the signature of the Registrar and the seal of the granting institution and should include the years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, class standing and the degree, certificate or diploma received. If the applicant attended the University of Maryland, the Graduate School will obtain his or her records of courses completed on the College Park campus. To facilitate the processing and review of an application, unofficial copies of transcripts from institutions other than the University of Maryland may be used for review processes. Official copies of those transcripts are required, however, before full admission can be granted.

4. A Maryland In-State Status Form is required for those who wish to apply for Maryland resident status. This form is included on the online application.

5. Three letters of recommendation submitted by professors or others who can assess the quality of the applicant's academic performance and scholastic potential. The applicant's full name must be included on each recommendation. Some programs allow online letters of recommendation through the Application Supplemental Form (ASF). If your program allows this, you will be notified via email after completing the initial graduate application.

6. Statement of Goals, Research Interests, and Experiences Many graduate programs require applicants to prepare a 300-500 word statement of his or her goals and objectives in pursuing graduate study.

7. Standardized Test Scores. Many graduate programs require applicants to submit scores of standardized examinations, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants wishing to determine if one of these examinations is required for admission to the program to which they are applying should consult the program listing in the online application. If standardized test scores are required, applicants may write to the following addresses for further information:

Graduate Record Examinations
(609) 771-7670

Graduate Management Admissions Test
(609) 921-9000


Miller Analogies Test
Harcourt Assessment

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Examination scores should be sent to the University via the testing authority. The University of Maryland, College Park institutional code for the GRE and GMAT is 5814.

8. Any additional Graduate Program Requirements. Some graduate programs require that additional information such as a portfolio, resume, writing sample, or other supplementary materials be sent directly to them in hard-copy. It is important that applicants contact the graduate program to which they are applying for information concerning additional admission requirements. The application may not be considered if the requirements are not met.

9. International Applicants: In addition to submitting the above materials, international applicants must also do the following:

1. Submit official academic credentials (transcripts or mark sheets) in the original language with literal English translations.
2. Demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS Test. Applicants who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship may be required to take the Test of Spoken English (TSE). Check with the graduate program in which you are interested to see if the TSE is required.
3. Furnish a statement of Financial Status that indicates sufficient financial resources to pursue graduate study in the United States. The amount required for tuition and living expenses can be found in the Schedule of Classes,
Print and send the Certification of Finances Form to the office of International Student and Scholar Services, 3117 Mitchell Building, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20742. Contact the staff of that office for immigration, visa, and English proficiency information.

Admissions Status, Categories of Admission, and Residency Classification