Entrepreneurial Studies | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Entrepreneurial Studies: 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 Entrepreneurial Studies 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

66 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.

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 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 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 3301 Account Planning and Management
3 credits

Students in this course study the planning process to uncover the marketing insights that make consumers take notice and change their behavior to meet an objective. Account planners are the voice of the consumer within business. They constitute the crucial link between client objectives, account management, and the creative development team. Account planners are inherently curious strategists that are particularly attuned to the emotions and thoughts of the target audience and demographics. They are driven to obtain and analyze key kernels of knowledge to make advertising campaigns successful. Students leave with a better understanding of the backroom reasons why advertising and marketing decisions are made before the creative begins.

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 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 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 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 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.

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.

Other Required Courses

21 credits

ES Required Electives (select one)

varying Liberal Arts Electives
24 credits

Print paper book majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:

Art History (6 credits)
Scientific and Economic Systems (3 credits)
Histories, Places, and Philosophies (6 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Humanities and Sciences Elective (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)


Foundation Studies

12 credits

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.

FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2
3 credits

Building on the knowledge acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this course engages students’ skills in observation, recording, editing, critical analysis, and conceptualization within media arts. Through discussions, lectures, and creative projects, students explore various modes of media presentation and the power of moving images and multimedia work. Using digital technologies to deepen their media and technology foundation, students explore complex concepts and techniques for creating impactful work.

Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 1

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.

Studio Electives

21 credits

varying BFA Studio Electives
9 credits

Choose 3 BFA studio courses to take as electives.

ES 5103 Entrepreneurship Studio
3 credits

Entrepreneurship is about more than starting a business; it’s a collection of skills that empower people to make the world a better place. This course offers students the unique opportunity to acquire and apply the advanced concepts needed to prepare to launch an arts-based business or a social venture. Student-generated team projects apply innovation techniques designed to evolve ideas and evaluate them. Teams research opportunities and develop creative solutions to determine a project's viability. Faculty provides coaching for each team to help focus their ideas, develop a clear value proposition, and generate a clear business plan.

Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing. All majors welcome. Recommended prerequisites: Creating and Running a Business, and/or Financing Innovation, and/or Marketing and Analysis
Total Credit Hours