Preparing to be a Terp Engineer | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

What does it take to get admitted to the A. James Clark School of Engineering?

Engineering at Maryland is one of thirteen Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP) on campus. This means that because we do not have space to accommodate all applicants who indicate an interest in engineering, we must have a separate, more competitive review process for admission into the Clark School.  There is no separate application; your admission application to the university will also be reviewed by an admissions committee within the Clark School.  Currently, about 40% of those who apply are admitted.

Admissions into the Clark School closely mirrors that of the overall university, considering 26 factors as a part of a holistic review.  While there is no paint-by-the-numbers, surefire way to be admitted into the Clark School, below we break down some of the factors that we consider when reviewing applications for freshman applicants and share some tips to prepare for the process no matter what year you are in high school.

  • Challenge yourself with your coursework. Take the most rigorous course load available at your high school, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Curious about what AP and IB scores earn college credit? Check out the university's Transfer Credit Services Prospective Student Resources

  • Engineering-specific courses like Project Lead the Way are great in exposing you to introductory engineering design concepts and theories.  While the University does not accept them for college course credit, they are still seen as a valuable experience and show your interest in the discipline.

  • Look into dual/concurrent enrollment opportunities at local community colleges, colleges, or universities to enroll in courses that can later be used to earn college course credit. For more information on the Concurrent Enrollment Admissions process at Maryland, visit here.

  • Don't overwork yourself. Know your limits and make getting good grades your priority.  Aim high and focus on achieving mostly As and Bs in challenging courses.

  • Tackle standardized exams early on. Start out studying gradually until you are comfortable and ready to take on the real thing. There are no minimum ACT or SAT test scores for admission into the Clark School. Send in all your scores, and we'll take the highest. Test scores are important, but are not the only thing! They are absolutely taken into consideration, but there are many other factors that go into admission decisions.  You're more than just a number!

  • Conquer procrastination! If you can beat it now, it'll only get easier in the future.

  • Participation in sports, music, and other non-STEM activities show that you’re well-rounded and have interests outside of engineering.

  • Engagement in STEM-related extracurricular activities, like summer programs/camps, competitions, or clubs show that you have a passion for the field.

  • Browse the various Clark School of Engineering High School Programs and see which one is the right fit for you.

           Summer Programs

           Pre-College Workshops and Programs During the School Year

  • If your school does not have STEM-related clubs/activies, create one! There’s surely other students who are just as interested in robotics, etc. who would love to join.

  • Take your membership in a club, sport, or organization to the next level by taking on a leadership role.

  • Prove that you have an interest in engineering and possess soft skills like leadership, communication skills, or teamwork.

  • A simple Google search can help you find internships/research opportunities outside of school

  • Dedicate time in your schedule for community service with friends and family.

  • Show that you go outside once in a while by participating in local events.

  • Volunteer your tutoring services to individuals that need assistance with specific subjects or courses in your community.

Overall, while Clark School admissions is competitive with a focus on grades and test scores, we know that these things do not define who you are or completely predict your success in college.  We strive for diversity within our student body.  We believe that the ideal Terp engineer will contribute to the Clark School community and the world! Our students come from diverse backgrounds and bring a breadth of experiences to the Clark School community.  What makes you unique?


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