University of Maryland – College Park

Location: College Park, Maryland
Type: Public
Thank University of Maryland – College Park for its commitment to free speech.

Speech Code Rating

University of Maryland – College Park has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 203 colleges ranked Read more
  • University of Maryland Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    “Discrimination” is unequal treatment based on a legally protected status that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity, or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of the individual’s em... Read More
  • University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct: Other Sex-Based Offenses

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    Unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other behavior of a sexual or gender-based nature where: … such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, i.e., it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hosti... Read More
  • University of Maryland Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    Freedom of expression and an open environment to pursue scholarly inquiry and for sharing of information are encouraged, supported, and protected at the University of Maryland. These values lie at the core of our academic community. Censorship is not compatible with the tradition and goals of the University. Read More
  • University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct: Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: … Hostile Environment: Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s Education Progra... Read More
  • Bias Incident Response Protocol

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    Generally, bias incidents are acts characterized by some expression of bias against a particular group, or towards an individual because of their membership (or perceived membership) in that group. Bias incidents may range from acts considered to be offensive to actions that cause harm. Although bias incidents so... Read More
  • Event & Guest Services Policy Manual: Demonstrations/Leafleting

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    The University of Maryland supports the right of individual students, faculty, staff and student organizations to  demonstrate and leaflet, provided such activities do not disrupt normal activities or infringe upon the rights of  others. … The following guidelines apply to all demonstrations, rallies, leafleti... Read More
  • Community Living, The Residence Halls Handbook: Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    The University is committed to creating and maintaining an educational living and learning environment that respects the right of all individuals to participate fully in the community. Conduct that threatens others’ sense of their rightful place in their homes on campus is damaging to the campus community. Discrimin... Read More
  • Department of Resident Life: Our Multicultural Philosophy- Responsibilities of Resident Students

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 20, 2021

    It is our belief that conduct that damages any person or group as detailed below constitutes a legitimate threat to the health and welfare of our community. Such acts are inherently anti-intellectual and contradict the institutional goals of education and enlightenment. As such, discrimination, harassment, intimidat... Read More

FIRE surveyed roughly 44,000 students at 203 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. See the full report on FIRE’s 2022 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.


Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 62.75

Rankings / out of 203 colleges ranked

Overall Ranking 20
Openness 129
Tolerance (Liberals) 117
Tolerance (Conservatives) 73
Administrative Support 119
Comfort 166
Disruptive Conduct 15

Administrative Behavior

Supported Scholars 0
Sanctioned Scholars 0
Successful Disinvitations 0


Speech Climate ABOVE AVERAGE
Speech Code GREEN
  • FIRE calls on the University of Maryland to end deferred recruitment policy for Greek life

    April 4, 2022

    First-semester students at the University of Maryland can play for the Terrapins athletic teams, work full-time jobs, and lead any of the hundreds of UMD student groups — but they can’t join fraternities and sororities. This “deferred recruitment” policy, which prevents UMD students who have earned less than 12 credit hours from joining Greek life… Read more

  • Faculty Network interview: Cynthia Martin, University of Maryland

    September 14, 2021

    In this occasional feature, FIRE interviews members of our Faculty Network to discuss their research, teaching, and advocacy on free expression at their institutions. This month, we talked with Cynthia Martin, Associate Professor of Russian at the University of Maryland. Dr. Martin is currently the Undergraduate Program Director for Russian, teaching a variety of courses… Read more

  • What does ‘Davis’ harassment look like? Here’s an example.

    December 22, 2020

    FIRE frequently highlights Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, the 1999 Supreme Court decision articulating the standard for student-on-student harassment: targeted, discriminatory conduct that is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the victims’ educational experience, that the victim-students are effectively denied equal access to an institution’s resources… Read more

  • Resident assistants called the cops on students playing an ‘offensive’ video game at University of Maryland

    June 5, 2019

    Not one, but two University of Maryland police officers responded to a late night report of a “comment that was offensive to the Jewish community” that popped up on screen in a residence hall lounge while students were playing video games, according to the UMD Police crime log published in The Diamondback, UMD’s student newspaper. … Read more

  • Controversy over Chinese student’s pro-free speech commencement address covered by The Washington Post

    May 30, 2017

    In an article titled “A Chinese student praised the ‘fresh air of free speech’ at a U.S. college. Then came the backlash,” The Washington Post told the story of University of Maryland student Yang Shuping, whose commencement address featuring a full-throated defense of free speech sparked outrage from many Chinese critics. According to The Washington… Read more

  • In Maryland and California, University Leaders Set Example with Commitments to Free Speech

    January 27, 2017

    Regular readers of FIRE’s website are all too familiar with campus administrators censoring student and faculty speech, particularly when faced with controversial or unpopular viewpoints. For one example of thousands, we issued a press release Wednesday calling on Fordham University to honor its promises of free expression by reversing its misguided denial of recognition to… Read more

  • Diverse Groups Sponsor University of Maryland Free Speech Rally

    November 2, 2016

    Halloween has been a flashpoint for free-speech controversies for many years, but at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), a “green light” school, students took a different approach. Shelby and I participated in a Free Speech Rally at which the College Park Students for Liberty, the Black Student Union, Terps for Trump, the UMD… Read more

