New Organization Recognition

Student organizations at UMBC contribute to broadening perspectives, opening opportunities, and connecting students’ passions with interests and issues important to members of the campus community and beyond. By starting a student organization, you take on the responsibility of creating a vibrant campus life and fostering change on campus. The steps outlined below will ensure that you are prepared for this role and connected to campus partners and potential collaborators. The recognition process generally takes between two and four months and in some instances longer. 

Step 1: Take a look at the current list of 200+ student organizations that already exist at UMBC
    • We encourage you to think about whether your needs and interests can be met by an existing student organization.  Organizations that are too similar to existing student organizations will not be approved by the Student Organization Committee.
Step 2: Begin the Process by Completing the Student Organization Application
    • The application will open on the first day of classes each fall, and close on March 1st. The Student Organization Committee has the ability to close the application earlier if the maximum amount of new student organizations is reached prior to March 1st.
    • You will need to have the following prepared to complete your application:
        • A name and mission statement for your organization
        • 5 undergraduate members
        • A President, Vice President, and Treasurer
        • A UMBC faculty or staff advisor

New Student Org Application 

Note: The new student organization process takes 3 months on average.

Step 3: After your application is submitted, you will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the Assistant Director of Student Organizations and your advisor.
    • Meetings will happen virtually on Webex with a staff member from Campus Life. The president and advisor of each group is required to attend. Additional officers are welcome to attend, but not required.
    • The deadline for completing your initial meeting is the last Friday in March. Groups that have not completed the meeting by will be asked to reapply in the fall.
    • Please allow up to two weeks for your application to be reviewed and to receive a meeting invitation
    • In the meetings, we will discuss:
      • Your student organization idea! We want to hear all about your organization and the plans you have for the future
      • The process of becoming a student organization
      • Annual requirements and benefits of recognized student organizations
      • How to complete your First Year Plan (step 4)
      • The Student Organization Committee Rubric
Step 4: Complete the First Year Plan and Meet with Campus Partners
    • After your meeting, you will be sent a the First Year Plan. All officers should participate in completing your First Year Plan.
    • Groups may be asked to meet with Campus Partners that align with their goals. These meetings should be completed prior to submitting your First Year Plan (FYP).
    • Completed First Year Plans should be submitted to the Student Organization Committee
    • The First Year Plan is due by April 30th, but should be submitted by April 15th for best consideration. Any organizations that do not submit their First Year Plan by April 30th will be removed from the process and can reapply in the upcoming academic year.
Step 5: The SOC will review application materials
    • After the First Year Plan is submitted, the SOC will review your application, First Year Plan, and the summary from your meeting with Campus Life staff.
    • If the SOC has clarifying questions or would like to see additional information, your group will be given an opportunity to edit your materials.
    • The SOC will use the New Student Organization Rubric to guide their vote.
    • The SOC meets bi-weekly and does not meet over winter or summer break. The last SOC meeting each academic year occurs the week before finals.


Step 6: The SOC makes recommendation for recognition to the Director of Campus Life
    • Once the SOC has voted on an organization, the materials and vote is presented to the Director of Campus Life for final approval or denial.
    • If the Director of Campus Life confirms recommendation for recognition, all officers and advisor will receive an official recognition letter.
    • Once the letter is received, the group must attend an onboarding training to complete the recognition process and become an official student organization.
Step 7: Complete New Student Organization Onboarding
    • After receiving a recognition letter, your executive board will be able to register for an onboarding training session. Three sessions will be offered at the end of each semester during free hour.
    • Organizations that do not complete onboarding by the end of the academic year will be asked to restart the process in the next academic year.