Introduction to the University of Maryland

Location of Campus and Nearby Academic Resources

Situated on 1,300 acres in the suburban town of College Park, the University is centrally located in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. This unique location, just nine miles from downtown Washington, D.C., and approximately 30 miles from both Baltimore and Annapolis, enhances research opportunities for faculty and students by providing access to some of the finest libraries and research centers in the country. 

The University Libraries support the mission of the university and work to ensure students and faculty of all disciplines achieve their academic goals. Seven libraries on campus serve the diverse needs of graduate students, and a helpful team of librarians provides subject-specific expertise and support. You can find your librarian by searching Collections range in format from online books and journals to archival manuscripts, photos and recordings. Thanks to the Big Ten Academic Alliance, researchers have easy access to the 100+ million books in the combined collections of the libraries of the Big Ten.

The University's main library is Theodore R. McKeldin Library. Its collections are especially strong in humanities, social sciences and the life sciences. Among its 1.2 million volumes is one of the best collections of Judaica in the region. The U.S. Congress has designated the library a federal depository for U.S. government documents and contains materials including legislative hearings, Congressional reports, federal regulations and census records, available to all Maryland residents.

Of particular interest to graduate students, the Research Commons in McKeldin Library offers services and programs to support high-level researchers under one umbrella. Among them: the highly popular IRRoC website, which integrates research resources on campus to help researchers compete for funding, manage projects and disseminate findings. The GIS and Geospatial Center located within the Research Commons offers computers and software to support a broad range of geographic, GIS and visualization needs. Graduate students can attend workshops, consult experts in statistics or data mining, or seek assistance from Research Commons partners such as the Graduate School Writing Center.

The Research Commons also offers a “Common Quandaries” Workshops series each semester—a sequence of workshops and panels addressing frequent concerns and questions that arise in graduate-level research. Our workshop series in the past have included topics on creating data management plans, creating a professional online presence, using citation managers, and navigating the world of publishing and conferencing.  

The Terrapin Learning Commons, also in McKeldin Library, accommodates collaborative work by providing group study rooms, configurable furnishings, and equipment to borrow.  The John and Stella Graves MakerSpace, located within the Terrapin Learning Commons, is open to all students regardless of major and offers visitors the opportunity to experiment with new technologies including 3-D scanners and printers, virtual reality and more.

The concept of the Research Commons extends to the STEM Library, which contains not only a makerspace and GIS consulting lab, but also materials in physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and geology with other significant collections in computer science, environmental sciences, water resources, and aerospace science. The STEM Library is a U.S. patent and trademark depository library.  

The Architecture Library contains materials on architectural design, theory and history, urban design, landscape architecture, and building technology. This library's collections include architecture books dating as far back as the 17th century, with materials on world expositions from 1851 to 1937. It is open to the public M-F from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. All students enrolled in programs within the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation have 24/7 swipe access with their ID cards.

The Art Library collects materials in art history, studio art, art education, photography, graphic arts, interior design, and textiles. Collections include art reproductions and art exhibition catalogs.

Part of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library is the central location on the College Park campus for music, theatre, and dance materials. Included in the Performing Arts Library is the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM), which houses one of the world's most extensive concentrations of piano recordings.

Hornbake Library houses many of the University's special collections as well as the University Archives. Distinguished by their rarity or format, special collections are particularly strong in labor history, mass media and culture, the state of Maryland, literature and rare books, post-War Japan, historic preservation, and women’s history. Library Media Services, located within Hornbake Library, supports access to and the creation of audio/visual media. It hosts media-centric learning and teaching spaces and multimedia production labs and studio.

Ten minutes from campus, Severn Library is a high-density shelving facility that houses unique and semi-rare research collections. Deliveries from Severn Library arrive at McKeldin Library daily.

Home to information managers, programmers, systems analysts, and digitization experts, the University Libraries are uniquely positioned to offer technology-based solutions for specific research needs.  Digital Scholarship and Publishing, for example, offers a wide range of services, tools and consultation to members of the University community to aid in the dissemination and long-term preservation of their scholarly work. The Digital Repository at UMD (DRUM) collects, preserves, and provides public access to the scholarly output of the university. Faculty and researchers can upload research products for rapid dissemination, global visibility and impact, and long-term preservation.  Librarians also provide expert guidance and consultation in data management planning and data sharing and publishing.


The University of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Individual graduate programs may be accredited by their appropriate agencies. Students should check with their graduate program of interest for particular accreditations.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The University of Maryland is committed to the elimination of discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of the exercise of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Human Relations Code is established to prevent or eradicate such discrimination in accordance with due process within the University community. In doing so, the University recognizes that it must strive actively and creatively to build a community in which opportunity is equalized.

Every effort will be made to make students and potential students, employees and potential employees, faculty members and potential faculty members aware of the opportunities that the University provides for every individual to develop and utilize his or her talents and skills. It is the intent of the University to observe and promote respect for each member of the community's own race, ethnic background, sex, or sexual orientation. The Human Relations Code is accessible in its entirety online.

Under advice of the Maryland Attorney General's Office, the University may interpret the Code to include both gender identity and gender expression.


The provisions of this publication are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the student and the University of Maryland. Changes are effected from time to time in the general regulations and in the academic requirements. There are established procedures for making changes that protect the institution's integrity and the individual student's interest and welfare. A curriculum or graduation requirement, when altered, is not normally made retroactive unless the alterations are to the student's advantage and can be accommodated within the span of years normally required for graduation. When a competent authority judges the actions of a student, using established procedures, to be detrimental to the interests of the University community, that person may be required to withdraw from the university.