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Federal & State Laws, Definitions & Resources


U.S. Department of Education (DOE)-Office for Civil Rights: Shared Ancestry or Ethnic Characteristics

The laws that OCR enforces do not expressly address religious discrimination. However, the law OCR enforces that prohibits schools from discriminating based on race, color, or national origin (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) protects students of any religion from discrimination, including harassment, based on a student's actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, or citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity.

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)- Civil Rights Division: Types of Educational Opportunities Discrimination

The Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section enforces several federal civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, language, sex, religion, and disability in schools and institutions of higher education.

Campus Resources

Religious Accommodations

Students, staff and faculty have the right to request an accommodation for religious observance if their sincerely held religious beliefs conflict with a University policy, procedure, or other academic or employment requirement.

  • Staff and Faculty should make requests for religious accommodations directly to their supervisors.
  • Students should speak with their professors and department chairs, as necessary.

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion provides active oversight, coordination,
and evaluation of the University of Maryland’s equity, diversity and inclusion activities; manages and tracks implementation of the Strategic Plan for Diversity; and encourages and supports the efforts of units to achieve their diversity goals.

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