The following students who attend suburban Maryland schools are among approximately 15,000 students to be named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists in the 23rd annual program. They were selected from more than one million students who entered the 1978 Merit program. The semifinalists represent the top half of 1 percent of the nation's most academically talented young people.

The semifinalists are the highest-scoring students in each state who took the 1976 Preliminary Scholarship Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To be considered for scholarships, they must advance to finalist standing by meeting additional requirements, such as being fully endorsed and recommended for scholarships by their secondary school principals, presenting school records that confirm high academic standing, and substantiating their high qualifying test scores with equivalent scores on a second examination.

More than 90 per cent of the semifinalists are expected to qualify as finalists and to receive certificates of merit next February, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Those who become finalists will compete for at least a thousand National Merit $1,000 scholarships, which are one-time nonrenewable awards.Finalists who meet preferential criteria designated by grantors will also be considered for about 2,900 four-year Merit scholarships to be offered in 1978.

The semifinalists are:

BELTSVILLE - High Point Senior High School: Michael S. Briggs, Charles R. Caswell, Charles C. Chu, Martin J. Nielen, Patricia J. Radko, and Paul A. Roush.

BETHESDA - Bethesda Chevy Chase High School: Diane L. Arnson, Laurence P. Colton, Ruth Fainberg, Hilarie C. Gaylin, David W. Gillman, Laura K. Jones, Leigh C. Pilzer, Melissa C. Smoot, Amy C. Sochard, Rachel A. Walpole, Ruth G. Watson, and Deborah E. White.

Holton Arms School: Carolyn D. Asbed, Christine L. Dibble, Jennifre C. Georgia, Victoria R. Masakowski, and Stacy A. Potts.

Landon School for Boys: Eric R. Datta, Kevin R. Drewyer, George R. Grover, Charles E. Knudsen, and Ralph C. Meima.

Stone Ridge Country Day School of the Sacred Heart: Victoria A. Godridge, Jane E. Jerome, Mary Pat Mary, Kathleen A. Meagher, Catherine M. Shook, and Sheila M. Teimourian.

Walt Whitman High School: Bradford S. Almeda, Valerie A. Asher, Eve M. Bernstein, Laura J. Blunt, Laura D. Cassedy, Craig R. Chapin, Andrew G. Chritton, Sharon F. Chu, David E. Clarke, Sharon L. Farkas, Julia E. Guttman, John P. Ikeda, Lisa R. James, David C. Johnson, Katherine M. Kiefer, Daniel E. Leader, James D. Levy, Ben C. Lin, Frank L. Lowenstein, Teresa A. Mulliken, Marc E. Norman, Nicholas F. Reingold, Elizabeth A. Rowe, Jamie C. Rucker, David Scolnic, Robin L. Shaffert, Charles C. Sheffield, Daniel W. Smith, Geoffrey S. Smith, David G. Standaert, Peter D. Walsh, and Mark W. Weinles.

Walter Johnson High School: Mary K. Burke, Paul A. Cooper, Andrea L. Cree, Gregory M. Foster, Michael P. Harvey, Dennis M. Hawver, Anne M. Kirkland, Lauren L. McFarlane, Linda A. Parkhurst, David R. Stein, and Stephanie A. Voss.

BLADENSBURG - Bladensburg Senior High School: Peter L. Toth. Elizabeth Seton High School: Anne M. Pagano.

BOWIE - Bowie Senior High School: Mary E. Bernsten.

COLUMBIA - Oakland Mills High School: Robert L. Blackburn, Mark D. Higuera, Katrina C. Kamantauskas, Sheila M. Murphy, Jack B. Sheriff, and David L. Stebenne.

Wilde Lake High School: Duane A. Eareckson, Cheryl A. Gira, and Jeanine D. Hruby.

DAMASCUS - Damascus High School: Sharon E. Abrams, Glenn J. Allin, Robert B. McDiffett, Curt T. Reimann, and John W. Roberts.

