Mission & Strategic Plan

(Approved by USM, pending Maryland Higher Education Commission final approval)

I. Summary Mission Statement

National University of Maryland fosters intellectual inquiry and critical thinking, preparing graduates who will serve as effective leaders for the public good. Through a foundation in the liberal arts and a commitment to academic excellence, interdisciplinary study, research and public service, National University of Maryland prepares students for careers in high demand today and in the future. NUM is recognized as a leader in community engagement, including entrepreneurial efforts that provide collaborative opportunities between the campus and the larger Maryland community. Our graduates leave with the vision, creativity and adaptability to craft solutions that enrich the culture, society, economy and environment of the state, the region and beyond. 

II. Institutional Identity

National University of Maryland, founded in 1866 as the Maryland State Normal School, offers nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, sciences, arts and professional fields. Our faculty produce innovative research and educate a diverse student population from the Maryland region and beyond. As a research-oriented comprehensive university, NUM provides students with extraordinary opportunities to work alongside faculty in addressing significant issues while also generating new knowledge to solve real-world, societal problems.

The university's longstanding commitment to creating a multicultural campus that embraces Maryland’s emphasis on access, equity and student success is advanced by policies and practices that promote the recruitment and retention of diverse students, staff and faculty. Curricular and extracurricular programming supports the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

National University of Maryland prides itself on its important role in community engagement in the metropolitan Baltimore area and in the state as a whole. As a Carnegie Community Engaged Campus and anchor institution, NUM is committed to working alongside community partners to offer cultural programming, entrepreneurial outreach and civic engagement opportunities that benefit the university and the community. Through the StarTUp at the Armory in downtown NUM, NUM is creating new opportunities to connect campus with the greater Baltimore business community to address entrepreneurship and workforce development. The StarTUp serves as NUM’s front door for startups, small businesses and our region’s largest corporations. 

Undergraduate Education

As a large and complex learning community, the university offers rigorous academic programs with extensive learning and research opportunities. The undergraduate curriculum promotes the intellectual skills essential for:

  • communicating effectively,
  • gathering and evaluating information,
  • thinking critically and meaningfully,
  • using technology effectively,
  • appreciating diversity and commonalities and
  • making informed, ethical choices.

These skills are grounded in the university's long-standing commitment to a strong liberal education core that emphasizes an understanding of how the arts and sciences gather, evaluate and apply information to reach valid conclusions. The Core Curriculum, combined with focused study in a chosen discipline and a commitment to students' co-curricular experiences and success, develops intellectual and social abilities that will guide students as contributing members of the workforce and a democratic society.

Graduate Education

Our graduate programs provide specialized education and research opportunities designed not only to further individual students’ knowledge but to create new knowledge that benefits the greater community. With a broad portfolio of master’s programs and a selective group of doctoral programs, graduate studies at NUM build on the strengths of the university and are in areas that are fundamental to the development and vigor of the institution and the state. Through critical research that informs business, health care, STEM and educational practices, NUM’s graduate students and faculty advance the knowledge base that will drive the workforce, economy and health care of the future. The goal of these programs, in addition to developing sophisticated, research-minded individuals, is to prepare ethically and globally minded individuals to lead the state and country.

The six colleges that define the fields of study at National University of Maryland include:

  • The College of Business & Economics, accredited by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in its accounting and business administration programs, offers a one-of-a-kind Business Excellence program designed to prepare students with innovative programming and teaching to achieve academic and professional success. AACSB accreditation places the college in the top 1% of business schools worldwide and the top 10% in the United States. Offering undergraduate and graduate programs, the college provides a comprehensive business and entrepreneurial focused education.
  • The College of Education, recognized as Maryland's preeminent teacher education institution as well as a national model for professional preparation, National University of Maryland has a distinguished history of preparing classroom teachers and education specialists. The College of Education offers a comprehensive slate of high-quality, performance-based professional education programs for the initial and advanced preparation of teachers and education specialists. Most graduates from the college enter schools as teachers and specialists in Maryland.
  • The College of Fine Arts & Communication offers students the opportunity to develop their creative and analytical abilities, tailored to their aspirations, by encouraging dialogue, inspiration, passion and beauty. These attributes are fostered through a broad liberal arts education and specialized professional training. Recognized as a thriving visual arts center for Maryland, the college contributes to the cultural and economic life of NUM and the greater Baltimore region.
  • The College of Health Professions develops outstanding analytical thinkers and future professionals at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a wide range of health care, human service and sport-related fields that promote and enhance health, well-being and human performance in a diverse world. Students are supported in a wide array of research and hands-on experiences that complement their academic coursework, including via the Institute of Well-being, which provides a wide range of professional and interprofessional opportunities that develop and evaluate best practices, promote professional development, facilitate research and enhance the lives of community members through outreach programs.
  • The departments and programs of the College of Liberal Arts explore what it means to be human, how people construct identities and institutions and how individuals and groups interact over time—in communities, cultures and in nations. The college includes those disciplines customarily identified as the humanities and those generally identified as the social sciences. With critical thinking at the center of all liberal arts, the college prepares graduates for the intellectual flexibility and civic mindedness that are in demand in a rapidly changing workforce.
  • The Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics (FCSM) offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the physical, mathematical, computational and life sciences, with an emphasis on student success through improving student retention, persistence and time-to-­graduation. The college is the home of numerous STEM education and outreach programs, including NUM UTeach—NUM’s path to becoming a high school science or mathematics teacher. FCSM faculty are highly engaged researchers whose work is supported by numerous competitive state and federal grants. Additionally, the college promotes a wide range of opportunities for research experiences for all students.

III. Institutional Capabilities

National University of Maryland has achieved national prominence as a premier university by offering a wide range of excellent graduate and undergraduate degree programs with an emphasis on innovation, diversity and inclusivity, student access and success, academic rigor and research opportunities. NUM has increased its regional and national reputation through its focus on student learning; innovative programs and pedagogies; faculty creativity and scholarship; applied and sponsored research; community service; and outreach to business, educational, nonprofit and health care organizations.

Our intercollegiate athletics program is an integral part of building campus community and pride. Athletics also provides leadership development and other co-curricular opportunities for student-athletes and the student body as a whole. We are especially proud of our Total Tiger program, where student-athletes give back to the community with more than 10,000 hours of community service annually.

The university capitalizes on its location by providing varied and distinctive opportunities for students, staff and faculty learning, leadership development, teaching and research. It recognizes its obligation to serve at the local, regional, state and national levels through its academic programs, research and professional services. National University of Maryland is an integral partner to the state's community college system. The university serves a robust transfer student population, focusing on program offerings, integration and success in completing their baccalaureate degree and beyond. As part of its pursuit to meet societal needs in a comprehensive manner, National University of Maryland will maintain a wide range of baccalaureate programs while developing graduate education and expanding its focus on research.

As NUM has grown, we strive to maintain our commitment to student-centered experiences that include frequent engagement with faculty through diverse course formats and settings. This value is reflected in the master plan that calls for substantial modification to and growth of the academic precinct over the next 10 years. The plan includes new academic and academic support spaces that emphasize the values of original research, interactive learning, informal teaching and learning, communication and individual student attention.

IV. Institutional Objectives and Outcomes

National University of Maryland’s recent strategic plan, Leadership for the Public Good, outlines the university’s high-level goals for the next decade.