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Arts Administration

Arts administration

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Arts Administration?
  2. Arts Administration is the array of professional positions that are associated with managing arts organizations (performing and visual). These include program and project directors, development and fundraising, educational outreach, box office, exhibition planning and financial management. Because the vast majority of arts organizations are nonprofit corporations, many of our courses are based on the non-profit model which enables a student to develop the necessary skills for this environment.

  3. How is Metropolitan College (MET) related to Boston University?
  4. Metropolitan College is one of Boston University's 17 degree-granting schools and colleges. MET offers more than 60 full- and part-time degree and certificate programs at the undergradate and graduate levels, taught by Boston University's faculty of scholars and practitioners. MET's convenient evening, online, and blended classes make it an ideal education resource for today's working professional.

  5. Can I attend BU part-time? What about full-time?
  6. You can choose either way – whatever works best with your schedule.  You can even switch from part time to full time at any time and visa versa.

  7. If I am an international student do I have to attend school full-time?
  8. Yes. All international students are required by law to attend school full-time with the exception of your final semester, when you may attend part-time, if needed.

  9. How often do classes meet and how long are they?
  10. Classes meet once a week for three hours at a time from 6-9 p.m. The only exception is the internship class, which meets 3 times a semester from 4-6 p.m., and the international courses, which meet periodically throughout the semester before and after time abroad. To see the current and upcoming course offerings, please see our semester schedule.

  11. May I sit in on a class?
  12. Absolutely! We encourage all potential applicants to visit the school and to sit in on a class. It's a wonderful way to meet current students and to get a feel for the program.  If you're interested in sitting in on a class, please contact the Arts Administration office (via email at, or by phone at 617-353-4064), for assistance.

  13. What kind of jobs can I expect to find having completed a Master of Science in Arts Administration?
  14. That will depend largely upon your previous work experience and the amount of experience you acquire during your study here. We have had several students who have been hired as executive directors of (mid-sized) arts organizations upon graduation. Most often, students with limited experience are hired on as project directors and coordinators in arts organizations. 

  15. Do I need to have work experience before applying to the program?
  16. We prefer students to have 2-4 years of work experience because these students tend to enhance classroom discussion, but it is not required.

  17. What kind of background are you looking for from applicants?
  18. We are looking for a mature and diverse group of students who have serious convictions about the importance of the arts, and who have attained a measure of expertise in one arts discipline—either through education, work, or practice.

  19. What if I am making a career change and have a limited background in the arts?
  20. In this case, we might require that you take a few pre-requisite arts classes before applying to the program. Your advisor will assist you in selecting the most suitable classes. 

  21. How does working in the arts while I am studying help my career?
  22. BU’s program in Arts Administration allows you to work (often in the Arts Administration field) while you study. Any experience in the field adds work experience to your resume.  Employers look for people who have relative experience in the field as well as having a degree. Interning and volunteering are also good ways of adding to your resume. As part of the program, we offer a job and internship board as a service to our students, to help them find a position in the field.

  23. Since every school calculates costs differently, it can be quite confusing to compare one school to another. What do you suggest?
  24. Determining what your education will actually cost is important, especially when a scholarship package or an assistantship award is involved.

    For example, a student has been offered a $15,000 a year scholarship to attend a program at a private research university in a major city in the United States. Assuming the regular full time tuition is $40,000 per year, the program now costs $25,000 per year ($50,000 total). This is a lot of savings. However, remember to consider the actual cost of the program and not just the amount of the scholarship. While cheaper than paying full tuition, two years of not working and $50,000 in tuition is still a major investment of time and money. Is this school the best choice for you?

    Even more challenging is how to count other factors besides tuition. Several questions immediately come to mind: What is the academic reputation of the school? How long has the program been in existence (long enough to generate a large number of alums who have moved into positions of authority in established arts organizations)? What cultural resources are available in the city where the school is located (opportunities for jobs and internships)? Where do you want to work (if you are considering a national or international career you may want to know about the school’s national and international reputation and resources)? These questions are almost impossible to answer numerically; however, they are important to ask when considering your career goals and in determining the overall “costs” and “benefits” of attending a particular school.

