Graduate Programs

Design Leadership (MA/MBA)

To succeed in business, you must embrace the opportunity to look at things differently. The Design Leadership (MA/MBA) is rooted in the philosophy that the best business minds are open ones.



Program Features

Smarter business by design

Today’s greatest business challenges require visionaries with the courage to look beyond the surface for answers. In the Design Leadership (MA/MBA), you’ll master creative approaches to strategic decision-making while also learning how to apply these skills to complex management challenges and business opportunities. Earn two degrees from two world-renowned institutions at the same time for less money and in less time—a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a Master of Art (MA) in Design Leadership from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

The Design Leadership (MA/MBA) is the only program in the United States where students earn simultaneous graduate degrees from a business school at a major research university and a premier college of art and design, both of which are recognized globally among the most innovative institutions.

Creativity bridges big ideas and the balance sheet

Students in the Design Leadership (MA/MBA) program are open-minded creative thinkers. They aspire to be transformative leaders at the highest levels, leveraging a next-generation approach to research analysis, management, and problem-solving. A strength of the program is the diversity of backgrounds that comprises each cohort. Students come from business management, marketing, engineering, finance, art and design, architecture, fine arts, and other fields.


Sample Curriculum

In 20-24 months, you’ll earn an MBA and an MA in Design Leadership through a program designed to grow valuable new skills in an accelerated, online format. Our curriculum blends traditional and project-based courses that are delivered online with the same rigor you'd expect from in-person classes. This program begins with a MICA-run, three-credit summer intensive called Foundations of Design Leadership. In the fall, students enroll in classes available through Carey Business School’s Flexible MBA program and in MICA's MA in Design Leadership curriculum.

Studying with a cohort of peers, you’ll learn through innovative experiences that immerse you in real-world situations. And you’ll emerge from the program with expertise in strategy formulation, audience targeting, research, and design thinking that’s driven by a collaborative and creative approach to problem-solving.

Featured Course

Intersections Business & Design II

Business and design fields have their own cultures, belief systems, values and assumptions. In today’s market, many Fortune 500 companies are either buying design firms or standing up their own innovation lab. This 32-week program will take students on an exploration to discover how design and business are truly intertwined. While the first 18 weeks will focus on discovery, the following 14 weeks will put theory into practice. Special guest lecturers, team projects, field research, and participative seminars will help students learn business and design tools and methodologies as well as be able to immediately apply.