ArtCenter College of Design

1 min read
15 Jan 2024
Entrepreneurship is in ArtCenter’s DNA. We provide a broad foundation in business and entrepreneurship for our students, which is complemented by a hands-on learning approach in studio classes. Students are tasked to solve real problems under conditions designed to replicate what they will experience in their future professional careers.

ArtCenter is educating the next generation of artists and designers to influence change by aligning rigorous creative education with business and entrepreneurship acumen. Complementing this coursework is a program called BOLD, a series of symposia, workshops and seminars focused on propelling creative entrepreneurs. “We are leading the field in our unique integration of startup strategy, business management and research offerings within the traditional fields of design and visual arts,” says Robbie Nock, director of ArtCenter’s Entrepreneurship and Professional Practice program. “We see a significant and expanding role for creatives within startups and established organizations. It is critical for us to provide this broader toolkit and educational experience that shapes artists and designers into leaders and visionaries that can adapt to changing industries.”

ArtCenter, located in Pasadena, offers degrees across eleven undergraduate and seven graduate programs. For those interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, there are over seventy-five unique classes across the college. Classes are designed to serve as a runway where students have the opportunity to apply their creative visions by learning strategy, team building, market research, customer acquisition and finance. When graduating, students can apply for Launch Lab, a capstone program that provides a tuition-free term with access to up to $5,000 in equity-free capital for use in finalizing business plans and preparing for the next steps. ArtCenter alumni have founded numerous startups and work for some of the most influential companies in the world, including Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Lyft, Microsoft, Nike and Tesla. “Students here get the skillset and hands-on experience they need within a responsive educational context,” Robbie says. “We invite them to take risks and fail often so that they can learn to be comfortable with the uncertainty that exists in the rapidly changing startup and business landscape. As agents of change, our students graduate prepared to tackle the significant problems facing our world today.”


  • Be passionate. 
    You should have passion in your medium or area of study, and this passion should be evident in your portfolio. Our admissions counselors are available to guide applicants preparing portfolios prior to admission. 
  • We want open-minded students.
    You should have a desire to ask questions and interrogate the world.
  • See yourself as an agent of change.
    You should see art and design as a tool to foster change and make the world a better place.
  • Be eager to learn.
    You should be receptive to different ideas and have a willingness to try new things, experiment, take risks and fail.