Parents & Families: Partnership for Future Engineers

Your role is an essential one; however, it is important for you to allow your student to find personal solutions to problems and challenges. In the Resources section below, provided for you are University of Maryland services to which you can direct your student based on the questions they may have. In the Important Information section, information about academic advising, policies and procedures, tutoring and student involvement. 

Declaring 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 EAS to help students make a final decision to declare a specific major within engineering.

Mid-Term Grades: Mid-term grades are progress reports provided to undergraduate students enrolled in their first year (fewer than 30 credits earned at the University of Maryland), undergraduate students in all 0xx, 1xx, and 2xx level courses, and student athletes in undergraduate courses.  These are progress reports are sent out about a month and a half into the semester to all students.  Those students with a ‘D,’ ‘F,’ or ‘U’ as a mid-term grade, are notified by EAS 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 Engineering Academic Services (EAS). 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 EAS.

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 EAS 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 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.  EAS 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.

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.

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.