MS 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.

The program’s faculty of international, 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 Arts Administration program is specifically designed to accommodate the schedules of working adults. Students can complete all coursework on a part-time, evening basis, in approximately two years. Full-time study toward the degree is also possible, although scheduling issues may sometimes arise, as not every course will appear in a one-year cycle.

The program also emphasizes 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. 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. The travel course is a requirement for all students.

Four-course graduate certificate programs in Arts Administration or Fundraising Management are also available.

View our full list of Arts Administration courses.

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.

Concentration Electives

Students are encouraged to use their electives to broaden their understanding of arts administration. Elective credit may be taken from other departments within the University, after approval of the student’s advisor. Courses of particular interest include CAS AH 521 Curatorship and CAS AH 520 Museums and Historical Agencies, offered by the Department of Art History (Museum Studies) in the graduate division of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Group C: Optional—no more than one course (4 credits) from this group

  • 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
    (may not also take AR 700)
  • MET AD 769 Cultural Tourism and the Art and Festival Industries
  • 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 UA 515 History, Theory and Planning Practice
  • CAS AH 520 The Museum and The Historical Agency
  • CAS AH 521 Curatorship
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • CFA FA 540 Arts and Culture in Mexico: Revolution to the Present

Note: 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 Arts Administration program is committed to exposing its students to the growing impact of globalization on the art world. As part of the curriculum, Arts Administration students are required to take an International Travel Study Course. Using the resources of Boston University and its partnerships with other institutions abroad, recent courses have been offered in Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; and Havana, Cuba. Arts in Barcelona will be offered in spring. Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (Dublin/London) is offered in the summer.


Students matriculating in the Arts Administration program are required to have some direct work experience in arts organizations prior to degree conferral. Students must have completed 24 credits prior to taking AR803 Internship II 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. Also, with the permission of the advisor, MET AR 804 Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations may be substituted for the internship requirement if the student has had two years of full-time professional arts administration work experience.

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.