November 14, 2011

Carey School and MICA partner for innovative degree

New MBA/MA in Design Leadership is the first program of its kind

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the Maryland Institute College of Art will partner to launch the MBA/MA in Design Leadership, 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 an MBA curriculum, this full-time, dual-degree program will seek to prepare graduates to assume roles as transformative leaders. The program, which is in development for 2012, is the only one in the country in which students can simultaneously earn graduate degrees from both a business school at a major research university and a major college of art and design.

“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,” Agresti said. “It’s difficult to imagine a timelier program, given the tremendous need for innovation, collaboration and leadership for advancing organizations and society.”

“The new MBA/MA 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 new offering will enable students to:

• Earn an MBA/MA in Design Leadership in an 18- to 20-month 66-credit program of study and gain double the skill sets of a traditional MBA program in a compressed period of time.

• Enhance in-depth knowledge in diverse areas that include 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, government entities and individuals.

While most business programs focus solely on the mastery of traditional business practices, the MBA/MA in Design Leadership takes business leadership a step further, integrating an approach to meeting challenges that centers on making connections between ideas, resources and people that might 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.

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.

For more about the program, go to