Nov 16, 2019  
2008 - 2009 Undergraduate Catalog 
2008 - 2009 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Mission and History


College Profile


McDaniel College provides an ideal location for learning which brings together students from 34 states and 11 countries. Its picturesque campus is situated on a hilltop in historic Westminster, a short drive from two major metropolitan centers, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. One of the first coeducational colleges in the nation, it has been both innovative and independent since its founding in 1867.

The tradition of liberal arts studies rests comfortably here. Exemplary teaching is its central mission, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The faculty is engaged in research and professional writing; they are involved at the highest levels of their respective professions; they are sought after as consultants in many spheres, but their primary mission is teaching. Enrollment of 1,700 undergraduates enables the College to provide individual guidance to its students and to be responsive to their needs. Graduates leave enriched not just because of their classwork, but because of their meaningful interactions with one another.

Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, McDaniel is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a more selective, baccalaureate college of the arts and sciences plus professions. McDaniel is one of 40 liberal arts colleges featured in Loren Pope’s book, “Colleges That Change Lives.” Known for its distinctive academic program, The McDaniel Plan, McDaniel College is nationally and internationally recognized for its branch campus in Hungary, McDaniel College Budapest, its unique January Term program, and for its graduate program in training teachers for the Deaf.

The First Principles


McDaniel College believes that liberally educated men and women think and act critically, creatively, and humanely. They take charge of their lives and develop their unique potentials with reason, imagination, and human concern. They take their place in the global community, understanding their responsibilities to aid individuals and to contribute to the larger society. McDaniel College accepts the challenge to provide an academic and social environment that promotes liberal learning.

  • We strive to place students at the center of a humane environment so that they may see and work toward their personal goals while respecting others and sharing the responsibility for the common good.
  • We provide a foundation of knowledge about the past and present so that students may be informed about the world.
  • We provide various approaches to knowledge and personal achievement so that students can think critically about, respond creatively to, and form sensitive, intelligent decisions concerning the world and its future.
  • We provide instruction in fundamental skills so that students can express themselves for their own satisfaction and to the larger community.
  • We provide solid and respected professional programs for the committed student, and, more important, we provide a liberal arts education as an integral part of professional training so that students will be more flexible, more successful, and happier in the world of work.

In the classrooms, in the residence halls, in the laboratories, on the playing fields, and in the lounges, McDaniel College works to disseminate these First Principles.



Thirty miles northwest of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and 56 miles north of Washington, D.C., the campus overlooks historic Westminster, Md., Carroll County’s largest town and county seat. Within walking distance are gift boutiques, book and music stores, art galleries, and restaurants which line one of America’s longest main streets. Both nearby metropolitan cities offer students opportunities for learning and leisure – art and history museums, internships on Capitol Hill, Baltimore Orioles and Ravens games, and bayside seafood and nightlife.

Academic Facilities


Among the 71 buildings on the 160-acre campus are Hoover Library, offering access to materials from rare books to DVDs and a 24-hour computer lab and study commons; Hill Hall, featuring the Writing Center and multimedia presentation classrooms; Peterson Hall, which offers a modern photography lab, a graphic arts computer classroom, and art gallery for the College’s permanent collection as well as visiting exhibitions; and Western Maryland College Alumni Hall, home to the performing arts and summer repertory Theatre on the Hill program. Eaton Hall, a $13-million biology and chemistry lab building was opened in fall 1999, and, in 2002, the lower level of Baker Memorial Chapel was renovated to accommodate a new Foreign Language Computer Lab, classrooms, and seminar rooms. Academic Hall, adjacent to Hoover Library, is the new home for the College’s Graduate and Professional Studies, Education, Psychology, and Student Academic Services. The campus is wired for the latest technology, and all residence halls are equipped with Ethernet connections. Wireless access is available in many spots on campus.

Hoover Library


Hoover Library houses over 200,000 books, periodicals, media and U.S. government documents, and provides access to thousands of full-text databases and online journals. Hoover’s online catalog is searchable at, and also links to the holdings information of the Carroll County Public Library System and the Carroll Community College Library, which, with Hoover, form the Carroll Library Partnership. McDaniel College Library I.D. cards are valid at either of the other CLP sites. Hoover Library’s memberships in the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association library group as well as the Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium allow for additional reciprocal borrowing opportunities for students and faculty. Interlibrary loan services are also freely available, and state-of-the-art reference services include extensive course-integrated bibliographic and information literacy instruction. Visit the Hoover website for more details as well as hours information.

Information Technology


Information technology enhances the educational experience through campus-wide use of technology. Many faculty and their students use classroom computer projection systems to enliven classes with multimedia, or solve problems through communal use of software. The Blackboard course management system provides a resource to post online discussions, assignments and readings as well as to share digital portfolios with the greater world. Students and faculty can access the Blackboard site easily through the internet.

