Departments and Programs

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Spiral Stairs at SSB
Swenson College is the home of UMD's science and engineering fields.


Biology Department

The Department of Biology is our hub for biological sciences. Faculty and students in the Department of Biology form a collaborative network that conducts cutting-edge research. Their results further our understanding of the natural world and apply to everything from conservation to biomedical sciences.

Chemical Engineering Department

Chemical Engineers are sometimes referred to as the "universal engineer" because they need to solve different problems for a wide range of industry. They work in chemicals, environment and fuel resources and in emerging industries based on new materials, semiconductors and biotechnology.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Department

This field encompasses a wide range of disciplines including environmental, inorganic and organic chemistry and physical chemistry. A majority of undergraduates take on research projects in partnership with faculty while they’re here and our placement rate for jobs and professional schools after graduation is excellent. Another interesting fact - one of our graduates, Dr. Brian Kobilka, was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Civil Engineering Department

Civil Engineers greatly influence the physical world around us and have the potential to address many issues facing our increasingly populated and urban world. Our program emphasizes four core tracks: environmental/water resources; geotechnical; structural; and transportation systems. Also, sustainability efforts are incorporated in all aspects of our curriculum.

Computer Science Department

Obviously, Computer Science students learn a lot about technology. Perhaps more importantly, they learn how to be professionals that can work well on a team and take on leadership roles. In addition, we enable Computer Science grads to understand math and statistics, develop and analyze software systems and learn the fundamentals of computer organization, data structures, algorithms and programming languages.

Earth & Environmental Sciences Department

This interdisciplinary program provides ways to understand and appreciate the earth’s processes, our physical world and our place in the long, complex history of the planet and solar system. Our faculty provide learning opportunities in the classroom, through research, lab work and field studies. A background in this area can lead to careers in industry, government, conservation, law, business and academia.

Electrical Engineering Department

Theory, design and application of all things electrical means this department can offer expertise in fields from the nano level to large networks. There are many opportunities for our students to get hands-on experience and learn from faculty that specialize in developing new devices, robotics, nanostructures and image processing. Research projects, lab work and national competitions are just a few ways we engage learners to go forward with careers in this field.    

Mathematics & Statistics Department

Mathematics is essential for a lot of our programs, but this department also offers strong degree programs. Whether it’s a career in teaching, industry, government or business, our faculty prepare students well by providing research opportunities along with their classwork. One look at this department’s grad report shows an impressive variety of career options after graduation, too.

Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department

Students in this department get maximum hands-on experience. Even introductory level classes involve designing and building mechanical systems. Excellent labs and cutting-edge tools mean that faculty can provide learners with opportunities to build the essential skills needed for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The department has even formed a partnership with a Swedish University to help enhance students’ global perspective.

Physics & Astronomy Department

Physics is the basic science that underlies all the natural sciences as we seek to understand the ways of the universe. It encompasses the interaction of matter and energy from the subatomic to the evolution of our galaxy. This field is ideal for people that love math and are curious about how things work and physicists have a wide variety of career options. Astronomy is one possible path, which is why this department also includes our Planetarium.


Air Force ROTC Aerospace Program

In partnership with the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), we offer a minor in aerospace that you can pair with a different major. To take advantage of this, you need to be part of the ROTC program so be sure to take note of the departmental information and requirements.

Iron Range Engineering Program

Designed to improve access to graduate education, this program offers classes at Mesabi Range college in Virginia and takes advantage of on-line and distance learning technology. Classes are taught by UMD faculty and are geared towards people living on the Iron Range that want to pursue a master’s degree in Engineering, Environmental Health & Safety or Engineering Management.

Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC)

The Geospatial Analysis Center is a student workforce-driven geographic information systems (GIS) services organization with statewide visibility and relevance. GAC has a decade-long record of external contract work with state agencies, counties, and regional organizations. The Center's staff also provide assistance in classrooms and research projects across campus.

Large Lakes Observatory (LLO)

This is the only facility in the world dedicated to studying earth’s large lakes. LLO has a global outlook and international reputation for the work of its faculty who conduct field work and collaborate with other scientists on six continents. Undergraduate and graduate students get outstanding opportunities to work around the world while trying to better understand how lakes function, have behaved in the past and what will happen in the future.