MBA in Design Strategy

A New Kind of Business Program: Master the Tools to Make Change and Move Beyond Profit

Rethinking Business

The groundbreaking MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts prepares the next generation of innovation leaders for a world that is not only profitable, but also sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful.

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This unique program unites the perspectives of design and integrative thinking, sustainability and systems thinking, finance, entrepreneurship, and generative leadership into a holistic strategic framework.

These themes run fluidly throughout the integrated curriculum and students develop deep, practical experience in managing today's interconnected markets and ecosystems.

Students learn not only how to create innovative products, services, and policy, but also how to help organizations develop new business models for the future.

Lasting Value

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

Organizations haven't always been -- and don't need to be -- focused only on money. Each semester, students develop individual and collaborative solutions to a variety of economic and social challenges.

They apply design techniques that include customer-centered research, prototyping, critique, and iteration as well as business strategies and metrics.

Solutions are evaluated according to how well students serve customer and market needs for social, cultural, ecological, and economic impacts as well as long-term organizational and stakeholder value.

Our students work with local businesses and nonprofits to investigate real challenges within their coursework. In addition, students may take advantage of graduate-wide electives.

Our full-time, two-year MBA program has a flexible structure (five once-a-month, four-day weekends of instruction and interaction each semester) that allows students to commute from all over North America.

The program encompasses 60 units of instruction, combining 20 full-time residencies of in-person instruction with 6 units of online interaction over a two-year period. While the program's schedule is flexible, it is a full-time program (not an executive program).

Study at the Global Center of Innovation

With two campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area, CCA sits at the heart of one of the world's most fertile innovation centers -- and a leading hub of sustainability and social change.

CCA's Design MBA program leverages this proximity to build close ties and partnerships with industry-leading companies and consultancies throughout the region as well as internationally.

Our program has dedicated studio space on CCA's San Francisco campus, the location of its nationally recognized design and architecture programs. Students have access to model making and rapid prototyping studios (featuring 3D printers) as well as media studios for editing digital media, film, video, and sound.

CCA’s MBA in Design Strategy is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Watch the DMBA Video