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Program Benefits

Innovation starts with your vision. Whether your dream is to launch or grow a creative business or launch a leading-edge product, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) combines an innovative approach to business education tailored for creatives to make your vision a success. We support you every step of the way as you learn at the intersection of design, technology, and entrepreneurship. View some of our innovative student capstone projects that are making an impact in the world.

The M.P.S. in the Business of Art and Design program at MICA is a 30-credit hour program, designed to be completed in 15 months while working full time. This degree empowers creative professionals like you with a business education focused on the skills needed to launch, sustain, and grow a creative business or launch new products. If you’re looking to pivot or advance your career in the product management field, we prepare you to lead the lifecycle from concept to launch to go-to-market strategy.

Accelerated
Online Format

Complete the 30-credit program in just 15 months from the comfort of your home and without having to leave your full-time job.

Real-World
Immersion

Our practical curriculum was designed in collaboration with our business partners and offers real-world solutions for launching a business or product. Our engaging assignments, projects, and capstones will develop real-world skills that will transform your business or product vision to success.

Real-World Industry Practitioners as Faculty

Leaders of arts-related businesses, creative agencies, and product management, our expert faculty teach and provide mentorship in the necessary skills to launch, grow, and sustain a creative business and new products.

Unique Student Experience

Join MICA’s vibrant and supportive community with small class sizes that allow for increased engagement, promoting valuable collaboration with your classmates and instructors.

Business Tools for Your Success​

Learn how to use industry software and deploy valuable business tools like marketing plans and product roadmaps for immediate impact in your work. Learn to analyze and present cutting-edge business strategies and use your capstone project as a springboard for your new company or product idea.

Industry Immersive​

Midway through the program, our virtual industry immersion facilitates collaboration and networking with peers, faculty, guest speakers, and business partners. It combines workshops, keynotes, and hands-on activities for a dynamic experience.

The Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (RCCE) is a hub of creative applied entrepreneurial support, resources and programming especially designed to help MICA students and Alumni be successful. Learn more about RCCE.

More than just capstone projects–Our students and grads are innovating real businesses!
Take a look!

graphic that reads "capstone presentation"

Vows of Style is a bridal agency that provides original content from emerging bridal brands along with a carefully curated directory of stylists, designers, and services to help brides streamline their shopping experience. Click here to see more examples!

graphic that reads "Art illuminating the beauty and implications of biology and technology"

Chimaera is an art gallery and community focused on illuminating the beauty and implications of biology + technology. Click here to see more examples!

graphic that reads "Joyful Clay, LLC. Handmade, functional ceramics for family, home, and heart"

Joyful Clay answers society’s call to action with pottery that is unique, sustainably packed, and reusable, and intended to encourage its customers to breathe, slow down, and surround themselves with positivity and joy. Click here to see more examples!

Course Sequence

Course
Credits
Virtual Orientation
To ensure your success in the program, students will meet virtually for a 1-day orientation where they will meet administrative staff, learn more about student services and success initiatives, and engage in community building with their cohort. In addition, students will complete an asynchronous orientation course in Canvas as a means to introduce them to the navigation of MICA’s administrative tools as well as inform them of academic services available through MICA. The content and assignments in the orientation course are designed to be an introduction to the program as well as a resource throughout the students’ time at MICA.
0
Course
Credits
Foundations of Business Planning
Foundational business plan models and common business terms and practices are the focus of this course. Students define key elements of a business plan and begin to develop a small business framework for their start up, growth, or diversification plan. Students start to imagine a small business concept through discussions and assignments related to market research, value proposition, and business missions/visions. Additionally, students identify concepts around entrepreneurship, including individual student strengths and weaknesses, leadership styles, personality types, core values and drive, resiliency, company and product or service story, and the demands of small business ownership.
4
Business Formation & Taxes
Students define and describe entity structures and the tax implications of each. Students also explain personal and business tax returns, how to keep accurate accounting systems needed to develop tax returns, and how different accounting methods affect tax bottom lines. Additionally, students identify the resources needed to set up accounting systems for estimating, organizing, and optimizing the tax efficiency of a small creative business. In navigating the complexities of small business creation and set up, students compare and contrast the differences between local, state, and federal treatment of taxes as well as the multi-state tax issues that can affect small creative businesses.
3
Market Research
This course provides students with an understanding of market research, why it is essential, and how to do it. Students will learn how to develop a hypothesis and explore different methods of conducting market research — including focus groups, surveys, and competitive analyses — as a means to prove or modify the hypothesis. Students will learn how to interpret and analyze research results, turn insights from results into marketing recommendations, and finally construct a compelling narrative to present to stakeholders. Application of skills, methods, and strategies to the small business setting vis-à-vis broader industry will be considered throughout the course.
3
Business Management & Leadership
In this course students study the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and operating a business. Students will learn current techniques used to improve productivity and morale/employee training and development. In addition, this course reviews service and product business models, how to set goals and objectives, and how to create a mission statement. Students also apply management principles to scenarios in art or design that entrepreneurs and/or managers encounter as they attempt to achieve organizational objectives. By studying core issues of leadership including risktaking, initiative, storytelling, and relationship building, students implement strategies for managing and leading a creative business.
4
Operations Essentials
In this course students will learn the nuts and bolts of business operations. A good network of advisors and team members expert in matters, like accounting, human resources and legal is key in running a successful business. A basic understanding of these core concepts will enable a business owner, director, or entrepreneur’s ability to intrepret and apply counsel from expert advisors. In addition to gaining knowledge of these and other operational topics, students will grow their network and connect with industry professionals in various fields.
4
Industry Immersive
The virtual industry immersive 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 virtual industry immersive, 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.
1
Finances
This course provides students with a foundational understanding of how to acquire and manage money, as well as how to read, plan, and make decisions based on financial statements. Students recognize managerial accounting and finance concepts, tools, and techniques and create the four basic financial statements: income statement, statement of retained earnings, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. In addition, students make interpretations from financial statement data, including taking risks, making predictions, and presenting key financial statement items.
3
Marketing and Social Media
Students in this course navigate the complexities of the modern marketing/social media system. Students investigate why marketing is essential and how it performs. They also execute a conception, integrate knowledge from the Market Research course, identify a target audience, and propose plans for pricing, promoting, as well as distributing ideas, goods, and services. Additionally, students will define and design ideas around personal selling, working with agents and representatives, refining product/services advantages and messaging, writing proposals, networking, and completing an action plan. This course will additionally consider how social media applies to art and design marketing, and how to develop a strategy for social media marketing efforts that encourage consumer engagement.
4
This course guides students through the process of creating their individual business plan as a capstone project. Students will develop business plans that are comprehensive documents for their business concept, growth, or diversification plans, including an executive summary, company and product/service description, market analysis, strategies and sales, operations management, funding request, management, and projections. Students prepare a pitch deck that provides an overview of their business plan and present their work to a panel of industry professionals to culminate the project and program.
4
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INDUSTRY IMMERSIVE AT MICA

The virtual industry immersive 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 virtual industry immersive, 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.

Apply Today

Take the next step at MICA.
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