Master of Science in Arts Administration

Boston University’s Master of Science (MS) in Arts Administration degree program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in visual arts, performing arts, and arts service organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors both domestically and internationally.

Recent decades have witnessed a rapid expansion in arts audiences, practitioners, and institutions. Simultaneously, the increased cyclical economic uncertainty in both the public and private sectors has resulted in a growing need for highly skilled administrators who can work effectively with elected officials, business and community leaders, and fellow arts professionals.

The Arts Administration program emphasizes excellence, creativity, economic problem solving, internationalism, and a commitment to the new technologies of our age. We are particularly concerned with helping arts organizations successfully achieve their missions. It is toward such an end that we sustain a deep conviction in the centrality of the role of the artist, and in the fundamental importance of artistic excellence, as issues central to the health of all arts organizations in the twenty-first century.

The Arts Administration program offers a flexible schedule to accommodate students who are working or who have other responsibilities that prevent traditional full-time study. All coursework can be completed on a part-time, evening basis in approximately two calendar years. Students may also pursue their degree via full-time study.

Our faculty, comprising both national and international arts practitioners, emphasizes an interdisciplinary curriculum and encourages collaboration between students from both visual and performing arts backgrounds. Students in the program are able to consult and network with a wide range of companies and nonprofit organizations operating within the art world. The program also emphasizes a global perspective, requiring students to enroll in an International Travel Study Course, which enables them to engage with world-renowned cultural leaders, museums, arts organizations, and artists.

Students who complete the master’s degree in Arts Administration will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced knowledge of the history, structure, and institutional behavior of arts organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in the U.S. and, in a global context, an understanding of international cultural policy.
  • Proficiency with a sophisticated skill set emphasizing best practices with regard to: fundraising and financial management; setting goals in a mission-driven (as well as a revenue-driven) organization; understanding the important legal issues inherent in managing (either) performing or visual arts organizations; marketing within arts organizations; and engaging communities with the arts.
  • Competence sufficient to successfully obtain a position in the field of arts administration and/or nonprofit management.

View course descriptions.