  • University of Maryland Earns FIRE’s Highest Rating for Free Speech

    February 12, 2016

    COLLEGE PARK, Md., February 12, 2016—The University of Maryland (UMD) has eliminated all of its restrictive speech policies, earning the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) highest, “green light” rating. FIRE worked with UMD to revise its speech codes, and UMD now joins the prestigious group of colleges and universities that have reformed their… Read more

  • Amid Campus Protests, University Presidents Push Dialogue and Engagement

    November 18, 2015

    University of Maryland (UMD) President Wallace D. Loh wrote an interesting and thoughtful opinion piece this week for TIME’s Ideas blog. It addressed how a university administrator and the larger campus community can respond to campus protests against racial injustice while upholding free speech protections for unpopular speech. He emphasized that both are important components of… Read more

  • U. of Maryland Groups Team Up to Screen ‘American Sniper’

    May 1, 2015

    In my last Torch entry, I detailed how the Clint Eastwood-directed movie American Sniper, about Navy sniper Chris Kyle, has lately been a major cultural stumbling block on college campuses around the country. Many have argued that American Sniper encourages anti-Arab sentiment, such that it creates an unsafe campus environment for Arab and Arab-American students—an… Read more

  • U. of Maryland’s President Loh Responds to Offensive Email, Remembers First Amendment

    April 2, 2015

    Public college presidents are sometimes faced with pressure to expel or otherwise punish students expressing controversial or offensive opinions, even if the speech is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment. The University of Oklahoma’s (OU’s) President David Boren and the University of Maryland’s (UMD’s) President Wallace Loh both faced this pressure recently. On March 10,… Read more

  • FIRE Statement on University of Maryland Kappa Sigma Email Controversy

    March 16, 2015

    A recently uncovered email reportedly written by a University of Maryland student and Kappa Sigma fraternity member containing racial slurs has raised the question of whether the email constitutes protected expression under the First Amendment. Unless there are more factors of which we are not yet aware, the answer is yes. The Supreme Court of… Read more

  • FIRE’s Will Creeley to Speak at University of Maryland Tomorrow

    April 15, 2013

    Tomorrow, FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley travels to the University of Maryland (UMD) at College Park to speak about student rights on campus. The speech will begin at 3:30 p.m. in LeFrak Hall, room 2205. The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the UMD Department… Read more

  • University System of Maryland Regents Choose First Amendment, Reject Policy on Pornography

    November 13, 2009

    In a vote earlier this week, the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents declined to impose a policy on pornography on the eleven schools under its jurisdiction. By rejecting calls to create a policy regarding the screening on campus of films "purely for entertainment purposes," the Board of Regents struck a blow for the First Amendment… Read more

  • In Letter to ‘Washington Post,’ FIRE’s Creeley Criticizes Mandatory ‘Pornography’ Policy in Maryland Colleges

    October 19, 2009

    Last week The Washington Post published an editorial criticizing the Maryland State Senate’s imposition of a requirement that all schools in the state’s university system craft a comprehensive policy "on the use of public higher education facilities for the displaying or screening of obscene films and materials." This measure, spearheaded by Senator Andrew P. Harris,… Read more

  • Rights in the News: At Maryland, Virginia Tech, UMass and Elsewhere, FIRE Cases Grabbing Headlines

    April 10, 2009

    Another week, another crush of FIRE cases from around the country battling for headlines. I’ll start with Greg’s Huffington Post blog on the controversy swirling around the University of Maryland campus in the wake of a legislator’s threat to pull funding from the university if it allowed students to screen an adult film on campus—which,… Read more

  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’: A ‘Valuable Lesson’ for Maryland

    April 9, 2009

    Adding to the frenzy of local, national, and international press generated by recent events at the University of Maryland, Greg has taken to The Huffington Post with a simple message for Maryland State Senator Andrew P. Harris: "If you don’t want to help someone spread their message, don’t attempt to censor them." Greg’s message to… Read more

  • Porno teaches Maryland a valuable lesson

    April 8, 2009

    There are a whole host of little lessons one learns when working in First Amendment law: What is vulgar to one person might be poetic to another, occasional offense is a small price to pay for a pluralistic democracy, without a free press there can be no meaningful democratic process, etc. But one of the… Read more

  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on ‘Hell Week for Campus Free Speech’

    April 3, 2009

    Defending free speech is often an exhilarating and rewarding experience, fighting the good fight in an uphill battle for constitutional rights against an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars. But sometimes, and this was one of those weeks, that hill looks pretty steep. Greg writes in his latest column on The Huffington Post on… Read more

  • Maryland Senators and University of Maryland Violate First Amendment over X-Rated Film Showings

    April 3, 2009

    Under intense pressure from the Maryland Senate, the University of Maryland has cancelled a student-run campus event that would have included an educational event by Planned Parenthood and then a screening of the self-described "XXX"-rated film Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge. Maryland Senator Andrew P. Harris introduced this amendment to the budget bill that happened to… Read more

  • Hell week for campus free speech

    April 2, 2009

    The week is not quite over, and it’s already been a lousy one for free speech on America’s campuses. Yesterday, angry students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst were caught on video stealing a conservative student newspaper, while a police officer stood by and not only watched, but excused the students’ behavior. A graduate student… Read more

  • Incident Demonstrates Lack of First Amendment Ethos at the University of Maryland

    August 17, 2007

    An article in The Examiner in Philadelphia notes a recent incident at the University of Maryland at College Park. A female student wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “I Stand for Israel” approached the register of the Maryland Food Collective, a store that rents space in the university student union, to purchase some culinary… Read more