University of Maryland University College Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (140)
I only have two semesters left for my MS in Information Assurance from UMUC. With all honesty, this school has been great to me and to my life style. It is very demanding and just like anything else, you will encounter good and bad professors. Some are easier than others, but for the most part good.
I really do not know why so much bad rep to this school when in fact they provide a good service. I didn't always get A's, but I am getting good grades. If you want to slack-off, this not the school for you. You must always be reading and be ahead of your assignments to succeed at this institution.
Trust me, it has worked for me. I just wish the media would not bash so much at UMUC.
I don't know where all these bad reviews are coming from. I see a ton of complaints about financial aid, I used FA every single semester and I never had an issue, not once! As for the actual education there are two things you need to know.
First, as others have posted, you will get out of it what you put in to it. I actually followed the syllabus in my classes, read everything even when I didn't need to to complete an assignment, I finished with a 3.92 GPA, and one heck of an education in my field (Emergency Management).
Second, there are to standards for acceptance, so you will have some lower level students in the entry classes. However, by the time you get to 300 level courses, most have been weeded out and those that remain at least try. It can stink to have a group project with a poor student but it is very similar to the working world where not everyone pulls their weight.
Lastly, the professors can be hit or miss. I took 69 credits at UMUC as I transferred in, I would say 9 of those credits were bad teachers, 39 were average, and 21 were very good professors. The fact is that people complaining about the financial aid office and the professors are the type of people who want to put blame on others instead of taking charge and figuring out a problem on their own, in other words, people who aren't cut out for online college.
Overall I would give UMUC a solid "B". Some things could be better, but I transferred from PSU world campus and UMUC was a much better experience for me. Whatever you chose, good luck and be prepared to work.
I had a great experience with UMUC - which i received my MS IT in Information Assurance. Let's face it - online school is not perfect. But its improving everywhere. I received my BA from a good brick and mortar midwest college - and I learned more at UMUC, because I put a lot of effort into it. I've read the negative reviews of UMUC as well, and everyone will have a different experience. Some of my Professors were excellent, and some were just OK. I could say that same for my undergrad school. It's a research based program - its not about absorbing facts and spitting them out. You are encouraged to interact and discuss with your classmates and you also learn from their experiences.
I also had an issue with the project based work - however there is a system in which peer reviews help decide your grade. On some projects I was left almost alone to complete the work - and I slammed my project team members. Realistically - it is hard to find the time to do the research and the work when you have a full time job and a family to care for. I found the capstone course at the end one of the most rigorous and challenging. The final was tough - you need to really get into the U of Maryland Library system and get to know how to research. It really is an amazing resource for information. I still use it to this day as my login still works.
The WebTycho web based platform is aged, however it does the job, and most of your time will be in the U of M Library system, the book for writing style and docs and spreadsheets - and some powerpoint for presentations.
I would recommend UMUC to anyone who is self-motivated and is ready to get involved. To some degree, yes you teach yourself, but that is because you are learning from the research that is required - and not memorizing textbook concepts.
I have not finished my degree yet; however, I am 2 years into the Biotechnology/Bioinformatics program. The program is demanding in terms of the reading assignments, writing assignments, and group projects. The program will make you write, write, and write. Did I mention write? I have noticed that many students will drop out of the classes in the first several weeks when they see the workload.
UMUC is a Maryland state school focused on the needs of the military and people already working as professionals. I went to a traditional ranked undergraduate school and I believe I have learned significantly more at UMUC. The Biotech program appears well organized. Every class has a syllabus with the same basic sections, all writing is done in APA 6, all classes require participation, all classes require a group project, all classes have multiple writing assignments, all tests are essay (exception being math classes, but even then you have to explain your work).
Additionally, the school takes plagiarism seriously and the most minor typo can land you in hot water! I truly do not understand the bad remarks a few have posted. Yes, UMUC has an open acceptance policy and some students at UMUC are not prepared to do graduate level work. They will fail out or drop out quickly, so what!? This just shows that the school is doing its job of screening candidates based on ACTUAL work not based upon more subjective means. Frankly, if you are 18-22 and have the money and ability to go to a University Campus then great, go! UMUC is not meant for you. UMUC is Maryland's answer to the needs of the military and professionals in the state. It's a good answer.
UMUC, is not a high standard school. If you are looking for an easy class with little to no knowledge conveyance, then this is the school for you.
Most students write at roughly a low high school level, and the professors for the most part (roughly 80%) are under qualified or disinterested in their students or the class.
I have had a few good solid professors at UMUC but they are the exception more than the rule. I would never recommend this school to anyone truly trying to learn a new skill or improve the skills they already have.
The ongoing disaster that is UMUC Financial Aid continues unabated. This semester, they applied everybody's loans & grants too early. They then placed financial aid refund holds on everybody's accounts to prevent refunds from being processed.
Next step? Reverse all of the transactions, so that students have overdue balances again. In the process, they have managed to cancel financial aid awards altogether, so now I have an overdue balance and I have no financial aid. They assure me that this will be fixed by Monday.
