History of the Horizons Program

The Graduate Horizons program was founded in Spring 2002 by Dr. Janet C. Rutledge.  Initial funding was provided by UMBC and the State of Maryland for recruitment efforts.  Funding in subsequent years was provided by the National Science Foundation‘s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program.  In the early years, there were fall and spring visitation programs (called Graduate Horizons) which spanned 3 days, Thursday – Saturday, that welcomed undergraduate students from across the nation to UMBC to explore possibilities for graduate education.  As our summer research programs grew, and as our AGEP program (now called PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP) became more structured, we added a summer version of Horizons called “Summer Horizons.” Summer Horizons hosted students from the summer research programs at UMBC and the surrounding universities and national laboratories.   Links to past versions of the Graduate Horizons programs can be found here.


Graduate Horizons 2007

Summer Horizons 2010

In its current form, the Horizons program has been streamlined to a one day event that provides information on the GRE, Statement of Purpose, and other elements that comprise the graduate school application. Our program always features UMBC’s president, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, as the keynote speaker. In 2010, Horizons became a collaboration between PROMISE and the NIH Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program.

Former graduate students, Miguel Acosta-Tapia and Heather Holden, serve as peer mentors during a student panel for Graduate Horizons 2007. Both former students now have Ph.D.s in STEM fields. Dr. Acosta is a chemical engineer, and Dr. Holden is a specialist in information systems.