Master of Science 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 dynamic of the arts world is constantly evolving, resulting in a growing need for highly skilled administrators who can work effectively with elected officials, business and community leaders, and fellow arts professionals.

The 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.

The Arts Administration program offers 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 through our international travel study courses, which enables students to engage with world-renowned cultural leaders, museums, arts organizations, and artists.

Students who complete the Master of Science in Arts Administration will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced knowledge of the history of arts organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in the U.S.
  • Advanced knowledge of the structure and institutional behavior of arts organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in the U.S.
  • 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 their personal development, networking, and self-marketing for professional advancement within the field of arts administration and/or nonprofit management.

View course descriptions.