Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship, MS

The arts and cultural industries are key drivers of each nation's economy, contributing more than $730 billion annually in the United States alone. While the economic impact of the arts and cultural industries can be measured, their social impacts are often underestimated. Music, dance, visual art, and theatre are critical to how we perceive, interpret, and critique the world and people around us. The arts articulate our beliefs, politics, familial and community ties, and history.

Arts administrators are the bridge between creative practitioners and audiences and between arts institutions and supportive stakeholders. In today’s digitally driven, highly competitive, and increasingly global economy, traditional institutions for visual and performing arts face critical sustainability challenges. Leaders in the arts must adopt the creative thinking and problem-solving skills of an entrepreneur in order to envision new models for creative practice, audience engagement, and funding. 

The interdisciplinary Master of Science in Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship (AACE) prepares arts leaders to both convey the human necessity of creative expression and apply creative thinking to manage resources, inspire audience engagement, and sustain financial support. The arts, and audience opportunities to experience them, are more dynamic and diverse than ever before, flourishing in major arts institutions as well as non-hierarchical organizations, from artist-run spaces and community organizations to annual festivals and pop-up exhibitions. It is time for a transformation in leadership training that matches the ingenuity of today’s most exciting experiments in music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts. Arts leaders must also be equipped with the administrative, analytical, and technological skill sets necessary to excel within the complex, interdependent arts ecosystem. 

The AACE curriculum is designed to meet the changing needs of arts leaders, from administrators in arts institutions to creative practitioners and entrepreneurs eager to make their art startup a reality. The program focuses on leadership innovation in a range of performance, visual arts, and cultural organizations. As an intellectual and practical course of study that merges the expertise of academics, creative professionals, administrators, and entrepreneurs, the program’s aim is to support sustainable creative practice.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

Arts Administration Foundation
AACE 6000Arts and Culture Organizational Leadership3
AACE 6010Planning for Arts and Cultural Organizations3
AACE 6020Experiential Study in Arts Administration3
Cultural Entrepreneurship Foundation
AACE 6200Programming and Community Engagement for Cultural Entrepreneurs3
AACE 6210Building Value Through Cultural Enterprise3
AACE 62203


Arts Administration Directed Elective
AACE 6110Information Technology for Arts and Cultural Organizations3
Cultural Entrepreneurship Directed Elective
Complete one of the following:3
Business Planning for New Ventures
Managing Operations in Early Stage Ventures
Social Enterprise
Global Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Business Model Design and Innovation
Emerging and Disruptive Technologies
Lean Design and Development
Experiential Electives in Arts Leadership
Complete two of the following courses not taken to fulfill above requirements:6
AACE 6100
AACE 6120
Design for Behavior and Experience
Special Topics in Music Industry
Management of Music Organizations
Intellectual Property for Music Management
Marketing Strategies in the Music Industry

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required

Sample Plans of Study:

One Year

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1Hours
AACE 60003AACE 60203Cultural entrepreneurship directed elective3
AACE 60103AACE 62203Experiential elective 23
AACE 62003Arts administration directed elective3 
AACE 62103Experiential elective 13 
 12 12 6
Total Hours: 30

One and a Half Years

Year 1
AACE 60003AACE 60203
AACE 60103AACE 62203
AACE 62003Arts administration directed elective3
AACE 62103 
 12 9
Year 2
Cultural entrepreneurship directed elective3 
Experimental elective 13 
Experiential elective 23 
Total Hours: 30