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DoD Contract Extends UMGC’s Historic Mission of Teaching U.S. Troops in Europe

Bob Ludwig
By Bob Ludwig
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Adelphi, Md. (June 7, 2023)—University of Maryland Global Campus has been awarded a new, five-year contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to educate U.S. troops in Europe. The award continues an uninterrupted tradition that began when seven faculty members were sent to teach in war-torn Germany in 1949. The contract will enable UMGC to reach a significant milestone in 2024, when it will celebrate 75 years of teaching American servicemembers on the continent.

“Our service to the U.S. military has been part of the very foundation of our university and a cornerstone of our global reputation,” said UMGC President Gregory W. Fowler. “It has shaped UMGC in fundamental ways, highlighting the flexible, can-do spirit that has driven innovation across our institution for more than 75 years. And it testifies to our commitment to our public mission and to meeting students where they are.” 

The contract runs from August 1, 2023, to July 31, 2028, and calls for UMGC to offer select, exclusive undergraduate and graduate instruction at military installations across Europe. Currently, UMGC offers classes and/or services at some 45 locations in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and other locations as required.

Recently, UMGC has opened classrooms at three new locations in Poland and one in Romania to provide educational opportunities to U.S. troops who are part of NATO forces in those countries.

Patricia Coopersmith, vice president and director of UMGC’s Europe Division, signs the DoD contract, as Monika Denburg, director of Institutional Research and Contract Compliance in the Europe Division, looks on.

“UMGC is proud to continue our long tradition of providing education services to the U.S. military community in Europe,” said Patricia Coopersmith, vice president and director of UMGC’s Europe Division. “Our faculty and staff demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to our service members, their families, DoD civilians, contractors, and veterans, and a deep understanding of the sacrifices they all make in defending our country and our allies worldwide.

“This new contract adds several certificate and degree program options—including Emergency Management, Environmental Management, Legal Studies, Data Analytics, and various health-related options —to the many educational programs we currently provide, further expanding opportunities for personal and professional growth to all students served,” Coopersmith added. 
Eligible overseas students can take classes and earn degrees in undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and in high-demand fields such as accounting, criminal justice, and data science. Graduate level coursework and degree programs are available in a wide variety of disciplines, including cybersecurity, cloud computing, healthcare administration, homeland security, social work and business administration.

Under the new contract, UMGC will continue to partner with Salisbury University to offer programs in social work. UMGC also will manage National Test Centers at over 20 installations in Europe. These test centers administer a large variety of exams designed to help service members advance their careers by qualifying them for key certifications and credentials.

The award keeps in-tact the university’s commitment to the U.S. military around the globe by completing a trifecta of contract renewals, beginning with the educational services contract for the Middle East and Africa awarded in 2021, the contract for Asia in 2022, and now the renewal for Europe.  

For more information about the UMGC Europe Division, please visit

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid, courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 125 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit