In 1992, IBM launched an exciting opportunity for college campuses nationwide, offering grant funding to execute a multidisciplinary program for undergraduate students. The University of Maryland designed a proposal and was granted the funds to run a program. IBM/TQ launched in 1993 and was available to students majoring in business and engineering. The grant enabled five years worth of program events and projects for IBM/TQ students.
As the fifth year drew to a close, program administration proposed to keep the program at Maryland. Due to the success of its participants, the university agreed to support the program and QUEST (Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams) was born.
Over the years, the program has grown to include a larger student body and students from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.
In April 2012, QUEST welcomed its 20th cohort of students into the program and celebrated its 20th anniversary with an event at the Riggs Alumni Center. This celebration brought together current and incoming students, nearly 100 alumni, and current and former faculty and staff to reconnect, reminisce, and look toward the future of the program.
In spring of 2013, QUEST moved to a two cohort per year system for the first time, welcoming cohorts 21 and 22 into the program. Since then, the program has welcomed 90 new students each year.
QUEST has become a mainstay at the University of Maryland, College Park, providing a unique opportunity for students who are interested in multidisciplinary, hands-on learning experiences. In fall 2017, QUEST celebrated its 25th year with a gala at the Hotel at the University of Maryland.