The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the campus on which the Baccalaureate Social Work program resides, was established in 1966. The newest of the eleven campuses of the University System of Maryland System (USM), UMBC is located on a 500-acre site that is strategically positioned near Interstate-95, a major corridor connecting Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and five minutes from Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. As a mid-size research university, UMBC has the programs and facilities of a larger institution while retaining the flexibility and personal nature of a much smaller campus.
The UMBC campus is ideal for undergraduate social work education. Students are able to draw on the strength of the campus’s core of liberal arts education, as well as a host of sophisticated information and technology resources such as the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery and the campus computer laboratories. The social work program has its own computer lab, which contains computers with internet access and printing capabilities and is available to all social work majors. Social work students also have available to them the complete resources of two other campuses located in close proximity to UMBC: the University of Maryland, Baltimore where the master’s and doctoral programs of the School of Social Work are located and the flagship campus of the University System, University of Maryland, College Park. Social work students also benefit from the numerous and varied social service programs and agencies located in the greater Baltimore-Washington region.
The Baccalaureate Program in Social Work has its origins in a unique and highly successful cooperative effort of two campuses of the university system. The program was started in September 1969 through the combined efforts of the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) campuses. The Baccalaureate Social Work Program is physically located on the UMBC campus because as a professional schools campus UMB does not offer undergraduate liberal arts courses. The M.S.W. and the Ph.D. programs of the School of Social Work are located with the professional schools on the UMB campus in downtown Baltimore, eight miles from UMBC.
First accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in l974, the Baccalaureate Social Work Program has maintained its national accreditation continuously to the present time. A particularly exciting and innovative development in the history of the UMBC Baccalaureate Social Work Program is the establishment of a satellite program at the Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. In 2000, the University System of Maryland established the Universities at Shady Grove as a multi-institution partnership to offer upper level day-time undergraduate degree programs. Social work majors on the Shady Grove campus take the same courses as their counterparts on the UMBC campus and meet the same academic requirements for graduation with a degree in social work as main campus students.