University of Maryland, College Park: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Online Studies
College Park, Maryland

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 Web-based graduate programs, a 30-credit Master of Life Sciences and a 30-credit Master of Engineering in fire protection.

The Master of Life Sciences provides in-depth knowledge of current research areas 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.

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 in fire protection program is taught by faculty members with outstanding teaching and research credentials.

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 Continuing and Extended 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.


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.

Tuition and Fees

The Master of Life Sciences program costs $341 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 $660 per credit hour, and 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 $50 application fee.


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:

Financial Aid

Information regarding financial assistance may be obtained online at

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University of Maryland, College Park: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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