What is arts administration?
Arts administration comprises an array of professional positions that are associated with managing performing and visual arts organizations. These include roles in program and project directing, development and fundraising, educational outreach, box office, exhibition planning, and financial management. Our program addresses the needs of both nonprofit and commercial arts organizations, equipping our students to succeed across a range of positions.
How is Metropolitan College (MET) related to Boston University?
Established in 1965, Metropolitan College is one of Boston University’s 17 degree-granting schools and colleges. Arts Administration is a MET program, and graduating students are awarded a BU degree.
Can I attend BU part-time? What about full-time?
You can opt for whatever suits your schedule best. You can even switch from part-time to full-time at any time, or vice versa.
If I am an international student, do I have to attend school full-time?
Yes. All international students are required by law to attend school full-time, with the exception of your final semester, when you may attend part-time.
How often do classes meet and how long are they?
Most of our classes meet once a week for three hours, from 6 to 8:45 pm, during the fall and spring semesters. Depending on the needs of the specific course, some have periodic meetings and meetings on weekends. To see the current and upcoming course offerings, please see our semester schedule.
Arts Administration courses also meet during Boston University’s Summer Term, which comprises two six-week sessions, Summer 1 and Summer 2.
For those studying online, you can complete course assignments during the hours that work best for you on a day-to-day basis, though you must finish each course within the allotted time period. Class resources are available 24/7, and some live (synchronous) online sessions may be required. For online students enrolling at Boston University, there is a fall semester (September through December, comprising both Fall 1 and Fall 2 online sessions), a spring semester (January through May, comprising both Spring 1 and Spring 2 online sessions), and two summer sessions, Summer 1 and Summer 2.
May I sit in on a class?
Absolutely! We encourage all potential applicants to visit the school and to sit in on a class. It’s a wonderful way to meet current students and to get a feel for the program. If you’re interested in sitting in on a class, please contact the Arts Administration office, either via email at email@example.com, or by phone at 617-353-4064.
What kind of jobs can I expect to be qualified for after having completed a Master of Science in Arts Administration?
That will depend largely upon your previous professional history and the amount of work experience you acquire during your study here. We have had several students who have been hired as executive directors of mid-sized arts organizations upon graduation. Most often, students with limited experience find employment as project directors and coordinators in arts organizations.
Do I need to have work experience before applying to the program?
Though we prefer students to have two to four years of work experience—because experience tends to enhance classroom discussion—it is not required.
What kind of background do you look for from applicants?
We look for a mature and diverse group of students with serious convictions about the importance of the arts, who have attained a measure of expertise in one arts discipline—either through education, work, or practice.
What if I am making a career change and have a limited background in the arts?
In this case, we might require that you take a few prerequisite courses in the arts before applying to the program. Your adviser will assist you in selecting the most suitable classes.
How does it help my career to have a job in the arts while I am studying?
Employers look for candidates with relevant experience, and fieldwork adds value to your degree while enhancing your résumé. BU’s program in Arts Administration encourages you to work (often in the arts administration field) while you study. Interning and volunteering are also good ways of adding to your CV. As part of the program, we offer students the services of our Internship page and Arts Jobs Bank, designed to help them find a position in the field.
Since every school calculates costs differently, it can be quite confusing to compare one to another. What do you suggest?
Determining what your education will actually cost is important, especially when a scholarship package or an assistantship award is involved. As such, we urge you to carefully consider many different questions before making your decision.
For example, consider a student who has been offered a $15,000 annual scholarship to attend a program at a private research university in a major city in the United States. Assuming the regular full-time tuition is $40,000 per year, the program now “costs” $25,000 per year, for $50,000 total over the program’s two years. This is a lot of savings. However, remember to consider the actual cost of the program, and not just the amount of the scholarship. While cheaper than paying full tuition, two years spent out of the labor force and $50,000 in tuition is still a major investment of time and money. Would that school make the best choice for you?
Even more challenging is how to count other factors besides tuition. What is the academic reputation of the school? How long has the program been in existence—has it been long enough to generate a large number of alums who have moved into positions of authority in established arts organizations? What cultural resources are available in the city where the school is located? Where do you want to work (if you are considering a national or international career, you may want to know about the school’s national and international reputation and resources)? These questions are almost impossible to answer numerically; however, they are important to ask when considering your career goals and in determining the overall “costs” and “benefits” of attending a particular school.
How much does it cost to apply?
The application fee is $85 for the Master of Science program and $25 for each of the graduate certificate programs.
What will it cost to earn the degree?
Tuition at BU is competitive. While our program does not offer traditional scholarships, it does award several graduate assistantships (more on this below). In addition, students are able to attend BU on either a full-time or part-time basis, and can switch enrollment status (from full-time to part-time, or vice versa) from semester to semester. These options create more financial flexibility and allow students to choose the approach that best accommodates their individual work schedules and personal lives.
Most of our students choose to attend the program part-time while working full-time in the field during the day (most of our classes are held at night). This enables them to build experience and earn money to pay for tuition and living expenses while enrolled in the program.
If you have a specific work restriction; are attending BU on an external one-year scholarship; are an international student; or have particular personal or family constraints, you may choose to attend the program on a full-time basis. This will enable you to graduate in as few as 12 months, if you choose. As a full-time student, you may take three, four, or four-and-one-half classes per semester.
