The University System of Maryland comprises eleven campuses and two major research and service components. It is the twelfth-largest university system in the nation.

In 1807, the System's earliest unit was founded in Baltimore as the College of Medicine of Maryland (Chapter 53, Acts of 1807). In 1812, the College expanded its professional curricula and changed its name to the University of Maryland (Chapter 159, Acts of 1812).

At College Park, the Maryland State College of Agriculture was founded in 1856. The College merged in 1920 with the Baltimore professional schools to form an enlarged University of Maryland with campuses at Baltimore (UMAB) and College Park (UMCP) (Chapter 480, Acts of 1920). In 1959, the College of Special and Continuation Studies (founded in 1947) became the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). The Baltimore County campus (UMBC) was established in 1966. The University of Maryland reorganized into a five-campus system in 1970. At that time, the Maryland State College in Princess Anne (founded 1886) was restructured to form the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).

The University of Maryland achieved land-grant status in 1865 (UMCP) and 1890 (UMES), and was designated a national sea grant college in 1983.

As the components of the former University of Maryland were evolving, so too were the State's teachers colleges. The earliest of these was founded privately in 1865 in Baltimore to train African-American teachers. It later became a State institution, moved to Bowie, and assumed the name Bowie State University. In 1866, the first public teachers college formed as the Maryland State Normal School, now Towson State University. State Normal School no. 2, now Frostburg State University, followed in 1898. In 1900, the Baltimore City School Board laid the foundation for what would become Coppin State University. The first normal school on the Eastern Shore opened in 1925 and now bears the name Salisbury University. In 1963, these five former teachers colleges were brought together under the direction of a single governing body: the Board of Trustees of the State Universities and Colleges. In 1975, the University of Baltimore, privately founded fifty years earlier, joined the campuses governed by the Board.

Through the merger of campuses and components of the University of Maryland with those formerly under the Board of Trustees of the State Universities and Colleges, the University of Maryland System was created in 1988 (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988). The System was renamed the University System of Maryland in 1997 (Chapter 114, Acts of 1997).


Governing the University System of Maryland is the Board of Regents. The Board may issue revenue bonds to finance the building of dormitories and other student housing facilities. Such bonds are issued directly by the Board, with the payments of principal and interest made from revenues realized from the use of the building.

With Senate advice and consent, the Governor appoints the seventeen-member Board of Regents. Sixteen members serve five-year terms and a student member is appointed for a one-year term. The Secretary of Agriculture serves ex officio (Code Education Article, secs. 12-102 through 12-104).


System Administration directs and coordinates the twelve institutions of the University System of Maryland. The System includes eleven degree-granting institutions, two regional higher education centers, and a major research and public service component.

Campuses of the University System are located in:
Allegany County at Frostburg (Frostburg State University);
Baltimore City (UMB, Coppin State University, University of Baltimore);
Baltimore County at Catonsville (UMBC) and at Towson (Towson University);
Prince George's County at Bowie (Bowie State University) and College Park (UMCP);
Somerset County at Princess Anne (UMES); and
Wicomico County at Salisbury (Salisbury University).

From its headquarters in Adelphi, University of Maryland University College administers adult and continuing education courses and programs at sites across the United States and in Europe and Asia. Two regional higher education centers offer programs to undergraduate and graduate students: the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (Washington County); and Universities at Shady Grove (Montgomery County). The University System of Maryland also includes the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Code Education Article, secs. 12-101 through 12-113).

System Administration serves as staff to the Board of Regents and is headed by the Chancellor (Code Education Article, sec. 12-108).

Appointed by the Board of Regents, the Chancellor chairs the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center Governing Board, and serves on the Maryland Subcabinet for Public-Private Partnerships. The Chancellor also is a member of the Asbestos Oversight Committee; the Coast Smart Council; the Cost of Adequacy of Education Funding in the State of Maryland Stakeholder Group; the Maryland Economic Development Commission; the Maryland E-nnovation Initiative Fund Authority; the Maryland 529 Board; the Maryland Green Purchasing Committee; the Hall of Records Commission; the P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland; the Procurement Advisory Council; the Segmental Advisory Council; and the Student Transfer Advisory Committee. The Chancellor also serves on the Board of Directors, University of Maryland Medical System Corporation; and the Southern Regional Education Board.

Under the Chancellor are Academic Affairs; Administration and Finance; Advancement; and Environmental Sustainability.


For the University System of Maryland, Academic Affairs plans courses, programs and academic calendars; coordinates research grants and projects; and monitors and reports degrees and enrollments. This office is accountable to the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the General Assembly, and addresses issues of student transfer between the System and other Maryland institutions.

Academic Affairs is responsible for Academic Leadership Development and Diversity Initiatives; Academic Programs; P-20 Education; and two regional education centers: the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (Washington County), and the Universities at Shady Grove (Montgomery County).

32 West Washington St., Hagerstown, MD 21740

The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown opened in January 2005. Here, all students transfer from another school, typically a community college, and enter Hagerstown at the junior level.

Students attend classes provided by six participating institutions: Copping State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; University of Maryland, College Park; and University of Maryland University College. In 2016, at Hagerstown, these universities offer thirteen undergraduate and eight graduate degrees, and two graduate certificate programs.

9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

The Universities at Shady Grove began in 1992 as part of the University of Maryland University College. In 2000, it reformed under its present name.

Daytime, evening and weekend classes are offered at Shady Grove to undergraduate and graduate students seeking degrees in 60 programs, of which 35 are baccalaureate, including certificate and continuing education programs. Degrees are offered at Shady Grove by nine institutions: Bowie State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; and University of Maryland University College.


To ensure that higher education resources are allocated wisely, Administration and Finance plans and coordinates operating and capital budgets for the University System of Maryland. Administrative computing and telecommunications services also are provided by this office.

Under Administration and Finance are four main offices: Financial Affairs, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Institutional Research.


Advancement conducts fund-raising to find alternative sources of income for the University System of Maryland and directs cooperative efforts among institutions for obtaining grants.

Under Advancement are four offices: Advancement Research; Advancement Services; Planned Giving; and Special Events.


Formed by the Chancellor in February 2008, Environmental Sustainability oversees a systemwide initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs responding to the challenges of global climate change. This division coordinates efforts to use environmentally friendly practices on campuses; works to strengthen educational and research activities on the environment; and helps governments develop and implement public policies to improve and sustain the environment.

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