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University of Maryland – College Park (UMCP)


Preface:

The main campus of the University of Maryland at College Park was started in the year 1856, and is a popular public research university. It is one of the most reputed colleges around, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 colleges in the US. It is especially renowned for its Masters programs in computers, and electrical engineering. The research facilities at UMCP are world-class, as a result of which their research programs are highly sought after.

Another positive about UMCP is the fact that it’s relatively ‘cheap’, which is why you find a lot of Asians applying hopefully to it. More often than not this is in vain if you want to pursue your masters in Electronics or Computers, although it must be mentioned that getting into the ENTS (Telecom management) program is often considered a ‘cakewalk’.

 

Location:

Although the college is in what may be described as a village (though Indians should remember that our definition of village and their definition of village differ greatly), UMCP’s location all in all is quite fantastic. It’s just half an hour away from Washington DC, which is obviously a good thing. It’s also pretty close to New Jersey, so you often find students doing a lot of travelling while at UMCP.

 

Infrastructure and Residing options:

The massive UMCP campus is spread over 1250 acres or lush greenness, and is complete with all possible state-of-the-art facilities for students to pursue any kind of activity they may want to. ‘Maryland’ is known for its brick-red buildings, which set it apart from all other universities, and add a touch of beauty to it as well. The splendid libraries have over 5 million volumes at last count, while the research centers are also known to be brilliantly made. There are shuttle services to go from one place to another, naturally.

Staying on campus often proves expensive, and doesn’t entirely make sense either for vegetarian Indians who certainly need well-cooked, ‘home’ food. Plus, the campus party scene has become slightly ‘dry’ over the years, so it can get a bit boring. They often rent out apartments a couple of blocks away from the campus, the most famous student apartments being Silver Springs.

 

Weather:

The city/village of College Park experiences all four seasons, with extremes of winters and summers. Winters can be terribly severe and harsh, while summers can be pathetically hot.

 

Courses Offered:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Master's Program in Telecommunications
  • Master of Engineering and Public Policy
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Professional Master of Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Reliability Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

 

Faculty and Pedagogy:

The faculty at Maryland is world-class and highly experienced. Research facilities are excellent as well. The pedagogy is research- and practical-oriented.

 

Fees:

The fee at UMCP is roughly $13,000 per semester (or 12 credits).

 

Financial Aid:

Most Asian students get a decent amount of scholarship, termed RA/TA (Research Assistantship/Training Assistantship) which is normally good enough to cover for living and food expenses. Unless you’re super extravagant, of course.

 

Eventual Placements/Packages:

Since Maryland is one of the better colleges around, it certainly shouldn’t be a problem getting a pretty-high-paying job once you’re here. Where you get placed naturally depends on the course you’re doing, but more often than not, you can expect to get picked up by one of the top players in whatever field you’re specializing in.

 

Crowd and Campus Life:

There are some excellent bars/hangouts in and around the UMCP campus. Students often visit Corner Stone, Sante Fe, Bentleys, Thirsty Turtle, etc. for a drink, or maybe more. Of course, they also keep frequenting Baltimore, Washington, and a number of places in Silver Springs itself.

 

Famous Alumni:

  • Sergey Brin - Co-founder of Google
  • Joseph Hardiman - NASDAQ President
  • Rajesh Hukku - Ex- Senior VP at Oracle Corporation, MD of i-Flex solutions

 

Verdict:

A quite excellent college, in a fantastic location, with a beautiful campus and crowd to match.

 

Website:

www.umd.edu

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