University of Maryland University College Reviews
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UMUC is a good university. I am graduating in May 2016 in Cyber Security Policy and Management. I have been with the school for 3 years now and I can give you some insight about the school. For starters the administration is not the best, they will not go above and beyond for you. Learn to look up the policies yourself (which isn’t hard) to find you answers before calling them, give them something to reference. Financial Aid is a hassle at first until you get used to the process and how everything works. I believe many people get mad at the financial aid department because the student 1) messed something up 2) do not understand the process and time frames the department follows. However, besides the Admin and Financial Aid, the classes and professors from my experience were above average. Did I have some bad professors, Yes, did I file a grievance against a professor during my tenure due to the lack of proper instruction (The whole class did), Yes. Where there many other classes and professors that were great and were very personable and concerned about my education and goals, Yes. There are always going to be professors you will not get along with and there are professors that will hit you up on LinkedIn to follow your career because they felt you had potential and actually care. Many Professors are subject matter experts in their field (which is great for cyber security students) and some are tenured professor from UM and other prestigious schools (you can definitely tell to, they are way stricter, but have a unique way of teaching you so you don’t forget the material). I took the majority of my classes at Shady Grove and College Park F2F, but many were online as well. At the end of the day I can say that once I graduate I personally know I have the knowledge and skills to get a job in the federal or private sector in my chosen career field (what else do you really want?) I start graduate school at the end of May in Information Technology: Information Assurance at UMUC because I believe the curriculum will add tremendous value to resume and provide the skills I need to be successful. Last note: You will have to truly earn your A’s and B’s in most of your core classes, so ensure to take it serious as I have seen many students get mad because their GPAs dropped as the classes got harder and they thought they could try and do minimum work and maintain an A or B. Nope, you have to earn it and UMUC makes sure of it.
This online school's class sites are not accessible on mobile phones. Not normally a problem, but I submitted my paper as a google doc 7 hours before the deadline, then had to drive home from a trip. I received the automatic email notification from the school that my paper had been accepted, but the professor couldn't open it and only sent a message on the class site (not accessible on mobile phones) that he couldn't open it. Now I've received a failing grade for the course (previous to this I had a 4.0).
This college is great if you want to work on your degree and have a full time job as well. The 8-week online courses are fast paced and enable you to get credits quick. Most classes are challenging but not too difficult to get an A/B if you just do your work and stick to the syllabus. A typical week involves discussion posts and replies and a paper/case study either each week or every other week and a final project or test at the last week. Where this school lacks is its administration. I've had nothing but issues with trying to get anyone to answer my questions and typically they just pawn it off to someone else that drops the ball. In short...I've been told to wait and wait until closer to graduation for an advisement audit... so I expect I'll either graduate come Spring or be told I still need a class at the last minute....no guidance whatsoever. I'm only 2 or 3 classes away from completing my degree but cannot get any solid answer for the mistakes in my advisement report and just get told that will be sorted out when closer to your graduation date. I've requested a advisement report audit twice within the last year to figure out what I needed to graduate; because some of the classes I completed are showing in the wrong areas making it look like I need to take more classes than really necessary. The first time I was simply contacted and told that will be done when you apply for graduation. Sooo...I applied for graduation about 3 months ago and paid the fee and still haven't heard anything. I followed up with advising to once again request a advisement report audit and this time they updated my report with no actual changes just to tell me the same thing, and my classes are still in the wrong areas (these are my upper level residency classes being placed in my electives) and once again I'm told that will be done when you get closer to graduating. I'M TWO CLASSES AWAY FROM GRADUATION!, (OR 3 depending on the mistakes in my advisement report) hence why I've been contacting advisement over and over again to figure out the issue.... The advisement/administration is horrible to work with and just use copout methods and have never really given me a sense of 'hey these people care about me' feeling. I've been told to wait and wait until closer to graduation... so I expect I'll either graduate come Spring or be told I still need a class at the last minute....no guidance whatsoever.
I completed my bachelor's at UMUC and decided to do my Master's there as well. The course work was extremely challenging. The advisors were very helpful. This is critical because when I completed my bachelor's I felt the advisors were not as helpful as they should have been. This shows that the school is improving.
Tough and expensive program but worth it. Admissions and Financial Aid offices did everything to help me expedite the processes. The academic advisors are great in the beginning but once you are in the program, they don't initiate person to person communication. The course work is serious and very valid. I learned a great deal that I immediately used in the workplace. I am happy to have competed the degree requirements. However, the school does not have a great reputation so I am not proud to walk around and say that I got my degree from UMUC.