    At this point, you might be wondering – if many programs cost $50,000 to $80,000 (or more), how much does Boston University cost, and where does it stand in regards to these other considerations? I am glad you asked.

  25. What will it cost to earn the degree?
  26. BU is very competitively priced. While it does not offer traditional scholarships, our program does award several graduate assistantships (more on this below). In addition, students are able to attend BU on either a full-time or part-time basis, and can switch enrollment status (from full-time to part-time or vice versa) from semester to semester. These options create more financial flexibility and allow students to choose the approach that best accommodates their individual work schedule and personal life.

    Most of our students (80%) choose to attend the program part time while working full time in the field during the day (all of our classes are held at night). This enables them to build experience and earn money to pay for tuition and living expenses while enrolled in the program.

    If you have a specific work restriction, are attending BU on an external one year scholarship, or have particular personal or family constraints, you may choose to attend the program on a full-time basis. This will enable you to graduate in as little as 12 months, if you choose. As a full time student, you may take three, four, or four and one half classes per semester.

    If you decide to enroll on a part-time basis and take two classes per semester (a typical load), it will take 21-24 months to complete the program. A part time student, you may take one, two, or two and one half classes per semester – whatever works best for you. As each four-credit class costs $3,280 (2015-16 tuition rates), the total cost of your degree will be $32,800 (40 credits/10 classes x $820 per credit = $3,280). This price reflects the automatic BU tuition discount available to all part-time students.

    The total cost to earn the degree attending full-time is $47,422. This price reflects the standard BU tuition rate charged to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students (academic year 2015-16). *Please note there is an additional cost (typically between $1,500 - $2,000) associated with our mandatory travel course (international students are not required to take a travel course).

    Many international students like to take a little more time (16-24 months total) to complete their studies, in part, due to the challenges of studying arts administration in a foreign language. However, you should work with your advisor to set up an effective schedule. If you do decide to extend your stay at BU beyond a year and enroll in additional semesters of study, you will incur additional costs.

    2015-16 International Student Study Options (does not include additional fees or living costs):

    Number of Courses

    12 mo. Option 1
    12 mo. Option 2
    16 mo. Option 1
    16 mo. Option 2
    21 mo. Option 1
    21 mo. Option 2
    Year 1
    Year 2
    *Estimated Total
    $ 52,342

    *Tuition rates are effective for FY 2015-16 and are subject to change every September: Fall and Spring full-time tuition is $47,422; Fall and Spring part-time tuition is $820 per credit hour; Summer 2015 tuition is $800 per credit hour; Summer 2016 tuition is $820 per credit hour; Internship I and II are half courses (0.5) at 2 credit hours each ($1,600 per course).

  27. Are there any additional costs?
  28. All domestic students are required to take one intensive international class. Additional costs associated with this class (airfare, housing, and food) average $1200 - $1800 per trip. Also, you may be required to enroll in the student health insurance plan, if you do not have any other health care coverage. For information about BU medical insurance, for whom it is required, costs, and exemptions, visit the BU Student Accounting Services webpage.

  29. Do you offer any Graduate Assistantships?
  30. Yes. The department awards a small number graduate assistantships each semester and in the summer. This is a great way to earn money and to learn more about how the program and the University function. Half-time assistants receive $2,100 for working 140 hours (10 hours per week) per semester, and full-time assistants receive $4,200 for working 180 hours (20 hours per week) per semester. There are two types of assistantships: office and research. If you are selected for an office assistantship, you will assist the Program Administrator, Jeannie Motherwell, as the program receptionist and will help her process student applications, answer email inquiries, maintain our databases, and other administrative tasks. Work schedules for the office are made at the beginning of each semester and usually consist of four-hour shifts, often 2-4 days per week. A research assistant will work with either Professor Ranalli or Professor Maloney to further their various research projects. In this capacity you might help collect data, locate and read research articles, prepare PowerPoint presentations, and/or collect and enter data. The work schedule is governed by the particular project of either professor and can vary from week to week throughout the semester. The student who is awarded this assistantship (one per professor per semester) will come to the office for occasional meetings while the remaining hours will be completed outside the office.

