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UMBC attracts inquisitive minds that thrive on solving problems through collaboration, and the latest U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges Guide reveals why.

Our campus continues to lead the list of universities making “the most promising and innovative changes,” while ranking fifth on the list of campuses with an “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching”—ahead of Yale, Brown, and Stanford—and being recognized for prioritizing intensive undergraduate research and creative work.

Just as higher education leaders are taking notice, students and families are as well. Applications have increased 50% in the past five years and we are on track to enroll a record 14,000 students.

UMBC’s unusual combination of innovative teaching, leading-edge research, and supportive community empowers and inspires students.

A recent student editorial in The Retriever Weekly shared, “What becomes clear about UMBC is that our mission is not about ‘getting there,’ it is about always looking for ways that we can provide the best possible academic experience for incoming freshmen, upperclassmen, faculty, and staff alike. By remaining dedicated to the ‘Up-and-Coming’ standard of innovation, we can continue to make an impact at UMBC, its surrounding communities, and beyond.”

At UMBC, achievements in research and graduate education and a deep commitment to undergraduate teaching aren’t competing interests; they strengthen one another. U.S. News is just one of many rankings to note this distinction.

In the past year, UMBC has been honored as one of the world’s top higher education institutions by both the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which focus on such qualities as faculty research output and major awards. For the third consecutive year, UMBC also captured a coveted spot on Times Higher Education’s list of top 100 universities around the globe under age 50. This ranking recognizes institutions with strong research, innovation, and an international outlook and, like the “Up-and-Coming” list, is meant to highlight rising, “forward-looking” leaders beyond “the academy’s traditional, ancient elite.”

Princeton Review featured UMBC both in its 2015 Best Colleges guide and on its list of “Best Value Colleges”—an honor echoed by Kiplinger and the selective Fiske Guide to Colleges, which have named UMBC a “Best Value” and a “Best Buy,” respectively. We’re a place where it’s cool to be smart, and where students can be confident investing in their education.

The priority we place on sustaining a vibrant, supportive community is felt across UMBC. The Chronicle of Higher Education has named UMBC one of the best academic workplaces in the nation for the fifth year in a row. At home here in Maryland, The Baltimore Sun recognized UMBC as one of the region’s top employers—an organization with solid leadership, vision, and direction, and one that operates by strong values and ethics. Faculty, staff, and students across campus share a powerful sense of purpose. A recent U.S. Department of Education report cited UMBC’s Student Government Association as a national model for how to create an environment supporting student engagement and empowerment.

Congratulations to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters who make UMBC a national model for educational excellence.