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Fast Facts about Research at UMBC

  • UMBC is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University (High Research Activity).  UMBC’s key research strengths comprise environmental sciences – including atmospheric physics, information systems – including cybersecurity and big data, life sciences – including marine biotechnology, health sciences, social sciences and public policy.
  • UMBC is among the fastest-growing research universities in the nation.  Annual research expenditures in Fiscal Year 2013 were $71.2 million, a remarkable increase from only $20 million in 1996. These overall expenditures include $64.9 million in federal funded programs, an increase of $2.5 million over FY 2012.
  • UMBC faculty have secured 27 NSF CAREER awards since 1995.  Over the past decade, two UMBC researchers have received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) awards (one from NSF in 2005 and one from NSA in 2014).
  • UMBC consistently ranks among the top 200 US institutions in research and development expenditures.
  • UMBC has over 650 full-time faculty members and 14,000 students enrolled, including 2,600 graduate students.
  • UMBC is listed among the nation’s “Top 100 Public Universities,” according to Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges.
  • UMBC is one of just eight US universities listed among “100 International Universities under 50,” as compiled by Times Higher Education in the UK.
  • UMBC is ranked among the Top 20 US universities in NASA funding. UMBC’s NASA-funded centers are the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), the Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute (GPHI) and the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).
  • UMBC has been named the #1 Up-and-Coming University in 2014 – for the sixth year in a row – by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges Guide, recognizing universities that “consistently find innovative ways to improve students’ educational experiences.” Other institutions among the Top Ten include Arizona State University, Clemson University, Northeastern University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Southern California.
  • UMBC also is ranked #5 among the top national universities “where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching,” ahead of such schools as Brown, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Yale. 


UMBC R&D Expenditures 1973-2013-1 UMBC Federal Expenditures FY 2013