2017-2018 College Catalog

Online Catalog

Admissions Policies and Procedures

The college offers all residents of its service area access to high-quality instruction that results in the growth of knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary for success as a transfer student, in a career, and as a citizen. The college values the diversity of its student population. It provides a variety of educational opportunities at a reasonable cost. It incorporates multiple teaching and academic delivery strategies and student services. It calls upon students to accept responsibility for their individual growth, and maximize their use of the many resources provided for them. The college maintains an open-door policy of admission. Persons who have the ability to benefit from the college’s credit learning programs will be admitted on a space-available basis without regard to race, ethnic background, gender, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, political persuasion, or disability, except as prescribed by law. Additional entry requirements exist for certain programs. Howard Community College reserves the right to refuse or revoke admission to individuals who pose a current or future safety risk to students, faculty, and staff and campus visitors.  All applicants must comply with the college's policies and procedures and the student code of conduct.

Although admitted to the college, students may not enroll in particular programs or courses unless they have the necessary educational background. When such requirements exist, the college, within its available resources, will create programs and services to assist unqualified students in meeting the requirements. All students will be offered assistance in planning a degree program in accordance with their academic background and goals. Each student bears the ultimate responsibility for selecting a program of learning and for utilizing programs and services available to assist them in achieving their goals.

Standard admissions procedures include:

  • completing and submitting the Application for Admission and $25 one-time, non-refundable application fee (waived under certain circumstances; see Pay for College).
  • declaring an area of study.
  • providing proof of identification (i.e., photo I.D.); the college can request more than one form of ID, including government-issued IDs.
  • providing proof of legal residence upon request. The college may ask for proof such as government-issued documents (i.e., driver’s licenses, passports, lease, utilities bill or others). Post office box addresses are not sufficient proof of legal residence. (International citizens must provide proof of their immigration status. Original documents must be presented.) See Student Residency for more details regarding proof of legal residence. Please note: Students who refuse or fail to provide proof of their residency can be admitted to the college, but will be assessed at the out-of-state tuition rate.

Students are required to submit high school transcripts, transcripts from previously attended postsecondary institutions, and military transcripts. This information is used to advise students and does not affect standard admissions to the college.

Application fees differ for some programs. They are waived for active duty military personnel, veterans and their dependents; Freshman Focus applicants; Early Entrance applicants; and students eligible for the SAT, ACT, ACT and College Bound application fee waiver programs, which are based on financial need. Applicants to the various selective and competitive admissions clinical nursing and allied health programs pay an additional $25 application fee. See Pay for College for more information.

Any applicant involved in previous, current, or pending disciplinary action at another school or postsecondary institution or criminal action is required to indicate this information on HCC’s application for admission. Students who indicate they are involved in prior, current, or pending disciplinary or criminal actions may be placed in a pending admissions status until their individual circumstances have been reviewed, further documentation is provided if requested, and conditions of admission, if any, are determined.

Additional admissions procedures are required for high school, transfer, and previously dismissed students as well as for international citizens.  Additional procedures are also required for students seeking admission to the clinical component of some health career programs. Students planning to enroll in Mid-Maryland Allied Healthcare Education Consortium Programs must complete the specific admissions procedures jointly agreed to by consortium institutions (Howard Community College, Carroll Community College, and Frederick Community College). Different application procedures are required for the James W. Rouse Scholars, Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Scholars, STEM Scholars, Silas Craft Collegians, Freshman Focus, and Early Entrance programs (see Admissions for more details).

Although admitted to the college, students may not enroll in particular courses unless they have the necessary educational background. The college has a mandatory basic skills assessment policy. Placement tests are required for most students planning to enroll in English or mathematics courses or courses with English or mathematics prerequisites. Placement test exemptions are possible (see Placement Testing for more information).

Placement test results are generally available following the completion of the test. Testing is ongoing. Students should test soon enough to take advantage of early registration options. The Testing/Preparatory Studies Policy provides further details regarding placement assessment requirements, exemptions, and course placements (Placement Testing).

All students will be offered assistance in planning a program of learning in accordance with their academic background, skills, and goals. Students must meet with an advisor to review placement test results. Results are not generally available by phone or e-mail.  Non-degree seeking students must meet with an advisor on or before completion of 12 credits to determine if they will be required to take placement exams.

First-time, degree-seeking students are required to complete college composition and the appropriate college-level mathematics course within the first 24 college-level credit hours. First-time, degree-seeking students who place into the developmental mathematics or English sequence must complete an appropriate college level mathematics or English course the subsequent semester following the completion of the highest level developmental mathematics or English course. 

Students who do not meet the prerequisite requirements for their chosen area of study will be advised to enroll in a broad associate degree such as, General Studies for Certificate Students, in order to accurately plan for degree completion. 

The college recognizes that some students may need more intensive skill development in reading and/or writing as well as mathematics than its English and/or mathematics credit developmental course sequence can provide. HCC’s REACH Program is designed to serve these students in English while continuing education's Basic and Intermediate Math courses prepare students to successfully move on to the developmental English and/or mathematics credit sequence. For more information, please visit or contact the office of admissions and advising (RCF-242;; 443-518-1200, select #3). Information is also available on the college’s website at