Arts Policy and Administration Master of Arts

About us

The mission of the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy is to critically engage cultural meaning that fosters social change and advances the public interest through the arts and visual culture through excellence in:

  • Research
  • Policy
  • Teaching
  • Leadership

Our programs promote understanding of the arts and visual culture for all students through a curriculum that is research-based, interdisciplinary and intent on collaboration with communities both within and outside the University, state, nation, and world.

We emphasize understanding of arts and culture, especially visual culture, in a global, culturally diverse and technological society. This content is explored through the following:

  • Pedagogical theory and practices
  • Critical inquiry of historical and contemporary artworks
  • Analysis of public and educational policy in the arts and cultures
  • Inquiry in the philosophical, historical, and policy foundations of art education, arts management, and cultural policy administration

Our curriculum includes attention to understanding:

  • Multimedia technologies in cultural production
  • Critique of policies
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Assessment
  • Awareness of comparative international practice


Arts administration is a growing field that has applications in a variety of exciting venues, both in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Understanding the powerful role of arts and culture in society today is the cornerstone of this degree. Integrating theory and practice, the APA degree gives students the most comprehensive and rigorous training available anywhere. You will learn effective smart practices in administration, entrepreneurship, policy, and governance.

Based in one of the largest universities in the U.S., this program combines a rigorous academic focus with meaningful community engagement. Underlying the tenets of the APA program is the commitment to equity and inclusion, as well as a focus on cultural and creative sustainability and resilience. Graduates of the program have flourished in their careers, finding opportunities worldwide for meaningful positions in the arts and culture sector and beyond.

When you graduate from the APA program, you will be able to:

  • Master management, policy, and economic theories in the realm of the creative economy in order to contribute to the advancement of scholarship in the field (Theoretical Foundations)
  • Assess and evaluate the smart practices and key dilemmas facing the creative sector and its proponents on the global stage. Program graduates will have a comprehensive knowledge of the variety of research methodologies available to evaluate quantitative and qualitative data. Students will have the skills to apply data-driven solutions to the wide range of challenges in the creative sector today (Assessment, Research and Evaluation)
  • Understand the importance of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in the creation and dissemination of creative outputs. (Equity and Inclusion)

Career Paths

The MA in Arts Policy and Administration prepares leaders in the creative sector to comprehend organizational structure, provide adaptable and sustainable strategic planning for changing times, offer insight into global production and consumption trends, demonstrate cultural sensitivity, and continue to leverage important research tools and knowledge to address issues at hand in the rapidly-shifting world of the arts. Professionals with the MA in Arts Policy and Administration will go on to hold influential positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as leaders, managers, and consultants, enjoying exciting career trajectories including:

  • Municipal Cultural Policy Advisor
  • Public Art Consultant
  • VP in a fashion design company
  • Operations Manager of a symphony orchestra
  • Marketing and social media specialist in a music industry corporation
  • CEO of a recording industry startup
  • Artist or craftsperson with a flourishing practice
  • Managing director of a theatre company
  • Director of institutional advancement in an art museum

What to know before applying

Deadline to Apply: November 30th
Program Start: Autumn semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: Bachelor's degree, undergraduate courses in American government, economics, and statistics
Minimum Program Hours: 43-46 credit hours
Coursework: Creative sector, arts/cultural institutions, organizational theories, management practice, public policy formulation and implementation, public affairs program evaluation, public and nonprofit management, policy practice, and arts management
Other Requirements: Thesis examination, non-thesis research project, or Capstone
Specializations AvailableMuseum Education and Administration
Funding Opportunities: Most students are admitted with a funding package. Applicants are able to apply directly for a GTA position or the Barnett Fellowship. Every year, the AAEP Graduate Studies Committee nominates outstanding applicants to the University Fellowship competition. Students are not eligible to apply directly for a University Fellowship or Graduate Enrichment Fellowship.