This is the info originally posted in 2012 by astrophysicsmom (who is no longer active on college confidential), with just a few minor updates. The info is still the best advice ever! Welcome to Terp Nation!
1. If you are remotely considering attending UMD, sign up for housing NOW. Don't wait until you decide if you are going to go (or if you are waiting to hear from other schools). If you wait until the last minute, you most likely will end up in a triple. Even rooms that are planned to be a triple are a tight squeeze. If you decide not to attend UMD, you will need to cancel your housing request IN ADDITION to telling the office of admissions that you're not going to attend.
2. After accepting the admit offer, Sign up and get your UMD email and UID sooner than later. You'll need it to register, I think you'll need it to take the math placement exam, and it is amazing how many people arrive at their orientation/registration in the summer with no idea that they were supposed to have done this.
3. The UMD.edu website can be cryptic at first, but get familiar with pages that pertain to you....your major, your department, any special programs you are in, requirements for taking the Math placement exam and what it means, and get extremely familiar with Testudo (testudo.umd.edu) ...look at the schedule of courses for courses offered in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 so you can start getting an idea of what courses are offered, etc.
4. If you are coming in with AP or IB credits, know how they apply towards your required classes. updated link: http://www.transfercredit.umd.edu/plc.html
5. As soon as you confirm that you are going to attend UMD and get the info from the Orientation Office, sign up for an Orientation session this summer. The spots are limited by each Dept/College, and DO get filled. DO NOT ASK for a special Orientation session. They hear all the excuses, reasoning, etc., but if you can't make one of the summer sessions, you'll need to go at the end of the summer. You'll still have classes to choose from, but they won't be at the most convenient times, nor with the most preferred professors.
6. Check out OURUMD.com, an awesome student-created website that is what most students refer to when checking out professors (much better than RATEMYPROFESSOR)...it has actual distributions of grades for courses by that professor, etc. update: this site has not been updated with new info for the past few years, so many newer profs have no info...however, the info on those profs that have been there for a while is still helpful. Take it with a grain of salt in the sense that only those motivated by a really positive or really negative experience are likely to have commented. Try to read between the lines because what is a problem for one student may work well for another.