Media Relations

University of Maryland Media Policy and FAQs

Media Guidelines During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a continued effort to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Maryland has instituted the following media guidelines:

  • Media that are visiting UMD’s campus must notify University Communications in advance by emailing, dialing 301-257-0073 or by communicating directly with any member of the University Communications staff. Notifying University Communications will help us monitor the number of media representatives on campus at any given time.
  • Media outlets should send two to three representatives (including reporters, producers, photographers, etc.) to campus for their news story.
  • All media visiting the UMD campus should complete a COVID-19 screening checklist for symptoms prior to coming to campus. If any member of the media answers “yes” to any of the symptoms or conditions, they should not come to campus and should consult their physician.
  • Media interviews should be conducted outdoors, if possible.
  • All media must comply with the university’s face mask policy.
  • Indoor filming and interviews are not permitted without explicit permission from University Communications.

Media Policy

The University Communications office aims to service media requests with accurate, transparent and timely information. We partner with the media to help tell the story of the university and its leadership, faculty, staff, students and alums.

As a public institution, the university permits media representatives to photograph and film in public, outdoor spaces on UMD’s campus. We encourage all members of the media who are visiting to notify University Communications in advance by emailing, calling 301.257.0073 or communicating directly with any member of the University Communications staff. This allows us to help coordinate interviews, if possible, offer parking options and provide helpful information. Exceptions include members of the media covering athletic events. These individuals should coordinate directly with the Maryland Athletics media relations team.

Please read through the following Frequently Asked Questions for assistance with common media requests.


I would like to film or photograph on campus. What do I need to know?
On-Campus Filming Guidelines

News media who plan to film or photograph on UMD’s campus are asked to notify University Communications in advance. Any filming inside campus buildings must be approved in advance by University Communications.

All commercial filming and photography must be coordinated and approved through the University Communications office in advance. In some cases, a campus escort may be required. University Communications will advise members of the media in advance if the need for an escort arises.

University Communications will work with news and commercial media to determine available filming locations on campus. To respect the privacy of our community members, filming or photography inside of residence halls, the University Health Center and other private spaces is prohibited, with rare exceptions.

All requests to film or photograph at a UMD athletic facility must be coordinated through Maryland Athletics. Please contact Josh Kaplan at or 301.314.9729.

News Photography and Filming on Campus – As a public institution, the university permits media representatives to photograph and film in public, outdoor spaces on UMD’s campus. However, media are not permitted to photograph or film inside any building on campus without explicit permission from University Communications.

Commercial Filming and Photography – All commercial filming and photography must be coordinated and approved through University Communications. All requests for commercial filming on campus must be accompanied by a completed filming application. Applications must be submitted to University Communications a minimum of 10 business days prior to the requested film date.

Except for news media and University Marketing, filming within indoor and outdoor spaces requires a signed film agreement and is subject to a daily fee, campus escort and insurance documentation.

A filming fee of $1,000 per day is required for all non-news or commercial filming.

A Certificate of Insurance for $1,000,000 (with a 30-day cancellation notice that names the University of Maryland as an additional insured) is required in advance for all filming.

Other service fees may apply:

  • Security aide escorts
  • Room rental
  • Parking permits

All requests will receive a timely response via email. Please note that business hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekend and holiday requests will not be addressed until the next business day. University Communications reserves the right to decline any request. Questions regarding commercial filming and photography should be directed to

How do I find publicly available data about the University of Maryland or tuition?

The university provides data through UMD’s Institutional Research Planning and Assessment (IRPA) office. IRPA’s data is typically updated annually. Many data requests can be addressed using the following publicly available resources:

  • Campus Counts: graphic displays of data and figures for publicly available information about the university, including enrollments, applications, degrees and retention/graduation rates.
  • interactive site for information on enrollments, degrees, graduation rates, employees and more.

This information is readily available at no cost to the requester. If after accessing IRPA databases for data requests, you need additional information, it may be provided by contacting University Communications.

Tuition and fees are set by the University System of Maryland (USM), and information can be accessed on the USM website. Additional information about the USM can be viewed on the USM Institutional Research Information System (IRIS).

How do I verify if someone attended, graduated or was affiliated with UMD?

To verify attendance, affiliation or an earned degree from the university, contact us at with the full name and birth date of the individual. After-hour inquiries will be responded to on the next business day and once information becomes available.

Who are the public information officers for the university?

Katie Lawson serves as the public information officer and chief communications officer for the University of Maryland, and Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas serves as the public information officer for the University of Maryland Police Department.

What information can I access about students in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of "student education records" and personally identifiable information therein. A student education record includes any recorded information directly related to a student maintained by the university. With limited exceptions, the university cannot release student education records without student consent.

FERPA allows the university to designate and publicly disclose certain information that is generally considered not harmful or an invasion of privacy. This information is referred to as "Directory Information." Common "Directory Information" requested includes name, major, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational institution attended.

FERPA gives students the opportunity to opt out and not permit their directory information to be shared publicly. While the media may request "Directory Information," the university may not be able to provide it without student consent if the student has exercised their right to opt out.

How do I file a Public Information Act or Freedom of Information Act request?

To review or obtain copies of University of Maryland records, you must make a written request under the state of Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA). The PIA gives the public the right to review and obtain copies of disclosable public records from Maryland state agencies. The Office of General Counsel handles PIA requests, as all records must be reviewed for PIA exemptions prior to release. Exemptions include, but are not limited to, student education records and medical information protected by federal or state law, attorney-client privileged communications and personnel records. This review is performed by counsel, and such review is required by state law. Find more information on submitting a request here. Media filing a PIA request are still encouraged to partner with the University Communications office for assistance with their story.

Different from Maryland PIA requests, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows the public to request access to records from any federal agency. The university is not a federal agency.

How do I reach University Communications after hours or on the weekend?

After business hours or on weekends, University Communications staff on call can be reached at 301.257.0073. If you don't reach someone, please leave a voicemail or email Except in the event of breaking news, most inquiries received outside of regular business hours or on weekends will receive a reply from a member of the University Communications team the following business day.

How do I receive information if there is a safety incident or breaking news on campus?

In most cases, information will be posted as soon as it's available on UMD Right Now and the @UMDRightNow Twitter account. If safety is at risk, the University of Maryland Police Department website and social media accounts are the fastest way to receive information.

Media may receive updates when UMD Alerts are issued by the University of Maryland Police Department by accessing @UMPD on Twitter, University of Maryland Department of Public Safety on Facebook and the UMPD news site.

Where can I find photos of the University of Maryland?

The University of Maryland uses high-quality photography, with crisp, vivid color, excellent composition and memorable images that showcase the beauty of the campus, the variety of academic opportunities and resources, its classical architecture and modern facilities, the diversity of its students, staff, and faculty, campus life, sports and the arts.

A select number of iconic campus beauty shots are available for media use and can be found here.

For questions, please contact Gail Rupert, digital asset manager, at If this is an urgent media request, please email