First-Year Experiences


UMBC is especially interested in making the first-year experience of students an academic and personal success. Students are welcomed in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment where all individuals are expected to uphold high ethical and social standards. Through a commitment to academic integrity in their academic work and personal interactions, students at UMBC and the college engage and participate in a range of activities that prepare them for successful outcomes as part of their undergraduate experience.

Introductory courses in computing and engineering are the foundation of this adventure. Students in these courses will work in teams to design a project that includes the foundational elements of their chosen field of study. Students will make connections with faculty, staff, industry representatives, peer mentors, and class members to explore a range of topics that are designed to help them to succeed in and out of the classroom.

COMP 101 – Computational Thinking and Design (4 credits)

This course is designed for students in the first or second semester at UMBC who have declared a computing major: business technology administration, computer engineering, computer science, or information systems. Students will participate and learn about broad topics in computing including problem solving in human-centered computing, graphics and games, data management and exploration, hardware and systems, intelligent solutions, and academic and professional skills. This course includes an introduction to computer programming.

ENES 101 – Introduction to Engineering Science (3-4 credits)

This course is designed for students in their first semester at UMBC who have declared an engineering major: chemical engineering, computer engineering, or mechanical engineering. This course covers Introduction to engineering presents an introduction to several foundational engineering subjects including construction, design, evaluation, modeling, and testing. This course offers an introduction to programming in MATLAB and Computer-Aided Design. The additional credit is available for students who choose to complete additional coursework designed to provide additional academic and professional skills.

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