Newswise — The University of Maryland and its Robert H. Smith School of Business are launching two new undergraduate programs that will give highest-achieving students a big-picture view of business and industry in the changing workplace.

The Interdisciplinary Business Honors Living-Learning Program and the Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program are each designed to enrich the college experience for the highest-achieving undergraduate applicants and further nurture their intellectual curiosity.

“We're designing two close-knit communities of exceptional students and unparalleled business education through Smith,” says Victor Mullins, associate dean of undergraduate studies at Maryland Smith. “Both of these extraordinary programs offer a gateway of opportunity like no other in the country.” 

There is no application required for the two programs, which launch in fall 2022. Students are automatically considered for the programs through their application to UMD.

“I am excited about these programs, which are designed to attract and challenge exceptional students academically and prepare them to be those inspiring leaders who will shape the future and address the grand challenges of our time. These programs will be transformational for these students and future generations,” says Maryland Smith Dean Prabhudev Konana.

Smith also announced that it will create up to 50 new scholarships, to be awarded to a select group of students enrolled in the Smith Business Leadership Fellows program. The scholarships will be funded by a donation from William Longbrake, DBA ’76, whose generosity, Konana says, “will assist in our efforts to enroll, retain, graduate, and place a diverse community of exceptional leaders.”

The Interdisciplinary Business Honors Living-Learning Program

The Interdisciplinary Business Honors Living-Learning Program is a partnership between Maryland Smith and UMD’s highly acclaimed Honors College, supported as well by the Division of Student Affairs. Open to all majors, this groundbreaking two-year program for honors freshmen and sophomores challenges students to explore and imagine the future of business in the 21st century in the widest possible contexts.

The program combines cutting-edge exposure to today’s leading business methods, skills and issues with an exploration of academic fields, global domains, and the social issues and grand challenges that intersect with business in the 21st century. The program will be taught by star faculty members from Smith and across campus.  

Students in the Interdisciplinary Business Honors Program will be a part of a living/learning community of students in the Honors College. The residential component creates unique opportunities for collaboration and is a key part of the honors experience. Students will come from various majors and schools as well as Smith, says Joseph P. Bailey, assistant dean for specialty undergraduate programs at Maryland Smith.

“This program will give our students an opportunity to see how business is connected to a variety of disciplines,” says Bailey. “For students in the program who are not from the Smith School, they will appreciate how business impacts their field of study.”

During their freshman year, students in the honors program will be enrolled in two courses in addition to their other studies – the Future of Work, and the Future of Analysis. The courses will challenge students to think creatively and critically about markets, equitable growth, artificial intelligence in the workplace, the creative destruction process, healthcare affordability, social justice, and social and climate risks.

In their sophomore year, students will take three other honors-specific courses, with a focus on advanced interdisciplinary topics and with experiential learning opportunities in the form of internships, research projects with faculty members, business-related study abroad options or a capstone project.

“There are no limits to what students will be able to conceive, create, and engage through business in this program,” says Peter Mallios, executive director of the Honors College.

The Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program

The Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program will enroll outstanding Smith freshmen and will help them gain a big-picture perspective of the business world.

Fellows will take accelerated core business courses dedicated specifically to the program, and will be exposed to industry executives through discussions, lectures and internship and networking opportunities.

Fellows will be invited to participate in private meetings with industry executives, where they will learn more about leadership and the issues leaders face in their industries.