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Strategic Design Master of Business Administration

Program Director:  Steve Wilcox
Program Coordinator: David Raufer

The Strategic Design MBA is for high-potential professionals who want to be well positioned for new opportunities — whether in a major corporation, nonprofit or entrepreneurial venture. This program combines the best of business school with the best of design thinking.

Design thinking is a way of approaching innovation and problem solving borrowed from engineers and designers. It is used by innovative companies to introduce new products and services and by city governments to address social issues. Design thinking is the skill these companies seek when recruiting individuals with both creative and business mindsets.

The Strategic Design MBA is a two-year, 40 credit hour, low-residency program with intensive industry application. Each course meets four times over eight weeks, with classes held on Friday afternoons and Saturdays on alternating weekends. The program features a cohort of seasoned professionals from diverse industries and faculty who blend state-of-the art practitioner experience with excellence in the classroom. Graduates exit the program with a network in place that is capable of bringing long-term value to themselves and their organizations that extends well beyond the formal material covered.

Strategic Design MBA Program Goals and Outcomes

Goal #1: Functional business skills – students will:

• Implement ethical decisions.
• Demonstrate the value of financial knowledge in developing an ethical and sustainable organizational structure that achieves financial goals, is responsible to its stakeholders and respects the environment.
• Articulate the mechanics of organizational finance and budgeting for their own use, and explain the concepts to others within their organizations.

Goal #2: Leadership Skills – students will:

• Appraise their own strengths and weaknesses as leaders and managers of innovative teams and organizations and articulate plans to enhance their skills.
• Effectively lead and participate in creative, cross-disciplinary and diverse work groups and identify tools to translate these characteristics into broader organizational settings.

Goal #5: Integrative Learning – students will:

• Effectively utilize design thinking skills in analyzing complex business scenarios.
• Integrate major program concepts and skills as they relate to design thinking, systems thinking, business analytic thinking, and strategy by developing and pitching a new venture.


  • SDMBA-701        Innovative Leadership  (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-702        Design Research for Business   (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-703        Business Model Development   (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-704        Metrics I  (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-705        Designed Business Systems    (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-706        Style and Brand Strategy     (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-707        Metrics II   (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-708        Strategic Foresight   (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-709        Strategic Design Integration    (4 credits)
  • SDMBA-710        New Ventures   (4 credits)