University of Maryland, Baltimore County Majors and Programs

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Majors and Programs include 42 majors, 41 minors and 17 certificate programs. These programs range from the arts, engineering and information technology, humanities, sciences, pre-professional studies and social sciences.



Aging Studies

The Erickson School at UMBC was created with an explicit focus on preparing a community of leaders for the 21 st century in practice and scholarship who will improve society by enhancing the lives of older adults. Created by a $5 million gift from retirement community developer John Erickson, the Erickson School offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, professional certificate programs, executive education programs as well as cutting edge applied research.

Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences, one of UMBC's largest academic departments, has 28 tenured and tenure-track faculty members and seven instructors and lecturers. The department encompasses a wide breadth of research and teaching with foci in molecular, cellular and developmental biology; neurobiology; physiology; and evolution, ecology and environmental biology. The department offers a full complement of baccalaureate and graduate programs leading to B.A., B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees, which are recognized widely for their strength because of the emphasis on research, scientific approach, faculty contact, and extensive lab offerings. These programs serve to train a broad spectrum of future biologists and researchers and to prepare students for graduate and professional schools.

Chemical & Biochemical Engineering

"UMBC's Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate programs leading to B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering. Research is focused in biochemical, biomedical and bioprocess engineering and covers a wide range of areas including fermentation, cell culture, downstream processing, drug delivery, protein engineering and protein stability."

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

The Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering contains undergraduate programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and graduate programs in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. The department receives a significant portion of the school's research budget and contains a multitude of research laboratories, such as the Maryland Center for Telecommunications Research, Cognition Robotics and Learning Lab, and the UMBC Center for Information Security and Assurance. Joint research efforts include sponsors such as NASA, the NSA, NIST, and both Army and Navy Research Laboratories.

Although relatively new, Computer Engineering is a rapidly growing program with nearly 400 undergraduate majors and a solid core of graduate students. The program recently expanded to contain both a VLSI and communications track. Both tracks provide a combination of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering topics, covering coursework in systems design and integration, software design and testing, and circuit design and analysis. The communications track specializes in topics such as signal processing, modulation, wave transmissions, coding techniques, and mobile phone communications. The VLSI track concentrates on integrated circuit chip design, FPGAs, IC fabrication and testing, and automated circuit synthesis.

Computer science is one of the largest majors on the campus, and takes the undergraduate through a series of courses starting with basic C programming at the 100 level all the way to theoretical analysis of algorithms at the 400 level. The upper level faculty in this department has generally gotten good ratings from the students, and several undergraduates a year choose to remain with the department for their graduate studies. The large graduate program specializes in advanced study in artificial intelligence, graphics, networking, systems, databases, mobile computing and theory. The department initiated a special track in games, animation and interactive media in conjunction with the Visual Arts Department in 2007.

Emergency Health Services

The Department of Emergency Health Services offers a unique perspective for the education of future EMS professionals. This is accomplished by providing a broad liberal-arts and sciences education, which enhances the graduates' employment opportunities as pre-hospital providers and managers. The Department of Emergency Health Services also prepares graduates for advancement to graduate and professional studies. The program is one of only about 14 in the United States to offer a four year bachelor's degree (BS) in the emergency health services field. The Department also offers a Master's Degree (MS). Four tracks are currently available: administration, planning, and policy; education; preventive medicine and epidemiology; and emergency management. A 12-17 credit hour graduate certificate can be earned in the field of emergency management.

Geography & Environmental Systems

The Department of Geography & Environmental Systems currently offers undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science (BS), Physical Geography (BS), Human Geography (BA) and Environmental Studies (BA), and graduate degrees (Ph.D., MS) in Geography & Environmental Systems. Also offered are certificates in GIS and Cartography. The department features labs for teaching and research in Geographic Information Systems, Cartography and Environmental Science.

Information Systems

Information systems is another important department with large graduate and undergraduate programs. Specializations include human-computer interactions, data and knowledge management, decision support systems, software engineering and management information systems. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Information System, an undergraduate degree in Business Technology Administration and, starting in 2006, MS and PhD degrees in Human Centered Computing.


