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Academic Showcase

Academic Showcase is the largest exhibition of undergraduate student learning on the UMD campus. Each spring during Showcase, several hundred sophomore Scholars present on their practicum experiences to faculty, students, parents and other members of the University of Maryland (UMD) community. Marking the completion of their two years in the program, sophomores create and share academic posters, roundtable dialogues, performances and more.

In recent years, Academic Showcase has taken place on a single day across multiple floors of the Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center. This year's Academic Showcase will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024.

Scenes from 2023 Academic Showcase

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scholars fill Edward St. John building with posters and chat in groups
During the 27th Annual Academic Showcase, more than 550 sophomores students, representing majors and colleges from across the University of Maryland campus, presented on their capstone projects.
students look at media scholars displays
student points at poster
student stands in front of academic showcase posters
students discuss poster
students at table look at laptop
Marilee discusses projects with three students
student smiles at table discussion
student discusses poster with faculty


Showcase launched in 1997 to encourage Scholars students to design and present academic posters—training for the type of experience they may later encounter at academic conferences or similar gatherings.

It has since evolved into an opportunity for our sophomores to synthesize their capstone experience and share those insights with other members of their academic community. Not only do students learn presentation skills, but they also experience first hand the valuable discourse, and additional learning, that arises from communicating their findings.

Learn more about the history and goals of Academic Showcase.

Past years

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Photo shows room lined with posters and students standing against them
Scenes from Academic Showcase 2022
During the 26th Annual Academic Showcase, more than 550 sophomores students, representing majors and colleges from across the University of Maryland campus, presented on their capstone projects. Here, Global Public Health Scholars took over the first-floor atrium of the Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center to present their academic posters.
One male student gestures at an academic poster while a second male student looks on

Different Scholars programs choose different formats for their students' Showcase presentations. In this photo, a Science and Global Change student (left) presented his academic poster to a fellow student. The poster distilled what he learned during his research practicum.
Students gathered around a table with laptops, listening to a female student talking

For their capstones, sophomore Arts Scholars often undertake an art project they conceive of and develop, or lead a workshop. The results are displayed (or presented) at the annual Arts Fest exhibition, which typically takes place about a week before Academic Showcase. At the 2022 Showcase, sophomores then relayed to first-year Scholars the lessons they learned in the process of completing their capstone projects.
Female student standing by a screen makes a presentation

Math major Maria Nikolaitchik, a sophomore Science, Discovery and the Universe Scholar, was one of 11 featured presenters who made special keynote talks during Academic Showcase 2022. Her presentation was titled, “Quantifying Home Range Shifts after Intraspecies Contact in Canids and Felids.”
Students listen to a panel of three students talking about a topic

Public Leadership students participated in a conference-stye panel where sophomores could present on their practicum experiences and field questions from first-year students.
Students sitting around a TV screen take in a student PowerPoint presentation

In keeping with the business underpinnings of its program, Business, Society and the Economy Scholars created and presented PowerPoint presentations to underscore what they learned in their practica (typically internships, research, service-learning or global learning). Here, Assistant Director Claudia Donnelly looked on as a sophomore BSE student presented to his fellow students.
Photo shows room with several large tables with students seated around them, engaged in discussion

Science, Technology and Society (STS) sophomores facilitated roundtable discussions on a technology issue that affects society.
Students gathered around a table with a big boardgame-like artifact in the middle

STS sophomores created physical artifacts (like the one shown in the middle of the table) to better illustrate the issue at hand and engage their peers in discussion.

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