Graduate Student FAQs

Q: Are GREs required?
A: GRE scores are waived for all students applying for Fall 2021 admission. Starting after Fall 2021, all programs will be GRE-optional, except for the AMB program. Applicants for the AMB Master’s program must submit their GRE scores. UMBC alumni applying to AMB are waived from the GRE requirement.

Q: What are the average GRE scores for accepted applicants?
A: The averages of our current students are:
Verbal: 157
Quantitative: 158
Analytical: 4.0

Q: What is the TOEFL code for UMBC?
A: UMBC TOEFL code is 5835.

Q: What is the GRE code for UMBC?
A: UMBC GRE code is 5835.

Q: How many hours per week am I expected to work?
A: Being a graduate student is a full time job; expect to work a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Q: Do I need a car?
A: It is possible to get around without one, depending on where you live. There is good public transportation to and from UMBC and surrounding neighborhoods and apartment complexes, as well as to Baltimore City. After a few years you will probably want to look into getting a car.

Q: How do I find a place to live?
A: UMBC’s Off-Campus Housing offers tips for finding housing on campus and for housing off campus close to UMBC. You should also talk to other graduate students in the department. They can tell you which areas are desirable and which to avoid.

Q: Are there any unexpected expenses I need to know about?
A: Most incoming students are unaware of the student fees. To find the latest information about student fees, visit the Costs & Funding section of the UMBC Graduate School website.

Q: What is the average length of time to obtain a Ph.D.?
A: The average time from matriculation to graduation for a Ph.D. student is 5–6 years. We have had students graduate in 3 ½ years, and some are here longer than 7 years.

Q: Do graduate students interact with each other outside the lab?
A: Most definitely. You can have as much or as little interaction as you choose to have with other graduate students. Activities range from getting together for dinner and drinks every week, to playing in pick up soccer games, to attending local cultural and sporting events. Some students in the department enjoy biking at the Patapsco State Park near the University, others like traveling to Pennsylvania for camping and whitewater rafting. You can find out more about activities and local destinations by visiting the Life at UMBC section.