MS in Arts Administration

The Arts Administration degree program is designed for students who wish to pursue professional careers in visual arts, performing arts, and arts service organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors both domestically and internationally.

The Master of Science (MS) in Arts Administration program emphasizes excellence, creativity, economic problem solving, global networking, and a commitment to new technologies. 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 21st century.

We offer 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.

The program’s faculty of working professionals emphasizes an interdisciplinary curriculum and encourages collaboration between students from both visual and performing arts backgrounds. Our students are able to consult and network with a range of national and international companies and nonprofit organizations that operate within the art world. The program also emphasizes a global perspective through our international travel study courses, which enable students to engage with world-renowned cultural leaders, museums, arts organizations, and artists.

Learning Outcomes

  • Advanced knowledge of the history of arts organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in the US.
  • Advanced knowledge of the structure and institutional behavior of arts organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in the US.
  • Understanding of international cultural policy in a global context.
  • Proficiency with a sophisticated skillset emphasizing best practices with regard to fundraising and financial management.
  • Understanding of best practices regarding setting goals in both mission- and revenue-driven organizations.
  • The ability to identify, interpret, and apply relevant legal regulations in nonprofit and for-profit arts organizational settings.
  • The ability to develop, implement, and assess the effectiveness of marketing programs in arts organization settings.
  • The ability to develop, maintain, and leverage funding and constituent relationships to increase community engagement in the arts.
  • The ability to take a strategic approach to their personal development, networking, and self-marketing for professional advancement within the field of arts administration and/or nonprofit management.

Admissions Information

For current admissions information, please visit the Metropolitan College website.

Program Requirements (ten courses/40 credits)

All courses are 4 credits unless otherwise indicated.

Group A: Required courses

  • MET AR 690 The Art World—should be completed in the first semester
  • MET AR 750 Financial Management for Nonprofits
  • MET AR 778 Legal Issues in Arts Administration (prereq: MET AR 690)
  • MET AR 802 Internship in Arts Administration I (2 cr)—usually taken in the next-to-last semester
  • MET AR 803 Internship in Arts Administration II (2 cr)—usually taken in the final semester (prereq: 24 cr of study)

Group B: Electives

A minimum of five courses from this group, including one or two International Travel Study Courses (indicated by *). Students who choose not to take a Group C elective must select six courses from this group:

  • MET AR 550 Raising Funds and Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • MET AR 577 Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (London/Paris)*
  • MET AR 587 The Arts in Barcelona*
  • MET AR 711 Capital Campaigns
  • MET AR 720 Marketing and Audience Development for the Arts (prereq: after or concurrently with MET AR 690)
  • MET AR 722 Educational Programming in Cultural Institutions
  • MET AR 723 Individual Fundraising (prereq: MET AR 550)
  • MET AR 730 Political and Public Advocacy for the Arts
  • MET AR 740 Technology and Arts Administration
  • MET AR 749 Research and Program Evaluation in Arts Administration
  • MET AR 751 Commercial Production: The Broadway Model
  • MET AR 752 Strategies for Performing Arts Businesses
  • MET AR 753 Current Trends in the Performing Arts Industry
  • MET AR 754 Global Performing Arts Presenting and Producing
  • MET AR 766 Arts and the Community
  • MET AR 771 Managing Performing Arts Organizations (prereq: MET AR 690)
  • MET AR 774 Managing Visual Arts Organizations (prereq: MET AR 690)
  • MET AR 779 Public Art Program Administration
  • MET AR 781 Special Topics in Arts Administration
  • MET AR 789 Creative Startups: From Idea to Impact
  • MET AR 804 Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations—may be substituted for MET AR 802/803 with advisor’s permission (prereq: 24 cr of study)
  • MET AR 810 Master’s Thesis I
  • MET AR 811 Master’s Thesis II

Group C: Optional out-of-department electives—no more than one course (4 credits) may be taken from this group

  • CAS AH 520 The Museum and the Historical Agency
  • CAS AH 521 Curatorship
  • CFA FA 540 Arts and Culture in Mexico: Revolution to the Present
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • MET AD 642 Project Management
  • MET AD 648 Ecommerce
  • MET AD 728 Understanding and Managing Heritage Tourism
  • MET CM 708 Principles and Practices of Advertising
  • MET MG 515 Negotiations and Organizational Conflict Resolution
  • MET UA 515 History, Theory, and Planning Practice
  • MET UA 805 Urban Studies Capstone

International Travel Study Courses

The Arts Administration program is committed to exposing its students to the growing impact of globalization on the art world. US students enrolled in the master’s program are required to take an international travel study course (international students are encouraged to do so as well). Using the resources of Boston University and partnerships with other universities abroad, recent courses have been offered in Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; and Havana, Cuba. MET AR 587 The Arts in Barcelona is offered during spring break and MET AR 577 Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (London/Paris) is offered in the summer.


Students matriculating in the Arts Administration program are required to have direct work experience in arts organizations prior to degree conferral. There are two components to the internship course. Through the Internship I course (MET AR 802), students prepare to obtain an internship by honing their interviewing skills, conducting a job search, and working with a network of organizations and alumni to secure an appropriate placement. Students must have completed 24 credits prior to taking Internship II (MET AR 803) and undertaking the actual fieldwork. The program maintains a formal relationship with a core group of potential host organizations that have been selected for their willingness to work with interns, although it is possible to intern with other organizations as well. The student is expected to complete a total of 150 hours of work with the host agency, generally within a single semester.

Internship Waiver

Students with four or more years of professional arts organization work experience may waive the internship requirement with their advisor’s written consent. If the internship is waived, the student must enroll in a tenth classroom-based course. Students with at least two years of full-time professional arts administration work experience can substitute MET AR 804 Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations for the internship with written consent from their advisor.