Design Innovation, Leadership and Management
Schools That Offer an Online MBA in Design Innovation, Leadership and Management
Benedictine UniversityLisleIllinois
Boise State UniversityBoiseIdaho
Carlow UniversityPittsburghPennsylvania
Cedarville UniversityCedarvilleOhio
Ferris State University-Kendall College of Art and DesignGrand RapidsMichigan
Hofstra UniversityHempsteadNew York
James Madison UniversityHarrisonburgVirginia
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreMaryland
Maryland Institute College of Art BaltimoreMaryland
University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleVirginia

Today’s universities have helped businesses understand that creativity is an exceptional quality to possess. According to the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT), “through a shift in academic programming connecting design to business, universities are helping businesses understand creativity is a tangible asset. It’s not just about visual production, but about applying the design process to a range of challenges to develop innovative solutions.”

“Designers graduate from Design MBA programs with frameworks and methods that can be leveraged to create start-ups, lead innovation in industry, or excel in consulting companies. Design MBA programs provide students with the skills to lead cross-disciplinary teams with the desirable ability to align stakeholders. Companies of all types are looking for the next big thing,” says the article, “but the current trend reflects a new way of addressing an old problem. Discovering the value in design is creating new avenues for growth for industry and the graduates hired.”

The growing demand for MBA students with a creative background, particularly design, has fueled the development of a number of new programs with a range of related specializations. For example, the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University offers an Online MBA (OMBA) with heavy Design Thinking, Leadership and Management coursework. The school says that the program, which begins with a Design Thinking course, offers study “in the design thinking process as it relates to strategic management, innovation process management, project management, communication management, sustainability and systems management, and leadership.”

Students in the Boise State OMBA program also have the unique opportunity to customize their Online MBA experience by choosing from elective courses that cover in-demand industries and expertise relevant to their specific goals. This innovative program features 100% digital content, replacing traditional textbook cost and hassle.

Other Online Design Innovation, Leadership and Management MBA Options 

  • Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University in Partnership with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Design Leadership MBA/MA, (Hybrid)
  • Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, MBA in Leading Organizations
  • College of Leadership & Social Change at Carlow University, MBA in Leadership and Management, Customizable Program
  • Darden School of Business at University of Virginia, MBA in Design Thinking (Hybrid) + a Four-Course Design Thinking & Innovation Program (100% Online)
  • Ferris State University’s College of Business at Kendall College of Art and Design, MBA with a Certificate in Design and Innovation Management
  • Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, MBA (coursework includes topics that cover organizational culture and design, leadership, innovation and change, managing diversity, power and influence, decision making and problem solving, communication, motivation, and team dynamics)
  • Goodwin College of Business at Benedictine University, MBA in Entrepreneurship and Managing Innovation
  • James Madison University, Innovation MBA (Hybrid)
  • School of Business Administration at Cedarville University in Partnership with the International Center for Creativity in Columbus, Ohio, MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Certificate in Operations Management, (coursework for the MBA explores the intersections of design, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and sustainable business modeling)

Design Innovation, Leadership and Management Coursework

Curriculums for Design Innovation, Leadership and Management MBA programs are similar, course titles vary. Course examples include:

  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Applied Advanced Analytics
  • Business & Technology Meets Art & Design
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Models and Value Webs
  • Communication Design
  • Design and Innovation Process Management
  • Design Connoisseurship
  • Designing & Managing Business Processes
  • Designing with Intelligence
  • Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation
  • Innovation and Design Experience
  • Innovation Frontiers
  • Innovation in Context
  • Interaction Design for Embedded Systems
  • Leadership By Design
  • Managing Interdisciplinary Teams
  • New Venture Design
  • Product Design Workshop
  • Programming Design
  • Research-Design-Build
  • Sustainable Design and Systems Management
  • Systems and Systems Theory in Design
  • Whole-Brain Communication

Besides a unique curriculum, most Design Innovation, Leadership and Management MBA programs have at least one international experience and the opportunity to complete one or more internships. Most programs take two years or less to complete.

Design Management Salaries and Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of management occupations is projected to grow 8% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, which will result in about 807,300 new jobs. Employment growth will be driven by the formation of new organizations and expansion of existing ones, which will require more workers to manage these operations. The median annual wage for management occupations is $104,240—the highest wage of all the major occupational groups.

Considering an Online MBA? Use our interactive map to find information on schools and colleges offering Online MBA programs in your state and across the U.S.


"Management Occupations." Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.

"Management Occupations." Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 12 Apr. 2019. Web. 24 Jun. 2019.

"MMM Program - Full-Time MBA." Kellogg School of Management. Northwestern University, 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.

“Online Master of Business Administration.” College of Business and Economics. Boise State University, 2019. Web. 24 Jun. 2019.

"U.S. News Feature on Design MBA Programs Includes IIT Institute of Design." IIT Institute of Design. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 14 Nov. 2011. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.