Visitor Information for the Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute

University of Maryland | Transportation to UMD | Transportation around Local Area | Lodging | Parking |  Local Attractions | Area Attractions |

Map to Department of English, Tawes Hall, University of Maryland

The University

The University of Maryland is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. UMD is the largest university both in the state and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. UMD was founded in 1856 as the state’s land-grant institution. 27,443 undergraduate students attend the university, and UMD declares that it “counts the diversity of its community as among its greatest strengths and integral to its mission of excellence.” Indeed, U.S. ethnic minority students and international students comprise nearly 48 percent of the university’s undergraduate student body. The English and Communication departments serve these students by offering them a robust rhetorical education. The English department offers two required rhetorically based General Education courses for all students through the Academic Writing Program and the Professional Writing Program, while the Communication department supports General Education requirements through its Oral Communications course.

The University of Maryland is located in College Park, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C. accessible via metro and other forms of public transportation. The University is less than 10 miles from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Library of Congress, while also being located in Prince George’s County, a majority-minority county that claims the most affluent African-American population in the nation.  College Park is simultaneously urban, suburban, and a college town, with access to some of the most influential political institutions in the world, surrounded by unusual racial diversity and disparities. 

Transportation to the University

  • CAR: The University is located at the nexus of two major highways—Interstate 95, the major north-south freeway on the east coast, and Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway that surrounds the D.C. metro area—making it easily accessible by car. For those who travel by car, pay-per-hour parking for visitors is available, at a maximum cost of $15 per day.
  • AIR: Three major airports—Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International (BWI, 30 miles from campus), Dulles International Airport (IAD, 35 miles), and Washington National Airport (DCA, 15 miles)—all service the region, making flight costs competitive and travel plans flexible.  All three airports are accessible by public transportation, DCA by Metrorail and BWI and IAD by Metrobus. 
    • SuperShuttle offers shared van service from all airports; call 1-800-258-3826 (1-800-BLUEVAN) to arrange 24-hour door-to-door service to most hotels, homes, and offices in the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area. The fare to College Park from BWI is ~$35; from National/Reagan Airport the fare is ~$33; from Dulles, ~$41.  
    • The Greenbelt-BWI Airport Express Line is a Metro nonstop bus service from BWI to Greenbelt Metro Station (fare is $7.50--MUST have exact change). It runs every 60 minutes (timetable). From the Greenbelt Metro station, take the Metro one stop to the College Park station where you can ride the UM Shuttle Bus to campus.
    • Also available at the BWI Ground Transportation area located at the lower level are LIMOUSINE SERVICE (301) 912-2000 and BWI TAXI SERVICE (410) 859-1100; the fare is ~$65 to College Park.
    • Taxi fare from DCA to College Park is typically ~$60. You should verify with the driver that the fare is near that range. There is a metrorail line servicing College Park from National/Reagan to College Park. Take the "Yellow Line" to Mt. Vernon Square Convention Center, then transfer to the "Green Line" to College Park.
  • TRAIN: Major Amtrak routes from the north, south, and west all run to or through the D.C. region, with both Union Station (D.C.) and New Carrollton Station (Maryland) easily accessible to the University campus.
  • METRO: The METRO system includes Metrorail maps at all stations and on each car of their trains which easily indicate every stop for each (color-coded) rail line. Schedules. As you approach College Park from Washington, to your left is the West side of the Metro Station (Calvert Road) (~20-40 minute walk to Campus). However, taxis and shuttle bus pickup lanes are located on the East (right) side. To contact a local taxi, call (301) 322-8877; often, there are cabs already waiting for passengers at the stations.
  • UM Shuttle Bus: The University of Maryland operates a shuttle service (red & white UM Shuttle buses) which runs Mon.-Fri. to the College Park Metrorail station at 15-minute intervals beginning at 6:40 AM from the East Side of the metrorail station. (The last return from campus will be at 7:50 PM; during academic year the last run is at 3:00 AM. Stop and Pick-up points on campus are at the UM Circle and at Lot HH by the Stamp (Student) Union, which is two blocks away from Tawes (see campus map).

Transportation around the Local Area

The University is located along Metrorail’s Green Line, which takes riders from College Park into D.C. in approximately 20 minutes. College Park’s bikeshare program, mBike, has stations around campus and the Metro station, which visitors can rent for a $6 daily fee.  


  • HOTEL: The Hotel at the University of Maryland. Rates: $199, single occupancy; $199, double occupancy; $209, triple occupancy; $219, quadruple occupancy, per night for the duration of your stay. To receive the conference rate, reserve by May 1, 2019, by calling 301-277-7777 and mentioning the "Rhetoric Society of America."
  • DORMITORIES: South Hill Suites, in double rooms with bathrooms in the suite. Typical rooms are pictured via the link listed for "South Hill Suites." Price includes wi-fi access and a linens package.
    • Reserve by April 12, 2019: $211 per person for shared occupancy, Sunday-Wednesday nights; $109 per person for shared occupancy, Thursday-Friday night.
    • No refunds available after May 15, 2019; refund requests made prior to May 15 incur a $25 processing fee.


Pay-per-hour parking for visitors is available, at a maximum cost of $15 per day. Most of the institute activites center on Tawes Hall; nearest parking garages include Mowatt Lane, Stadium Lane, and Union Lane garages. Mowatt Lane Garage tends to be most accessible, with the most available spaces and least competition from other campus activities, during summer months. Campus map.

Local Attractions—College Park

College Park is an increasingly vibrant suburban college town.  It hosts entertainment in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center as well as the MilkBoy ArtHouse. The College Park Airport is the longest continuously operating air field in the world, and its associated museum tells its long history. The College Park area boasts a critical mass of bars and restaurants, including a local microbrewery and an outpost of Busboys and Poets restaurant and coffeehouse, to satisfy any group of workshopping rhetoric scholars.  

Local Attractions—Washington D.C.

For scholars of rhetoric, Washington, D.C. area attractions speak for themselves

  • institutions of government (White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Pentagon)
  • monuments and memorials (Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington Monument, Marine Corps War Memorial [Iwo Jima Memorial], National WWII Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial).
  • libraries and archives (Library of Congress, National Archives, Folger Shakespeare Library, Sewall-Belmont House)
  • museums (Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of the American Indian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Newseum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection).  

We envision Institute participants taking advantage of these local attractions before and after the Institute, as well as in the off hours of the sessions.  We also envision programming a few “hybrid” seminars and workshops, where participants would split their time between on-site meetings at the University and “field trips” to relevant archives, institutions, and memorial sites. We believe workshops and seminars that take advantage of UMD’s excellent location will create a unique experience for Institute