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What is the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) — University of Maryland University College (UMUC) alliance?
If you plan to pursue a bachelor's degree after completing your associate's degree, you can benefit from one of the CSM-UMUC alliances. Through these alliances, you can earn your associate's degree at CSM and then finish your bachelor's degree by completing upper-level coursework at UMUC.

You do not have to complete your associate's degree prior to beginning coursework at UMUC. You can register for classes at both institutions simultaneously or move back and forth between institutions from one semester to the next.

You can take classes at any of the CSM or UMUC sites in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area. The CSM-UMUC Waldorf Center for Higher Education offers many of the courses, student services, and technology of both institutions at one convenient location. Areas of study at CSM are linked to related majors at UMUC, so you can enjoy a seamless transition from your associate's to your bachelor's degree.

To be eligible for dual admission, you must be following a specific alliance program path. If you are following a program of study that is not an alliance program and wish to transfer to UMUC, you need to complete the standard admissions application and pay a $50 application fee. You may contact the Waldorf Center for Higher Education for more information and standard transfer procedures.

How do I become an alliance student?
See Getting Started for step-by-step instructions.

What are UMUC's academic requirements for admission?
Graduation from high school or passing scores on the General Education Development (GED) examination. Minimum passing scores for the GED are as follows:

  • Prior to January 2002, a total score of 225 and a minimum score of 40 on each section.
  • Between January 2002 and 2014, a total score of 2250 and a minimum score of 410 on each section.
  • January 2014 or later, a total score of 600 and a minimum score of 150 on each section.

Cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better on all college-level work attempted at other regionally accredited colleges and universities. Graduates of U.S. colleges or universities automatically qualify for admission.

When do I need to apply to be considered as an alliance student?
You must complete the UMUC admission application prior to graduation from CSM and before you may begin any coursework at UMUC.

Do I need to submit my CSM transcripts to UMUC?
Yes.  Official transcripts from CSM must be submitted  to UMUC in order to receive credit for your prior coursework. If you are taking courses from both institutions, you may want to submit an updated copy after each semester. CSM transcript requests are free.

How do I waive UMUC's $50 application fee?
On the application question, "If you are currently pursuing an Associate's degree at one of our alliance community colleges please select the institution," indicate CSM by selecting "College of Southern Maryland."

How many credits may I transfer to UMUC?
UMUC can accept up to 90 credits in transfer. However, only 70 credits may be transferred from a community college. Additional restrictions may apply depending on program, see an academic advisor early in your program to receive a tentative evaluation and avoid the loss of potential transfer credits.

When and who should I see to discuss my options for becoming an alliance student?
Because UMUC can only accept a maximum of 70 credits from CSM (or any community college), and certain CSM associate's degree programs require completion of more than 70 credits, you should seek counseling early in your program to determine the requirements of any and all academic programs you are pursuing.

The Waldorf Center for Higher Education provides advisors available for CSM and UMUC programs. Typically, you will initially meet with a CSM advisor until you are ready to begin courses with UMUC, at which time you will be transferred to a UMUC advisor. To schedule an appointment with an advisor at the Waldorf Center for Higher Education, please call (301) 632-2900.

How can I apply my credits to both degrees?
Our advisors can help you plan out a curriculum to maximize the application of your credits. In some cases, UMUC credits can be transferred back to CSM so that you can earn your CSM associate's degree and also be well on your way to completing your UMCU bachelor's degree with out losing credits already earned.

Please note that students transferring in to CSM often have credits that will not apply to an associate's degree but may apply to the bachelor's degree.

What are the benefits to being an alliance student as opposed to a traditional transfer student?
  • Knowing your credits will transfer and apply towards your bachelor's degree
  • Being able to take CSM courses simultaneously without having to obtain a "Permission to Enroll at Another Institution" from UMUC
  • Waived UMUC application fee
  • CSM graduates may be eligible for a UMUC Completion Scholarship.

What is the Completion Scholarship?
The UMUC Completion Scholarship reduces tuition for recipients to an average of $199 per credit (including fees), down from UMUC's regular in-state tuition and already the second-lowest tuition among four-year schools in the University System of Maryland. The cost of completing a bachelor's degree for UMUC Completion Scholarship recipients will be about $12,000.

Do I pay CSM or UMUC tuition?
You pay the tuition and fees of the institution you are taking courses with. While taking CSM courses, you will pay CSM tuition and fees. While taking UMUC courses, you will pay UMUC tuition and fees. If you are taking courses simultaneously between the two institutions, you pay the tuition and fees of the institution offering the course(s) you are taking.

How does financial assistance work for alliance students?

  • CSM Students Only:
    CSM issues your financial aid. You should inform the CSM financial assistance office of your plans to begin courses at UMUC.
  • UMUC/CSM Students:
    Once you begin coursework at UMUC, even if you are still attending CSM, the UMUC Financial Assistance Office will handle all your financial assistance needs. CSM and UMUC's Financial Assistance Departments will work together by establishing a "consortium agreement" so you can obtain financial assistance while attending both schools.

    To establish the "consortium agreement," you must complete and submit a "Letter of Permission" and a verification of enrollment at CSM to the UMUC advisor at the Waldorf Center for Higher Education.

    It is strongly recommended that you begin this process at least 4 to 6 weeks before the start of the semester. The UMUC advisor will initiate the consortium agreement between CSM and UMUC financial assistance offices.

When should I apply for financial aid?
The Maryland priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is March 1st annually. Applying for financial assistance is free and paperwork can be obtained from either institution's web site or from any CSM or UMUC campus site.

Will my financial assistance from UMUC pay for courses at CSM?
Initially, you will need to pay your CSM tuition and fees. However, if you have established a "consortium agreement", the amount of financial assistance disbursed to you through UMUC will be based on your enrollment at both schools. UMUC will reimburse any eligible CSM financial assistance award monies to you later in the semester.

If I am eligible for benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, may I use them at either institution as an alliance student? If so, which institution will handle my benefits?
Yes. You may use your VA benefits at either CSM or UMUC. As with other forms of financial assistance, while you are enrolled at CSM only, CSM processes your VA benefits. Prior to beginning courses at UMUC, follow the steps outlined in the Military-Veterans Admissions guidelines.

Where can I find more information about the alliances?
You may visit the CSM or UMUC web site or stop by the Waldorf Center for Higher Education for more information.

Meeting with an advisor early in your program allows you to get a tentative evaluation of any transfer credits, program and career guidance as well as some alliance planning materials.

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