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Research & Professional Missions

As a premier public research university and land grant institution, the University of Maryland advances two graduate missions: our research mission creates new knowledge and prepares the next generation of knowledge producers; and our professional mission translates research into applied knowledge and provides current and future professionals with invaluable skills. The Graduate School leads this university effort.

The Research Mission

The PhD, the signature degree of the research university, defines the University of Maryland’s national and international reputation and determines our standing in such prestigious peer organizations as the Association of American Universities, the Big Ten’s Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and Universitas 21, a consortium of select international research universities. The purpose of the PhD is to create new knowledge.

Graduates from the university’s PhD program may enter the professoriate as the next generation of researchers, scholars, and teachers; or they may enter other sectors of the economy as researchers, leaders, or “change agents.” Where they go is not paramount; what they achieve and contribute is.

The Professional Mission

The professional master’s degree and graduate certificates enhance the university’s national and international stature, in fields such as business or engineering, and sharpen our profile in the region and state, in fields such as agriculture or education. Their purpose is to apply new and existing knowledge.

Our professional programs include established degrees with long histories, such as the MBA or the Masters of Engineering, as well as new degrees in emerging fields, such as cybersecurity and informatics. Graduates of our professional programs earn a degree that is critical to advancing a current career or launching a new one.