UMUC is unlike any other institution of higher education in the world in its combination of access with academic quality. It opens the doors to learning by taking education to students wherever they may be. Because UMUC understands the importance of lifelong learning, it has established academic policies that encourage the appropriate use of transfer credit from other institutions, as well as credit from less traditional sources. Recognizing that adult students bring to the University not only a willingness to learn but also an educational history informed by experiential learning, it incorporates the assessment of nontraditional learning (i.e., learning gained outside the classroom) into the evaluation of student competencies and academic credit.
Classroom, Online, and Individualized Learning
UMUC uses every feasible instructional delivery mechanism or platform to extend degree opportunities to students. Most of UMUC's degree and certificate programs are available both on-site and online and allow blended formats to suit student schedules and preferences.
UMUC courses observe the same standards of quality regardless of delivery format. Any given course maintains the same intended learning outcomes and requirements, awards the identical amount of academic credit, and may be applied toward the same undergraduate degrees whether it is delivered in a stateside classroom, overseas, via the Internet or on a CD/DVD.
Students take UMUC courses in classrooms at over 30 sites in Asia. Students can also "attend class" worldwide in UMUC's online courses or in self-paced multimedia learning Computer Aided Telecourses (CAT).
Students may choose to complete their academic studies through one, two, or all three of these formats to suit their schedules and preferences. UMUC courses meet the same standards of quality regardless of delivery format. Any given course has the same objectives and requirements, awards the identical amount of academic credit, and may be applied toward the same undergraduate degrees whether it is delivered in a classroom, via the Internet, or on a CD/DVD.
Both classroom and online programs are also supported by a full range of student services and academic resourcesfrom extensive online library databases to admission, advising, and registrationthat can be accessed on-site, online, and by phone (contact information available on the MyUMUC Student Portal).
What is a Credit?
The unit of credit defines the amount of university-level semester hours to be awarded for course completion, transfer of coursework from another institution, or evaluation of college-level prior learning. One credit is awarded on the basis of either of two sets of criteria, as follows:
- At least 15 hours (50 minutes each) of actual class meeting or the equivalent in guided learning activity (exclusive of registration and study days, holidays, and final examinations);
- At least 30 hours (50 minutes each) of supervised laboratory or studio work (exclusive of registration and study days, holidays, and final examinations).
Study in the overseas divisions establishes resident credit with University of Maryland University College. Since both faculty members and courses overseas meet academic standards set by the University, courses offered overseas carry resident credit identical to that earned in the stateside programs of UMUC. Thus a student may earn a UMUC bachelor's degree entirely through study in Asia or in combination with study in Europe and at stateside locations in Maryland and in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to on-site classroom courses, UMUC offers an extensive array of courses through its acclaimed online program, all of which carry UMUC resident credit.
Credit toward a certificate or degree with UMUC may be assigned from several sources.