Given that they screw this up EVERY semester, they'll have to pardon me if I don't believe them. If you are dependent on financial aid, RUN, do not walk, away from this place.
I am in my third semester at UMUC in their dual Masters Program in Financial Management and Information Systems. I did have a serious run-in with the Financial Aid office when I first enrolled nearly causing me to switch graduate programs altogether. After weeks of run arounds due to a systems glitch on their end plus incompetent student support, they finally addressed the matter. Their financial aid package was still erroneous causing me to have to pay back a small sum, but since the initial fiasco financial aid and accounting has worked well enough. Honestly on this count, I think you just need to be wary and prepared to be especially diligent with your own follow up if any issue arises, but I suspect most their system functions adequately most all of the time.
In regard to classes, this is where the mixed bag comes in. I definitely would rate UMUC higher than the online private colleges and there a quite few aspects of their online program that I find to be well organized and even impressive. For the most part, I have found the professors to be available and sensitive. On a handful of occasions I have reached out to department heads/ staff and in each case I have received a thoughtful response, kind of surprising actually. The "mixed bag" comes in because my experience with professors has been inconsistent. It seems as if UMUC has a lot of new and part-time professors, at least for their online courses. They are not all bad, but it is difficult or impossible to find many of these professors listed on 'rate my professor' or similar review sites, so you're really shooting in the dark when registering for classes. The repercussions of this can be severe. I have had simultaneous equal credit courses where the quantity of work for one course was easily more than double the effort of another. So, it's a bit like a roulette wheel of how much work you'll be doing any term.
issue I have noticed repeatedly is that UMUC obviously requires professors to include group work. I get the reasons for this; however, like other reviewers, this can leave you in a pretty tenuous position in an online class if the group dynamic is not monitored closely by the professor, which it generally is not. There seems to be the preconception that in graduate school all students are adults and so work it out for yourselves. However in every course so far I have seen students drop the course like flies as the course progresses and of course not every student puts in equal amounts of work. So imagine a group project worth 20% of your grade and your group drops from 5 to 2 and then your last remaining group member emails you right before the project is due that because of blah, blah, blah, their portion of the project is going to suck.
Having countless courses in the classroom and also online, my opinion is that generally speaking it's the classroom courses that are easier. It's a lot easier to participate in classroom discussion or separate yourself out as a good student in a classroom environment. There is a dynamic with online courses too that professors feel like that have to assign you A LOT of busy work to ensure you're actually participating and learning. Nevertheless, not commuting and scheduling are far better. Each class at UMUC thus far requires online classroom participation. Each week's discussion being worth usually about 1% of the grade. Though a very marginal amount, my experience is you have to really take time and research and contribute to these discussions. This is where the grade rounding occurs more than anywhere else. It's time consuming but not especially difficult.
Thus far every course has required a research paper too, but that is to be expected. The trick to this by the way, is to keep your paper topic general, so you can more or less re-write versions the same paper again and again.
Overall, I think there must be better online programs out there than UMUC. A lot of the prestigious private schools are offering these and in hindsight I probably would have spent more time trying to identifying one of these programs. Even so, UMUC is reputable, the price is reasonable, and you will actually learn. A graduate degree will clearly set your resume apart from those without, frankly just a Master degree "in progress" will prop your resume up.
I'm taken 6 of the 12 courses needed toward my Master's (NOT in business), had a 4.0 (and yes, I will agree it's a rigorous program and nothing wrong with that) until I had to take a finance course that was completely ridiculous, way, way too in depth for those without a finance background and absolutely no help from the instructor or the so-called "tutor": I'd post a question about homework and it would take 4-6 days to get a reply which usually wasn't even responsive to the question asked.
Basically, you're teaching yourself and paying them for the privilege. If I wasn't so far in I'd transfer in a hot minute.
I have taken 4 classes thus far in my college career at UMUC. In my first semester I took two online classes in the summer of 2012 and in my 2nd second semester I went to class at the University of Maryland - College Park campus and University of Maryland - Shady Grove campus.
I enjoyed both atmospheres (online & in-class) and now torn between which I like better. If you make a serious effort and find the necessary time to study the course work, UMUC is great for higher education. If you don’t have the time to complete the work I would not recommend this school.
I estimate that I spend 2-3 hours -3 days a week reading and spend 10 – 15 hours per paper that I write. When taking two courses you may have a paper due every weekend between the classes. UMUC does spend time on understanding how to write papers in APA format.
You need to be very sure what you want before you sign up for a school like this. A high motivation and strong work ethic will make sure that you get the most out of it. Downsides to this are the team-based environment, where if you get stuck with someone with very little time to do work, you will have to make up for their mistakes. Teachers are generally OK, but some of them don't do much more than copy and paste old lessons for new classes (generating mistakes) and checking work done. You'll get more out of the classes by actively communicating with the teachers and going beyond the work assigned.
It's not a bad school, by any means, but if you are either too busy or if you are not certain about the benefits of a specific degree, then go somewhere with more name recognition or don't spend the money. Don't go in expecting a degree here to change your life, because it will not unless you invest in more than just schooling.