I have been taking online classes since 2010 after 2 years at community college & 1 failed semester of traditional college. I found the transfer process to be easy enough & almost all credits were accepted. I have really only communicated with my advisor via email, but she has offered to call me. Fairly good communication, maybe not the fastest responses. I applied for graduation for next year & that process has gone well so far. My only issue with UMUC online is the consistency of the courses & professors. Do yourself a favor & use "ratemyprofessor.com" before you register! I've had 300-level courses with TONS of work & reading with little help or feedback from the professor. Then other 300-level courses with little or no workload & very involved professors. Had a very arrogant professor who expected "graduate level work" & graded very harshly. Had a few that gave me A+ grades when I literally did half the work. A few grade solely on the length of your essays, not the content. Withdrew from one class because the professor literally made no sense with any of the assignments or grades. Plan on doing EVERY assignment & discussion post. I pretty much have to wait until Sunday to do all my work & it works for me. No all-nighters & I really don't study because there are no tests. I think as long as you try, you can succeed. Just look through your course page before the class starts so you can drop if it seems way too much. You can always try another professor.
I absolutely love UMUC! Best decision I ever made. The comments are correct! You must work for every grade you receive. It takes hard work, dedication, and time mananagement. There are no free grades given out! If your not willing to work hard don't bothered to enroll at UMUC. I nerver had another problems with Financial aid As well as my professors grading unfairly. You must read your syllabus and responding to discussions weighs heavily on your grades as well as required projects. I am happy to say I am one semester about from graduating from UMUC with a 4.0 and a Masters degree in Intergrating Technolgy into Pre-K-12 grade.
Review of the Admissions process only. As a warning to anyone considering the school. UMUC is extremely behind the times in this regard. From what I can tell, everything is manual, keyed in by underpaid staff who really don't know how to assess the "newer" types of certifications or classwork. As a result, don't expect a quick admissions process unless you're coming into this thing cold turkey, fresh out of high school. CompTIA, for example, has had online validation of full transcripts for decades. You generate a link, it sends you to a verification page for each cert the student has. The fact it's on CompTIA's website, with my name, is validation that they're legit. UMUC will ask for the validation code, which is generated and available for each cert. That code used to be for schools or employers to navigate out to a validation widget and put the code in one-by-one to verify authenticity. Guess what? The verification page is the SAME information, SAME PAGE, as if you go to the transcript link, but the transcript link gives you ALL certs for the student, not just that one cert. IN cases like mine where I've got over 7 CompTIA certs, it's illogical to go keying verification codes for each of them when you can just hit the link once to verify them. UMUC is the first organization to ever ask me for those codes - and I got my first cert way back in 2002. Microsoft, same thing. I've got over 4 of those, they required verification codes for each despite Microsoft having a Learning transcript page that verifies them all. Waste of time. Second, a transcript from WGU flagged a followup question. I don't blame UMUC for reacting because the transcript was poorly worded as to what the credits were for ("Transfer Course Work", which is caused when WGU changes the curriculum and gives you retroactive credit, but they don't explain that and they don't spell out what courses are included). My issue with UMUC is that they refuse to call your school to clarify anything. As if I have answers to a transcript I can't see - it's shipped directly to the school per their requirement. And the answers are about terminology; only the school would know. So here I am brokering communications between UMUC and WGU when they could have just reached out and asked the question OR said "we're not including this, let's go on". UMUC refused to ignore them even with me requesting they do so. It was only 6 credits, I can live without them after a 2 month delay. Third, it took 4 weeks to review transcripts. 4 weeks. To look at a piece of paper and make a decision. They were sent electronically, so mail was not an excuse. It was all UMUC. We're talking one college transcript and some tech certs. That's inexcusable. The online web portal is based on Oracle - looks like PeopleSoft to me, but not sure - and as such there's no linking of anything to what you do. So when you go to register classes, you can list the classes that apply to your program all well and good, but that app doesn't take into consideration any transfer credits until a human being presses a button on their end. Also it's not clear which classes you specifically need to enroll; you could have a requirement for Science, it will list various study class types, you go in there and then it lists different classes by location. Why doesn't the app filter out any classes that don't apply to your location? If I'm under Adelphi, why is it showing me Europe classes? Again, the adviser won't help you here. All around bad experience, and I've sadly escalated it to the Dean, because I just don't get why they're so haphazard at this stage.
UMUC is an excellent university with likewise professors. The professors were very helpful and knowledgeable of their areas of study. You earn every grade you receive. Miss an assignment and you probably can forget an A for that class. The school takes those assignments very seriously. The work is very challenging but if you put forth the effort, you will be very pleased with the knowledge you have gained. Some very influential persons have their degrees from UMUC. Again, an excellent university.
I loved going to a state school that had a ton of diversity, lots to do, and the traditional "college experience" while also having access to a conservatory-style music school.