QUEST Curriculum

QUEST students complete four core courses and one elective for a total of 17 credits. Students who complete all five courses earn a notation on their transcript and gain skills in teamwork, process improvement, systems thinking, product design and development, data analysis, and oral and written communication. Learn more about the QUEST curriculum.

QUEST students work in multidisciplinary teams on team-based, experiential learning projects in each course. QUEST projects focus on real challenges facing organizations and society today. Students apply total quality tools, process improvement methods, design techniques, and systems thinking principles to develop real and immediately applicable innovations that improve processes, drive productivity, and reduce costs for clients.

QUEST Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply quality management tools, improve processes, and design systems.
  2. Communicate ideas effectively in professional environments through oral presentations.
  3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing.
  4. Manage projects and people using effective project management tools.
  5. Manage the new product development process for a new product or service that addresses an opportunity or problem.
  6. Use business etiquette skills to network and communicate in diverse professional settings and behave in a professional and ethical manner.
  7. Use quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques.
  8. Work in multidisciplinary teams with an understanding of different roles and how to negotiate conflict in these situations.
  9. Work in multidisciplinary teams to evaluate, analyze and recommend solutions to real-world problems provided by corporate sponsors.

QUEST students are admitted into a cohort of 45 students and complete our four required courses in sequence with their cohort. Learn more about the QUEST course sequence by cohort. Additionally, QUEST courses may count as general education or elective requirements towards your degree. Learn more about how QUEST fits into your major.

QUEST Courses

The four core courses are required for all QUEST students and are taken in sequence by cohort:

Introduction to Design and Quality (BMGT/ENES 190H)

Students learn and apply design practices to create new products and services. Working in multidisciplinary teams, students use quality and process improvement methods to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to real-world problems. Teams complete two projects: a product innovation challenge and a process improvement project with an on-campus client.

Applied Quantitative Analysis (BMGT 438A/ENES 489A)

Students do a deep dive into data science while keeping a connection to the real-world challenges of finding, ingesting, analyzing, and acting on data. In multidisciplinary teams, students work with a real data set provided by a client and learn how to translate the raw data into useful information. 

Designing Innovative Systems (BMGT/ENES 390H)

Students work in multidisciplinary teams to develop an understanding of complex systems that incorporate elements of business and technical design and analyze how these systems evolve over time and may be shaped by technology disruptions, internal decisions, and external forces. Students apply these concepts to real-world complex systems in a team environment.

QUEST Capstone Professional Practicum (BMGT/ENES 490H)

Students work in multidisciplinary teams to provide recommendations to identified organizational challenges for a corporate client. Students utilize and enhance their skills from other QUEST courses in order to provide value to the client. See examples of past capstone projects.

Cohorts 33 and above are required to take at least one QUEST-only elective (taught by QUEST professors, only enroll QUEST students) from the list below:

 Mentoring Multidisciplinary Teams (BMGT/ENES 397)

In this course, QUEST students practice essential skills for mentoring and coaching multidisciplinary teams. These include effective communication, facilitation, conflict resolution, and the ability to motivate. Students will practice these skills as mentors for student teams from BMGT/ENES 190H. In the process, they will strengthen their knowledge of design and quality techniques. Students must apply to take this course. Applications are released each spring.

 Quality Web Development in Business (BMGT 408C)

This class helps students understand the technical and business components of building a web system. From client-server computing to databases to HTML to JavaScript, this class will walk you through the full stack of web development to move beyond a wireframe into building a fully functioning web system. This course is open to all students and offered in the fall semesters.

 Design and Innovation in Silicon Valley (BMGT 438G/ENES 489Q)

QUEST2SiliconValley students learn about design, innovation, and quality by studying the operations of Silicon Valley companies. Students learn first-hand from a number of these organizations during site visits over spring break. Students are assigned companies to research and prepare informative dossiers for their classmates before the trip. After the trip, students share takeaways from the trip as well as ideas for improving the design processes at the firms. This course is open to all students and offered in the spring semesters.

 Scoping Experiential Learning Projects (BMGT/ENES 491)

In this course, often referred to as "Scoping," QUEST students cultivate relationships with new and current corporate partners and prepare project scopes for QUEST's intro course, BMGT/ENES 190H, data course, BMGT 438A/ENES 489A, and capstone course, BMGT/ENES 490H. Students communicate independently with clients and attend class visits to a variety of potential project sites. This course is open to all QUEST students who have completed BMGT/ENES 190H and offered every semester.

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Quality (ARHU390H)

In this course, students explore the differences in quality perceptions between US and non-US consumers, the sources of these differences, and the challenges they present in measuring expectations, performance, and customer satisfaction in a multinational business environment. This course is open to all students and is offered in the spring semesters. 

 Study Abroad (course code changes)

QUEST offers a study abroad course each winter break. In the past few years, QUEST has traveled to various locations in Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and Japan, as well as Spain.

Questions about the QUEST curriculum?
Contact the Curriculum Review Committee at rhsmith-quest-crc@umd.edu.

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