Our admissions process first begins with the application submission. An applicant must meet certain general and verifiable criteria to be considered admissible. This criteria, outlined below, includes minimum grade point average (GPA) and language proficiency requirements.
Questions asked on the application help our review committees and support staff determine whether a candidate is viable for an admission recommendation. Please remember to answer truthfully and to the fullest of any valid question on the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow-up with support documentation that was not submitted with the application.
In all cases, UMBC administers its admissions, educational services, and supporting services in a manner that does not discriminate by race, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or handicap.
GPA & Transcripts
The Graduate School recommends applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA or “B” average when applying. For transcripts from schools abroad, the UMBC Graduate School will accept official WES (World Education Services) ICAP Course-by-Course evaluations but note that these evaluations are not required.
Students who are unable to meet the minimum GPA standards may still be admitted to graduate study by demonstrating outstanding performance on one or more of the graduate aptitude tests or by providing letters of recommendation from competent evaluators of the applicant’s performance as a student or in a professional capacity.
Standards for admission to a doctoral program are generally higher than those for admission to a master’s program. The terms of this admission are based on specific recommendations made by the applicant’s department in conjunction with the Graduate School.
Standardized Tests (GRE)
Many programs require the submission of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Aptitude test scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing). Some programs further require GRE Advanced (subject-specific) scores or scores from other standardized tests. Required tests are listed on each program’s page.
The GRE waivers are occasionally granted by the department for petitioning applicants, for example, mid-career students whose undergraduate experience is not recent or is distinct from the graduate field of interest.
For more information on these standardized tests including practice tests, test dates, and test registration contact: Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, 1-866-473-4373 (citizens of United States and Canada) or 1-609-771-7670 (other countries) or visit the Web site at www.gre.org.
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English Language Test outlined on our International Admissions page.
Transfer of Credit
The Graduate School will award up to six semester hours of transfer credit for academic coursework taken at a regionally accredited institution of higher education in subject areas that are considered part of the student’s UMBC master’s degree program curriculum. UMBC students enrolled in the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may transfer up to nine or twelve graduate credits used toward the baccalaureate degree into the master’s degree program.
Some programs require additional evidence of ability to succeed in the respective graduate program. These assessment tools may include a portfolio, an interview or other assessment means. Applicants are encouraged to review the program descriptions and Required Documents on this website.
Deferral of Admission
Newly admitted students may defer their admission to the Graduate School for up to one academic year (or two semesters). The Deferral of Admission form, along with detailed instructions on the deferral process, can be found on our Student Forms page.
New Applications Exceptions
Outlined below are the few times that students and alumni are not required to submit a new application to the Graduate School:
- Doctoral graduates returning to take additional courses in the same program
- Non-degree student returning after an absence of one or more semesters (contact the Graduate School for reinstatement)
- Degree-seeking applicant changing application to a different program before an admission decision has been made
- Master’s applicant changing application to a doctoral applicant within the same department before an admission decision has been made
- Master’s student applying to a doctoral program in the same department after enrolling
- Doctoral student changing to a master’s degree program