The Greater Baltimore region is regularly ranked as one of the best places in the country to attend college. The American Institute for Economic Research, for example, recently named Greater Baltimore as the fifth best college destination in the country. Not only are the local universities among the most prestigious in the country, but the higher education institutions in the region are proud to offer more than the traditional classroom experience. In addition to an unparalleled education, the universities around Greater Baltimore emphasize innovation and entrepreneurship, a clear post-graduation path to employment, and a culture of personal and community development.
The EAGB is proud of our regional universities. To help broadcast some of the amazing and powerful things that our universities have accomplished in classrooms, laboratories, and communities, the EAGB has put together a one-page celebration of its higher education partners. View and share this celebration of Greater Baltimore’s universities and continue reading to learn more about the region’s outstanding higher education.
Greater Baltimore is among the best educated metropolitan regions in the country. The region ranks eighth with 35.5 percent of the population holding Bachelor’s degrees or higher and fourth with 15.2 percent of the population holding Graduate or Professional degrees. Nearby Washington, DC ranks first in each of these categories, making the Baltimore-Washington corridor arguably the most well-educated region in the country.
The colleges and universities located in Greater Baltimore conferred over 35,000 degrees during the 2012-2013 academic year, including nearly 19,000 Bachelor’s degrees. 74% of college students in the region would recommend Greater Baltimore as a good place to go to school. Students at Greater Baltimore colleges and universities ranked the quality of educational programs as the primary reason for choosing their school. Job opportunities and location in Baltimore tied for the third most common reason for school selection.
Colleges and universities in Greater Baltimore are world-class institutions that offer some of the best educational programs in the country. There are more than 4,599 degree-granting institutions in the country, and the universities in Greater Baltimore are found at the top of the list of the best schools in the United States.
Johns Hopkins University graduated 6,792 students during the 2012-2013 academic year, with the majority of students earning Master’s degrees. The university’s undergraduate programs ranked as the #12 national university and its name is recognized around the world. It is also considered the #19 best value school in the country. Johns Hopkins University’s graduate schools are similarly ranked among the best in the country. Johns Hopkins University’s graduate programs are ranked as #1 in education, #1 in biomedical engineering, #1 in nursing, #1 in public health, #3 in medical schools for research (including a #1 ranking in internal medicine), #5 in statistics, and #5 in biological sciences (including a #1 ranking in immunology).
Towson University is ranked as the #15 public school and the #21 college for veterans. Towson University’s graduate programs are ranked among the best in the country, including a ranking of #21 in occupational therapy. The university does a tremendous job of educating teachers and in fact producers more teachers than any other school in Maryland. Its groundbreaking program for middle school education has been recognized nationally. Renowned author James Patterson selected Towson University as one of ten schools around the country that are leaders in educating teachers, and will fund eight $6,000 scholarships annually to Towson students who want to become teachers. Towson University also educates 3,000 fine arts students. The university offers 7 on-campus theaters, and all 26 Baltimore theatre companies are connected to Towson University.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s graduate programs are ranked #11 for nursing, #16 for social work, #17 for pharmacy, and #17 for nursing anesthesia. The university’s medical research program is ranked #34 nationally. The university’s law programs are considered among the country’s best as well: ranked as the #46 best law school, the University of Maryland, Baltimore also ranks #1 for health care law, #6 for environmental law, #7 for part-time law, and #11 for clinical training.
Stevenson University is ranked as the #98 best university in the north and the #35 best college for veterans. The school is also recognized for its online programs, ranking #82 in online graduate nursing programs and #153 in online bachelor’s programs. Stevenson’s career-focused education has led to a rate of 92% of students employed or attending graduate school following undergraduate graduation.
Loyola University Maryland ranks as the #3 regional university in the north and the #15 best value school. The university’s speech-language pathology graduate program ranks #84 nationally. The university’s undergraduate and graduate business school offerings have been ranked among the best by Businessweek, Financial Times, Princeton Review, and US News and World Report. Loyola University Maryland recently expanded its graduate program offerings to include a cyber security certificate for executives that can stand on its own or serve as credit toward an MBA program. The program is designed to help familiarize businessmen and women to security protocols and describe and develop the strategies, plans, and policies for securing data and computer networks.
The University of Maryland, College Park is ranked the #62 national university and is recognized as having one of the best undergraduate programs in both business and engineering. It is considered the #20 public school in the country. Its graduate business school is ranked #41, including a #6 ranking in information systems. The University of Maryland, College Park’s graduate programs also rank #1 for criminology, #15 for computer science, #14 for physics, and #26 for education. The University of Maryland, College Park has been recognized as a top school for future cyber security professionals.
