The University of Maryland, College Park, is a public research university, the flagship campus of the University System of Maryland, and the original 1862 land-grant institution in Maryland. It is one of only 61 members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). In keeping with the legislative mandates of 1988 and 1999, the University of Maryland is committed to achieving excellence as the State's primary center of research and graduate education and the institution of choice for undergraduate students of exceptional ability and promise. While the University has already attained national distinction, it intends to rank among the very best public research universities in the United States. To realize its aspirations and fulfill its mandates, the University advances knowledge, provides outstanding and innovative instruction, and nourishes a climate of intellectual growth in a broad range of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields. It also creates and applies knowledge for the benefit of the economy and culture of the State, the region, the nation and beyond.
As the flagship of the University System of Maryland, the University shares its research, educational and technological strengths with other institutions and their constituencies in the USM and throughout the State. The University's academic programs and expanding computer and information technology infrastructure serve many audiences, and the entire State has access to and depends on the University's libraries. In conjunction with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the University serves the State's agricultural needs through the Maryland Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station. The University delivers continuing education programs that are consistent with its research mission and core competencies to an increasing number of degree-seeking and professional audiences. Using technology, the University provides selected quality programs to audiences worldwide to share its knowledge and extend and enhance educational opportunities. The University also provides administrative support to other USM institutions in the areas of accounting, communications, engineering and architectural services, environmental safety, personnel management, and purchasing.
The University values the Ph.D. and terminal professional degrees such as the M.B.A. as its signature degrees, but it also awards a wide range of bachelor's, master's and other doctoral degrees. Degree programs are offered in agriculture and natural resources, architecture, behavioral and social sciences, business and management, computer, mathematical and physical sciences, creative and performing arts, education, engineering, health and human performance, humanities, journalism, life sciences, information studies, and public affairs. Its faculty achieve national and international renown for their research and scholarship, serve society at a distinguished level, are innovative and creative teachers, and participate in the tradition of shared governance. The highly qualified academic, professional, and non-exempt members of the staff provide both support and leadership for the University's educational, research, and service activities.
The University counts among its greatest strengths and a major component of its excellence the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff. It is committed to equal educational opportunity. It strives to hire a diverse faculty and staff of exceptional achievement through affirmative action, to celebrate diversity in all of its programs and activities, and to recruit and retain qualified graduate and undergraduate minority students.