Now that you received admission to the Architecture Program you are no doubt asking, “What’s next?” We have prepared this checklist for you so that your transition to graduate school is as smooth and effortless as possible. Keep in mind if you encounter problems we’re here to help you. Please reach out to us and we will try to get you the information you need.
New Student Checklist: Pre-Arrival
Below you will find several activities that you will need to engage in prior to arriving in College Park. As soon as you have accepted your offer of admission, you should begin to address the items below.
Accept your offer of admission. You can do this by following the information provided to you in the official letter of admission from the Graduate School that was emailed to you. Visit the online applicant portal, select “accept” offer of admission, and make a $300.00 (three hundred dollar) non-refundable deposit. These funds will be applied to your bursar account.
Set up your Directory ID and email address. Your access to University of Maryland email and use of your Directory ID is absolutely essential. Visit https://directory.umd.edu/password to set up your access to these important tools.
Your Directory ID and password is used to access University of Maryland resources, such as the registration system (Testudo) and your university email account (email.umd.edu). Please note that your university e-mail account will use your directory id as your email address.
Check and carefully read your email at least three times a week. The School uses University email and the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation website as the primary means of communication to students. Checking your email infrequently could result in missing important information. You are still responsible for knowing information sent to your university e-mail even if it is not your primary e-mail address.
Find a place to live. Priority for residence hall housing is given to full-time undergraduate students. Graduate students at the University of Maryland can request residence hall housing. However, there are no facilities within the residence hall system exclusively for graduate students or for spouses, partners or family members of students. Information about additional housing options in nearby communities is available from the University's Off-Campus Housing Services and Graduate Student Life staff members. To search for housing options, please start by visiting Off-Campus Housing Services, where an online database can be used to match housing criteria you select, such as type of housing and price range, to currently listed/available rental housing in College Park and surrounding communities.
Apply for financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid assists students with securing federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Early applications are recommended. Visit the Office of Financial Aid website to find out how to apply. Please note: International students are not eligible to apply for financial aid.
Complete immunization requirements. If you have not done so already, turn in the required immunization records to the University Health Center. You can find the required form here. If you have any questions regarding immunization, please call (301) 314-8114.
Graduate Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships. We endeavor to inform applicants to GA and TA positions of the status of their application prior to April 15th. Notification will be via email from the Architecture Program Director. If you receive a GA or TA position, you will be notified of your actual assignment in July. The Director will provide you with a contract outlining your duties and responsibilities. It is important for you to review the contract thoroughly as it is a legal document and when you sign it you are legally bound to the terms outlined therein. Prior to the beginning of the semester there will be a GA and TA orientation conducted by Ms. Monica Herrera the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation HR representative. Attendance at this meeting is mandatory.
Register for courses. Once you have been accepted and have your University ID number you will be able to register for courses. Students should be familiar with the deadlines for adding and dropping courses. Adjusting class schedules after the deadlines will incur additional financial charges. You can register for classes through Testudo, the site for interactive Web services for students.
We encourage all new graduate students to wait until late June to register for courses. The Architecture Program Assistant Alysia Simpson will prompt you to register when we are ready on our end. Generally the initial semester of each graduate program is prescribed in the curriculum attached to your letter of admission that was sent to you by the Director of the Architecture Program. Usually the initial semester requires little advising. In some cases students have received advanced standing, or limited advanced standing, and will have received a customized course of study from the Director.
Most architecture courses have “blocks” that limit enrollment to Master of Architecture students only. When you are ready to register, you will need to email Alysia Simpson the course numbers and titles that you intend to enroll in for the fall semester. Alysia will remove the “blocks” so that you can register. We recommend that you register within 24-48 hours so that your access to courses is guaranteed.
If you are a dual degree student, you will need to coordinate your registration process with both the Architecture Program Assistant and the other program in which you are enrolled. The Preservation, Planning, and Real Estate programs also have “blocks” associated with their courses that can only be removed by their advising teams.
Donald Linebaugh, PhD, Director
Ruth Davis-Rogers, Program Assistant
Casey Dawkins, PhD, Director
Ruth Davis-Rogers, Program Assistant
Real Estate Development
Margaret McFarland, JD, Director
Gérard Boulin, Program Assistant
Dates and Deadlines
The Architecture Program Administrative Assistant will alert students of registration dates and post those dates on the web. We recommend registering on or close to the first available date for registration to ensure access to your course selections.