The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) ranks as the #7 best graduate school for fine arts, which includes a #3 ranking for graphic design, #6 for sculpture, #5 for painting and drawing, #12 for photography, and #13 for multimedia and visual communications. MICA’s creative degree programs that reach across colleges and traditional disciplines help to instill creative design thinking in traditional business students and executives as well as providing the tools needed to start and manage a business to arts students. MICA is working to become better involved in the gaming industry and believes its students will excel in user experience and user interface design. The university sees opportunity for its students in business and medical industries, particularly in smart textiles and 3D printing.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has ranked as the #1 up-and-coming school for six consecutive years, calling attention to the school’s continued innovation in creating positive change in academics and student life. UMBC is also ranked as the #78 public school and the #149 national university, as well as the #5 best school for undergraduate teaching. UMBC’s graduate programs are also highly touted: the university has earned a ranking of #67 for public affairs, #70 for computer science, #106 for chemistry, and #108 for math. The university is listed as one of the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years old, and ranks as the #6 American university under 50. UMBC is led by charismatic President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, recognized as one of TIME Magazine‘s Most Influential People in 2012.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
An integral piece of a growing economy, innovation and entrepreneurship begin at universities. Greater Baltimore’s higher education institutions are devoted to research and development as well as preparing students to start and operate businesses.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore is home to 400 corporate-sponsored research projects every year. The university announced a partnership with MedImmune that included five research projects that began this year. This partnership allowed MedImmune to direct the school’s attention to high-priority projects that student researchers would benefit from inclusion on. Research and development at the University of Maryland, Baltimore has resulted in 900 patents, 500 inventions, and 48 licensed technologies. The University of Maryland, Baltimore also operated the UM BioPark, which boasts 1.8 million square feet of existing and future build-out laboratory and office space. The BioPark has incubated or is currently home to a number of successful life sciences startups and continues to expand its offerings and aid to young companies.
The University of Maryland, College Park requires students in all disciplines to take courses in innovation and entrepreneurship. As a result, students of the university are uniquely prepared to start and run a businesses in any field. The University of Maryland, College Park also hosts an annual business innovation showcase named Cupid’s Cup. Cupid’s Cup is chaired by University of Maryland, College Park graduate and Founder and CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank. The 2015 competition is open to students and alumni of all US colleges and universities.
The University of Maryland, College Park hosts a Bitcamp Hackathon that lasts for 36 hours. A high-tech education is important to many students at the university, and students at the University of Maryland, College Park take their high-tech education to the next level: in 2013, students from the University of Maryland, College Park won the inaugural Major League Hacking Championship, besting teams from Rutgers University, MIT, Columbia University, and Stanford University.
The Maryland Institute College of Art also encourages entrepreneurship among its students. MICA partners with Johns Hopkins University to offer a dual MBA/Master’s of Arts degree program called Design Leadership that serves students from diverse design, science and technology, and business backgrounds. Students in the Design Leadership program learn to apply design thinking to real-world problems to creatively solve problems that arise in the management of a business. MICA also offers a Master’s of Professional Studies through its College of Art and Design. This MPS degree is aimed at helping arts students develop the skills needed to run a businesses after graduation.
MICA’s Design Leadership MBA/MA helped one Baltimore City teacher change his career. While teaching in Baltimore, this teacher launched the Baltimore Dance Crews Project (BDCP). BDCP is an after-school urban dance program that encourages creativity, student achievement, community building, and healthy lifestyles. After graduating from MICA’s MBA/MA program, this teacher moved on to serve as the creative director of a design-based startup, and continued to lead the BDCP.
Johns Hopkins University is a national leader in research and development and consistently leads all higher education institutions in academic R&D expenditure. In 2012, Johns Hopkins University spent $2.1 billion on academic research and development. The university is focused on expanding its technology transfer program and encouraging research to move from conception to commercialization. Johns Hopkins University is also a leading partner on the DreamIt Ventures HealthIT Accelerator. The successful first round of the accelerator program included a number of companies that were founded by Hopkins students or alumni.
In addition to implementing innovative ways to improve the student and faculty experience, UMBC has dedicated itself to the formation and incubation of innovative companies. The university’s on-campus incubator, bwtech@UMBC, spans 71 acres and houses clean energy, life sciences, and cyber security programs. bwtech@UMBC is currently home to over 40 cyber security companies, and announced a desire to expand its space and programs in early 2014. The incubator maintains a unique partnership with Northrop Grumman to operate the Cync Program within its Cyber Incubator. With an emphasis on commercializing technology, companies selected for the Cync Program are afforded the opportunity to access technical and advisory support from Northrop Grumman senior representatives.
UMBC’s commitment to research is evident. The university consistently ranks as one of the top 200 institutions in the US in research and development expenditures, and is one of the fastest-growing research universities in the country in terms of expenditures. Faculty members at UMBC have been recognized by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and Howard Hughes Medical Institutes for their work in computer science, mechanical engineering, and biochemistry.