Over 25 accessible computing laboratories enable learners to search world-wide information sources, to create their own art, video and music, or to conduct research. To accommodate mobile computing, and push communications, the campus has expanded its wireless hotspot network and supports student-directed streaming radio and television production.

In a more personal note, the ALL card system permits easy identification, access to secure locations, and simplifies financial transactions, and a new email/calendar system makes networking easier. When technical problems arise, students receive help from members of the “SWATT” student technology team, designated IT staff and online help pages.

Faculty and Curriculum


Faculty members – more than 115 full-time professors, almost all of whom hold the most advanced degrees in their fields – devote themselves to classroom, lab, and studio teaching. Many conduct research and involve students in their work. Professors generally teach three courses each semester and spend ample time with students outside of the classroom helping them plan academic programs, arrange internships, and prepare for careers. An average class size of fewer than 17 students encourages discussion and learning that is collaborative rather than competitive. When their schedules allow, the College president, provost, dean of students, and financial vice president all teach courses. Faculty members also serve as advisors to many student organizations.

The College’s distinctive academic program, The McDaniel Plan, challenges students to become liberally educated men and women who think and act critically, creatively, and humanely. An expansive curriculum enables students to acquire a broad base of knowledge in the areas of humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences and also to pursue learning in depth in one or more of the 60 fields of study. The program links wide-ranging educational experiences with strong career preparation through an extensive internship program and the Office of Career Services.

Faculty advisors offer guidance across the curriculum and work closely with their advisees in planning their academic program about course selections and planning strategies. Students may receive additional guidance from the Office of Academic Affairs, Student Academic Support Services, and the Career Services Office, which offers vocational testing, counseling, and guidance.

Majors and Degrees


The College’s academic program, the McDaniel Plan, provides a liberal education that combines a comprehensive program of general education and a rigorous program in the major, complemented by electives and a range of special opportunities. The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in 26 major areas of study: art, art history, biochemistry, biology, business administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, economics, English, environmental policy and science, exercise science and physical education, French, German, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, social work, sociology, Spanish, and theatre arts. Students may choose a dual major or design their own major if their academic interests and goals take them outside of an existing program. In addition, most departments offer minor programs or particular courses to help students focus on or achieve individual goals.

McDaniel College also offers certification programs in social work and in elementary and secondary education (Maryland certification includes reciprocity with more than 45 other states), a 3–2 program in engineering, and pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, the heath professions, and museum studies. The College also offers an Army ROTC program.

Graduate Degree Programs


Graduate degree programs leading to the Master of Liberal Arts or the Master of Science degree enroll more than 1,300 students each term. The M.L.A. program is an extension of the College’s excellent baccalaureate program. The M.S. program is available in the following areas: counseling, deaf education, educational administration and supervision, elementary and secondary education (curriculum and instruction), exercise science and physical education, human resources development, reading, school library media, and special education (general and community-based). In addition, the College offers the M.S. in teaching (B.E.S.T. program) for mid-career adults who wish to obtain certification to teach. The College also offers a certificate program in gerontology.

Off-Campus Study


There are abundant opportunities for students to engage in academic work off campus. Many students enroll for one or two semesters in study abroad programs throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America that are supported through the International Programs Office. Each semester study abroad students from the home campus join international students from around the world at McDaniel College Budapest. (See below.) The College also offers a semester long student exchange program in Brussels, Belgium, with the Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis.

Students also take advantage of internship opportunities regionally, nationally, and internationally. Domestic programs of off-campus study are offered through American University’s Washington Semester, Drew University’s Semester in New York on the United Nations, and the Gallaudet Visiting Students Program.

McDaniel College Budapest


McDaniel College Budapest was established in 1994 by McDaniel College as a branch campus in Budapest, Hungary, to provide a liberal arts education for international students from around the world in preparation for global lives and careers. In addition to offering the foundational curriculum of the College, McDaniel College Budapest offers a four-year undergraduate program with majors in Art and Art History, Business Administration and Economics, Communication, and Political Science, leading to the award of a Bachelor of Arts degree. All courses are taught in English by highly experienced British, Hungarian, and American faculty. McDaniel College Budapest students may spend two years in Budapest and two years at the home campus in the United States, and all students are required to spend at least one semester in residence on the home campus.

The Budapest campus serves as a primary study abroad destination for students from the home campus.

Honor Societies


In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society which recognizes liberal arts scholarship of a high order, there are numerous other honorary societies on campus. Two organizations oriented toward general accomplishment are Omicron Delta Kappa, a national society recognizing leadership qualities; and the Trumpeters, a local society honoring senior students dedicated to service.

