University of Maryland University College Reviews
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VETERANS, STAY AWAY! If you are a veteran and looking for a quality education, you have many better options. This applies especially if you are not 100% covered by GI Bill and are out of state. For example, I have 50% coverage and live in VA. What UMUC does is discount the in-state tuition rate, then submit that amount to the VA. They then will charge the student the full out-of-state rate, which sees VA coverage being less than 25% of the actual charges. On top of that, the instruction is essentially nonexistent. If you seek feedback and support from an instructor, it's more likely that you will never hear back or will hear back weeks after the assignment is due. Even more interesting is that mot submission are not graded for weeks. In my ENG course, I didn't receive grades from the week 2 assignment until week 7, meaning that the submissions from weeks 3-7 probably had the similar mistakes. If you're like the program structure advertised by UMUC, you're better off looking at CSU Global. They follow similar 8-week course structure but are incredibly engaged in student's success and are significantly less expensive.
A MS from this for profit online school is worthless. They will swindle you if your money and you will get a degree that people laugh at. 99% of people in this career field do not need a MS, go get the OSCP instead; its 5% the cost, 10% the time, and worth 100 times this junk degree.
I think that UMUC offers a great alternative to going to school inside of a traditional classroom. I originally went to school at a community college (Kilgore College in Kilgore Texas) and earned my A.A. prior to coming to UMUC because I could work online classes into my schedule. During my coursework at UMUC I studied a large variety of different subjects that will make me very marketable to the Department of Homeland Security if I choose to go that route in life. I see many people gripe and complain about the amount you have to write; writing is a critical skill in most fields and allows the instructors to test your ability to think critically and get your point across. If you do not writing, perhaps you need to look elsewhere. I had some instructors who were slightly more difficult than others, but they all adhered completely to the standard that they specified prior to the start of the course, where all very knowledgeable of the subject they were teaching, and were all very professional and attentive to students. I think some people want a "free degree" and are simply not willing to put in the time needed to succeed. I frequently read or wrote 3-4 hours a night 7 days a week during my undergraduate program. I also too 18 hours per semester until complete. If you are a dedicated working professional who wants to get a degree, UMUC is the school for you. If you have no drive or self discipline and cannot force yourself to accomplish what YOU set out to achieve, then I am not sure what to tell you... One other thing, I have seen multiple complaints about the financial services at the school. Since starting at UMUC, I have used both military tuition assistance and pell grants. Never once have I had a single issue with the financial aid office. Again, I am assuming these complaints are actually due to "operator error" because I have never reached out to the school and not been responded to quickly and efficiently.
Overall I liked the program when I first began however since the school went away from textbooks and started with "online videos and journals.. articles etc" the experience went down hill very fast. I think some professors are understanding of people's situations that they have families and jobs however some professors could care less and are very harsh at grading as well as provide very little substance and feedback on assignments. I am happy I am done ... time to get my MBA from a better school now that actually values its students. I guess I still got a degree so there is nothing to complain about but if I had a choice I would have went to a different school.
Compared to other online schools that I've tried I feel like UMUC courses are well-structured with their modules and the notifications of due dates, updates to grades. The discussion forums are annoying because you don't get any updates so you have to go into each post to see if anyone replied to you. In the era of Facebook and Instagram I feel like they should get better at having some real-time updates to make the conversations less phony and more engaging. I took an undergrad accounting course and a graduate financial management course. For the undergrad course I felt like it was decent enough for a freshman level course. I felt like the graduate level financial management course needed a text book. We got a list of a bunch of random websites to teach us stuff off the internet; I have no idea what I just learned or how to fit it all together - just a bunch of details from a lot of random websites. This is why textbooks are used! the school tries to avoid textbooks which is a cool idea but that doesn't mean they couldn't find a free book that students could rent from the UMUC library. I think that these courses are more of a 'program' - you don't really learn anything form the professor. The feedback is a joke, you get like a sentence. I literally learned nothing from my graduate level professor. I didn't feel like $2,000 was work the cost of the courses other than I have no other options but online school. If i could I would go to a school that was more rigorous, reputable, and valuable. I think in the end all I really wanted was some accounting courses under my belt so I could get an entry-level accounting job. I think with a means to an end, if you are not trying to work in a Fortune 500 company, these courses are good enough for someone who doesn't have the opportunity to go to a competitive graduate school that doesn't accept literally anyone with a bachelor's degree. I was irritated with the project in the Fin Management course - it required a team of 5-6 people work together with their archaic discussion forums (no real time updates). Thank god for Google Hangouts and Google Drive. I have no idea how other teams did it without knowing about those programs. I felt like we were not prepared in any way on how to do the project; everything with this course was just... figure it out yourself by googling it kind of thing. I definitely am just going to only complete the undergrad pre-requisite courses to the accounting/fin management masters degree and then leave and get a job because I don't think the entire degree is worth my time.
