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MICA, JHU Carey Business School Announce Partnership to Launch M.B.A./M.A.

First M.B.A./M.A. Collaboration of Its Kind to Focus on Innovative Thinking Makes National News

Posted 11.11.11 by mica communications

M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership program in development for 2012

BALTIMORE - MICA and the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School announce a formal partnership to launch the M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership (in development for 2012), focusing on the integration of creative thinking into all aspects of organizational management and development. In addition to providing the knowledge and skills traditionally associated with M.B.A. programing, this fulltime, dual degree M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership will seek to prepare graduates to assume roles as transformative leaders. This is the only program in the country where students can simultaneously work to earn graduate degrees from both a major college of art and design and a business school at a major research university.

"This dual-degree program presents an exciting and novel opportunity to develop a new generation of design leaders with the knowledge, skills and talents that will enable them to have impact across multiple disciplines and domains," said William W. Agresti, professor and associate dean for professional programs at the Carey Business School. "It will build the management and innovation capacity of designers, engineers and budding entrepreneurs, while instilling the confidence that comes from a solid understanding of the core business disciplines. It's difficult to imagine a timelier program, given the tremendous need for innovation, collaboration and leadership for advancing organizations and society."

"The new M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership draws upon the complementary strengths of two great institutions and builds upon their history of successful collaboration," said Ray Allen, MICA's vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Through an active and sustained immersion in the creative process grounded in a proven business curriculum, graduates from this program will be prepared to engage and lead organizations in the discovery of fresh and innovative solutions to real-world challenges."

The M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership program enables students to:
• Earn an M.B.A. and an M.A. in Design Leadership in this 18 to 20-month, 66-credit program of study that allows students to gain double the skill sets of a traditional M.B.A. program in a compressed period of time.
• Enhance in-depth knowledge in diverse areas including strategy, finance, statistics, economics, ethics, law, marketing, operations and human capital management along with visualization, prototyping, cultural relevance and awareness, design theory, sustainability and social responsiveness.
• Develop expertise in strategy formulation, audience targeting, research and design thinking through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to problem solving.
• Study in a cohort of peers with a broad array of expertise and knowledge.
• Learn through educational experiences that immerse students in real-world situations presented by companies, nonprofits, governments and individuals.

While most business programs focus solely on the mastery of traditional business practices, the M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership program takes business leadership a step further-integrating an approach to meeting challenges that centers on making connections between ideas, resources and people that may not appear obvious. Graduates will be able to imagine ways to leverage opportunities that break standard molds of business practices and create new expectations among customers, companies and the public. As business leaders, they will be prepared to test assumptions, while combining both intuitive and logical approaches and working collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams to solve complex problems through iterative processes.

"This unique program is an elegant marriage of business, engineering and design," said David Gracyalny, dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at MICA. "The business world is seeking innovators. Simply understanding how the business world works is no longer adequate. What are needed now are people who not only make cosmetic changes to products and services, but really look at how and why those products and services exist in the first place."

Students will come from backgrounds that include business management, marketing, engineering, finance, art and design, architecture, fine arts and other fields. Successful candidates will have an interest in becoming a leader in commerce; a desire to grasp both business practices and the principles of problem solving used by designers and creative individuals; strong writing and communication skills; the ability to work in teams and collaborate with individuals from multiple fields; and enthusiasm for multidisciplinary study and research. More details about the program can be found at www.designleadershipmba.com.


The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School is dedicated to transforming business education through a humanistic and multidisciplinary approach to instruction and research. It aims to match the mission of Johns Hopkins University, an internationally acclaimed leader in higher education for more than a century and an institution long committed to the well-being of people around the world. Carey Business School degree programs, full-time as well as part-time, are dedicated to transforming the way business education-and, by extension, business itself-is conducted. For more information, visit www.carey.jhu.edu.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

Media Coverage

  • READ: U.S. News & World Report, No art background necessary for innovation-focused design M.B.A.'s
  • READ: Baltimore Sun, MICA is expanding palette with MBA degree
  • READ: Financial Times, Johns Hopkins' Carey school expands MBA by design
  • READ: Wall Street Journal, What's news from B-Schools
  • READ: U.S. News & World Report, Schools give students both art and business skills
  • READ: Washington Post Express, When two are better than one
  • Also featured in Arts USA, Baltimore Fishbowl, Bmoremedia, bschooladmissionsformula.com, Businessweek, Clear Admit, Cumulus, Examiner, Inside Higher Ed, JHU Gazette, JHU Newsletter, MICUA, Onlinemba.com and Stacy Blackman.