The Strategic Planning Boot Camp at M.AD

An immersive 12-week program to jumpstart your career.

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The M.AD Difference

The strategist is quickly becoming one of the most fundamental roles in a modern creative team. They’re asked to look into the future and bring back concrete action plans for today—helping to guide the efforts of their creative peers.

A few years ago, we saw this change in progress and built one of the world’s first dedicated programs for strategic planners, using our deep roots in the industry to create something truly unique. Today, this 12-week course represents the finest education in strategy available anywhere.

You’ll learn by doing. A dozen top strategy professionals will be your mentors. You’ll conduct first-person research, find compelling insights, develop strategies and collaborate with art directors, designers and copywriters. Our strategy students and their creative teams have developed new products, helped launch start-ups, and worked with big brands like Starbucks, Ford, and Burger King. On graduation, the professional network and experience you’ve gained in just 3 months will provide a lifetime of value.

Esty Gorman Creative Agency Lead at Google
"M.AD literally pulled me out of that way of thinking to say, you know what, like there's a whole different world out here and we're going to give you all of the training on how to think differently about that."

The Strategic Planning Curriculum at M.AD

What (and how) you’ll be learning.

Graduate with the skills and case studies you need to show your future employer you can build brands as a strategic planner.

Learn by doing. Like learning a new language, the best way to learn your trade is through total immersion. In 12 mind-expanding weeks you’ll learn to understand and analyze data, develop insights and write creative briefs. You’ll be partnered with an art director and a copywriter. Your team will develop campaigns based off of your insights. The Strategic Planning Boot Camp culminates with a real project presented pitch-style to the client.

Each week your instructor will be a different strategic expert. A dozen planning directors from top agencies like The Barbarian Group, Google, Droga5 and Ogilvy take you through 3-day sessions that cover different aspects of account planning.

In the final week of the Boot Camp visit a variety agencies and meet with planning directors. See first hand the different types of planning environments. You’ll meet the people in the strategy departments and increase your network of industry contacts.

And it all happens with an innovative curriculum of courses like these:

  • Role of a Strategist
  • Research Methodology
  • Innovation Strategy
  • Connection Planning
  • Channel Strategy
  • Industry Heroes
  • Brand Experience
  • New Business Storytelling
  • Workshop The Pitch
  • Strategy Toolbox
  • Agency Exposure
  • Understanding the Challenge
  • Develop Insights and Brand Positioning
Want to know what else you’ll be learning? Learn more about the courses you’ll take in the course brochure.

Our Teachers Are Industry Insiders

Art Direction courses at M.AD are taught by industry professionals. They constantly revise the classes to be as relevant as possible to the industry. What you get is the most up to date skills and best practices, applied to real projects based in reality, which produces the best work for your portfolio.
Nick Smatt Freelance Senior Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy
“One thing I loved about M.AD was that our teachers were working in environments that I wanted to end up in. It's so great to learn strategy in practice, and have industry pros come in to teach us”

Campuses Across The United States

Each school has a unique charm.
With campuses on both coasts (and one in the middle), the School of Ideas represents the best of what America has to offer. The cities we’ve chosen all boast a special blend of people, places, and energy. Just pick your creative cocktail.

Schedule A Tour At Any M.AD Campus

Experience the School of Ideas for yourself. 

Check out our locations in: Atlanta, Miami, New York and San Francisco

How To Apply

The application is as creative as the career.
Four Stages to Apply
Step 1

The application is as creative as the career.

Enter your information and register for your M.AD School of Ideas account.
Step 2

Choose a city, program, and start date

Select the school you are most interested in right now. Should you change your mind later on, you can easily change your application.
Step 3

Follow the process laid out in the application portal

Show us who you are as a creative thinker. Share examples of things you’ve created.. Or do one of our fun creative exercises. Finally, schedule an introductory meeting with your Admissions Advisor.
Step 4

Review and Submit

Make sure all your information is correct, and that you’ve paid your application fee. We’ll get back to you soon!

Cuándo es la próxima edición

Comienzo de clases: 11 de Julio

Nuestros programas comienzan 4 veces al año: en enero, abril,  julio y octubre. Las solicitudes se cierran unos meses antes. Haz clic a continuación para obtener más información sobre nuestro proceso de admisión y da el  primer paso hacia la carrera de sus sueños hoy.

Important Program Information


Tuition of $4,850 is due quarterly. It takes eight quarters which is 2 years to complete the art direction program.Total tuition cost for the program is $38,800.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

We work tirelessly to make M.AD affordable for students of all backgrounds. For our American students, federal loans can often cover some or all of tuition costs. We also offer a variety of scholarships.

International Students

In the past decades, students have come to us from every corner of the world. If you’re worried about getting here, never fear: you’ll likely be able to attend the campus of your choice. Click for more about the visa process.

Have A Question? Reach Out.

Career advice with no strings attached.

Our admissions team love to chat with people like you—answering questions, proposing solutions, and making plans for a creative future. An advisor can help you figure out what’s next in your creative adventure. Maybe that means Art Direction at M.AD.

Download The Course Brochure

Crucial information about the Strategic Planning boot camp.
  • Exclusive video content
  • Strategy career facts
  • Average salaries
  • Information on co-ops and internships
  • Example projects for real brands
  • Detailed application process

La red creativa

Únete a los 50.000 creativos que reciben el boletín de M.AD.

Hemos construido silenciosamente la red creativa más influyente del mundo. Es hora de que lo aproveches. Cada semana recopilamos el contenido creativo más importante del mundo y lo compartimos directamente en tu correo electrónico de forma gratuita.

Cuando los vientos de cambio cambien de dirección… vas a saberlo primero.

Agenda una llamada

Obtén más información sobre nuestro proceso de admisión y da el primer paso hacia la carrera de sus sueños hoy.

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