Spring Fever: QUEST Electives Edition

The three required QUEST courses allow students to work in multidisciplinary teams to apply quality management tools, develop products that address real-world problems, and use the conflict negotiation and business etiquette skills needed to consult clients. However, these core courses alone will not ensure that QUEST students have a well-rounded outlook on process improvement, system design, and quality management.

Each QUEST student has his or her own individual interests, ambitions, and motives. QUEST’s five-course curriculum includes two elective courses, which gives students the freedom to pick two classes out of a comprehensive list with over 25 options. This allows students to take classes that intrigue them while simultaneously incorporating their passions into their QUEST experience. Many of you may wish to take an elective this coming spring 2018 semester, so it is important to understand your options and how the electives help you pursue your career goals.

There are several quality courses this spring that are QUEST-specific and are taught by QUEST professors. These courses include BMGT/ENES 397 and BMGT/ENES 491, as well as several classes that revolve around visits to places like Silicon Valley and Spain. These are well-worth looking into if you wish to get closer with QUEST students across cohorts or get to know the QUEST faculty better.


QUEST-Specific Electives

1) BMGT/ENES 397 is an engaging class that allows students to leave an impact on QUEST by guiding new QUEST students through the process of 190H and by doing a semester-long project for QUEST that requires a thorough knowledge of design and quality techniques.

“397 is a great opportunity to see 190H from the other side, and it comes with the added bonus of going to QUEST camp again!” – Akshay Guthal (Q27)


2) BMGT/ENES 491 is a course in which students play a role in finding the various consulting and innovation projects for 190H and 490H students. This course gives students a great opportunity to make connections with some of QUEST’s corporate partners and prepare for 490H. 491 is the class where students conduct site visits and talk to various departments on campus in order to scope out potential consulting projects new QUEST students can work on in their 190H class. Michael Vetter from Cohort 28 enjoyed his time in 491 and wants students deciding on electives to know:

“[Scoping is] a great opportunity to develop your professional skills and learn more about real businesses and how QUEST connects with them.” – Michael Vetter (Q28)

3) The QUEST immersion courses are amazing ways to spend your winter and spring semesters. Look into BMGT438G/ENES489Q if you’re interested in going to the Silicon Valley with Dr. Bailey and learning about design, innovation, and quality through various site visits and company research. BMGT438G/ENES489Q is a great way to network with professionals in your field and get the nitty gritty on what really goes on behind the scenes in successful tech companies.

“Exploring the technological culture that defines Silicon Valley, ranging from their start-ups to the Big 4 Tech, provided insight that can’t be paralleled in a classroom setting.” – Andrew Jones (Q26)


BMGT438M will allow students to visit Barcelona and Madrid this January to see how things like culture and architecture have an impact on innovation. Recent study abroad trips included QUEST2Japan and QUEST2China, where students were able to go on site visits to companies such as Toyota and Nikon in order to see how business cultures abroad differ from those in the United States.

“[QUEST2Japan was] literally the best trip I’ve ever taken in my life… QUEST study abroad trips are super unique experiences that everyone should take advantage of.” – Akshay Guthal (Q27)

Outside-of-QUEST Electives

1) BMGT 332 is just one of the many classes that teaches students topics such as project management, systems analysis and design, operations management, and managing for innovation and quality.

“Optimization based on data is extremely important, since proper data analysis prevents resources from being wasted, which would be tremendously detrimental to an organization.” – Roger Mao (Q29)

If you’re interested to see what electives can double as one of your major requirements or upper level electives, you can visit the electives guide here.

2) ENME 466 is one of the most popular electives, as it teaches students how to use Lean Six Sigma and how to apply the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) strategy in projects with corporate partners.

Even with the plethora of possible electives one can choose from, QUEST students do not have to be limited to these options. You can always nominate an elective to be considered for the program curriculum! Just email Dr. Herrmann at jwh2@umd.edu to see if you can get one of your favorite classes to count as a QUEST elective. The Curriculum Review Committee will review all requests and see if any can be approved. This is just one of the ways QUEST takes input from its students to continuously improve its program and keep its community curious, engaged in critical thinking, and fascinated with what QUEST has to offer.




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