Graduate Programs

Design Leadership (MBA/MA)

New approaches are needed to solve today's complex global business challenges, and traditional M.B.A. programs offer only traditional instruction.

In this transformative educational collaboration, you will learn to make innovation your standard mode of operation, not a special project. As you benefit from the expertise at both MICA and JHU, you will learn to be a leader in design thinking and its application to the creation of new business models.

Program Overview

You will learn to apply creativity, collaboration, iterative processes, and tolerance for new ideas to traditional business practices, such as research, intuition, and synthesis. Students must master the management and innovation competencies needed to lead people and organizations. The program combines business management fundamentals with the creative approach to thinking and problem solving used by the world's top designers.

The M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership program offers two degrees: an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University's (JHU) Carey Business School and an M.A. from MICA.  While some content deals with creative design processes, the curriculum concentrates on problem identification, targeting objectives and audiences, immersion into research, implementation of design thinking and strategy, and an overall collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving. The curriculum delivers the knowledge necessary to prepare students for leadership positions in the private, nonprofit, and public service sectors.

Completed in 23-26 months, the program begins with a MICA-run, three-credit summer intensive (Foundations of Design Leadership) that provides the heterogeneous student cohort a basis of shared knowledge, skills, and nomenclature. In the fall, students enroll in classes available through JHU's Carey Business School part-time MBA program and in MICA's MA in Design Leadership curriculum.

Who Should Apply

The M.B.A./M.A. program in Design Leadership enrolls students who want to be transformative leaders with a mastery of next-generation approaches to management and problem-solving. Students' backgrounds include business management, marketing, engineering, finance, design, education, international development, and other fields. Successful candidates are collaborative, open-minded, creative thinkers with a strong interest in research analysis, and management.

Featured Programs of Study

Open Studies

Open Studies programs focus on professional preparation and advancement for artists, designers, and creative entrepreneurs. The unit administers four unique professional graduate programs--the Business of Art and Design, Information Visualization, UX Design, and Design Leadership--that converge at the crossroads of design, technology, and commerce.

Conference attendees looking at information sketches on the wall.
Conference attendee with SEAM bag.
Conference attendees looking at information sketches on the wall.

SEAM Conference Workshop

Design Leadership M.B.A./M.A.

Conference attendee with SEAM bag.

SEAM Conference

Design Leadership M.B.A./M.A.

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