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Undergraduate Admissions

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Build a career in making a difference.

With a degree in public policy, you put your passion to work. We welcome you to join our community — a vibrant group of Policy Terps from around the world and across disciplines. Depending on your current status, the path to becoming a Policy Terp varies. If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to contact us.

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First-time Freshman Students

We encourage you to apply for admission to the University by the priority deadline of November 1. There is no separate application for our major and seats in the major are guaranteed as we are NOT a limited enrollment program. Please refer to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for assistance with your online application for freshman admission and further information about the application process.

Ready to apply?

Current University of Maryland Students

Declare a public policy major and join our program. Speak to our academic advisors for more information and to plan out your coursework.

Meet with our Advisors

Transfer Students from Another Institution

Thank you for your interest in studying public policy at the University of Maryland! We encourage you to carefully review the expectations for academic rigor in upper-level coursework at the University. Most students transferring from 2-year community colleges find that the academic expectations are more demanding than what they have experienced in community college. Full-time students should anticipate a Monday-Friday class schedule on campus. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions can help you become familiar with the University and assist you with your online application.

View the University's transfer requirements

Attend an Admissions Event

Learn more about our programs and the campus. Meet our admissions staff and mingle with fellow prospective students on campus, across the nation and virtually.

Find an event

Meet Your Undergraduate Student Ambassadors


There were several factors that impacted my decision to attend Maryland. For me the most important included the academic opportunities that would offer challenges and allow me to thrive in classes within a school dedicated to its students and their success. It still impresses me with all the countless learning opportunities through research, clubs, leadership avenues or multiple options of majors. In addition, Maryland is very diverse both in and out of the classroom which along with the intense school spirit makes it an enjoyable atmosphere daily welcoming to both new and current students.



I chose Maryland not only due to its prestigious nature and proximity to Washington, D.C, but also because I know that the Terp community always has each other’s backs throughout and beyond undergrad. I would encourage others to choose Maryland because becoming a Terp means you carry that title throughout your whole life, opening doors and connecting you to so many alumni. Maryland has an innumerable number of opportunities that can help you to achieve what you are working towards.



I am from Atlanta, GA, and was attracted to Maryland for the School of Public Policy! UMD is in a great location for policy students; being so close to DC, the opportunities for internships, volunteering, and experiential learning in the government and nonprofit sectors are really unique and amazing. I also wanted a school that had its own college town and a nearby city, spirit and big involvement in sports  but where academics are important too, plenty of opportunities for joining clubs and organizations, and flexibility in my studies so I can figure out exactly what it is I want to learn. I found all of this at UMD!



I chose Maryland because of the size and prestige that it holds which results in a multitude of opportunities on campus for students of any kind. Along with on campus opportunities, UMD's proximity to Washington D.C. offers so many opportunities for undergraduate and post-graduate students, something I am especially grateful for having entered the school of public policy. I would encourage students to choose Maryland for similar reasons, as UMD's size, resources, esteem, and area provide an almost infinite amount of possibilities for those in and outside of the School of Public Policy.



I chose Maryland because of public policy. When I visited UMD, I did not want to go to a big school, but after talking to other policy ambassadors, public policy seemed like a great fit for me. To new students, I would tell them that while a big school can seem like a hurdle, it is very easy to create circles of people in and out of your major, making the school seem more manageable. However, as time goes on, you will appreciate how a big school has lots of opportunities you can take advantage of that smaller schools do not have.



I approached the college-decision making process with an open-mind, looking at the offerings in each school I applied to. While going through this process, I found myself drawn to Maryland for many reasons. Maryland’s proximity to the nation’s capital was what originally encouraged me to apply, yet the academic programs Maryland offers aided me in making my decision. As a communications and public policy double major, I have had the opportunity to learn from an experienced and professional staff while collaborating with peers who share the same aspirations I do. Studying public policy with proximity to Washington is exciting for students’ who aspire to work in the political field.

It is for these reasons that I advocate for and encourage prospective students to choose Maryland to spend their next four years. To emphasize these reasons, I would tell prospective students that Maryland has provided me a sense of community, a home away from home, an outlet to express my beliefs and most importantly, a place where I can connect with like-minded peers to advance my knowledge on subjects I am passionate about. College decisions can be tough, but Maryland has given me the college experience I always dreamed of, and it is a passion of mine to help prospective students reach that decision as well.



I chose Maryland because the community felt like a home away from home. The culmination of a big state school that also had more intimate, tight knit communities within it gave the best of both worlds. Also, Maryland’s location is ideal for someone like me that hopes to work within policy and potentially the Government, being just a Metro stop away from the Nation’s Capital. Academically, Maryland is very well regarded, and even has programs that are the leading in the country. The university of Maryland has given me unique career opportunities and lifelong best friends as well as become my second home.



I am a proud terp. University of Maryland, College Park  is the perfect school for me and I believe many others feel the same way. I chose Maryland because of its proximity to DC where policies are made and the up and coming Public Policy school at UMD. I fell in love with the campus the first time I visited.  There is a place for everyone to feel belonged in because it is such a big school with diverse demographics. I would love to share my enthusiasm with students who are interested and may not even know they are interested yet.  It is an honor being a terp and I am so grateful for the opportunities this school has provided me with.