Of all the strange graduate school programs out there, perhaps the most unexpected is the new MBA program that will be offered by MICA starting this fall.

There will certainly be people who bridle at the idea of an art school offering a degree that’s more commonly associated with starchy-collared, suit-wearing squares who prioritize money over all else. Of course, MICA’s dual MA/MBA in Design Leadership (offered in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business) will hardly be traditional, especially because it’s one of the only programs of its ilk in the country.  Aimed at “business, engineering, and design focused students,” the program will incorporate some traditional business school topics (finance, marketing, human capital management) along with more creative subjects (design theory, visualization, cultural awareness).

Starting the program might be a smart business decision in itself:  students are flocking to graduate programs in increasing numbers, and business programs in particular. And the administration insists that it’s responding to student interest in offering the program, not just economic opportunity.

So what do you think — is MICA responding to the issues of the day, or selling its soul?