Throughout our website we utilize terms, that are very familiar to the members of the institutional research community, but perhaps require some clarification for individuals outside that community. Below you can find definitions of some commonly used terms in institutional research.
Average HS GPA: The mean high school GPA earned by the cohort of new first-time students. Note that some high schools in Maryland weight GPAs depending on the level of the course. Therefore, it is possible to obtain a high school GPA greater than 4.0.
Average Transfer GPA: The mean GPA earned by the cohort of new transfer students at their previous institutions.
Count of Majors: Reports utilizing a count of majors consist of numbers based on majors, not headcount. Students with more than one major are counted more than once.
EEO category: The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) classification of a position used for reporting purposes. It is derived from the appointment title. Some examples are: Exec, Adm, Mgr, Faculty, Professional, Clerical, and Skilled Crafts.
First Generation: A student is considered first generation if they indicated on their application that neither parent completed a bachelor's degree. This is only captured and reported on for undergraduate students.
Freshman: An undergraduate student who has accumulated between 0 and 29 credits, including credits transferred to UMD.
Frozen Degree Data: Captured once per year at the end of the fiscal year. Official reporting data.
Full Time: An undergraduate student who is enrolled for 12 or more credit hours or a graduate student who is enrolled for 48 or more units.
Geographic Origin: The permanent residence where a student is/was living at the time of undergraduate or graduate application to attend UMD. The geographic origin is not necessarily the same as the country of citizenship. Geographic origin is derived from the permanent address of the student as reported in the application.
Graduation Rate: The proportion of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students who started in a given cohort year and graduated with a degree from UMD after the specified number of years.
Job Category: This is a different way of grouping employees. Here, they are grouped into Professor, Assoc Professor, Assistant Professor, Lecturer, Other Faculty, Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Other Staff.
Junior: An undergraduate student who has accumulated between 60 and 89 credits, including credits transferred to UMD.
New First-time Student: As defined by the federal government, these are students who have no prior postsecondary experience (with the exception of concurrent enrollment or enrollment in the summer immediately following high school) and are therefore attending an institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This group includes new freshmen, Freshmen Connection, and new Applied Agriculture students. This group starts in Fall 2021.
New Freshmen: Students who applied and were admitted as first-time students into the typical freshmen class and have access to the full complement of UMD courses. Freshmen Connection and Applied Agriculture students are not included.
New Graduate Student: A student who is new to a graduate program at UMD.
New Transfer: An undergraduate student who has transferred from another postsecondary institution and is new to UMD.
Other UG: An undergraduate student whose class standing is post-baccalaureate or special non-degree.
Part Time: An undergraduate student who is enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours or a graduate student who is enrolled for fewer than 48 units.
Refreshed Degree Data: Refreshed twice a year, replacing old data. The historical figures are updated when a degree is entered into the database after the end of the fiscal year.
Retention Rate: The proportion of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students who started in a given cohort year and are enrolled at UMD after the specified number of years.
Returning Graduate: A graduate student who had attended UMD prior to the current semester in the same graduate program.
Returning Undergraduate: An undergraduate student who had attended UMD as an undergraduate prior to the current semester.
SAT 25th and 75th percentiles: The lower and upper boundary of the middle 50% of combined (verbal and math) SAT scores earned by the cohort of new first-time students. The 75th percentile represents the score at which 75 percent of the group scored at or below. The 25th percentile represents the score at which 25 percent of the group scored at or below.
SAT Midpoint: The SAT midpoint value is calculated by adding the average of the 25th percentile scores for critical reading and math to the average of the 75th percentile scores for critical reading and math. The 75th percentile represents the score at which 75 percent of the group scored at or below. The 25th percentile represents the score at which 25 percent of the group scored at or below.
Senior: An undergraduate student who has accumulated at least 90 credits, including credits transferred to UMD.
