MS in Arts Administration

Boston University’s Master of Science (MS) in Arts Administration degree program is designed for students pursuing professional careers in arts organizations and businesses in all sectors, both domestically and internationally.

Comprising advanced career practitioners who are experts in their respective areas, the Arts Administration master’s program faculty serve as mentors to emerging leaders in the field. We cultivate both practical professional skills and intellectual curiosity in our students, while encouraging active engagement among our students and alumni across arts disciplines. Our students are diverse and international, and benefit from numerous opportunities to engage and network with a range of national and international companies and nonprofit organizations within the art world.

The MS in Arts Administration program at Boston University is specifically designed to accommodate the schedules of working adults. Students will generally be able to complete all coursework on a part-time, evening basis. For part-time students, the master’s program can be completed in approximately two calendar years. Full-time study toward the degree is also possible. International students are required to attend full-time and should be able to complete the program in 12 months. Please note that not every course will appear in any twelve-month cycle.

The program emphasizes a global perspective. An International Travel Study Course is required for students from the US and highly encouraged for international students. International Travel Study Courses enable students to engage with world-renowned cultural leaders, museums, arts organizations, and artists. Using the resources of Boston University and its partnerships with other institutions abroad, recent courses have been offered in cultural destinations such as Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; and Havana, Cuba.

Four-course graduate certificate programs in Arts Administration, Fundraising Management, and Commercial Theater Development are also available. Each certificate shares specific courses with the master’s in Arts Administration program, giving you the option to take one or two certificates on your path to a master’s degree. To be eligible for the degree, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Consult with a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about these options.

View our full list of Arts Administration courses.

Arts Administration Master’s Degree Requirements

A total of 40 credits is required. Courses are 4 credits each unless indicated otherwise.

Group A: Required courses (16 credits)

Group B: At least five courses (20 credits) from this group, including an International Travel Study Course (indicated by )

*Six concentration courses must be completed before enrolling in this course.

Group C: Out-of-Department Elective – optional, no more than one course (4 credits) from this group

Students are encouraged to use their electives to broaden their understanding of arts administration. One out-of-department elective may be taken from other departments within the University, after approval by the student’s advisor.

  • CAS AH 520 The Museum and The Historical Agency
  • CAS AH 521 Curatorship
    : Exhibition Development**
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • CFA FA 540 Arts and Culture in Mexico: Revolution to the Present
  • 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 733 Leadership in Management
    (may not also take AR 700)
  • 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 Urban Studies Capstone
  • MET ML 623 Food and Museums

Note: Students are not required to take a Group C Elective – one additional course may be substituted from Group B.

** Written approval of adviser required.

  •  AR 690 The Art World is a prerequisite for AR778 Legal Issues in Arts Administration, AR771 Managing Performing Arts Organizations, AR774 Managing Visual Arts Organizations, and AR720 Marketing and Audience Development
  •  Students must have completed 24 credits and have two years full-time work experience in the arts prior to taking AR804. AR804 may be substituted for AR802/803 with advisor’s permission.
  • AR751 Commercial Production: The Broadway Model is a pre requisite for AR753 Current Trends in the Performing Arts Industry and AR754 Global Performing Arts Presenting and Production

International Travel Study Courses

The master’s in Arts Administration program is committed to exposing its students to the growing impact of globalization on the art world. Students from the US are required to take an International Travel Study Course as part of the curriculum, and international students are encouraged to do so. Currently, Arts in Barcelona is offered in the Spring semester. Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (London/Paris) is offered during the Summer term.

Arts Administration Internship

We require students to have direct work experience in an arts organization before graduating from the Arts Administration graduate degree program. Our internship program is designed to allow students who do not have experience in full-time paid positions in the arts to apply the skills they have learned in the program to real-world situations in the field. There are two components to our internships. We help students to prepare for and obtain an internship through the Internship I course. We develop job search and interviewing skills, and work with the student and our network of organizations and alumni to secure an appropriate placement. 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. During the actual internship, students are enrolled in the Internship II course and receive ongoing mentorship from their faculty advisor. Students are expected to complete at least 150 hours of work experience with the host agency, generally within a single semester.

Because a key aspect of the internship opportunity is to test skills learned in the Arts Administration program, students may not undertake the internship component until they have completed at least 24 credits (6 courses) in the program. Students take the Internship I preparatory course in the semester immediately before their internship.

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. If a student has at least two years of professional experience in the arts, they may substitute Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations (MET AR 804) for the internship requirement with the permission of their advisor. Regardless of internship status, MET 804 is open to all students in the program with the permission of the instructor.

Academic Standing

All students in the Arts Administration program must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 to remain in good standing and to graduate. No grade below B– in any course may be applied toward the degree. Students with a grade point average below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and must achieve a cumulative 3.0 by the completion of the following semester or be subject to dismissal. Students who are placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters are also subject to dismissal.