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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.

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    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. The campus and online programs share 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 online program is designed around the working professional. All students can begin the program with a brief 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
      Students starting in the Fall term are required to come to Drexel’s campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a 4-day residency. The residency combines orientation activities with lectures, discussion, and group work that are integral elements of your first-term coursework. While here, you'll have the opportunity to get to know faculty and classmates, experience the city of Philadelphia’s rich arts community during local area site visits, and network with program alumni. You'll also plan a course of study with your academic advisor. A separate optional residency will be held for those starting in the Winter term.
    • Research and Thesis
      All students complete a master’s thesis based on primary research conducted in the field. You’ll learn research skills and methodologies in the Research Design in the Arts course, followed by two terms of Thesis Development where you'll work closely with your thesis advisor. If you’re not currently working in the field, you may choose an internship as one of your electives. This internship may be designed to gain professional experience or serve as field research to support your thesis.

    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.

    Members of Americans for the ArtsNational Guild for Community Arts, and other partner organizations receive a 20% tuition savings towards the online MS in Arts Administration program.

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Professional Requirements  
    AADM 505 Overview of the Arts 3.0
    AADM 520 Creative Enterprise and Innovation 3.0
    AADM 610 Financial Accounting for Non-Profit Arts Organizations 3.0
    AADM 620 Legal and Ethical Issues in the Arts 3.0
    AADM 650 Revenue Development for the Arts 3.0
    AADM 675 Marketing and Engagement in the Arts 3.0
    AADM 710 Leadership, Strategy and Planning in the Arts 3.0
    AADM 751 Management Techniques In the Arts 3.0
    AADM 770 Technology Tools for Cultural Managers 3.0
    AADM 785 Research Design in the Arts  3.0
    AADM 798 Thesis Development 6.0
    Electives 9.0
    Sample Elective Offerings:  
    AADM 660 International Cultural Policy  
    AADM T680 Special Topics in Arts Administration  
    AADM 720 Leadership in the Arts  
    AADM 731 Human Resources Management in the Arts  
    AADM 740 Production Laboratory in the Arts  
    AADM 741 Arts Entrepreneurship  
    AADM 745 Arts in Education  
    AADM 746 Creative Placemaking  
    AADM 752 Performing Arts Management  
    AADM 753 Visual Arts Organization Management  
    AADM 754 Museum Management  
    AADM 755 Community Cultural Planning  
    AADM 757 Political Activism in the Arts  
    AADM 759 Cultural Organizations in Transition  
    AADM 775 Technology Management in the Arts  
    AADM 780 Applied Research Methods  
    AADM 799 Thesis Completion  
    HRMT 622 Human Resource Administration  
    MGMT 680 Leading for Innovation  
    VSST 501 Contemporary Art Issues  
    Total Credits 45.0


    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 Completing Your Application 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 arts and creative sector 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 2018-2019 is $1025 per credit.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted. Tuition savings do not apply to courses taken on campus (excluding residency.)
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • 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.

    Program Director

    Jean Brody
    Program Director, MS in Arts Administration

    Jean Brody is the Director of the Online Graduate Program in Arts Administration at Drexel University. She has been a leader in online education in arts administration for the past fifteen years, and was recognized by Drexel University Online as an Outstanding Online Instructor of 2009. Since coming to Drexel in 2008, she has built a nationally recognized faculty and advocated for excellence in online teaching. At Drexel, she manages and teaches in the online program, and led the Task Force that developed Drexel's Museum Leadership graduate program, which accepted its first class of students in 2013. She organized the 2009 and 2016 conferences for the Association of Arts Administration Educators and numerous other on-campus events for the Arts Administration programs. 

    Brody has more than 35 years experience in education and the arts, and has worked in a variety of roles with Philadelphia arts organizations and nonprofits including the Philadelphia Theatre Caravan, Hedgerow Theatre, Point Breeze Performing Arts Center, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the Liberty Science Center, Relâche, Inc., and more. She continues to consult with area nonprofit arts organizations. She comes to arts administration from the theatre world, where she worked as a dramaturg, director, and literary manager in community arts and theatre for social change. Her board service includes the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the Association of Arts Administration Educators, and Relâche. She holds D.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama, and a B.A. in Literature from Yale College. 

    Academic Calendar

    2017-2018 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2017

    September 25, 2017

    December 9, 2017

    December 11, 2017

    December 16, 2017

    Winter 2018

    January 8, 2018

    March 17, 2018

    March 19, 2018

    March 24, 2018

    Spring 2018

    April 2, 2018

    June 9, 2018

    June 11, 2018

    June 15, 2018

    Summer 2018

    June 25, 2018

    September 1, 2018

    September 4, 2018

    September 8, 2018


    2018-2019 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2018

    September 24, 2018

    December 8, 2018

    December 10, 2018

    December 15, 2018

    Winter 2019

    January 7, 2019

    March 16, 2019

    March 18, 2019

    March 23, 2019

    Spring 2019

    April 1, 2019

    June 8, 2019

    June 10, 2019

    June 14, 2019

    Summer 2019

    June 24, 2019

    August 31, 2019

    September 3, 2019

    September 7, 2019

    Apply today for the MS in Arts Administration

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


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