Strategic Design MBA

Core Features

There are only a handful of MBA programs in the country that merge design thinking and business practices. At PhilaU design thinking is already a major tenet in our graduate and undergraduate curricula. The main features of the Strategic Design MBA build on our existing framework of industry inspired collaborative learning and are tailored for accomplished professionals looking to enhance their skills.  

Hybrid Vigor

Hybrid vehicles, animals, plants and even securities and technologies display such vigor—each stronger and more efficient than their “parents.” Hybrid vigor refers to the superior qualities achieved in hybrid organisms and products. Think 1 + 1 = 3. 

Hybrid vigor drives the Strategic Design MBA —it marries the strategy and efficiency of business with the creativity and customization of design.

Business thinkers have been trained to approach every challenge by asking, “What is the solution?” Design thinkers have been trained to ask, “What is the problem?” Hybrid thinkers ask both, and in the process ask and answer, “What is the opportunity?”


Industry Immersion

Three of the program’s 10 courses involve projects with real companies, either in students’ own organizations or with other businesses eager to form working partnerships with our students.

As in the best MBA programs, our faculty mixes deep industry experience with global companies and organizations such as Coca-Cola, American Express, L.L.Bean, Proctor & Gamble, UNESCO and the World Bank with prestigious academic experience at institutions such as Harvard, Pratt and Vanderbilt. Industry Immersion has always been a cornerstone of Philadelphia University, which enjoys exceptional ties to major corporations, business incubators and firms across several industry sectors.

Leadership Cohort

Peers matter. In this degree program designed specifically for high-potential professionals, you’ll be surrounded by fellow students who are seasoned professionals. Together you’ll raise the bar on what you can envision and accomplish.

We also welcome small teams from the same company or organization – each member earns a cutting-edge MBA while using the program as an extended learning lab to tackle challenges unique to their organization. Whether you approach the program as an individual or as part of a team, you’ll graduate with an expanded professional network, bound for leadership.

Studios vs. Silos

Philadelphia University’s signature integrated curriculum pushes students to think beyond the boundaries of existing disciplines, break down traditional silos and focus on market-driven innovation through teamwork, collaboration and industry connections.

Housed in the new DEC Center, the Strategic Design MBA classes will utilize the building’s flexible studio spaces for seminars and team projects, allowing teaching and workspace to be reconfigurable as projects evolve. The program provides the rare creative studio lab experience for students in graduate business education.

Birthplace of Innovation 

PhilaU owes its entrepreneurial DNA to our namesake city, which has been synonymous with invention and ingenuity since the American Revolution. People sometimes think entrepreneurship is only about starting a business. It’s actually about creating value, which is as necessary in existing organizations as it is in startups. Creating value is about matching one’s personal talents, skills and aspirations to identify and invent solutions.

Our graduates take on the entrepreneurial DNA of this place. They learn to identify problems that need solving, develop the best solutions and implement them in the world to make it a more just and humane place. They learn to create value wherever they go.