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Terp Terms

Whether you’re arriving on campus for your first semester or just starting your UMD application, it is likely that you may come across unfamiliar terminology.

Well, we're here to help! If a term you're looking for is not listed below, please feel free to reach out to us.

Application Deadline - The date by which your application and all required materials must be submitted in order to be reviewed for admission. Students have different deadlines based on their applicant type and desired semester of admission. 

Bursar - The traditional name for the office on a college campus that manages student financial affairs. At UMD, this office is called Student Financial Services and Cashiering.

Colleges/Schools - UMD offers 12 academic colleges and schools that students can graduate from. Each college/school contains a collection of departments, majors and minors.

Common App - The Common App is a college application platform. Freshman applicants can use it to apply for admission to UMD.

Completed Application - In addition to the online application, students must also submit other required materials in order for their application to be considered complete and reviewed for admission. Students have different requirements based on their applicant type.

Directory ID - After being admitted, students need to create a Directory ID. This ID will become your UMD email address and allow you to log in to computers and access other electronic resources across campus.

Early Action, Non-Binding Deadline - Students should apply by this deadline to receive priority consideration for admission, merit scholarships and special programs. The early action deadline is non-binding, which means after being granted admission, a student is not obligated to enroll at UMD.

Enrollment Confirmation - When an admitted student formally commits to attending UMD.

FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a U.S. federal government form students must complete annually in order to apply for financial aid. For UMD, students are strongly encouraged to complete the FAFSA by the January 1 priority deadline.

Final Transcript - After graduating high school (or for transfer students, completing the most recent semester), admitted students need to request a final transcript be sent to UMD. This will show all final grades for classes that may have been in progress during the time of application and admission.

Financial Aid - Types of financial aid can be classified as either need-based, meaning you and your family are not able to cover educational expenses, or non-need based, which generally refers to aid you receive based on merit or qualification.

Freshmen Connection - Freshman students who are admitted for the spring semester are invited to participate in Freshmen Connection, an optional program which allows students to enroll in fall semester courses and live on-campus during the fall semester.

Gateway Requirements - Each Limited Enrollment Program (LEP) has a set of gateway requirements. This includes required courses, grades and GPA a student must have in order to apply for the given LEP.

Holistic Review - When reviewing applications, UMD considers the whole picture: assessing not only academic merit, but also the applicants’ achievements and potential in the context of opportunities and challenges they faced. From this process, the Admission Committee builds an entering class that will best complement the existing student body and meet the university’s mission objectives.

Letters & SciencesThis academic advising office provides undergraduate students with assistance in choosing a major or working toward admission to a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP). Students may be assigned to Letters & Sciences upon admission even if they listed an LEP as their intended major.

Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP) - Several of UMD’s highly sought-after majors have limited space in order to maintain the quality of the program. For all LEPs, there are more competitive admission criteria beyond the university’s general requirements.

Living-Learning Programs - Freshman students who apply by the early action deadline will be automatically considered for invitation to UMD's Living-Learning Programs, commonly referred to as LLPs, which are designed to bring students with similar interests together through taking courses together and living together in a residence hall.

Major Blind Review - When initially reviewing applications, UMD does not take into consideration a student's intended major.

Merit Scholarships - Students who apply by UMD’s early action deadlines are automatically considered for merit scholarships which are not based on financial need. No additional application is required.

Official Copy - Transcripts and test scores that must be submitted directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by the test administrator or institution to ensure authenticity.

Orientation - A required on-campus program that helps all new students transition to campus life. During orientation, students meet with an academic advisor, register for classes and learn about UMD campus resources.

Pre-Professional Programs - UMD's pre-professional programs are considered advising programs, not undergraduate majors, and they prepare students for graduate studies in pre-law, pre-veterinary medicine and several health-related fields.

Pre-Transfer Advising - Available for prospective transfer students, pre-transfer advising assists students with academic planning, estimating time to UMD graduation and determining how previous coursework may apply at UMD.

Provost - The Provost’s office oversees UMD’s academic programs and resources, academic policies and regulations in accordance with the university’s mission.

Residence Life - Part of the college experience is living in residence halls and forging friendships on campus. The Department of Resident Life manages UMD residence halls and organizes community events for students.

Resident Classification - For tuition purposes, students must be classified as either in-state or out-of-state. This determination is made based on information provided in the application.

Space-available basis - If a completed application is submitted after the deadline it will only be reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if there is space available within the incoming class to accommodate additional students. The number of students admitted is, in part, determined by how many seats are available on campus.

Special programs - Applying by the early action deadline gives students priority consideration for special programs such as living-learning programs, research programs and other programs across campus.

StandOut Admissions Network StandOut Admissions Network is a college application platform. Freshman and transfer students can use StandOut Admissions Network to apply for admission to UMD.

Student Life - This refers to the variety of activities students can participate in on UMD’s campus (800+ student organizations, athletics and more) and the services dedicated to making a student’s campus experience enjoyable (dining services, transportation and parking, resident life, safety and security).

UndecidedStudents who are still in the process of choosing a major are considered “undecided". 

UndeclaredStudents who are seeking admission into the Limited Enrollment Program of their choice are considered “undeclared". These students know what major they want to pursue but have not had their major formally changed.

University ID (UID) - A university identification number is assigned to students when they are admitted. This number will be printed on your student ID card and is used to register for events, access your student accounts and more.


Terps love a challenge. A problem that needs a solution. A barrier that needs breaking down. You are smart, scrappy and determined. You value diversity, innovation, entrepreneurship and imagination. Ready to start your fearless journey?

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Come try on our campus for size! Stop by one of our top-notch athletic facilities. Have a scoop of homemade ice cream at the Dairy. Rub the nose of one of our beloved Testudo statues for good luck. Get all your questions answered. It won't be hard to picture yourself at home here for the next four years. 

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You've done your research and explored your options, and you know that UMD is the perfect place for you. Now it's time to apply. 

COMMON APP >>   StandOut Admissions Network >>

Freshman applicants can apply using either the Common App or StandOut Admissions Network platforms. At this time, transfer applicants can only apply using StandOut Admissions Network.


Consistently ranked as one of the best values in public higher education, you can rest assured that you will receive an affordable world-class education.

College is a major investment for you and your family. The university is here to help. We offer an array of financial aid programs—including scholarships, grants, loans and student employment—as part of our commitment to making an excellent education affordable.


State of Maryland Residents   Non-Maryland Residents

The University of Maryland has launched a new investment in need-based financial aid, the Terrapin Commitment program, which will provide up to $20 million annually for students from the state of Maryland.

The goal of the Terrapin Commitment program is to reduce the gap between a student’s total financial aid package and the cost of an education. The program will begin in January 2023 and ensures that tuition and fees are fully covered for Pell eligible, in-state students, who are enrolled full time and have unmet financial need. More details can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid's website.


Congratulations on your admission to the University of Maryland! We are excited to welcome you into our world of fearless ideas.

You’ve received your admission letter, checked out your major and started celebrating with family and friends. To make enrollment official, check out information for newly admitted students to get everything you need to start your academic career at UMD. 

ENROLL (Freshman)    ENROLL (Transfer)