Greater Baltimore colleges and universities recognize that future employment is an important outcome of higher education. The institutions around the region have introduced focused career preparation programs in a variety of ways to ensure that students in Greater Baltimore can quickly find post-collegiate employment.
Stevenson University’s unique Career ArchitectureSM program is designed to help students determine their desired career path and learn ways to work towards it. The process helps ensure that graduates learn their liberal arts subjects and move quickly into the workforce, and it’s working: 75 percent of Stevenson graduates from December 2010, May 2011, and August 2011 reported that they are working in jobs, while another 17 percent are attending graduate school. The Career ArchitectureSM program includes career-focused education and co-curricular experiences that allow students to learn firsthand how their education will integrate with their career selection. Stevenson University hosts a LEGO Challenge for freshmen to articulate the Career Architecture program through constructing a representative model as part of a team. Students participate in ways that match their skills and interests and learn career skills like teamwork, creative problem solving, and analytical thinking.
Towson University has made an expansion of emphasis on its internship and experiential learning a priority. Currently, approximately 73 percent of Towson University students have or have had a professional internship. Understanding that more internships are important to the post-graduate career search and that about 75 percent of Towson University students would like to live and work in Maryland, the university has dedicated itself to increasing corporate, educational, government, and health care partnerships to help provide experiential learning opportunities.
UMBC partnered with the EAGB and Collegetown Network to introduce, and ultimately see pass, a bill forming the Maryland Technology Internship Program to the Maryland State House of Delegates. This program would offer paid internships to students and veterans at all Maryland colleges and universities at high-tech second-stage businesses in Maryland. The Maryland Technology Internship Program is designed not only to help Maryland businesses grow more productive, but also to help students at Maryland schools to gain workplace skills and develop a professional network in the State even before graduation.
Community and Personal Development
Colleges and universities in Greater Baltimore value more than outstanding academics. The higher education institutions in the region pride themselves on civic leadership and student wellness. Certainly, a focus is on educating students not just in academic disciplines, but also in career exploration and being a contributing member of the community.
Loyola University Maryland is founded on Jesuit ideals and the importance of cura personalis, or care for the whole person. As such, personal and community development are core to the student experience at Loyola University Maryland. The Baltimore City-based university’s York Road Initiative is designed to foster collaboration with the surrounding community to drive positive development for all people living, working, and learning in the York Road corridor. Students, faculty, staff, and administration work with the university’s neighbors to strengthen local education and youth development, build civic capacity, and enhance the commercial corridor on York Road. Loyola has participated in neighborhood cleanup days, commissioned neighborhood murals, and, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity rehabbed and revitalized 40 homes in the York Road corridor. As part of the York Corridor Collective, Loyola has participated in the creation of an urban design and commercial strategies plan that will make the York Road corridor a safer place to live, work, and learn.
Loyola University Maryland envisions the York Road corridor as a thriving live, work, play environment accessible to both students at the university and members of the community. One of the current concerns is the area’s safety for pedestrians, who are important to the economic vitality of the corridor’s retail business. York Road currently lacks any sort of traffic easement, and Loyola and its partners in the York Corridor Collective have suggested improvements like street parking, bike lanes, and landscaping. Such improvements not only improve pedestrian safety and comfort, but naturally encourage slowed traffic without introducing new lights, speed bumps, or stop signs that would impede commuters.
Towson University has defined ten well-rounded priorities, and the university places a premium on student wellness. Towson University’s numerous and accomplished athletic programs are an important part of the student experience for student-athletes and fans alike. Towson University has maintained a commitment to its athletics programs and is working toward a sustainable budget for interscholastic sports. The university is also committed to gender-equitable competitive athletics. As a major educator of health professionals in Greater Baltimore, Towson University is dedicated to empowering students, faculty, and staff to make choices for positive well-being and stewardship of natural resources. Towson University supports personal and professional growth by recognizing and developing positive leadership philosophies. The university’s goal is to instill in students the qualities needed for lifelong outstanding leadership in all aspects of life. Towson University is committed to increasing credit and noncredit opportunities for leadership development. The university’s holistic education covers all aspects of student wellness, from physical and emotional well-being to care for the greater community.
Towson University also has a vision of what its surrounding community can become through collaborative efforts between the school and community members. The university wants to be able to offer students a safe, walkable community, such that the world of university education doesn’t end at the edge of the campus. Helping to integrate sculpture and art into open areas and aiding students to perform music in off-campus venues are ways that Towson University envisions connecting with the community to encourage a flow of students to and from the campus, while learning and growing in both settings. A theme for Towson University’s vision for Towson is inclusion: making students, faculty, and staff staples in the Towson community and expanding education past the university’s borders would improve the quality of student learning and the quality of life for those residing in Towson.