The Robert H Smith School of Business is part of the University of Maryland, one of the well-regarded institutions sometimes referred to as "public Ivies".
Much of its identity comes from proximity to the power and wealth of Washington DC, with its main campus at College Park only eight miles from the capital’s downtown districts. Smith is one of the 12 schools and colleges located at College Park, and has other facilities at Shady Grove, in the university’s Baltimore campus and the Reagan International Building in central DC.
Founded in 1921 as the Department of Economics and Business Administration, it took its current name in 1998 following a donation of $15 million by alumnus Robert Smith, a property developer. There is an emphasis on critical thinking with the school website arguing that it is possible to become bogged-down in the detail of metrics while losing sight of which metrics matter.
Its 12 centres of excellence include the Center for Complexity in Business and the Center for International Business Excellence and Research (CIBER), part of a national network of 30 such research hubs created by the Department of Education in 2006.
It offered its first online MBA in 2013 and saw the number of students registering for the course more than double in the 2017/8 academic year. From July 2018 it has offered an online Micromasters programme providing credits towards the full MBA.
Another introduction in 2018 was the offer of a joint degree in partnership with the SP Jain School in Mumbai, India. Smith alumni include former Hewlett-Packard CEO and presidential aspirant Carly Fiorina and writer and actor Larry David.