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What is an academic calendar?

Why are online search results for “UMB academic calendar” so confusing? How many different places are called UMB? Are they associated with one another in any way? Are all of them even universities? How many different things can legally be called “UMB course catalog”? Why don’t all different UMBs have one consistent academic calendar?

James Washington

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Jennifer Patterson on August 20, 2018

In order to get coherent results for any Web search for UMB, you need to spell out whether you’re interested in the University of Massachusetts’ Boston campus, the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, or possibly the UMB Bank. The list of possible meanings for “UMB” is endless but the first thirty online search results I got related to one of these three.

While UMass Boston and UMd Baltimore have much in common, they are separate institutions, not affiliated. Each was founded and is funded by its own state, located in the biggest city in that state. Each is part of a massive university system, affiliated with other campuses in its own state, offering a wide selection of degree programs. Baltimore (also known as UBalt) is affiliated with the University of Maryland at College Park. Boston is affiliated with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, etc. Generally each university operates on a 4-1-4 plan: September to December, a January winter term for intensive classes, then February to May, with various courses offered in summer.

Taking the two universities in alphabetical order...Baltimore’s calendars for 2017, 2018, and 2019 can be found here: https://www.umaryland.edu/registrar/academic-calendar/ . Baltimore is known for its School of Social Work; the SSW’s free printable calendar is also 4-1-4: http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/media/ssw/academics/UMB_ACADEMIC_CALENDAR_2018_19.pdf .

The University of Massachusetts at Boston academic calendar, indexed at https://www.umb.edu/registrar/academic_calendar  also uses a 4-1-4 plan.

In the U.S. a university is an organization of different “schools” and “colleges” that share a campus. Classes offered by the School of Dentistry may fill up earlier than those offered by the School of Dental Hygiene, and so on. Degree programs may require some sort of special activity that doesn’t fit into the regular calendar, such as an internship or service learning project. The academic calendar is a general template for course scheduling. Students need to consult the catalog and their advisers to put their different class schedules together.

The University of Maryland at Baltimore course catalog is extensive and has been simplified by printing, or posting as websites, separate catalogs for the separate “schools” in its graduate program. A general academic catalog, as well as the list of SSW, law, medicine, dentistry, dental hygiene, physical therapy, and other graduate catalogs, is online at http://www.ubalt.edu/academics/catalogs.cfm . Boston’s catalog, also extensive, is all in one place at https://www.umb.edu/academics/course_catalog .

 

Eric Bates10 months ago

Actually the University of Maryland at Baltimore, UMB, and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, UMBC, are separate but affiliated parts of the University of Maryland system. The others are College Park, Shady Grove, Eastern Shore, Frostburg, University of Maryland University College, Salisbury, Towson, Coppin, Hagerstown, and Bowie. There’s also a Center for Environmental Studies. They all follow the same academic calendar, but each has its own course catalog.

For a small state (on the map) Maryland is bigger (in terms of population) than people realize. It’s possible to drive from any of the campus locations to any of the others in less than two hours, or commute between most of them by train.

UMCP is the biggest and sometimes considered the “best” or “flagship” of the twelve state universities. UMB is the oldest and still claims to be the academic “honors” university. All are recognized as good schools. 

Leigh Mann10 months ago

I’m a Boston graduate, and for me the confusing aspect of the academic calendar at UMB is that the CAPS (College of Advancing and Professional Studies) courses don’t necessarily fit into it. All professionals are busy working in our professions. If a one-day seminar meets the requirements, we’ll take it! The UMB course catalog “wizard” didn’t work for me. It doesn’t line up all the lists in one place the way the old paper printouts did. The web page works similarly, but there are a lot of pages to open. 


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