SOC code: In the fall of 2012, the University transitioned to tracking all employees by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code. This is now standard practice among employers and has replaced, or is currently replacing, other methods of tracking employees. View more information on Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Reporting.
Sophomore: An undergraduate student who has accumulated between 30 and 59 credits, including credits transferred to UMD.
Student Credit Hour: A unit of measure that represents one student engaged in an activity for which one credit hour for a degree or other certificate is granted upon the successful completion of the related course.
Unduplicated Count of Majors: Reports unduplicate the count of majors at the unit level (department, college, university).
Unduplicated Headcount: Enrollment is based on the student's first-choice (primary) major. Each student is counted in only one academic unit.
As an institution that receives federal funds (financial aid, research grants, etc.), the University of Maryland, College Park is required to report summary demographic data on its students and employees to the federal government. The federal government has specific requirements for collecting and reporting data on gender and on race and ethnicity. To the extent possible given data collection systems and best practices around cell sizes, starting in Fall 2023, IRPA’s reports will begin phasing in additional ways to view data that better convey how individuals identify themselves.
As the University updates its Human Resource/Human Capital Management (HCM), Finance, and Student Information systems, this changes how individuals can indicate their gender and gender identity. In addition to male and female, individuals will be able to identify as non-binary. Student application systems now allow a third gender option: “X” (non-binary).
The Fall 2023 term is the first to include non-binary designations in reports, but likely does not reflect the actual number of individuals who identify as non-binary. As implementation of this new designation continues, we anticipate the number will increase until it reaches a representative state.
Some mandated reporting requirements still use a male/female binary. State reporting still collects gender in the binary. When this happens, those who identify as non-binary and those who do not provide a response are re-coded to fit the available options for Maryland Higher Education Commission reporting based on the last digit of an individual’s UID (odd digits are set to “Male” and even digits to “Female”). For federal reporting, in some cases, data may be suppressed due to small cell sizes.
Students interested in learning more about the opportunity to change their gender marker can find details in the Office of the Registrar FAQs.
Federal regulations require that we ask individuals two questions about their race/ethnicity. The first asks about Hispanic or Latino origin, and the second asks about racial identities. Definitions are provided (see below). Both questions are optional.
Are you of Hispanic or Latino origin?
- Yes / No
What is your race?
Select one or more of the following categories:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Black or African-American
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
As the University transitions to Workday, we will begin collecting additional details about race and ethnicity.
- Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
- American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
- Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Black or African-American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
- White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
Federal reporting requirements mandate that individuals be counted using the categories below. Individuals must be assigned one reporting category, regardless of how many categories they select in their response. Internally, the University may report individuals in multiple groups.
- Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or nationals and who are in the U.S. on a visa or temporary basis and do not have the right to remain indefinitely are counted in a group called “U.S. Nonresidents,” regardless of how they answer questions about their race/ethnicity.
For those who are U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, or other eligible non-citizens, the following logic is used for federal categorization:
- Individuals who identify as Hispanic or Latino are counted as such, regardless of what other racial categories they select. For example, if a U.S. citizen identifies as Hispanic or Latino, and also identifies as African-American and white, she will be counted as “Hispanic/Latino” only.
- Individuals who do not identify as Hispanic or Latino and select only one racial identity will be placed in the racial category they select. For example, if a U.S. citizen says that she is not Hispanic or Latino in the first question, and in the second question states that she is white, she will be counted as “White.”
- Individuals who do not identify as Hispanic or Latino and select more than one racial identity are counted in a category called “Two or More Races.” They are not counted in the individual racial categories with which they identify. For example, if a U.S. permanent resident says she is not Hispanic or Latino and then identifies as both American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian, she will be counted in a federal reporting category called “Two or More Races.” She will neither be counted as “American Indian or Alaska Native” nor as “Asian.”
