#26, overall score 66.67/100

Fun Fact:

Students can buy ice cream made from milk produced by cows that live on university land.

Why should Jewish students attend UMD? If you have decided that you are going to go to college, you should consider a university with a strong vibrant Jewish community with learning and social activities. Minyanim and kosher food are other important parts of the infrastructure necessary to grow Jewishly as well as academically. UMD offers much in the way of these things. — Rabbi Eli Backman, director, Chabad Jewish Student Center

Maryland Hillel is one of the nation’s premier Hillels, engaging 4,000 Jewish students annually. This past academic year, Maryland Hillel provided leadership training to 200 students, served over 10,000 funded Shabbat meals, took 320 students to Israel, ran five service learning trips nationally and internationally offering students critical insights into some of the globe’s most pressing social issues, facilitated a Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference providing 150 college women access to critical female mentorship and leadership, hosted hundreds of lectures and classes and worked with individual students to foster their personal identities and activism. This is the place for students who seek a leading public university and a robust and entrepreneurial Jewish community. — Ari Israel, executive director, Maryland Hillel

The Orthodox student community at the University of Maryland is truly one-of-a-kind. Starting with the large, welcoming, diverse student community (averaging 600 Orthodox students!), there are endless opportunities for each student within the community. There are multiple leadership positions and opportunities to step up and make your mark. There’s always something happening, and there will always be something for everyone. — Rabbi Elie and Miriam Schwartz, OU-JLIC educators

ACADEMICS Score: 10/30

  • Score: 10/30
  • Acceptance rate: 48%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Israel Studies major: Minor


  • In-state tuition: $10,181
  • Out-of-state tuition: $32,045
  • Room & board costs: $11,758
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $9,992


  • Location: College Park, Md.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,443
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 5,800
  • Jewish population share: 21%
  • Student origin: 79% in-state/21% out-of-state
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Terrapins
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Maryland Ultimate, Helpful Corn

ISRAEL Score: 17.5/20

  • Score: 17.5/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 207
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel-related clubs: Terps for Israel, J Street U, TAMID
  • BDS resolution: Never introduced

JEWISH LIFE Score: 32.5/40

  • Score: 32.5/40
  • Hillel: Maryland Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad Jewish Student Center
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Meor: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT, TEP
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT
  • Jewish dorms: Terp Row, College Park Towers, AFB (American Flag Building)
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 2
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 32
  • Hillel Friday night services: 4
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 450
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 100
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 18 (7 Orthodox, 6 Conservative, 5 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Sergey Brin
  • Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: NHBT (National Hillel Basketball Tournament) comprises about 30 students who throughout the year organize a weekend-long basketball tournament for Jewish college students across North America. This past year, 50 different teams participated in this amazing weekend! NHBT Weekend is one the most anticipated weekends on campus, where Jewish students from all across the country gather at Maryland Hillel, old and new friends, for a weekend of fun, games and competition. The Maryland Hillel students who are a part of the NHBT club feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in their year long work of creating a magical weekend that brings so many students from many different backgrounds together.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? As a public state university, many students come from Maryland and surrounding Northeast states. In addition, each year students travel from Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami and other large metropolitan areas to attend the university.
  • Kosher food details: For Jews, food is not just sustenance but a way of life. The centrality of food permeates Maryland Hillel’s work. Maryland Hillel provides a full university-recognized kosher meal plan offering three meals a day. Additionally, Maryland Hillel provides over 10,000 funded kosher Shabbat meals each year, boasts challah baking workshops and delivers soup to sick students. Shabbat meals are provided all over campus. It is not uncommon to see a Hillel staff member taking food to a Greek house or setting up a communal Shabbat on North Campus. At home basketball games, Chabad runs a full-size concession stand with kosher deli and game foods.

Recommend this article

University of Maryland, College Park

Thank you!

This article has been sent!