Lead Arts Organizations into the Global Future

In the decade ahead, the art world will be transformed. The Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) will ensure that you have the professional and creative skills to work effectively across community, business, and public domains to build a new and flourishing art world.

As the realities of a post-pandemic life emerge, leaders in arts organizations face a host of challenges, some familiar and some unexpected. What we do know is that the art world will need talent who can develop solutions, establish new practices, and illuminate novel ways of producing art and conducting business—in other words, the demand will be high for skilled arts administrators and managers. These professionals will need every tool and skill at their disposal to navigate the road ahead and guide institutions large and small through these changing times.

Program at a Glance

  • On Campus
  • Part-Time or Full-Time Study
  • 40 Credits
  • 12–24 Months to Completion
  • 25 Core Faculty
  • Tuition & Fees Range—Part-Time Study*: $33,460–$38,500

*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition and fees. Merit scholarship may reduce cost.

Advance Your Career in Arts Administration

BU MET’s Arts Administration master’s 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. We believe that the arts are a critical element in society and the role of arts managers is to nurture environments in which artistic greatness can thrive.

The MS in Arts Administration degree provides a unique hands-on learning opportunity to develop professional experience in the field, positioning you for the realities of today’s arts organizations. From renowned symphony orchestras and museums to inventive community theaters and upstart galleries, the organizations that bring the arts to the public are crucial to a rich and diverse cultural life—and Boston offers a wealth of possibilities for engagement.

The Arts Administration master’s 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 abroad.

Charles River Campus

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New MET Scholarship Dedicated to Strengthening Inclusion in Arts Administration

New Advancing the Arts Scholarship

To foster greater inclusion in leadership of the arts and cultural sector, the Advancing the Arts Scholarship is a new opportunity for applicants to the MS in Arts Administration program who have dealt with personal challenges or other barriers to their participation in the arts and are committed to making the arts accessible to all.

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“The Arts Administration program at BU has afforded me the opportunity to explore new areas of interest and engage with dynamic professors and guest speakers, all while strengthening my administrative skill set.”Adriana Ray (MET’17), Development Director at The International Association of Blacks in Dance, Inc.

Why Earn a Master’s in Arts Administration at BU?

  • Active Learning Environment: BU’s Arts Administration courses ensure you get the attention you need through close interaction with faculty and visiting artists. Benefit from an interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages collaboration between students from multidisciplinary arts backgrounds and provides access to mentor programs, internships, project management activities, and opportunities to work with world-leading art institutions and practitioners in the field.
  • Career Counseling: MET’s Career Development office and BU’s Center for Career Development offer a variety of job-hunting resources, including one-on-one career counseling by appointment for both online and on-campus students.
  • Engaged Faculty: In BU’s MS in Arts Administration program, you will study with an international faculty of leading industry professionals working within the visual and performing arts worlds. Their expertise in the most current challenges, trends, and best practices in the field enables them to offer rich perspectives and insights that ensure a uniquely hands-on approach to study.
  • Extensive Network: Study alongside peers within the art world; consult and network with a wide range of national and international companies and nonprofit organizations within the art world; and benefit from a global alumni community with strong professional connections. Plus, you have access to the Boston University Arts Administration Student Association (AASA), formed in the spring of 1995 to provide opportunities for social interaction, educational enrichment, and career development.
  • Student Support: Enjoy an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio, ensuring close interaction with faculty mentors and access to support.
  • Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the BU Art Galleries, Arts Initiative, Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre, Mugar Memorial Library, Center for Antiracist Research, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, Tsai Performance Center, Wheelock Family Theatre, and many others.
  • Flexible Options: Study at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus with courses that begin fall, spring, and summer.
  • Track Record: Founded in 1993, Boston University’s Metropolitan College Arts Administration program has produced professional leaders at a host of cultural institutions in Boston, throughout the United States, and abroad.
  • Advancing the Arts Scholarship—US-based applicants to the Arts Administration program who have dealt with personal challenges or other barriers to their participation in the arts—and who are committed to making the arts accessible to all—may be eligible for the Advancing the Arts Scholarship and teaching assistantships.
  • Merit Scholarships: US citizens and permanent residents are automatically considered during the application process and nominated based on eligibility. Learn more.

Succeed in the Management of Arts Organizations

Through the MS in Arts Administration and graduate certificates in Arts Management, Arts Marketing, Commercial Theater Development, and Fundraising Management, the Arts Administration program at BU MET emphasizes creativity, economic problem solving, entrepreneurial leadership, internationalism, innovation in the arts, and a commitment to technological proficiency. 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 all arts organizations in the twenty-first century.

We offer a flexible schedule to accommodate students who are working or 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.

Graduate with Expertise

Boston University’s Arts Administration master’s degree will equip you with:

  • 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 your personal development, networking, and self-marketing for professional advancement within the field of arts administration and/or nonprofit management.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

BU MET graduate certificate programs can serve as building blocks to a master’s degree. 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. Students currently enrolled in a graduate certificate who are interested in transitioning into a master’s degree should contact their academic advisor to declare their interest in this pathway. A new master’s degree application is not required. Connect with a graduate admissions advisor at artsad@bu.edu to learn more about this option.

The following graduate certificate programs can be applied to the master’s degree: Arts Management, Commercial Theater Development, and Fundraising Management.

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

Concentration Core*

Group A: Required courses (16 credits)

Group B: at least five courses (20 credits) from this group

*Six concentration courses must be completed before enrolling in MET AR 802, MET AR 803, MET AR 804, MET AR 810, or MET AR 811.

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

Note: One additional course may be substituted from Group B. Written approval of advisor is required for CAS AH 520 and CAS AH 521.

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 its partnerships with other institutions abroad, recent courses have been offered in Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; and Havana, Cuba. The Arts in Barcelona (MET AR 587) is offered during spring break and Comparative Cultural Policy and Administration (London/Paris) (MET AR 577) 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. Visit the Arts Administration website for detailed information.

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 Advanced Management and Consulting for Arts Organizations (MET AR 804) for the internship with written consent from their advisor.

Arts Administration Faculty

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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BU MET Programs offer the flexibility of part-time or full-time study. Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. If you enroll in 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, you are charged the part-time per-credit rate. If you enroll in 3–4 courses (12–16 credits) in a semester, you are charged the full-time semester rate.

MS in Arts Administration (On Campus)

Enrollment Status Part Time Full Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
4 courses
(16 credits)
3 courses
(12 credits)
Time to Degree 5 semesters
(20 months)
3 semesters
(12-16 months)***
4 semesters
(16-20 months)***
Tuition* $535-$955
per credit**
per semester
per semester
Fees per Semester* $60 $457 $457
Total Degree Cost* $33,460–
$72,412 $100,948

*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $535/credit, 600–999 = $955/credit).
***Summer semester enrollment is not required for international students to maintain F-1 visa status. Enrollment in summer semester coursework will expedite completion of program and reduce total program cost.

International students seeking an F-1 visa for on-campus study must enroll full time and demonstrate availability of funds to cover the Estimated Cost of Graduate Study; those who wish to study online may enroll part-time but are not eligible for a visa. Learn more about International Student Tuition & Fees.

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

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Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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