Freshman Year (Defined as 0-29 credits)

As you are aware, the freshman year for a college student is a time of transition. The transition involves adjusting and managing involvement in the multitude of events, groups, sports, and course related activities afforded to college students. These opportunities can be both overwhelming as well as distracting. Students are also experiencing new teaching styles, larger classes, and different degrees of course difficulty.

Mid Semester or Early Warning Grades are good indicators of your student's performance and are normally reported by professors the sixth week of class, typically early October for the Fall semester and early March for the Spring semester. October is also when your student will first experience midterm examinations.  Utilize this time to gauge where your student is on the grade scale in each class by asking specific questions about assignments and performance. Finals week and the preparation for it will be especially daunting for a new freshman; this occurs in the beginning of December for the Fall semester and in the beginning of May for the Spring semester.

 


 

This section is organized by academic year and will include information relating to your student's academic achievement including: resources, programs, and systems with which they should become more familiar. Information about majors, grades and academic advising is included.

Choosing a Major: Determining a major can be a difficult decision. Our office recommends taking a 1 or 2 credit introductory course offered either by the university (UNIV100 “The Student and the University” is an example and there are sections available for engineers) or the Clark School of Engineering. Each department offers extremely resourceful and informative websites; searching for information on these sites can help your student narrow down their interests. Viewing what the engineering departments have to offer (in terms of coursework and research/elective opportunities) can provide insight into special topics within each major. Meetings can also be scheduled with academic advisors in the departments or UA&AS to help students make a final decision to declare a specific major within engineering.

Degree Navigator: As an academic planning tool, Degree Navigator provides students an online audit of the coursework they need to complete for their major and where the courses that they have completed fit within that framework. Students should review this online audit once a semester, typically prior to meeting with their academic advisor to discuss the next semester’s registration.

Early Warning Grades (Mid Semester Grades): These are progress reports of any 100 or 200 level courses that are sent out about a month and a half into the semester. The grades are offered to notify UM students of what their grade is at that time. ANY student with a ‘D,’ ‘F,’ or ‘U’ (Unsatisfactory or below a 2.0) as an Early Warning Grade will receive an email from UA&AS recommending that they speak with an academic advisor in the office.

Mandatory Academic Advising: All engineering students must meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for courses for the coming semester (for their first semester as a University of Maryland student, Orientation fulfills this requirement). Students who are undecided within the field of engineering meet with academic advisors from Undergraduate Advising & Academic Support (UA&AS). Students who have declared a specific major within engineering will meet with a departmental academic advisor. If a student does not meet with their advisor, they will be UNABLE to register for courses. Any questions regarding a student’s academic advisor can be directed to UA&AS.

Orientation: At Orientation, students will learn about how to integrate into the institution as well as more about the Clark School of Engineering. We strive to provide information to begin a successful academic career related to course selection and planning to help students begin a successful academic career. We provide training and guidance on how to create first semester schedules as well as how to register for courses.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance: Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by the University of Maryland deadline of February 15th. Students earning a minimum 3.0 grade point average are encouraged to apply for engineering scholarships each year by the May 31st deadline. Other non-UM scholarship opportunities may also be available throughout the year. Encourage your student to read the scholarship FYI notices and check the scholarship website frequently for opportunities and important deadlines.

Within the policies and procedures section is more information about requirements students must meet and procedures which will inform their decision relating to their academic career.

4-Year Plan (University of Maryland Student Academic Success Policy): Students should complete a plan of coursework for their four years as an undergraduate. This plan is to be used as a guide for what the student could take in the coming semesters. The plan can change based on meetings with the student’s departmental advisor or UA&AS advisors and student academic performance. A student should bring this plan to any advising appointment where semester registration will be discussed. NOTE: Suggestions are available for students on how to create a 4-year plan.

Academic Benchmarks: All students who matriculated to the University of Maryland in Fall 2005 and after are subject to academic benchmark reviews. For engineering students, these reviews are at 45 University of Maryland earned credits (not including credit hours earned prior to matriculation) and two other times prior to their graduation. When students are reviewed for the 2nd and 3rd benchmarks depends upon the semester they matriculated.  Students should prepare for these reviews by making progress through their major coursework. Each benchmark has unique requirements by major.

Academic Dismissal: Students who have earned 60 or more total credits will be dismissed if their cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters (excluding winter and summer terms). Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in the preceding winter or summer term will not be subject to dismissal. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will notify students in writing when they are dismissed. The notices will include a statement that registration for the next semester (excluding winter or summer terms) will be canceled. Normally, a student dismissed for academic reasons must wait one semester (fall or spring) before reinstatement. Exceptions will be determined by the Faculty Petition Board.

Academic Probation: Students will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Normally, the student is expected to attain a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of a probationary semester. Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of their probationary semester may be academically dismissed, depending on their credit level.

Fundamental English: All students must take ENGL101 “Introduction to Writing.” A student must attempt the course within their first 30 total earned credit hours and complete the course within their first 60 total earned credit hours. NOTE: All Clark School of Engineering students must take ENGL393, (Professional Writing Requirement) “Technical Writing”, no matter what grade they achieve in ENGL101.

Policy Violation: A review of pertinent Academic Policies is available online. Students who have extenuating circumstances may ask for permission for an exception to policy. Permission should be requested through a formal Petition for an Exception to Policy Form found under Forms (online form)  which should include all documentation of the extenuating circumstances as well as a personal statement by the student to the Petitions Committee.  NOTE: Approval of petitions is not guaranteed.

Preparing for the 45 Credit Benchmark review: This review typically occurs after a student’s third semester. To pass the review, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0, achieve a 2.0 or better in Math141, Chem135, Phys161 and ENES100, and may only repeat one of these courses once to achieve the 2.0 or better. They must also have completed ENGL101 and one Distributive Studies course. NOTE: a ‘W’ counts as an attempt at a course. Thus, the second attempt is considered a repeat of that course.  UA&AS does not recommend that students take all four of these classes the same semester.

