Virtus | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

The Virtus Living and Learning Program is a two-year living and learning community designed for male engineering students. The primary focus of Virtus is on promoting community and inclusivity within the Clark School and the field of engineering. Virtus seeks to empower students to shift the culture of engineering to be more inclusive of underrepresented groups in the field of engineering, including, but not limited to, women. The Virtus community works closely with Flexus, with combined living (mixed gender) and academic seminar components.

Through the promotion of social, intellectual, and leadership development, Virtus seeks to provide the resources and structure for first- and second- year engineering students to be successful through graduation, positively impacting the retention and graduation of undergraduate students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. To do so, Virtus provides Living and Learning experiences that promote community, critical reflection, and creation of change.

Living with Virtus

First-year Virtus students live in the common residential community in Easton Hall. Living with the Virtus and Flexus community in Easton Hall is a requirement for all first-year participants in the Virtus or Flexus Program. Second-year students may live elsewhere, but are encouraged to remain in Easton. Living with this community helps students to connect with peers in engineering and develop a peer support network. Students can easily create their own study groups, benefit from peer tutoring, and engage in a variety of social activities specific to the development and interests of the community.
 
In addition, the "Flexus & Virtus Student Lounge" is available within Easton Hall for all Flexus and Virtus participants. This space is used for free tutoring services, studying, and other activities.

 

Learning with Virtus

All participants in Virtus are required to enroll in a 1-credit seminar course each semester for a total of four seminar courses during their first- and second-year. Enrollment in and completion of all four seminars is a requirement to complete the Virtus Program.

A key feature of the Flexus program, these 1-credit seminars explore a range of topics that seek to:
  • Enhance campus and community engagement
  • Promote critical self-awareness
  • Connect engineering to social issues.
 

Below is a table providing an overview of the curriculum throughout the two-year program:

Term Course Theme Course Credits

First Year Fall

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:30pm*

First-Year Transition ENES 113 1

First Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Professional & Career Development ENES 114 1

Second Year Fall

Thursdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Diversity & Inclusion in Engineering ENES 213 1

Second Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Engineering & Social Change ENES 214 1
*Day and time subject to change.

Social and Academic Support

In addition to the Living and Learning Program, Virtus students can also enjoy other resources provided by the Women in Engineering Program, such as: networking opportunities; mid- semester advising; participation in the Peer Mentoring Program; and access to WIE staff.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be admitted into the Clark School of Engineering for enrollment as a first-year student in Fall 2020.
  • As space is limited, Virtus is designed for students who are not a part of other Living and Learning Programs. 
  • Living in Easton with the Flexus community is a requirement for participation in the program.

Application, Review Process, and Timeline

To apply to join the Virtus Program, please complete the application, which can be found through this link: go.umd.edu/wieLLPapp
The priority deadline to apply is on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Applicants who have applied by April 1st will be notified of decisions by Monday, April 13, 2020.  Applications will still be accepted after the priority deadline, and students will be admitted on a rolling basis, dependent on space availability, after that date.  
 
For questions, please contact Women_in_Engineering@umd.edu.

Contact Information

Please direct any questions about the program to the following contact:

Elizabeth Kurban
Assistant Director, Retention
Phone: 301-405-8308
Email: ekurban@umd.edu


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