Social Life


The key to college life is involvement. Eighty percent of students live on campus; more than 25 percent compete on one of 24 athletic teams, and all enjoy activities sponsored by more than 100 diverse student groups including an active Greek system.



The College keeps its fees within the reach of students coming from families with moderate incomes while offering a liberal arts education of outstanding value. Tuition for 2008–2009 is $30,780, room and board are $6,150, and personal expenses (including books and transportation) are estimated at $600 per year.

Financial Aid/Scholarships


The College supports a program of financial aid to eligible students on the basis of both need and merit. Over 80 percent of students receive financial assistance. Students who have been accepted by the College and can demonstrate financial need as required by the federal government may be eligible for assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and opportunities for student employment. Typically an award is a package of these four resources tailored to the student’s needs.

Academic scholarships covering partial to full tuition are available for qualified students based on their academic records, SAT-I or ACT scores, and extracurricular involvement. First-year students should apply by February 1. Transfer scholarships are also available, and applications must be filed by January 1 for spring semester and June 1 for the fall. The College also offers partial and full ROTC scholarships.



Athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III as a member of the Centennial Conference, a group of 11 national liberal arts colleges and universities. Twelve sports are available for men: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, and wrestling. Twelve sports are available for women: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, and volleyball.



McDaniel College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. In July 2003, the accreditation of McDaniel College was reaffirmed through 2013.



Shortly after the Civil War, Fayette R. Buell, a Westminster teacher, embarked on his dream of founding a small private college. He purchased a tract of land – a hill overlooking the town – and issued a prospectus in search of support for his dream. Although financing was slow to materialize, he did receive generous support from two of the community leaders: the Reverend J.T. Ward of the Methodist Protestant Church, who would become the College’s first president, and John Smith, president of the thriving Western Maryland Railroad and a resident of nearby Wakefield Valley.

Mr. Smith, who became the first president of the College’s Board of Trustees, suggested that the College be named after the railroad, which maintained an important terminal in Westminster. On the day in 1866 that the cornerstone was laid for the College’s first building, free rail passage was granted to everyone who attended the ceremonies. Eventually, the Western Maryland Railroad merged with another company. But the College that bore its name continued to grow.

The first building on the Hill was completed in September 1867; 37 men and women were enrolled in eight areas of study. Already, the new college was in many ways ahead of its time. In the original Charter, the founders and the first Board of Trustees clearly reflected their intentions that the College be an innovative and independent institution.

The College was founded “upon a most liberal plan for the benefit of students without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, which students shall be eligible for admission to equal privileges and advantages of education and to all social activities and organizations of the college, without requiring or enforcing any sectarian, racial, or civil test, and without discrimination on the basis of sex, national or ethnic origin, nor shall any prejudice be made in the choice of any officer, teacher, or other employee in the said college on account of these factors.”

The College was one of the first coeducational colleges in the nation. Since its inception, it has been an independent liberal arts college with an autonomous Board of Trustees. A voluntary fraternal affiliation with the United Methodist Church existed from 1868 to 1974; today there are no ties to any denominational body. Control and ownership are fully vested by the Charter in the trustees, under Maryland state law.

On January 11, 2002, the trustees announced their unanimous decision to change the name of the College after discussion and surveys confirmed confusion over where and what the College was. Under a new name, the College would be better recognized as a private college of the liberal arts and sciences within an hour’s drive of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Alumni, students, parents, faculty, and emeriti faculty, administrators, and trustees participated in the process to select a name which embodied the essence of the College. On July 1, 2002, McDaniel College renewed its educational mission in honor of William R. McDaniel, a man who meant as much to the College as the College meant to him.

Billy Mac, as he was affectionately known, arrived on campus in 1877 as a 16-year-old sophomore from the Eastern Shore. He was salutatorian among the six men and four women in the Class of 1880. He taught for 36 years and also served as an innovative administrator and trustee. Presidents called him indispensable. Colleagues respected his dedication to teaching and the hand he extended to faculty newcomers. His students spoke of his attention to detail and demanding yet patient way of guiding them through algebra, geometry, and astronomy. McDaniel’s dedication to the College spanned 65 years and ended only with his death in 1942.

In its 140-year history, the College has had only eight presidents: Dr. Ward, Dr. Thomas Hamilton Lewis (1886–1920), Dr. Albert Norman Ward (1920–1935), Bishop Fred G. Holloway (1935–1947), Dr. Lowell S. Ensor (1947–1972), Dr. Ralph C. John (1972–1984), Dr. Robert H. Chambers (1984–2000), and Dr. Joan Develin Coley (2000–present). Under their guidance, the College has assumed a place in the nation among the quality colleges of the liberal arts and sciences, developing programs and material and physical assets that fulfill the vision of its founders.