If you decide to enroll on a part-time basis and take two classes per semester (a typical load), it will take 21 to 24 months to complete the program. A part-time student may take one, two, or two and one-half classes per semester—whatever works best. For current tuition rates, visit the Metropolitan College Tuition & Financial Aid page. Please note there is an additional cost (typically between $500 and $1,000) associated with our travel course, which is mandatory for domestic US students.
Many international students like to take a little more time (16–24 months total) to complete their studies, due, in part, to the challenges of studying Arts Administration in a foreign language. We advise you to work with your advisor to set up an effective schedule. If you do decide to extend your stay at BU beyond a year and enroll in additional semesters of study, you will incur additional costs.
Are there any additional costs?
All domestic students are required to take one intensive international class. Additional costs associated with this class, which include airfare, housing, and food, average $500–$1,000 per trip. Also, if you do not have any other healthcare coverage, you may be required to enroll in the student health insurance plan. For information about BU medical insurance—for whom it is required as well as costs and exemptions—visit the BU Student Accounting Services webpage.
Do I need a GRE/GMAT score to apply for the program?
No, a GRE/GMAT score is not required for application to the program. International students, however, are required to submit results of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)—with a minimum score of 84 and at least the designated minimum in each area: Reading, 21; Listening, 18; Speaking, 23; and Writing, 22—or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with a minimum score of 6.5.
More information about other application material can be found on our admissions requirements page.
Do you offer any Graduate Assistantships?
Yes. The department awards a limited number of graduate assistantships each semester and over the summer. This is a great way to earn money while learning about how the program and the University function. Half-time assistants receive $2,660 for working 140 hours (10 hours per week) per semester, and full-time assistants receive $5,320 for working 280 hours (20 hours per week) per semester. There are two types of assistantships: administrative and research. If you are selected for an administrative assistantship, you will assist the program manager as receptionist, helping to process student applications, answer email inquiries, maintain our databases, and perform other administrative tasks. Work schedules for the office are made at the beginning of each semester and usually consist of four-hour shifts, often two to four days per week. A research assistant will work with the program director or our full-time faculty to further their various research projects. In this capacity you might help locate and read research articles, prepare PowerPoint presentations, and/or collect and enter data. The work schedule is governed by the particular research project and can vary from week to week throughout the semester. The student who is awarded this assistantship (one per professor, per semester) will come to the office for occasional meetings, while the remaining hours will be completed outside the office.
Is an interview required for the application procedure?
No. An interview is not required for the application process, but we strongly recommend that you speak with our office staff prior to making a decision about whether to choose Boston University. You may do this in person or by telephone. Email us or call 617-353-4064 to arrange a time.
May I get in touch with current students and/or alumni to discuss the program?
Sure. Contact our office via phone (617-353-4064) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will put you in touch with a student or alum from your specific area of interest.
Where is Boston University located?
Boston University is conveniently located on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue, minutes away from Kenmore Station and Fenway Park. It is readily accessible by MBTA public transit, including the B-train of the Green Line and the #57 bus. All the essentials of student living are close at hand, from clothing stores to grocery stores.
How hard is it to find an apartment and what is the rent like?
There is a very high occupancy rate for apartments in the Boston area. Therefore, it is important to plan well in advance for living arrangements. You can find information about on-campus and off-campus housing by visiting BU’s Graduate Student Housing site.
I am concerned that Boston is expensive. Should I go to a school where the cost of living is less?
Good question. Living in Boston can be expensive—after all, it is a very popular place to be. You may have heard we have a few colleges in Boston (about 60)—they don’t call Boston the “Athens of America” for nothing! Many people want to live in Boston, which can drive up rent prices, but the good news is there are lots of interesting things to do here and your overall costs will be offset by Metropolitan College’s reasonable tuition rates. There are lots of interesting, smart people to spend time with, many of whom will be your classmates!
Do I need a car in Boston?
Not at all. Biking, walking, and the public transit system (known as the “T,” which includes bus, trolley, subway, and commuter rail) are the easiest means of getting around this city. Boston University offers some exciting commuter benefits for its students. Visit BU Parking & Transportation Services to learn more.
What makes Boston a great place to live?
As one of the oldest cities in America, Boston was home to major historical figures such as Paul Revere, Alexander Graham Bell, and John Hancock, as well as to several “firsts,” including the first park (Boston Common) and the first subway.
There is always something to do in Boston—you can walk the historic Freedom Trail, visit the location of the Boston Massacre, ride a swan boat in the public garden, climb aboard the USS Constitution (the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy), take a duck boat ride, attend a baseball game at historic Fenway Park, or see basketball, hockey, and music at the Garden. There are also an amazing number of cultural activities occurring around the city, which include festivals, concerts, theatrical performances, and museum exhibitions. Greater Boston is home to 70+ colleges and universities, making it New England’s center for innovation and creativity. In other words, it is impossible to be bored! Not a bad place to be, in our humble opinion.
However, don’t just take our word for it— see what others have to say about Boston:
- Boston is named the top-ranked US city for students in the “QS Best Student Cities” 2022 poll.
- WalletHub ranked Massachusetts as the top state in their “Most Innovative States” of 2021.
- Innovation Cities™ named Boston #2 on their list of “Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Cities,” 2021.
- US News & World Report places Massachusetts #9 in their “Best States Rankings” for 2021.
- BestPlaces gives Massachusetts a 9.5 out of 10 in the “Best States for LGBQT Rights” 2019.
- The League of American Bicyclists ranked Massachusetts #5 among bike-friendy states for 2021.
Where do I want to live in Boston?
The Boston area has many popular locations for students to live. Please refer to BU Rental Property Management for more information.