ACES Living-Learning Program Frequently Asked Questions

Academics and Curriculum

  • What is the curriculum like for the ACES Living-Learning Program?
    The curriculum for the ACES Living-Learning Program is 14 credits over two years. There is a 2-credit introductory course required in the Fall of the first year, followed by a 3-credit continuation of this course in the Spring of the first year. Over the two years, students will be required to take two 3-credit seminar courses and complete 3 credits of experiential learning through research and/or practical experiences.
  • Will any of the courses in the ACES Living-Learning Program curriculum count for General Education requirements?
    Yes, many of the courses offered in the ACES Living-Learning Program count for General Education credit. HACS102, the second foundational course, is approved under Scholarship in Practice, and many of the HACS208 seminar options are approved under categories such as History and Social Sciences, I-Series, and Scholarship in Practice. You can read more about the General Education requirements at
  • When do students receive their Honors College citation?
    Students receive their ACES Living-Learning Program citation in the fall of their 3rd year upon completing all ACES Living-Learning Program credits.
  • Is there a cybersecurity major at UMD?
    No, there is not a cybersecurity major at UMD. However, the ACES Living-Learning Program and ACES Minor will provide you with advanced cybersecurity knowledge that will prepare you for a career as a leader in the field.
  • Do I still have a major if I am in ACES?
    Yes, students select and complete a major while being a part of ACES.
  • What major should I select on my UMD application if I am interested in joining ACES?
    Students in ACES are not required to have any specific major. Many of the students in the ACES Living-Learning Program are pursuing majors in fields directly related to cybersecurity, including Computer Science or and Computer Engineering, but students are not required to select one of those programs of study. Other students in the living-learning program are pursuing other fields within Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Business, Biology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice.


  • How do I apply for ACES?

    ACES is a program within the University of Maryland Honors College. First-year applicants to the University of Maryland are automatically considered for admission to the Honors College when they apply by the priority November 1 deadline. There is no separate addendum or special application for the Honors College at that time. Once students are admitted to the Honors College (in late January), students are then asked to preference their interests in particular Living-Learning Programs, including ACES. Students will then be invited to join a particular living-learning program based on their levels of interest, space availability and other factors.

    Honors reviews applications of academically talented students individually, looking at the transcript, rigor of your high school curriculum, depth of extracurricular involvement, counselor and teacher recommendations, essays, standardized test scores, etc. All elements are important and enter into our decision process. The same letter that informs you about admission to the University will also include notification of invitation to the Honors College.

ACES I and ACES II Program Components

  • If I participate in the ACES Living-Learning Program, does that mean that I have to participate in the ACES Minor?
    No. There is an application process for the ACES Minor that all ACES Living-Learning Program and other interested applicants will have to submit to be considered for the ACES Minor.
  • Can I participate in the ACES Minor if I did not participate in the ACES Living-Learning Program?
    Yes. Students who did not participate in the ACES Living-Learning Program but are interested in the ACES Minor are welcome to apply during their sophomore year.

Living Accommodations

  • What is a living-learning community?
    ACES is the newest of the many living-learning programs at Maryland, which are ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the very best in the nation. These exciting programs are designed to bring students with similar interests into a residential community and provide a living component (during the ACES Living-Learning Program) to complement their academic curriculum.
  • Where do ACES students live?
    All ACES Living-Learning Program students (freshmen and sophomores) are required to live together on reserved floors of the new Prince Frederick Hall beginning in Fall 2014. Students in the ACES minor do not have a designated residential hall, but will still be taking classes, meeting with professors and program staff, and participating in programming in Prince Frederick Hall.

    Prince Frederick Hall includes both double occupancy bedrooms and 4-person semi-suites with bathrooms. Students have access to a number of social, study and seminar spaces. A large multipurpose room on the first floor is provided for events and to support the hall’s living-learning mission. The building’s site on the University’s south campus will define a new quad for passive recreation.

  • Are Honors students isolated from the rest of the student body?
    Not at all. One of the great things about the structure of Honors at Maryland is that Honors students are not isolated from everyone else: most of your classes and extracurriculars will be full of wonderful students from all over campus. On the other hand, Honors students do form one of many communities on campus — one that shares enjoyment of intellectual challenges, a love of learning, and a desire to contribute to our complicated world. Being an Honors student is a pleasure and a privilege, but it's also loads of fun. Just ask one!
  • Is everyone in the program guaranteed to live in the same dorm?
    Yes, every ACES Living-Learning Program student is guaranteed placement in Prince Frederick Hall for the two years that they are in the living-learning program.
  • What happens to students after the 2-year living-learning aspect of the program is over?
    Students will no longer be required to live with the program after the end of the ACES Living-Learning Program, but will still be able to live within Honors College Housing if interested. Students also have the opportunity to apply to the ACES Minor, which will involve upper level coursework and projects.
  • Can I live somewhere else?
    All ACES Living-Learning Program students are required to live together Prince Frederick Hall for their freshman and sophomore years as a key component of the living-learning experience. Students in the ACES Minor do not have a designated residence hall. For more information on on-campus and off-campus housing, visit the Department of Resident Life’s website.
  • Can I request a roommate?
    Yes, you can request a roommate if they are also in the ACES Living-Learning Program . You can also request roommate preferences. More information can be found on the Department of Resident Life’s website.

Preparation for Middle School and High School Students

  • I am a middle school/high school student, and I may be interested in UMD/ACES.  How can I prepare for the ACES program?
    Cybersecurity Education at UMD offers several programs for middle school and high school students that will help them explore the field of cybersecurity while developing skills and knowledge. We are currently offering Saturday Workshops, Summer Programs, and events for middle school and high school students. For specific program information, visit: the Cybersecurity website.

Admitted Honors Terps

  • When can I visit?
    The University hosts open houses in the spring for admitted students. There will be a lot to do and see on those days, including Honors College information sessions (where you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions of current Honors students).

    Additionally, on select dates, current Honors students in the Honors Ambassadors program will be available to host for a day admitted Honors College students. Prospective Honors students will be able to get an up-close feel for what a day in the life of an Honors student entails, from classes to campus life. We try our best to match students by academic area of interest, based upon Ambassadors' availability. View more information on the Honors website.

  • Will I get a merit and/or need-based scholarship?
    Scholarship awards are independent of admission to the Honors College. There are no separate applications for merit scholarships; all students admitted from the November 1 priority deadline are automatically considered for merit awards through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Please watch your mail and email for more information during the spring as final decisions about merit scholarships are typically made by early April. In addition, all students should complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for need-based aid.  See Scholarships for more information.
  • Does expressing my preference for specific living-learning programs by February 15 commit me to attending the University of Maryland?
    No. You do not need to confirm your enrollment to the University until May 1. In order to ensure best consideration for acceptance to the Honors living-learning program of your choice, we ask that you submit your preferences by February 15.
  • Aside from responding by Feb 15, do I need to do anything else to accept my invitation to the Honors College?
    No. If you confirm enrollment to the University by May 1st, you will automatically be in the Honors College (no need to do anything special to confirm to the Honors College).
  • When is Orientation for Honors students?
    Orientation sessions for incoming students run most of the summer; but if you can possibly work it into your schedule, we strongly encourage you to attend one of the four Honors Orientations. Orientation is when you’ll meet with an advisor and sign up for classes, learn more about the University, meet your new living-learning program faculty and staff, get your ID card, and make a bunch of new friends. You can sign up for an Orientation once you confirm to the University here or by calling the Orientation Office at 301-314-8217.