Repeat Policy: Any University of Maryland student may attempt any course twice or repeat a course once for up to a total of 18 total credit hours (please note that most MATH courses are 4 credit hours). If a student withdraws from a course they will earn a “W,” which will count as an attempt at the course. NOTE: Both attempts at a course are calculated into the students’ Grade Point Average (GPA) unless the course was originally taken during the first semester (for transfer students) or within the first 24 credit hours (for first-time students) taken at the University of Maryland. For those courses, the new grade will replace the old grade in the student’s cumulative GPA but the original grade WILL NOT be deleted from the transcript.

Withdrawal/Drop Policy: No more than 4 credit hours may be dropped during any one semester after the last day of schedule adjustment. A grade of a “W” (withdrawal) will be present on the student transcript for that course. Please see the Academic Calendar for specific dates per semester.

Withdrawal from a Semester: If your student suffers a serious ongoing illness or other long-term issue and needs to leave the university for the entire term, they can withdraw from all of their courses. The repeat policy will not apply to courses taken during the academic semester from which the student officially withdrew. Students must submit written notice of withdrawal to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of classes. A student's return to the University is contingent upon the conditions outlined in the online catalog.  NOTE: Students who have earned a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, with no previous withdrawal or leave of absence, may return to the University the following semester through Re-Enrollment. However, students who withdraw when they are not in good academic standing (cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better), must go through the reinstatement process and are not guaranteed entrance back into the Clark School of Engineering.

Students in the Clark School of Engineering must meet with an academic advisor (either from UA&AS or their departmental advisor) before they may register for courses. This section includes information related to course registration including relevant policies and descriptions of blocks that could prevent your student’s ability to register.

Courses Outside University of Maryland

Any student wishing to take a course over the summer at an institution other than the University of Maryland-College Park, must ask for permission to do so by submitting a Permission to Enroll Form found under Forms.

  • Fundamental English: All students must take ENGL101 “Introduction to Writing.” A student must attempt the course within their first 30 total earned credit hours and complete the course within their first 60 total earned credit hours.

*NOTE: All Clark School of Engineering students must take ENGL393, (Professional Writing Requirement) “Technical Writing”, no matter what grade they achieve in ENGL101.

Mandatory Academic Advising

All engineering students must meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for courses for the coming semester (for their first semester as a University of Maryland student, Orientation fulfills this requirement). Students who are undecided within the field of engineering meet with academic advisors from Undergraduate Advising & Academic Support (UA&AS). Students who have declared a specific major within engineering will meet with a departmental academic advisor. If a student does not meet with their advisor, they will be UNABLE to register for courses. Any questions regarding a student’s academic advisor can be directed to UA&AS.

  • Orientation: At Orientation, students will learn about how to integrate into the institution as well as more about the Clark School of Engineering. We strive to provide information to begin a successful academic career related to course selection and planning to help students begin a successful academic career. We provide training and guidance on how to create first semester schedules as well as how to register for courses.

Registration Blocks

Students may have a registration block on their academic account that prevents them from registering for courses. The following list describes the different types of blocks as well as directions for how your student can get the block lifted.

  • Administrative block: Your student has not met a registration requirement that is general in nature. Your student should contact the Registrar’s Office to discover why the hold was placed and should contact the office or department requesting the hold to find out how to have it removed.
  • By Permission Only block: Your student is not allowed to take a course without permission from the department that teaches the course. All engineering courses have this block during the Fall and Spring semesters. To find out if lifting the hold is possible, your student should contact the department offering the course.
  • Financially Ineligible: your student, for whatever reason, may have money due to the university. To find out how to lift the hold, your student should contact Financial Aid.
  • Fundamental Studies: Your student has not yet taken and completed ENGL101. To find out how to lift the hold, your student should contact the Registrar’s Office.
  • Immunization block: Your student has not turned in their proof of vaccination. To find out how to lift the hold, your student should contact the Health Center.
  • Mandatory Advising block: Your student cannot register for courses without speaking with their academic advisor. To have the hold lifted, your student needs to meet with their academic advisor to discuss their course schedule for that coming semester.

The Clark School of Engineering and the University of Maryland offer many, many opportunities for students to get involved with and in the campus community. Students can be involved with multiple types of groups at different times but do not have to become involved if they do not wish to be. We recommend that first-year students be careful with the amount of additional activities they take on as they learn more about being a college student. Other than that precaution, the options are limitless!

Engineering Student Societies: A complete list of student organizations within the Clark School. Students who wish to become involved in their specific major or area of academic interest can look into these groups.

Engineering Student Council: The Engineering Student Council (ESC) is a non-profit educational service organization intended to better the engineer's experience at the University of Maryland. The ESC website offers a listing of some of the student organizations within the Clark School of Engineering. The ESC website also includes information on departmental honors and major specific honors societies.

First Look Fair: University of Maryland student organizations and community groups, offices, and services all convene on the Mall for two days of information sharing. Students can visit tables and learn more about the local branch of SECU credit union, the Health Center’s services, Greek organizations and more! The fair is typically held in September and publicized by the STAMP student union.

International Engineering Opportunities: Encourage your student to explore the many international opportunities that are available for engineering students including: studying abroad for a semester, year, summer or winter term; interning abroad; conducting research abroad; participating in community service activities such as Engineers Without Borders; or earning the Minor in International Engineering. Planning early will allow a student to complete an international experience and stay on track for graduation in four years.

STARS website: The Student Activities Reporting System (STARS) website catalogs all University of Maryland student organizations by type. A student can view lists of groups by type that might interest them.


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