MBA Design Strategy

The groundbreaking MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts equips students to become next-generation leaders from the perspectives of design thinking and integrative thinking. By uniting the studies of design, finance, strategy, entrepreneurship, meaning, and sustainability, we provide the tools to manage in today’s interconnected markets with a vision of business as sustainable, meaningful, ethical, profitable, and truly innovative. Every course connects these themes and domains so that students develop deep, practical experience.

Create socially responsive, culturally relevant, and technologically appropriate lasting value

The college’s full-time, two-year MBA program is the only program of its kind and helps students imagine and create a better world through innovative change. Our program’s flexible structure (five once-a-month, four-day weekends of instruction and interaction each semester) allows students to commute from all over North America, combining 10 full-time residencies of in-person instruction with 3 units of online and other telecommunication tools to facilitate effective learning. In total the program requires 60 units of instruction.

Each semester, students develop individual and team solutions to a variety of economic and social challenges using design techniques, such as customer-centered research, prototyping, critique, and iteration, as well as business metrics. Solutions are evaluated according to how well students meet user and market needs, as well as their clear organizational value. Optional sponsored projects allow students to work with leading businesses. In addition, students may take advantage of graduate-wide electives.

The MBA in Design Strategy has dedicated studio space on the San Francisco campus, the location of its nationally recognized design programs. Students have access to wood and metal shops, and model-making, welding, and rapid prototyping studios (featuring a 3D prototyping machine and laser cutter), as well as media studios for editing digital media, film, video, and sound.

The program sits in the heart of one of the world’s most-fertile innovation centers with close ties and partnerships to industry-leading companies and consultancies in the region. In addition, the San Francisco Bay Area is a leading hub of sustainability and social change.


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