Creative Entrepreneurship | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Creative Entrepreneurship: Degree Information

MCAD emphasizes a collaborative process and working with students from all majors. For this Bachelor of Science degree, you will take courses in several different areas, including a core focus, adding up to 120 total credits required for graduation.

Required Courses - These are the core courses that every Creative Entrepreneurship student takes.

Foundation Studies - These classes help you become a well-versed student; they help you build a solid art background.

Electives - Throughout your studies you can choose from numerous studio electives that give you hands-on creative time. These classes round out your experience at MCAD; they deepen your creative practice or fulfill studio and non-studio requirements for a minor.  

Humanities and Sciences Electives - These classes round out your experience at MCAD, deepen your creative practice, and fulfill non-studio requirements for a degree.  

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate creative practice and describe the creative process.
  • Identify and apply business theories and practices to an art and design context.
  • Employ design thinking and human-centered design in the creative development process.
  • Manage projects within the scope of work, the time allowed, and the resources allocated.
  • Apply appropriate interactions with clients from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Core Required Courses

57 credits

ADV 2000 Introduction to Advertising
3 credits

This course introduces Advertising majors and other interested students to the serious fun of advertising. Students work in creative teams as they would in an agency setting to concept a variety of advertising executions for products and services of all types. Guest speakers from the agency side, media side, and client side discuss the creative process and what’s worked for them.

Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Foundation: Media 1

ADV 3020 Integrated Advertising
3 credits

This course explores the seamless integration of several media in a single campaign. Media covered include television, print, PR, radio, and a variety of digital platforms. Students learn how communication vehicles such as packaging, product design, store design, advertising, promotions, PR, and corporate communications work together in a campaign, over time, to shape a brand. Guest speakers showcase histories of integrated advertising and brand management. Students work together in creative teams and client teams to develop, create, and execute an integrated campaign.

Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Introduction to Advertising (Introduction to Advertising may be taken concurrently)

ES 3414 Infographics: Visualizing Data
3 credits

Collecting data is easier than ever before, and making sense of that data seems harder than ever. This course covers techniques of data analysis and visualization. Students develop visual literacy and explore the information experience and the history, theory, and methods for graphical presentation of data. Experience in Adobe Illustrator is helpful.

Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 1

ES 3825 Client Studio
3 credits

In the professional world, projects are successfully completed through the efforts of teams by effective leadership, collaboration, planning, innovation, structure, and flexibility. In this course, students experience the processes and approaches that are used while working with a team on real-world client projects such as websites, multimedia presentations, and environmental design. Coaches serve as mentors to guide teams in the project’s process throughout the semester. This course is open to second-year BSc students and BFA students with junior or senior standing. This course must be taken concurrently with BS 3850 Project Tracking.

ES 3850 Project Management
3 credits

This course is a study of modern management techniques and systems needed to execute a project from start to finish, to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time and budgetary cost, to the equal satisfaction of those involved. Relevant speakers, technical readings/discussions, and practical work on concurrent projects underway elsewhere in the curriculum prepare students for responsible and successful project planning and navigation in their careers.

Prerequisites: Must be taken concurrently with Client Studio.

HS/ES 3852 Creating and Running a Business
3 credits

This course covers the nuts and bolts of starting and managing a business from crafting a business concept, to analyzing market demand, to developing a marketing strategy, to establishing a legal entity as well as key elements of financing, budgeting, operating, and growing a business. In a workshop setting, students examine various types of arts- and design-related businesses and the range of issues associated with each as well as key aspects of freelancing, building a business firm, and growing a business operation. Through case studies and hands-on projects, students learn all the elements of a successful business enterprise. 

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing

ES 4010 Internship: Entrepreneurial Studies
6 credits

Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the Director of Career Development or initiated by students. All internships must be pre-approved through the Career Development Office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. 3-credit internships require working 120 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.

ES 1935 Biological Systems
3 credits

The science of biology, its methods and its contexts provide insights into the commonalities of patterning in the natural and social worlds. Students will be introduced to organic systems and general systems theory, along with applications of these models in organizations and other social systems. Students learn concepts and approaches to scientific inquiry and taxonomy based on observation and through practical experience.

ES 3354 Futures for Society and Individuals
3 credits

This course explores the scientific, technological, and social forces that shape society, life, and work.Thinking in systems, students research the existing state of specific topics to develop forecasts for society’s future. The first half of the semester focuses on society while the second half explores framing the individual student’s goals and aspirations.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

ES 3430 Human Factors
3 credits

Human behavior is at the center of all art, design, and business. This interdisciplinary course combines physical, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of the human animal. Students in this course apply this information to find new ways of expression in their personal work. Throughout the second half of the semester, students test this new knowledge by collaborating with clients on real projects, ranging from product design, to communications, to community and environmental wellness.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

ES 3857 Aesthetics of Sustainability
3 credits

This course looks at how can we use our creative powers to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” in line with the goals of sustainable development. Designed for students from all MCAD disciplines, this course reviews a brief history of sustainability through the lens of creativity and visual aesthetics. Students will examine existing sustainability frameworks that seek to balance the social, environmental, and economic goals of the world we live in. The course also looks at current events and terminology related to climate science, social equity, and the circular economy. Throughout the second half of the semester, students work in teams with clients to find solutions for aspects of sustainability for individuals, citizens, and consumers.

