University of Maryland
#77 Overall Influence#214 Desirability Rank

University of Maryland

Public research university in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Maryland is a system comprising 15 campuses. The system has a rather complicated history.

The oldest component of the system is the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), which traces its roots to the Maryland College of Medicine, founded in 1807.

In 1812, the medical college was rechartered as the University of Maryland. In 1920, the University of Maryland System was created through a merger between the Baltimore school—renamed the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB)—with a pre-existing agricultural school that then became the flagship campus of the overall system under the name of the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP).

For its part, UMCP descends from Maryland Agricultural College, founded in 1856 in College Park. During the Civil War the school underwent severe financial difficulties, and for two years was obliged to retrench severely, transforming itself into a boys’ preparatory school. The college reopened in 1867 and its financial situation became stabilized as enrollment gradually increased over the following years.

In 1912, another disaster befell the agricultural college when most of its buildings were destroyed in a fire. Nevertheless, students and faculty continued classes under improvised conditions. In 1916 the state took over the still-struggling agricultural college, which was then renamed Maryland State College.

Only four years later, in 1920—as has already been mentioned—the now state-run agricultural college in College Park was merged with the already-existing University of Maryland in Baltimore to create the new University of Maryland System. UMB and UMCP both emerged out of this event in their present forms.

The system then underwent steady growth, with a major administrative reorganization in 1988. Today, the University of Maryland comprises 12 full-fledged universities and three regional education centers, with a total of more than 172,000 students. UMCP, with over 41,000 students, remains the flagship campus.

UMCP has been associated with nine Nobel laureates, namely:

  • Physicists, Raymond Davis, Jr., William D. Phillips, John C. Mather & Hannes Alfvén
  • Chemists, Herbert Hauptman & Jerome Karle
  • Biochemist, Marshall Nirenberg
  • Economist, Thomas Schelling
  • Poet, Juan Ramón Jiménez

Other distinguished UMCP-connected individuals include the following:

  • Children’s book authors, Jeff Kinney & Jason Reynolds
  • Cartoonist, Aaron McGruder
  • Comedian and screenwriter, Larry David
  • Actors, Dianne Wiest & Michael Ealy
  • Philosopher, Peter Carruthers
  • Mathematicians, George Dantzig, James Yorke & Charles Fefferman
  • Computer scientists, Sergei Brin, Keith Marzullo, Ashok Agrawala & Uzi Vishkin
  • Astronomers, Barbara A. Williams & Michael A’Hearn
  • Physicists, Michael Fisher, John Dawson, Sylvester James Gates, Jr., Christopher Jarzynski & Victor Galitski
  • Chemist, Tobin Marks
  • Microbiologist, Rita Colwell
  • Ecologist, Simon Levin
  • Electrical engineer and astronaut, Judith Resnik
  • Economist, Melissa Kearney
  • African American Studies pioneer, Manning Marable
  • Investigative journalist, Carl Bernstein
  • Radio personality, Robin Quivers
  • Puppeteer, Jim Henson
  • Comedian and podcaster, Ari Shaffir
  • TV journalists, Connie Chung and Gayle King
  • TV political analyst, Kirsten Powers
  • US Representative, Steny Hoyer


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


, College Park MD 20742

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

13 per 100k

Violent Crime

0 per 100k

What is University of Maryland known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#18 World Rank #16 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#25 World Rank #23 USA Rank
#75 World Rank #25 USA Rank
#53 World Rank #27 USA Rank
#49 World Rank #28 USA Rank
#44 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Computer Science
#87 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#101 World Rank #37 USA Rank
#51 World Rank #43 USA Rank
#61 World Rank #45 USA Rank
#80 World Rank #57 USA Rank
Political Science
#123 World Rank #63 USA Rank
#93 World Rank #63 USA Rank
#114 World Rank #63 USA Rank
#117 World Rank #68 USA Rank
#129 World Rank #69 USA Rank
#185 World Rank #69 USA Rank
#92 World Rank #69 USA Rank
Social Work
#216 World Rank #93 USA Rank
#185 World Rank #96 USA Rank
#264 World Rank #100 USA Rank
#296 World Rank #136 USA Rank

Other areas of influence

#99 World Rank #75 USA Rank

Influential People

Who are University of Maryland's Most influential alumni?

University of Maryland's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Criminal Justice, Communications, and Computer Science. University of Maryland’s most academically influential people include Sergey Brin, Jim Henson, and Carl Bernstein.

Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin

American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur

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Jim Henson
Jim Henson

American puppeteer ,animator, cartoonist, actor, investor, filmmaker, and screenwriter

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Carl Bernstein
Carl Bernstein

American journalist

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David Simon
David Simon

American writer

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A. James Clark
A. James Clark

American business executive and philanthropist

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Larry David
Larry David

American comedian, writer, actor, and television producer

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James R. Clapper
James R. Clapper

US government official

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Robert L. Forward
Robert L. Forward

American physicist, science fiction writer

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Aryeh Kaplan

American rabbi and physicist

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Connie Chung
Connie Chung

American journalist from the United States

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Daniel Snyder
Daniel Snyder

Owner of the Washington Football Team

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Terry Gaasterland
Terry Gaasterland

Professor of Computational Biology and GenomicsDirector, Scripps Genome Center

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