Class of 2022: USM Institutions On Track to Award 40,000 Degrees for Sixth Straight Year
USM Graduates Poised to Enhance Maryland’s Economic Vitality
Baltimore, Md. (May 17, 2022) – The University System of Maryland (USM) salutes the achievements of the Class of 2022, graduates who are ready to contribute to Maryland’s economy after overcoming the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USM’s 12 universities will award approximately 40,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees this year, with a majority celebrating this spring at ceremonies across Maryland. These graduates position the USM to again have a strong impact on the state’s economy and its quality of life. This is now the sixth straight year the year USM has awarded an average of 40,000 degrees.
Graduates in the Class of 2022 showed the tenacity to adjust to distance learning at the pandemic’s start more than two years ago. They worked diligently with their universities to ensure their own health and safety upon returning last fall to a more traditional, in-person college experience.
The USM awards more than 75 percent of all bachelor’s degrees issued in Maryland. Well over half of these students remain in Maryland to work and live.
Led by USM alumni, Maryland ranks in the nation’s top five for household income and four-year degrees.
Importantly, about half of USM undergraduate students finish their degrees without taking on any debt.
“I’m inspired by our students every day,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “I’m inspired by their talent, their dedication, their drive to make a difference. Earning a degree isn’t easy. It’s tough at the best of times—not to mention the worst. And so the diploma they’re getting this spring isn’t proof only of what they’ve learned, or what they’ll contribute to the state and the country. It’s proof of their perseverance, their triumph.”
USM Graduates and Maryland’s Economy
In 2021-22, the USM will provide more than three out of every four bachelor’s degrees awarded in Maryland. Given that 80 percent of USM undergraduates are in-state students, they often remain in Maryland following graduation. The state benefits from their impact on the economy and their service to our communities.
A December 2021 report from the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute found that each USM graduate will earn about $2.5-$4.4 million more in incremental earnings during his or her lifetime than a Maryland resident with only a high school diploma. USM graduates collectively provide $750 million-to-$1 billion in state sales and income taxes over their lifetimes.
The report also found that the USM plays a vital role in workforce development, with a strong impact on occupations that face shortages in workers. The system generates 82 percent of bachelor’s STEM (non-health) degrees; 79 percent of education degrees; and 81 percent of both business and health degrees.
The USM generated an impressive $10.4 billion in estimated economic impact during fiscal year 2021 and supported 57,505 Maryland jobs, the report noted.
Two Presidents Celebrate Final Commencement Ceremonies
The May 2022 commencement ceremonies will mark the final graduation exercises for presidents of two USM institutions.
Freeman Hrabowski, who has led the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to national and international acclaim since his appointment as president 30 years ago in 1992, is retiring from UMBC at the end of the 2022 fiscal year. In April, the USM Board of Regents announced the appointment of Dr. Valerie Sheares Ashby, Dean of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, as next UMBC president.
Chuck Wight, who has served Salisbury University as its president in 2018, announced last fall that he will step down from his position on June 30. Earlier this month, the Board of Regents appointed Dr. Carolyn Ringer “Lyn” Lepre as his successor, effective July 15.
Graduates Headed to the Health-Care Professions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, degree production in the health-care professions has remained essential and timely. Many of these degree programs are also available at the USM’s three regional higher education centers. As a result, the programs are accessible to a greater number of students in key regions of the state.
The USM will award approximately 3,500 health-care profession degrees this spring. Several USM institutions offer nursing programs: University of Maryland, Baltimore; Coppin State; Towson University; Frostburg State; Salisbury University; Bowie State; and University of Maryland Global Campus.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)—Maryland’s only public health, law, and human services university—typically graduates about 600 students with a professional practice doctorate from its schools of medicine (MD), dentistry (DDS), nursing (DNP), and pharmacy (PharmD), and its physical therapy program (DPT) offered in the School of Medicine. More than 50 percent of Maryland’s practicing physicians and other health care professionals are UMB School of Medicine graduates. In fiscal year 2021, UMB awarded 2,534 degrees from 86 degree and certificate programs. UMB also offers bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene, medical & research technology, and nursing. The number of bachelor’s graduates in these programs typically exceeds 400.
Strength in STEM Degrees Continues
Overall, the USM will again graduate a substantial number of students in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). Typically, USM schools award more than 11,000 STEM degrees outside of health professions, with approximately 8,000 going to undergraduates. Minority students earn nearly half of all USM undergraduate STEM degrees.
Historically, at least 7,000 students graduate with degrees in cyber security.
Commencement Details for Each University
Each USM institution offers details on its May 2022 commencement plans via its university website. A link to each website is available here. In addition to the commencement ceremony details available at each of these sites, each USM institution will profile noteworthy graduates.
As in-person commencement exercises take place across the system, the USM is grateful that vaccination rates have remained high and disease positivity rates are low.
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
Systemwide, student enrollment is roughly 165,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully for nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu.
Contact: Mike Lurie