ES 1501 Creative and Critical Thinking
3 credits

This course is designed to help students enhance their creativity as they apply it to their own areas of visual communication and/or entrepreneurial studies. Various problem-solving techniques are examined. Topics explored include creativity (what it is, what enhances it, what can inhibit it), how to confront the creative void and take the next step, creativity and time, creatively working with others, and contrasts and complementary aspects of the creative vs. critical mind (how they can be made to work together).

ES 3360 Leadership and Professional Development
3 credits

Leadership and professional development are essential to creating and running teams, working with clients, and managing elements of creative projects or businesses. This course introduces students to methods of self-discovery that inform attentive and collaborative leaders. Students examine methods of leadership used for working on creative projects and investigate how the understanding of team dynamics and change management can be used to foster a productive team in a creative work environment.

ES 4000 Professional Practice: Entrepreneurial Studies
3 credits

This course assists juniors and seniors in preparing for and finding their careers. Students explore techniques to land their dream job, develop creative resumes, create and update professional portfolios, and gain experience networking in order to broaden connections from which to get a job. Students explore processes around personal branding, social media best practices, marketing their unique skills, and talking about what they do. This course is for students who are concentrating on finding a job with an organization as well as those who are creating their own job in the creative economy.

Prerequisites: BS junior or senior status or faculty permission

ES 5100 Senior Project: Entrepreneurial Studies
3 credits

During senior year, each entrepreneurial studies major is required to develop and complete a substantial work or body of work.

varying Creative Entrepreneurship Studio Track
9 credits

Choose and declare a design, fine arts, or media arts track. 9 credits required. See Student Affairs or Records for more information.

Foundation Studies

12 credits

FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1
3 credits

Foundation: Drawing 1 is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the college. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior space, and landscape.

FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D
3 credits

Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.

FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1
3 credits

Students are introduced to digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, Gray Studio, and Media Center, along with other digital resources. Students use a variety of software and hardware to learn the basics of working with recorded media, including video, sound, and photography, as well as developing critical language for discussing media and media artists.

MA 2010 Media Arts Tools & Technique
3 credits

This course serves as an introduction to an interdisciplinary mode of working within media arts. Students will learn technical skills in lens-based practices such as filmmaking and photography, basic audio recording, and coding-based creative practices. Students will engage with editing and production tools, and create artworks engaged in observation, critical analysis, and conceptual thinking. Projects will engage the materiality unique to each media. Emphasis is placed on techniques that cross and combine media to create rich experiences and artworks.

Prerequisites: Media 1

Studio Electives

9 credits

varying BS Studio Electives
9 credits

Students in the Bachelor of Science program take 3 studio electives of their choice.

Humanities and Sciences

18 credits

EN 1500 Writing and Inquiry
3 credits

Key to the creative and critical growth of the engaged, successful artist is participation in a culture of writing and inquiry. Students in this course focus on the kinds of writing they will encounter and produce in their coursework at MCAD and as creative professionals. Regular writing workshops allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Students explore a variety of texts and objects through class assignments, and then develop clear compelling essays employing a variety of rhetorical and narrative strategies.

SO/ES 3853 Economics for Artists and Designers
3 credits

This course combines basic economic principles with tools from the discipline of urban and regional economics. It focuses on ways in which artists and designers contribute to the prosperity of their city, and shows how their work can contribute to the economic success of potential employers, customers, or clients. 

HU/ES 3235 Innovation and Progress
3 credits

Creativity inspires innovative problem solving. This course explores the conditions of innovation and examines technological advances and the social and cultural conditions needed for innovations to be adopted. Students ideate innovations to solve problems large and small while considering social and environmental impacts. Students’ projects demonstrate the power of innovative thinking and its application to create change. 

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

SQR/ES 3025 Creative Analytics: Seeing Numbers
3 credits

We are surrounded by endless amounts of data. In nature, we can see inherent rhythms that can be appreciated numerically. This course uncovers the process of gathering and analyzing data from known sample sets such as websites, market research, government agencies, and more. Students will explore the theory of analytics, identify sources of data, and practice the methods of visualizing data in a variety of contexts including applications in communications, marketing, and as applied in a creative practice. 

CPW/ES 3370 Funding Creative Ventures: Writing Grants and Project Proposals
3 credits

Funding creative ventures requires developing proposals that are clearly, concisely, and persuasively written. This course covers the essential skills needed for effective proposal writing in creative and commercial settings. Students concept, write, and revise project proposals using grant templates, crowdfunding platforms, and proposal documents as references. Through case studies, students examine various funding channels, then develop project proposals with matching budget projections that are delivered through writing and presentations. 

Prerequisites: Writing and Inquiry or permission of faculty

Entrepreneurial Studies Writing Option (select one)

CPW/ES 3242 Writing for the Voice
3 credits

This course explores the power of the spoken word. Students integrate the voice with visual communication utilized on social media platforms, the internet, TV, radio, and so forth, and attend recording studio sessions with professional voiceover talent. Students write various pieces for the voice and attain the skills necessary to develop any audio broadcast assignment from concept stage through final air-quality production without supervision.

Prerequisites: Writing and Inquiry


24 credits

varying Entrepreneurial Studies Electives
24 credits

Theses courses are intended for students to deepen creative practice, fulfill studio and non-studio requirements for a minor. Students may elect up to 18 credits of studio or non-studio electives and/or up to 6 credits in internships in the area.

Total Credit Hours