ELLICOTT CITY - Howard High School: Jon Keating, Mount Hebron High School: Anthony R. Cooke, Heather A. Kelley, Frances R. Knight, and Gregory G. Koppenhoefer.

GAITHERSBURG - Gaithersburg Senior High School: Carolyn J. Rodeffer, Lorena I. Sick, and Grace A. Stafford.

GERMANTOWN - Seneca Valley High School: Charles J. Choi, Carol L. Johnston, Martin G. Manley, Mary E. Spencer, and Frederick S. Titus.

GLEN BURNIE - Glen Burnie Senior High School: Jon Thompson. Old Mill Senior High School: Mathew H. Reilly.

GREENBELT - Eleanor Roosevelt Senior High School: Lisa J. Spiegelthal.

HYATTSVILLE - Dematha Catholic High School for Boys: David F. Russo and David S. Wilson. Northwestern Senior High School: Joanna L. Jeffery, Jean A. Keller, and Russell M. Snyder.

KENSINGTON - Academy of the Holy Cross: Christine M. Butler. Albert Einstein Senior High School: Roberta L. Dougherty, Kenneth E. Dworkin, and Linda P. Falcao.

LA PLATA - La Plata High School: Craig A. Birkett.

LAUREL - Laurel Senior High School: Diane L. Donaldson and Philip A. McGee.

POTOMAC - Bullis School: Christopher D. Fox. Winston Churchill High School: Mitchell E. Bailes, Yusuk Chang, David B. Glazer, David W. Halligan, Mark A. Huffman, Theressa L. James, Mathew D. Lerner, Richard A. Lowenthal, Judith A. Seldin, Deborah V. Woodcock, and Sydney S. Yoon.

ROCKVILLE - Charles W. Wooward High School: Eric A. Hanson, Hilary J. Eassler, Stephen I. Robertson, Anne E. Shaughnessy, and Christopher K. Shea.

Colonel Z. Magruder High School: Philip R. Hallenbeck, Guy J. Johnson and Wendelyn J. Schmidt.

Georgetown Preparatory School: Stephen J. Bujno, Gregory J. Case, Sean W. O'Malley, and Thomas B. O'Toole.

R. Montgomery Senior High School: Margaret R. Inskeep.

Robert E. Peary High School: John F. Bell, Barbara A. Bratzel, Juliann Goldman, Karen L. Guertler, and Jennifer G. La Rue.

Rockville High School: Diane Avedisian.

Thomas S. Wootton High School: Thor Alan Bestul, Patricia M. Clem, Julia K. Glass, Leslie C. Hammond, Thomas J. Kelly, Kelvin P. Lee, Ehud B. Reiter, Marcel E. Salive, and Susan L. Zuckerman.

SANDY SPRING - Sandy Spring Friends School: Thomas A. Oesher. Sherwood High School: Marianne Maccini.

SILVER SPRING - John F. Kennedy Senior High School: Judith A. Badner, Shari L. Bernstein, and Christopher R. Schuck.

Montgomery Blair High School: Emilie M. Amt, Timothy W. Boddy, Blair G. Ewing, Kathleen M. Ferry, Bruce L. Tobias, and Harry E. Yeide.

Northwood High School: John C. Bailer, Ann J. Banks, and Murray J.A. Peiperl.

Springbrook Senior High School: Robert E. Begun, James C. Crichton, William J. Dally, Andrea B. Kress, Seth P. Low, Steven J. Pollock, Donald E. Pugsley, Whitworth Stokes and Mark R. Waser.

Yeshiva High School: Eliezer Rosenfeld and David Shotkin.

UPPER MARLBORO - Large Senior High School: Carl S. Treichel. Queen Anne School: Patricia R. LaPlaca and Glen R. Taylor.

WALDORF - Thomas Stone High School: Luann C. Gruss.

WHEATON - Good Counsel High School: Daniel F. Zaic. Wheaton Senior High School: Kelsi J. Garretson.