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  • MS in Arts Administration


    Drexel’s Master of Science in Arts Administration is one of the longest-running and most highly-regarded programs of its kind. This elite, accredited graduate degree is taught and administered by the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and fuses entrepreneurship, business acumen, and social science with the arts industry.

    Designed specifically for working professionals, the online MS in Arts Administration integrates innovative management practice, arts administration theory, and practicum into this internationally-recognized curriculum. As a student, you’ll benefit from Drexel’s multi-disciplinary approach through a class structure that incorporates three integral branches of the arts: research, policy, and practice.

    Career Preparation

    Here at Drexel, we work with your strengths, expand your capabilities, and give you the tools, resources, and experiences you need to fulfill your passion for arts and culture. We believe that successful leaders are adaptive, resourceful, strategic, and connected, and our arts administration programs build those capacities in you. Through integrating management theory and practice, organizational case studies, exposure to leading arts executives and thinkers, self-study, and academic research, Drexel’s arts administration programs prepare you for leadership in the field.

    The campus program, one of the oldest in the nation, draws on the city and region’s rich tapestry of arts and culture organizations to build your professional network and provide hands-on learning experiences, while the online program draws upon some of the country’s smartest arts leaders as mentors, teachers, and guides. Each program shares the same curriculum, with classes that address arts, commerce, research, and technology in a multi-disciplinary course of study. At Drexel, you’ll develop skills in marketing, fundraising, management and policy in preparation for a career as a community leader in arts and culture.

    Program Structure

    The program is designed around the working professional. All students begin the program with a brief required on-campus residency before completing the remainder of the coursework online. The accredited MS in Arts Administration degree requires that you complete 45 total credits, including courses in cultural policy, strategic planning and fund development. The program includes:

    • On-Campus Residency - September 12-15, 2016          
      You'll come to Drexel’s campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 4 days at the beginning of your first term in the program. While here, you'll have the opportunity to meet program faculty and classmates face-to-face, experience the city of Philadelphia’s rich arts community during local area site visits, and network with classmates and program alumni. During the residency, you'll also plan out a course of study with your advisor.
    • Internship and Thesis
      Students not currently working in the field have the option of completing a professional internship. The MS in Arts Administration concludes with the presentation of a graduate thesis in either a research topic of your choice or a case study related to your internship experience.

    Program Alliances

    The Drexel Arts Administration Graduate Program is a proud member of various organizations, including the Association of Arts Administration Educators, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Americans for the Arts. The program regularly participates in national research projects, including the National and Local Profiles of Cultural Support project administered by Americans for the Arts and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Learn From the Best

    Watch program director Dr. Jean Brody's webinar, The Arts Respond to 21st Century Technology.

    State restrictions may apply to some programs. Learn more.


    Professional Requirements 
    AADM 505Overview Of Arts Administration3.0
    AADM 510Writing for the Arts3.0
    AADM 610Financial Accounting for Non-Profit Arts Organizations3.0
    AADM 620Law and the Arts3.0
    AADM 650Fund Development for the Arts3.0
    AADM 670Audience Development3.0
    AADM 710Strategic Planning and Evaluation3.0
    AADM 750Arts Administration Seminar3.0
    AADM 751Management Techniques In the Arts3.0
    AADM 770Technology and the Marketing of the Arts3.0
    AADM 798Thesis Development 1.5
    AADM 799Thesis Completion1.5
    Sample Elective Offerings 
    AADM 660
    International Cultural Policy 
    AADM 680
    Trends in Fund Development 
    AADM 720
    Leadership in the Arts 
    AADM 731
    Human Resources Management in the Arts 
    AADM 740
    Production Laboratory in the Arts 
    AADM 752
    Performing Arts Management 
    AADM 753
    Visual Arts Organization Management 
    AADM 755
    Community Cultural Planning 
    AADM 757
    Political Activism in the Arts 
    AADM 760
    Special Problems in Arts Management 
    AADM 775
    Technology Management in the Arts 
    HRMT 622
    Human Resource Administration 
    MGMT 680
    Leading for Innovation 
    VSST 501
    Contemporary Art Issues 
    Total Credits45.0


    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate degree GPA's will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
    • Coursework must include at least one course in financial accounting, two courses in the history or literature of an art, and/or two courses in the practical or creative aspects of an art. If you haven't taken these courses, you must complete them during the first two terms in the program.

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our supporting document submission guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two professional letters of recommendation
    • Essay (minimum 800 words) that will give the admissions committee a better understanding of:
      • What led you to the field of Arts Administration
      • How the program will meet your current and future professional development goals
    • Resume demonstrating a strong affinity for the non-profit arts field through work, volunteer experiences, education, or special training
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    You may transfer up to 15 credits from previous graduate studies into the program (credits must be approved by the program director and all transfer credits must be at the graduate level.) Transfer credits are typically approved only for courses that are substantially the same as a required or elective course in the Arts Administration curriculum.


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2016-2017 is $966 per credit.

    • This rate applies only to new online students.
      • Students being readmitted to Drexel University must contact within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
    • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
    • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    Classes Begin 
    Classes End 
    Exams Begin 
    Exams End 

    Fall 2015     

    September 21, 2015

    December 5, 2015

    December 7, 2015

    December 12, 2015

    Winter 2016 

    January 4, 2016

    March 14, 2016

    March 15, 2016

    March 19, 2016

    Spring 2016 

    March 28, 2016

    June 6, 2016

    June 7, 2016

    June 10, 2016

    Summer 2016 

    June 20, 2016

    August 29, 2016

    August 30, 2016

    September 3, 2016

    Apply today for the MS in Arts Administration

    Apply now to begin your application for obtaining a Drexel degree online!


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