To use federal race and ethnicity data responsibly, it is necessary to account for both the benefits and limitations of the data’s definitions and decision rules. There is no way to perfectly capture individuals’ identities. Using federal reporting categories allows users to look at standardized and comparable data across institutions. These categories, while imperfect, provide a standardized framework for collecting and reporting data, which allows for more reliable comparisons across institutions. The federal reporting categories are also mutually exclusive: individuals can only be counted in a group once.
Some of the limitations of using federal reporting categories include:
- Individuals may be forced into categories with which they do not identify.
- Categories are not comparable. For example, the “U.S. Nonresident” category refers to a citizenship status, not a racial or ethnic identity.
Internally, we capture data on all the racial and ethnic identities that individuals select, regardless of their citizenship and visa status. Some of our campus-wide reports count students in each of the racial/ethnic groups with which they identify, rather than forcing them into a single category. With upcoming updates to the University’s Human Resource/Human Capital Management, Finance and Student Information systems, we will have more detailed information on individuals’ racial and ethnic identities. We will likely not report the additional detail initially, as we will need time to understand how individuals are (or are not) using these detail categories.
IRPA has stopped aggregating racial and ethnic groups beyond the federally required groupings. Such aggregations do not align with best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion reporting and further obscure the groups with which individuals have identified. Should there be a need to combine groups for grant applications or other external purposes, the raw numbers are available in tables.
For more information, please visit the following sites:
National Center for Education Statistics - “Definitions for New Race and Ethnicity Categories”
National Center for Education Statistics - “Changes to Race/Ethnicity Reporting to IPEDS”
In addition, you may also contact the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College & Division Abbreviations
For display purposes, some of the reports on our website will display the abbreviations for colleges and divisions on campus. The list below translates the abbreviations to the college name.
|College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
|School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation
|College of Arts & Humanities
|Robert H. Smith School of Business
|College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
|College of Computer, Math & Natural Sciences
|Division of Information Technology
|College of Education
|A. James Clark School of Engineering
|Office of Extended Studies
|College of Information Studies
|Philip Merrill College of Journalism
|School of Public Policy
|Office of the President
|School of Public Health
|Sr VP Academic Affairs & Provost
|Shady Grove Center
|VP for Research
|VP for Student Affairs
|VP for University Relations
Standard Occupational Classification Reporting
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a set of interrelated surveys designed to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff, and finances from all primary providers of postsecondary education. The University of Maryland complies with federal reporting policies for all of these surveys; each collection item has specific reporting guidelines established so that the federal government, consumers, and other constituents are able to compare institutions in a fair manner.
The IPEDS Human Resource (HR) survey, which includes faculty and staff job categorizations, underwent major revisions in the fall of 2012. The IPEDS survey classification revisions represent a change from the previous HR data classification based on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) categories, which had remained unchanged for the last decade. The new survey classifications reflect the requirements of the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. SOC codes were developed to classify workers according to detailed occupational definitions which reflect changes in the workforce over the last decade and a comprehensive effort to conduct better data analysis across all federal government departments. These categories facilitate collecting, calculating, and disseminating data about workers across all the sectors of industry. There are nineteen total job categories, seventeen of which are applicable to our campus.
It is important to note that the previous employment categories for HR reporting are inherently different than the current SOC system. Previously, there were nine possible EEO categories for employees that were assigned by the University System of Maryland (USM) based on a variety of elements including title, job description, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status, and responsibilities of the job. Under the nineteen new IPEDS categories, SOC codes were assigned by the USM essentially with the same logic but with more detail due to the increase in job categories. As a result, comparisons can create a one-to-many relationship (e.g., one EEO category maps to more than one of the new IPEDS categories). Therefore comparisons should not be made of those data from before and after the changeover to SOC assignment.View SOC Employee Summary on Campus Counts
For more information about SOC codes, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics site: http://www.bls.gov/SOC/
For further explanation on how SOC codes are being used by IPEDS, visit: https://surveys.nces.ed.gov/IPEDS_PY/VisFaqView.aspx?mode=reg&id=2&show=all#813