University of Maryland, College Park

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Online Studies
College Park, Maryland

The University of Maryland is the flagship institution among the University System of Maryland's eleven state public colleges and universities. Founded in 1856 as the original land-grant institution in Maryland, the University is the top public research institution in the mid-Atlantic region and one of the nation's best. Sixty-nine of its programs are ranked in the top twenty-five in the country, with fifty Maryland programs ranked in the top fifteen. The University of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of American Universities.

In 2000, the University of Maryland Office of Professional Studies introduced a University-wide online-learning strategy and launched its first program: Master of Life Sciences. The Web-based Master of Life Sciences is a content-rich, interdisciplinary program, with options in biology and chemistry, that focuses on the most current issues in modern science. Designed to enable practicing teachers to conveniently pursue an advanced degree, the program has attracted students worldwide. In 2003, the University launched an online Master of Engineering in fire protection program for practicing engineers working in fire safety anywhere in the world.

Distance Learning Program

The University of Maryland is dedicated to increasing the visibility and reputation of its high-quality professional and graduate programs, measured not only by advances in research but also by innovations in the delivery of programs to a worldwide audience. The University's online studies program provides the platform for conveniently delivering educational solutions to students anywhere, at any time.

Delivery Media

Courses are delivered asynchronously through the Internet using a range of technologies, including chat rooms, threaded discussions, and links to campus libraries and academic resources. Faculty members are available in person, through e-mail, and by prescribed phone appointments.

Programs of Study

Online Studies at the University of Maryland offers two completely Webbased graduate programs, a 30-credit Master of Life Sciences, a 30-credit Master of Engineering in fire protection, and a 12-credit graduate certificate in public health informatics.

The Master of Life Sciences provides in-depth knowledge of current researchareas in the chemical, biological, biochemical, and biomedical sciences. Courses cover modern biology, modern molecular genetics, transmission genetics, human physiology, biodiversity and conservation biology, chemical ecology, principles of chemical biology, biochemistry, natural products chemistry, electrochemical cells, evolutionary biology and behavior, and experimental biology. Students may follow concentrations in chemistry or biology.

The Master of Engineering in fire protection is a graduate-level program in applied fire safety science and engineering. The curriculum supports the emerging international movement toward performance-based building approaches to building fire safety analysis and design. It provides students with an understanding of the physics and chemistry of fire necessary for predicting building system performance and analyzing failures. Course work covers fire risk assessment, fire dynamics, advanced fire modeling, smoke detection and management, toxicity evaluation and analysis, and structural fire protection.

In addition, students who qualify have the option of enrolling in individual online courses in fire protection without having to pursue a full master's degree. These "a la carte" courses are taught by the same renowned engineering faculty members who teach the degree programs, and students may apply credits earned toward the degree.

The graduate certificate in public health informatics offers online, graduate-level courses in applied health informatics. The curriculum supports the emerging international movement toward evidence-based approaches to health information management, including evaluation and integration of health information systems for health data collection, analysis, and presentation. It familiarizes students with the most recent technologies and computer applications in public health education and practice. The course work provides students with a thorough understand ing of the theory and practice of health informatics in the real world. Addition ally, students are required to demonstrate the ability to use scientific and population health principles to evaluate and implement health information systems for their organizations. They learn how to use qualitative and quantitative methods for conducting health surveillance activities and enhancing public health preparedness, as well as use computer models to measure and present health outcomes. There is no research component required and the courses can be completed entirely online in 10 weeks. This intensive program has been approved to award continuing education contact hours (CECHs) to meet requirements for health educators who are certified health education specialists through the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). The credits earned may also meet the degree requirements for the M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees.

Student Services

Through Single Point of Contact (SPOC), listed in the Contact section, students may inquire about the programs, apply for admission, register, pay their bills, and purchase textbooks. Students also have access to equipment and software specifications needed for successful completion of course work, online library resources, and technical support.


The Master of Life Sciences program has 11 full-time University of Maryland faculty members with doctoral degrees. The Master of Engineering program in fire protection and the graduate Certification in Public Health Informatics Program are taught by faculty members with outstanding teaching and research credentials.


The Master of Life Sciences program requires an undergraduate degree in biological science, chemistry, biochemistry, or science education; one year of teaching experience or the equivalent; letters of recommendation from a school principal and a science supervisor; and successful completion of a gateway review class, LFSC510 Concepts of Modern Biology or LFSC520 Concepts of Modern Chemistry, or acceptable performance on an admission exam based on LFSC510 or LFSC520.

The Master of Engineering in fire protection requires an earned bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution and courses in structural mechanics, differential equations, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer or equivalent. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 may be admitted on a provisional basis if they have demonstrated satisfactory performance in another graduate program and/or salutary work experience.

The graduate certificate in public health informatics is open to qualified applicants with an earned bachelor's degree, GPA of 3.0 or better, from an

accredited institution. Applicants with foreign credentials must submit academic records in the original language with literal English translations. Allow at least three months for evaluation.

Tuition and Fees

The Master of Life Sciences program costs $361 per credit hour, and there are a $60-per-term technology/distance learning fee and an admission exam fee of $20.

The Master of Engineering in fire protection costs $700 per credit hour, and there is a $60-per-term technology/distance learning fee.

The graduate certificate in public health informatics costs $425 per credit hour. There is a $60-per-term technology/distance learning fee.

All tuition and fees are subject to change. All graduate students pay a one-time $60 application fee.

Financial Aid

Information regarding financial assistance may be obtained online at


Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
Mitchell Building, First Floor
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742-5231
Phone: 301-314-3572 877-989-SPOC (toll-free)
Fax: 301-314-1282
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

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