Registration for the spring will begin in mid October. Likewise, for continuing students, registration for fall semester will begin in mid March. Students should be familiar with the deadlines for adding and dropping courses. These academic deadlines can be found in the Schedule of Classes. Adjusting class schedules after the established deadlines will incur additional financial charges.
The Architecture Program posts specific Dates and Deadlines for Graduate Students at http://arch.umd.edu/arch/student-services-arch. Click on “Grad Advising” in the black navigation bar. Scroll down and click on “Dates and Deadlines for Graduate Students.”
Apply for a parking permit. Campus parking at the University of Maryland is managed by the Department of Transportation Service (DOTS). Students can purchase permits by the semester or the year through their office in Regents Parking Garage or via their website. For students who aren't interested in a regular parking pass, there are some limited meter, hourly parking, and special passes available.
Better yet, sell your car and Metro, bike, and/or walk to school. Save money, improve your health, and help to ensure a greener world for all.
The Washington, DC metropolitan area is home to the comprehensive Metro transportation system. You can plan your trips at (http://www.wmata.com) on MetroRail and/or MetroBus. We are excited that the University of Maryland’s campus in several years time will become an active hub of the Silver Line light rail, that is in the final stages of planning.
Capital Bikeshare (https://www.capitalbikeshare.com) puts over 3000 bicycles at your fingertips. You can choose any of the over 350 stations across Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, VA and Montgomery County, MD and return it to any station near your destination. While Capital Bikeshare has not yet made its way to College Park, it can be a handy tool for getting around in DC and Montgomery Count. Have your own bike? Welcome to one of the most rapidly growing bicycle friendly environments in the nation! Bike Washington (http://bikewashington.org) offers insights as to how to get around our growing network of bike friendly trails and rights-of-way.
College Park is a pedestrian friendly campus. If you elect to live close by the campus, you can walk to just about anywhere in a safe and beautiful pedestrian environment.
Pay tuition and fees. The Bursar's Office, located in the Lee Building, is your resource center for checking your balance, paying your bills, receiving refunds, making payment and more. Please note that Paper Bills are not sent to students registered for current or upcoming terms. Log into your Testudo account to view and pay your bill.
New Student Checklist: Post-Arrival
Many of the items below are activities that can only be completed once you’ve settled in area.
Get your university photo ID. Student IDs are required to withdraw books from libraries; ride the UM Shuttle buses; gain admission to most athletic, social, and cultural events; as a UMD prepaid debit card for food establishments and printing services and as a general form of identification on campus. Student IDs are available in the Mitchell Building. To obtain an ID, you must be registered for classes and you must have proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
Final Transcripts. If you applied to the University using an in-progress transcript, please have a final transcript with the degree posted sent to the university. If you failed to turn in these required documents by the start of your first semester, you will be blocked from registering for the next semester.
Check-in with the Architecture Program Assistant. Stop by and introduce yourself to Alysia Simpson, the Architecture Program Administrative Assistant. Putting names and faces together is helpful to ensure you have the best possible experience at the School. Make sure that you are aware of any orientation meetings for new student, get your questions answered and get to know the Program’s staff.
Advising. All students will be assigned advisors during their initial semester. Notice of this assignment will be distributed by email. Prior to advisor assignment, questions can be directed to the Architecture Program Administrative Assistant or the Program Director.
Immunization Records. If you have not done so already, turn in the required immunization records to the University Health Center. You can find the required form here: http://www.health.umd.edu/clinicalservices/allergimmuntravel/immunizations If you have any questions regarding immunization, please call (301) 314-8114.
If you fail to turn in these required documents by the start of your first semester, you will be blocked from registering for the next semester.
Architecture Program Student Handbook. This handbook provides much valuable information Architecture Program policies and procedures. It is updated annually in August prior to the commencement of the fall semester. You can find the Student Handbook at: http://arch.umd.edu/arch/student-services-arch . Click on “Grad Advising” in the black navigation bar, then scroll down and click on the PDF file identified as the Student Handbook.
Get involved! To get involved and be a part of the UMD community, consider joining a student organization, academic student organization, or other group of students/peers.