USM Board of Regents Revises Undergraduate Admissions Policies Regarding High School Math

Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 7, 2009) – After a recent vote by the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents, theUSM undergraduate admissions policy has been changed to require an additional year of high school mathematics. A total of four high school math courses will be required.

The policy will go into effect for students entering ninth grade in fall 2011.

Under the revision, students who have completed Algebra II before their final year of high school would be required to complete course(s) that include "nontrivial" algebra during the last year of high school enrollment. "Non-trivial algebra" is intended to mean that the level of mathematical concepts and problems in the course are at least as sophisticated as those relating to problems in standard Algebra II classes. Examples of such courses during the high school senior year, in addition to Algebra II itself, are trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics and college algebra. An important feature of any such course is that it utilizes algebra in a substantive way, so the student does not lose the algebraic and numerical skills achieved in earlier courses.

As a matter of existing policy, each USM institution is allowed to grant exceptions to core high school curriculum requirements to as much as 15 percent of the entering freshman class.

The recommendation was developed by a committee comprising faculty, admissions and enrollment management professionals and representatives from the Maryland State Department of Education. The regents approved the change at their regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 4, 2009.

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719