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Strategic Design

Fellows Program

The Strategic Design Fellows program in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is a unique opportunity for marketing and design undergraduate students to gain the skills through experiential learning that they need for today’s business and nonprofit world.
Strategic Design Fellows who began the program in the fall of 2023


In this 12-15 credit program, you'll learn strategic design thinking, a powerful framework for solving complex problems and creating innovative solutions while gaining hands-on experience working on real-world projects with businesses and nonprofits.

Senior Eunice Oh presenting her storyboard for a video in BMGT 458R

The University of Maryland Smith School of Business is one of a select number of business schools with such a cross-disciplinary program like the Strategic Design Fellows.

This hands-on program allows marketing students to learn everything they need to know to create stunning posters, print layouts, websites, videos, and more using Adobe Creative Suite.

With students' growing knowledge through ACS projects, they will be able to put their skills to the test by gaining real-world experience and competing in case competitions, where they’ll consult with businesses and/or nonprofits, collaborate with team members, and pitch final concepts to companies and judges in a 10-20 minute presentation.


SDF students Mia Benitez, Anne Currie, Kendyl Lane and Danielle Locatis pitching their College Park retail concept to judges.


Throughout the semester students  have the opportunity to participate in a variety of case competitions. 

An annual case competition that the BMGT 458B class participates in is the American Marketing Association (AMA) International Case Competition. The case sponsor will provide a detailed strategic marketing challenge for students to work on during the fall. 

In the spring of 2023, our SDF-AMA team was among the 3rd place awardees out of 72 college and university submissions and earned the honor to pitch their case solution to Wall Street Journal marketing staff.

SDF-AMA National Wall Street Journal AMA Case Competition. SDF-AMA participants included WSJ’s marketing lead, Smith students Briana DeRosa, Raphael Ukpelegbu, Sarah Cwerner, Audrey Rapp, Will Wilt, WSJ marketing judges.
Our students stand out as they gain a unique edge in the job market by combining design and marketing business practices to create and implement marketing campaigns that are both effective and visually appealing.


Design Fellows will master the creative problem-solving and innovative-thinking skills and experiences along with marketing strategy and design techniques needed to be competitive in the job market.

Cara Grazado works on a hand sketch in BMGT 458Q as part of her Strategic Design Fellows course requirements.

Through guest speakers, case competitions, field trips and alumni networking, students gain valuable skills to secure internships and launch their careers after graduation.


Judges Sam Blum, Haley Masker and Lauren Fagan critiquing the BMGT 458A retail concept pitches.


1. Be a rising senior (by special request), rising junior  or rising sophomore
2. Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
3. Must be a marketing or studio art major
4. Students who have not taken BMGT 350 – Principles of Marketing will be expected to take it concurrently with BMGT 458A and BMGT 458Q or R in the fall


Students will be selected by faculty teams in marketing and in art. Art students will be chosen on the basis of their portfolio submissions.

The SDF program welcomes students to apply each year.  The application window is
December 1st – February 15th. Interested applicants must meet the following criteria:
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