MASTER OF ARTS
Career-Focused Arts Administration Training for all the Art Disciplines
The University of Akron Arts Administration master's program is designed to prepare students for successful careers in all disciplines of the non-profit arts. The strength of the program lies in a commitment to balancing theoretical study in the classroom with an application through practical experiences and internships.
The University of Akron founded its graduate program leading to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Theatre Arts with an option in Arts Administration in 1980. Today, the program is housed in the School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration in the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, welcoming students from a variety of artistic, educational, and professional backgrounds.
The M.A. in Arts Administration is awarded after the successful completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework including the completion of a professional internship experience, and the acceptance of a written thesis or project. The curriculum provides students with a philosophical base for decision-making and planning, as well as a comprehensive range of techniques for working effectively in the field.
Although core courses are offered by Arts Administration faculty, an essential part of the Arts Administration master's program is the selection of courses in management, marketing and finance.
Arts Administration Curriculum
Arts Administration Core Courses
Principles of Arts Administration - 3 credits
Principles and practices in non-profit arts management, including organizational structure, function of boards, personnel and volunteer management, and public policy for the arts.
Research and Writing Techniques - 3 credits
Exploration of basic research tools and methods appropriate to the discipline, including utilization of databases and guidelines for writing master's thesis.
Arts Administration Policies and Practices - 3 credits
Financial management of the arts, facilities management, presenting performances, touring, and unique management problems in non-profit dance and theatre companies, orchestras, and museums.
Legal Aspects of Arts Administration - 3 credits
Legal responsibilities and liabilities of an arts organization, contracts, copyright law, insurance, taxation, artists’ rights, personnel law, and labor law.
Internship - 3-6 credits
Faculty supervised work experience in which student participates in an arts management, performance, or technical situation with a selected cultural organization. Most often taken during the summer.
Arts Administration Core Courses
Fundraising and Grantsmanship in the Arts - 3 credits
Techniques and execution of a development campaign for individuals, corporations, foundations, federal and state grants, and endowment, including research and proposal writing.
Audience Development - 3 credits
Developing audiences for the arts through arts marketing techniques, including season and single ticket campaigns, promotional strategies, media/public relations, and market research.
Colloquium on the Arts - 3 credits
A brief exploration of the major visual and performing art forms and organizations examined in relationship to the business management of arts.
Master's Thesis/Project - 3-6 credits
Research related to completion of master’s thesis or project.
Note: (If the student chooses to write a thesis, its 6 credits; a project can range from 3-6 credits)
Flexible Business Courses
Business Courses - (6-9) total credits
Arts Administration students select business-style courses in:
- Management - 3 credits
- Marketing - 3 credits and/or
- Finance - 3 credits
Course selections are made according to each student's unique career goal and are most often from the College of Business, School of Communication, Public Administration and Urban Studies.
Professionally Connect with an Internship
Each student spends several weeks—often the summer between the first and second years—acquiring practical experience and mentoring in a professional arts organization.
To name a few, recent internship hosts have included:
- Lincoln Center
- The Smithsonian Institution
- Cleveland Museum of Art
- Cleveland Orchestra
- Warhol Museum
- Sante Fe Opera
- National Youth Orchestra
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Neos Dance Theatre
- Ballet in the City
- GroundWorks DanceTheatre
- Canton and Massillon Museums
- Stagecrafters Youth Theatre
- Porthouse Theatre
- Akron Civic Theatre
Create an Arts Administration Thesis or Project
The creation of a thesis or project is the culminating experience of every student graduating from the Arts Administration program at The University of Akron. Thesis topics may be historical, theoretical, analytical, and project oriented.
Read the Graduate Bulletin for detailed courses descriptions and additional graduate school information at The University of Akron.