Graduate Programs

Business of Art & Design (MPS)

Gain the business skills necessary to start and grow a business or be a dynamic manager or creative director. Combine your creative talents with the fundamental tools of commerce needed to manage finances, negotiate contracts, market your work, and achieve business success.

The Master in Professional Studies in the Business of Art and Design (M.P.S. BAD) provides a comprehensive, highly concentrated education in business management specifically for artists, designers, and related professions. Fundamental to the work of these creative professionals is the production of creative goods and services--yet until now there has been no business degree specifically focused on their unique needs.

Program Overview

As creative professionals grow in their careers, so does the need for practical business knowledge and skills. Whether you are running your own business or managing a division within a larger company, core skills such as business writing and contract negotiation are necessary to effectively lead and grow your endeavors.

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has designed the Master of Professional Studies in the Business of Art and Design program specifically for those with creative backgrounds that need additional business skills. Unlike a typical MBA program with a generic core curriculum, every course in this program has been specifically tailored for creative professionals and built for immediate, practical application.

The M.P.S. in the Business of Art and Design is an online, cohort-based graduate program built for working professionals that can be completed in 15 months. As a student in this program, you will learn about business concepts and practices including intellectual property, human resources, contracts and negotiations, finance and accounting, and marketing. This curriculum is taught by MICA faculty and industry professionals to ensure students gain relevant experience and knowledge.

Residency Overview

The residency occurs at the midpoint of the program and enables you to collaborate with your cohort and network with each other as well as industry professionals. It consists of a mix of workshops, keynotes, and hands-on activities. This two-day experience surveys concepts, tools, and techniques that promote innovation. Students engage in exercises designed to apply and test creative techniques. At the conclusion of the residency, students will have knowledge of and practice with a number of approaches that can be applied through the second half of the program and into their careers.

What is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree?

  • Focuses on an applied field of study

  • Develops practical skills

  • Perfect for current and aspiring professionals

  • Delivered online over just 15 months

  • Residency fosters interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Students maintain a work-life balance

Program Resources

The MICA Canvas environment is a flexible and adaptive platform so students can conveniently access content. Each faculty member holds a weekly live class delivered through Zoom web-conferencing software, whereby students can discuss topics with faculty and classmates. Lectures are recorded so students can revisit them at any time. Students also have access to MICA's web-based resources such as Adobe Creative Suite, LinkedIn Learning, MyMICA, Decker Library and Media Resources Center, and Business Source Premier, the industry's most used business research database.

Who Should Apply

Designed for students from a variety of disciplines including visual artists, designers, architects, illustrators, musicians, actors, writers, craft persons, performing artists, and other creative professionals this program is ideal for individuals with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a drive for business success, and a willingness to commit to an intensive learning experience.  

Featured Course

Business Ethics in Art and Design Careers

Develop the knowledge necessary to understand key business agreements such as employment contracts, made-for-hire agreements, client agreements, gallery contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and license agreements. Students review various negotiation strategies; and how and when to identify negotiable opportunities effectively for their art or design business needs.