Master of Arts in Creative Leadership | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Master of Arts in Creative Leadership

Create Transformational
Change Through
Progressive Leadership

MCAD’s Master of Arts in Creative Leadership is an accelerated fifteen-month, online program—bracketed by two week-long residencies in Minneapolis—for individuals who seek the knowledge and skills to navigate changes in their careers, organizations, and communities. With a focus on forward-looking organizational practices, the program cultivates empathic and adaptive leaders who ask bold questions, take educated risks, act with courage, embrace diverse ideas, and collaborate with others around a shared purpose. Whether your background is in non-profits, cultural organizations, corporations, start-ups, government sectors, or other fields, you will learn how to lead more effectively within a dynamic, complex world. The low-residency format provides maximum flexibility and accessibility while emphasizing the importance of building a strong network of peers in each cohort. 

Student in a zoom meeting

As a master's student in Creative Leadership, you will:

  • Master the management practices and principles of decentralized, collective, and adaptive organizations and teams.
  • Learn the skills of conscious communication and conflict resolution, following standards for cultural sensitivity in interpersonal interactions.
  • Be equipped to think, communicate, and act in an imaginative way, characterized by a high degree of risk taking, synthesis, and divergent thinking.
  • Collaborate with a cohort of diverse changemakers to use systems thinking to analyze complex challenges and design thinking to ideate, prototype, and test solutions that are socially just and environmentally sustainable.
  • Strengthen your storytelling abilities as well as your capacity to connect authentically with others and inspire them to action.
  • Engage with exemplars of creative leadership from across the world and a range of industries, gaining insights into their practices and thinking.
  • Advance your personal goals through a process of identifying the changes you want to make in your career, organization, or community, reflecting on your growth through the program, and developing your distinctive leadership philosophy and style.
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Class Highlights

This 30-credit Master of Arts program emphasizes project work, engaged discussions, and collaboration with fellow students. Required classes include:

  • Theory and Practice of Creative Leadership
  • The Culturally Competent Leader and the Inclusive Workplace
  • Design Thinking and Approaches to Address Complex Social Challenges
  • Managing Remote and Non-hierarchical Networks, Organizations, and Teams
  • Leading for Environmental Sustainability

After MCAD

There are many paths to explore with a Master's in Creative Leadership. Potential careers include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Director
  • Non-profit Executive Director
  • B-Corp Leader
  • Start-up CEO
  • Community-Based Organization (Co)-Leader
  • Organizational Change Facilitator or Manager
  • Cultural or Social Entrepreneur
  • Association or Network Organize