  31. Is an interview required for the application procedure?
  32. No. An interview is not required for the application process, but we strongly recommend that you speak with the Director ad interim, Professor Richard Maloney prior to making a decision about whether to choose Boston University. You may do this in person, or by telephone. E-mail or call us (617-353-4064) to arrange a time.

  33. May I get in touch with current students and/or alumni to discuss the program?
  34. Sure.  Contact our office via phone (617-353-4064) or e-mail and we will put you in touch with a student or alum from your specific area of interest.

  35. Where is Boston University located?
  36. Boston University is conveniently located on the B-Green Line of the T and easily accessible by the # 57 bus on Commonwealth Ave. The University is minutes away from Kenmore Station and Fenway Park. All the essentials of student living are close at hand from clothing stores to grocery stores.

  37. How hard is it to find an apartment and what is the rent like?
  38. There is a very high occupancy rate for apartments in the Boston area. Therefore it is important to plan well in advance for living arrangements. Rent here is at the higher end of the spectrum for all U.S. cities.

  39. I am concerned that Boston is expensive. Should I go to a school where the cost of living is less?
  40. Good question. Living in Boston can be expensive – and why not, it is a very popular place to be… You may have heard we have a few colleges in Boston (about 60) -- they don’t call Boston the “Athens of America” for nothing! There are a lot of people who want to live in Boston (and this can drive up rent prices). However, the good news is there are lots of interesting things to do here and lots of interesting, smart people to hang out with (i.e., your classmates).

    One way we help you manage the cost of living in Boston is our popular “Roommate Matching Service". This enables a student(s) to share the expense of renting an apartment with another student(s) in the program. We provide you with information about the different neighborhoods that surround the school (apartments in different communities can vary widely in price) and give you the list of approved local apartment owners/brokers who work with the University to provide housing for graduate students.

  41. What is great about living in Boston?
  42. Boston is one of the oldest cities in America. In addition to several “firsts” -- the first park (Boston Common), the first subway -- Boston is also the home of major historical figures such as Paul Revere, Alexander Graham Bell, and John Hancock.

    There is always something to do in Boston – you can walk the historic Freedom Trail (a must), visit the location of the Boston Massacre, ride a swan boat in the public garden, climb aboard the USS Constitution (the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy), take a duck boat ride, attend a baseball game at historic Fenway Park, or see hockey at the Garden (pronounced “Gahden”). In addition, there are an amazing number of cultural activities occurring around the city. These include festivals, concerts, theatrical performances, and museum exhibitions. Boston is also the home to about 60 colleges and universities making it the center of innovation and creativity in New England. In other words, it is impossible to be bored! Not a bad place to be, in our humble opinion.

    However, don’t just take our word for it; see what others have to say about Boston:

    •  Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Boston #4 on their list of “America’s Best Cities in 2012.”
    •  Travel and Leisure puts Boston at #3 for the “2010 Best Culture in a US City.”
    •  American Style Magazine has Boston at #5 in their list of “Top 25 Big Art Cities for 2011.”
    • named Boston #1 in their list of “Top 100 Innovative Cities in the World for 2013.”
    •  According to the Huffington Post, Boston was ranked #3 and #5 respectively for most walkable and most bikeable city in the US in 2013.

  43. Where do I want to live in Boston?
  44. In the Boston area there are many locations that are popular for students to live. Please refer to BU Apartment Rentals for more information. For help with off-campus housing, visit BU Off-Campus Services' webpage, where you can find resources about finding and securing an apartment in the Boston area.

  45. Do I need a car in Boston?
  46. Not at all. A car in Boston is an expensive proposition and parking can be inconvenient. The T (train/subway), the bus, biking and walking are the easiest means of getting around.

Boston University

Arts Administration Program
808 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
617-353-4064 |