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Arts Administration


Arts administration programs prepare people to manage art museums, art shows, and arts organizations.

In this program, students combine business skills with knowledge of art. Students learn:

Students who have had previous training in the arts (performing or visual) may be able to specialize in their area of expertise.

Art administration programs prepare students to:


A few schools offer bachelor's degrees in arts administration, but only in conjunction with a performing or visual art. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in arts administration. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

A few schools offer graduate-level certificates for working arts administration professionals who want to advance their training and knowledge without the fuss of another degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, good test scores, and direct work experience in the field. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Your bachelor's degree preferably should be in art, business administration, or theater. Without studio or performing art skills, you need a strong background in art history or another closely related field.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

In this program, you typically take courses such as the following:

In addition to course work, graduate students usually need to complete the following before graduation:

Most schools require you to complete a practicum as part of their curriculums. This gives you an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real-world arts administration setting. You also benefit from the direct supervision and guidance of an experienced arts administrator.

In a practicum, you could be tackling a particular problem in arts administration, such as convincing parents that an arts education is necessary. In that case, you might work with a variety of organizations in order to gather and then distribute the appropriate research studies and other materials.

Or you could choose one particular company or agency and assist with a variety of smaller administrative tasks, such as helping with a public relations campaign.

Things to Know

If your school doesn't provide resources for finding and securing an internship, consider finding one yourself. This kind of job-related experience can lead to professional contacts and may even improve your job prospects.


King-Snohomish Area

Seattle University

Spokane Area

Whitworth University