What Is the Robert H. Smith School of Business?

The Robert H. Smith School of Business—informally known as the Smith School—is a business school located at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. The school offers undergraduate degrees, as well as graduate programs such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program.

The Smith School is home to departments in many of the traditional business school areas, such as accounting, operations, finance, and marketing.

Key Takeaways

  • The Smith School is a business school based at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.
  • It offers both undergraduate and graduate-level business programs.
  • The school is home to over 65,000 alumni, who have primarily found employment in the fields of consulting and financial services.

History of the Robert H. Smith School of Business

The precursor to the Smith School was founded in 1921 when the University of Maryland began offering a dedicated undergraduate business program within its existing Economics and Business Administration department. This program became a standalone institution in 1938 when it became known as the College of Commerce. The school’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program was introduced in 1947. 

The current iteration of the school began in 1998 when it was renamed the Robert H. Smith School of Business. This was done in honor of the University of Maryland alumnus Robert Hilton Smith, a prominent real estate developer, and philanthropist who donated approximately $15 million to the University of Maryland in that same year.

Today, the Smith School is home to about 6,000 students across all programs, of which roughly 175 are full-time MBA students. They are joined by a large staff of 170 full-time faculty members and an additional 30 part-time faculty members. The school’s MBA program regularly ranks among the 50 best MBA programs worldwide, as determined by media organizations such as The Financial Times, The Economist, and Forbes.

Alumni of the Robert H. Smith School of Business

Students who graduate from the Smith School will join an alumni network of over 65,000 people. This large community includes many notable members, such as Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour; Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ); and of course Robert H. Smith himself.

Among the many industries in which these alumni serve, the most common industries are consulting, financial services, general management, and marketing—with careers in consulting and financial services being the most common path pursued by Smith School alumni.

In recent years, the Smith School has taken steps to increase the flexibility and accessibility of its programs, launching its first online MBA program in 2013.