The mathematics program at UMBC is almost exclusively focused on applied (as opposed to pure) mathematics, with every full time faculty member working in the former field. Faculty specialties include ordinary and partial differential equations, probability and Markov theory, numerical computation, functional analysis, optimization, linear algebra, and differential geometry. Part time faculty from the nearby National Security Agency also teach courses in pure mathematics including combinatorics, coding theory, algebra, and number theory.

Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering department offers ABET-approved B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, as well as graduate certificates in Fluid Mechanics and Mechatronics. Dr. Panos Charalambides is the head of this department.


The Physics Department at UMBC is well known as one of the most rigorous in the university, and is well regarded by graduate schools across the country, consistently sending students to a range of top graduate programs. The department is host to the Joint Center for Astrophysics (JCA) and the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology programs partnered with NASA Goddard. The department provides many resources to its students including a well supplied computer room, student lounge, physics student staffed and run tutorial center open to all majors, as well as very comprehensive lab classes in Optics, Electronics, and Modern Physics topics. All of this is facilitated by the dedicated physics building, which houses the professor offices and most of the upper level physics classes. The building also boasts a 32 inch roof mounted telescope. The department supports student involvement in The Society of Physics Students

Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers a wide assortment of classes for students who want to work towards a B.A. or minor in political science. The B.A. program allows students to concentrate in several subfields such as American government and politics, comparative politics and area studies, international relations/foreign policy, political philosophy, public administration and policy, or public law. In addition, it runs the pre-law program and has guided students who have gone on to law schools such as Yale, the University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Georgetown, and William & Mary.

The department currently has 14 full-time faculty, 2 emeritus faculty, and numerous adjuncts. In addition to academics, the department sponsors several student organizations including the Political Science Council of Majors, Model United Nations, and the Mock Trial team. The department is housed on the third floor of the recently built Public Policy building.


The psychology department is a one of the larger departments on campus with 29 full-time faculty members. The department focuses on preparing students to be proficient in research. Students must take two semesters of experimental psychology, which prepares them for a required independent research project. The department offers programs leading to B.A., B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees.

The department's graduate program offers degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied developmental psychology, and human services psychology. The graduate program also offers concentrations in behavioral medicine, clinical psychology, and community social psychology.

The undergraduate program offers concentrations in personnel and industrial psychology, biopsychology, development psychology, and human-services psychology. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to earn credit while working in research labs with faculty. After graduating, many students go on to graduate and professionals programs across the country.

Public Policy

The Department of Public Policy at UMBC offers the M.P.P. (Master's in Public Policy), and the Ph.D. degree. The campus location in the Baltimore-Washington DC corridor provides an ideal location for training in public policy. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing from economics, sociology, political science and the policy analysis discipline itself, with an emphasis on the public sector and evaluation and analytical methods. The program includes full and part-time students coming directly from undergraduate and master’s programs, as well as mid-career professionals.

At the heart of the program is a nationally recognized faculty who are active researchers and dedicated teachers and mentors. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Department is one of the top ten public policy programs in the nation in faculty scholarly productivity. UMBC has also been a a leader in producing Public Policy Ph.D. degrees over the past five years.

Many students have the opportunity to assist in the policy-related research projects of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (, the Hilltop Institute ( or the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education ( In the recent past, students have been recipients of the Robert Woods Johnson Fellowship, the Presidential Management Fellowship, NASPAA Annual Dissertation Awards, and a University of Maryland School of Law Leadership Scholarship.

Visual Arts

UMBC's Visual Arts program is presented to students as being pre-professional, since this reflects the bias of the student body (and as a consequence, style of education, at least in theory). The Visual Arts major includes a variety of areas of study including Art History & Theory, Graphic Design, Photography, Print Media, Film & Video, Animation, and Interactivity. The department's emphases serve as funnels into particular industries, while the overall education is that of fine arts, including courses in art history, and topics in art or media, which is designed to produce graduates that are educated in fine art, rather than simply possessing a skill set. Prospective students are required to undergo the portfolio review process in order to gain formal acceptance into the department and its resources. The Visual Arts program is a growing major at UMBC. Despite the apparent lack of resources and funding, the Visual Arts is poised to take recognition at a school that has historically been known as a school for sciences.

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences]
* [ College of Engineering and Information Technology]
* [ College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences]
* [ The Erickson School]
* [ Graduate School]
* [ School of Social Work]


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