MS in Arts Administration

The 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. The past two 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 Master of Science in 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.

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.

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.


All candidates for admission to the degree program must have a bachelor’s degree, and are selected on the basis of undergraduate transcripts, academic and personal references, and related work experiences. We are particularly interested in those applicants who have two or more years of work experience after conferral of their undergraduate degrees. Interviews are strongly encouraged, either in person or by telephone. If you would like to arrange an interview, please contact the Arts Administration office at 617-353-4064 or

Standard admission tests, such as the GRE (institution code 3087) or GMAT, are required for international students and for those students who have received their baccalaureate degree within the past two years.

International students are also required to submit scores from one of the following tests (institution code 3087):

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test (iBT) with a minimum score of 95 and at least the designated minimum in each area: Reading, 21; Listening, 18; Speaking, 23; Writing, 22
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with a minimum score of 7.0

The program has a rolling admissions policy with no absolute deadlines. However, we strongly recommend that applicants complete their application by November 15 for the Spring Semester or March 15 for the Fall Semester. Students may choose to complete up to 8 credits on a non-matriculating basis, prior to admission.

Financial Aid

The program offers a small number of graduate assistantships to matriculating students. These consist of up to $4,200 in tuition remission per semester in exchange for research support or administrative work (10–20 hours per week). Information about this opportunity is made available to students when they are admitted to the degree program. Boston University Metropolitan College Graduate Financial Aid (617-358-4072; can provide additional information about deferred payment and loan programs.


Arts administration courses are taught by the program director, assistant director, and part-time faculty who are working professionals in the Boston area. On average, each faculty member has well over 10 years of high-level professional experience in the arts.

Program Requirements (10 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—should be completed within the first two semesters
  • 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

At least five courses from this group, including one or two International Travel Study Courses (indicated by *):

  • MET AR 510 Art Leaders Forum
  • MET AR 550 Raising Funds and Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • MET AR 650 Writing for the Arts
  • MET AR 711 Capital Campaigns
  • MET AR 720 Marketing and Audience Development for the Arts (prereq: after or concurrently with AR 690)
  • MET AR 722 Educational Programming in Cultural Institutions
  • MET AR 723 Individual Fundraising
  • MET AR 730 Political and Public Advocacy for the Arts
  • MET AR 749 Research and Program Evaluation in Arts Administration
  • MET AR 766 Arts and the Community
  • MET AR 771 Managing Performing Arts Organizations (prereq: AR 690)
  • MET AR 774 Managing Visual Arts Organizations (prereq: AR 690)
  • MET AR 777 Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (Dublin/London)*
  • MET AR 779 Public Art Program Administration
  • MET AR 781 Special Topics in Arts Administration
  • MET AR 787 The Arts in Barcelona*
  • MET AR 789 Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • MET AR 804 Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations—may be substituted for AR 802/803 with advisor’s permission; prereq: 24 cr of study
  • MET AR 810 Thesis I
  • MET AR 811 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 Historical Agency (written advisor approval required)
  • CAS AH 521 Curatorship: Exhibition Development (written advisor approval required)
  • CFA FA 540 Arts and Culture in Mexico: Revolution to the Present
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • MET AD 603 Evaluating and Developing Markets for Cultural Tourism
  • MET AD 642 Project Management
  • MET AD 648 Ecommerce
  • MET AD 725 Negotiations and Organizational Conflict Resolution
  • MET AD 728 Understanding and Managing Heritage Tourism
  • MET AD 733 Leadership in Management
  • MET AD 780 Ethics in Management
  • MET CM 708 Principles and Practices of Advertising
  • MET UA 515 History, Theory, and Planning Practice
  • MET UA 805 The Boston Urban Symposium

One additional course from Group B may be substituted in Group C, with advisor’s permission.

International Travel Study Courses

Students in the Arts Administration program benefit from valuable exposure to the growing impact of
globalization on the art world, and master’s students are required to take an International Travel Study
Course. Using the resources of Boston University and partnerships with other universities abroad, courses
have been offered in Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; and Havana,
Cuba. MET AR 787 The Arts in Barcelona is offered during spring break and MET AR 777 Comparative
Cultural Policy and Administration (Dublin/London) 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. A minimum of 6 of the 10 required courses must be completed before the student undertakes the actual fieldwork, although the planning phase may begin earlier. 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 can substitute a cultural project for the internship requirement after receiving written consent from the program director.