I can't endorse this school at all. Most of my classes were online, which isn't a bother, but when you pay the same price as other classes per credit hour, but receive a knock off education things tend to get frustrating. Course materials were articles or Wikipedia (despite not accepting Wikipedia in the copious amounts of papers you write), EVERY. SINGLE. COURSE. has essays (I did Psych./Chem. with a minor in Bio before this and had less writing) and the "instructors" aren't really qualified to grade writing efficiently, since it's all online they hire "pocket instructors" who seem to be the "mall cops" of instructors. Additionally, a lot of the course descriptions say "prepare you for XYZ cert/test," but as you can imagine using Wikipedia and handwritten curriculum provides only a lot of untouched material. Admin side: they lost my transcripts from my other schools 3 times (official transcripts sent electronically and sending school confirmed receipt), dragged the financial aid process out until my last semester (Spring 2019), asking for things my other schools did not. I went from a 3.82 in the same degree at another school to 3.2ish. Not all their fault, but between the shady grading, lack of instruction/education, etc. I'm just done trying.
I completed the MS in Data Analytics August, 2018. This was a very comprehensive and challenging program that covered Data Analytics from ETL through predictive modelling. The courses build off each other and the course work is challenging. As an online program student interaction is contrived, however most instructors make efforts to encourage collaboration. Grading was fair and the instructors generally followed the syllabus. The instructors and assistants were responsive and helpful when I had questions or needed additional assistance. Be prepared to write code in SQL, python, R, and SAS. Alternatively, there are GUI programs for most assignments, however I found them more difficult than just writing code directly. The program provided a structured approach to becoming a professional in the field of Data Science.
The program is absolute trash. This will be my last class with UMUC. The lack of textbooks leads to at times dozens of free "journal articles" to read per week to get your educational content. The instructors could care less, they have your money. In my last course I witnessed a Dr. in the program ask a student how they expect the instructor to help them understand a subject. They are cocky, pretentious, and sometimes downright rude. They need to go back to a real textbook or at least include some instruction, save your money, if you want to learn something go elsewhere. The first few years of this program are self study using free articles that you can find on Google Scholar. They just recently turned the program on it's head from D.M. to D.B.A..
The MBA program is a joke, as there is no real substance to it and the six 6-credit courses are very redundant in terms of concepts and coursework. The courses are also not entirely clearly written, as some instructions and project rubrics contradict themselves. Additionally, you're graded by color (green/yellow/red), which somehow translates to letter grades. There is no real quantifiable data to back the grades up and your results are very subjective. No textbooks; no exams or quizzes or anything of the like. In all six classes, my instructors were full-time professionals or adjuncts at (sometimes several) other schools, which made communication interesting. If you're looking to check a box, get a 4.0, and be handed an overpriced master's, have at it. If not, save the time, money, and effort. If I had to do it all over again, I'd certainly do it somewhere else.
Since they dropped textbooks the quality of instructing went downhill. Reading articles from research journals and online sites is not substitute for actual learning. One professor barely gave feedback or instructions. I had to guess how to do my project for half my grade. It's just papers every week. Does not begin to compare to my brick and mortar school, or even the real learning that took place at the community college. The advisors are pretty worthless and they've changed my graduation requirements. The latest includes work experience courses I will never be able to satisfy in my current job and a course for non-majors in my major field? Honestly, it is not worth the hassle just for a piece of paper. If you want a real education, with support and true learning, go elsewhere.