The Carthage College Master of Science in Business Design and Innovation program consists of six foundational courses, an internship, five business design and innovation courses, and a capstone project. In addition, students participate in eight intensive weekend courses.

Scroll down to read descriptions of the design and innovation courses offered at Carthage.

Foundational Courses

MGT 5010

Innovative Leadership

This course addresses the skills, concepts, and mindset that support leadership in complex, innovative organizations. Topics include self-leadership, critiquing diverse models of leadership, creating vision and strategy, understanding people, power and influence, motivation, and organizational culture. The course begins with creative exercises in leadership style self-assessment and extrapolates these results to leadership in new, innovative organizational structures.

MGT 5020

Business Metrics

In this course, students will learn principles of financial accounting, managerial accounting, financial analysis, statistics, and quantitative methods used for short and long-term decisions. An emphasis will be placed on the use of financial information for decisions and performance measurement.

MGT 5030

Strategic Market Analysis

This leverages core competencies developed throughout the program to formulate and implement global marketing strategies. A focus on strategic and competitive advantage in managing the global value chain will allow students to promote a unified marketing and management vision. Students will additionally develop an organizational infrastructure capable of solving problems and achieving operational synergies.

MGT 5040

Nonprofit Administration, Design, and Development

This course explores the administration and leadership of nonprofit organizations including arts management, fundraising, and financial management, performance measurement, strategic planning, governance and the respective roles of board, staff, and volunteers. Students will utilize techniques associated with design thinking, integrative thinking, sustainability and the management of complexity for nonprofit organizations.

MGT 5050

Financial Analysis for Decision Making

Students integrate principles of financial accounting and managerial accounting. The financial accounting portion covers the interpretation of financial statements and the basics of transaction analysis. The managerial accounting component covers cost-volume-profit analysis, job costing, activity-based costing, economic value-added, capital budgeting, the balanced scorecard, strategic cost analysis and the potential contribution of these advancements to organizational effectiveness.

MGT 5060

Designing and Developing High-Impact Teams

In this course, students develop skills pertaining to team assessment, team development, team leadership, team coaching, facilitation of diverse teams, and project management skills. The course includes team project work, group decision-making exercises, learning situations, conflict resolution, and strengths and weaknesses of working in teams. Students will learn how to enhance the collective experience of teams to achieve greater levels of performance, productivity, flexibility, and innovation.


MGT 5100


Placements in private, non-profit, and government sectors. Continued experiential/action learning over the spring semester.

Design and Innovation Courses

MGT 5110

Design, Innovation, and Sustainability

This course focuses on the intersection between design thinking methodologies and opportunity-finding for strategy development. It covers theory and practice related to innovation, complexity, emergence, and principles of systems thinking to address the potential of strategy to drive organizational change and new value propositions. It begins with a review of frameworks for strategy development and explores approaches to engaging stakeholders in that development. Students use logic models and redesign an existing organizational strategy and develop actionable and sustainable plans and strategies.

MGT 5120

Disruptive Innovation

This course teaches students how to develop, design and create ideas. Students explore the entrepreneurial mindset, creativity and idea generation, assessing entrepreneurial opportunities. This course focuses on creative and innovative solutions to both business problems and business opportunities.

MGT 5130

Designing for Logistical Optimization

This course examines the path from creation to delivery for a product or service emphasizing the relationship of operations to the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. In addition to learning traditional operational concepts, such as operational strategy, process and supply chain management, and production, students will utilize principles, tools, and techniques associated with design thinking, integrative thinking, sustainability, and the management of complexity in order to effectively execute strategy.

MGT 5140

Change Management

Students develop skills as diagnosticians and designers of unique interventions. Students learn strategies, tactics, and issues relevant to successful organizational change. They learn how to select the most appropriate change-management intervention, modify a pre-existing intervention strategy to address a specific project, assign roles for consultants and clients, and assess outcomes. Students will also learn negotiation skills and strategies.

MGT 5150

Ethical Decision Making

This course examines ethical issues and dilemmas facing managers in most business organizations. Students will learn about ethical dilemmas at work, place ethical issues within a management context subject to analysis and decision-making action, and enhance and improve the ability of students to reason toward a satisfactory resolution of an ethical dilemma. Students will explore information ethics, ethics and diversity, organizational ethics and global ethics. Students will also learn about discrimination, equal employment opportunity (EEO), business law, and understand the distinction between law and ethics.


MGT 5160


As a cohort, students connect with an organization from the private, nonprofit/non-governmental, or government sector with innovative business design and development challenges.