Master of Science in Arts Administration

This program is currently not accepting new students.

Program Description

The MS in Arts Administration is offered by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts in partnership with the Daemen College program in Leadership and Innovation. The program, which is aimed at students with an interest in working within the not-for-profit cultural community as administrators or managers, is unique in that it places balanced emphasis both on a foundation in business courses and on practical experience with some of the numerous not-for-profit organizations in Buffalo. Graduates will find themselves positioned to seek jobs and careers in the not-for-profit cultural sector, working with some of the museums, galleries, theatres, dance companies, symphonies, and other agencies that represent, serve, foster or nurture artists and the arts throughout the USA or world-wide.

This program is suited to both students who wish to hone a particular skill or pursue a career as an artist and those who see themselves working as part of a team or organization or in a position that fosters, supports, presents, or promotes any one of numerous artistic disciplines.

Faculty are drawn from the College’s departments of Visual & Performing Arts, Business Administration, and Leadership and Innovation. Instructors in the program include nationally recognized professionals whose accomplishments and interests encompass business leadership, corporate management, and fundraising as well as professional and organizational contributions to the visual and performing arts in the USA, Britain, China, and elsewhere.

Candidacy/Eligibility Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;
  • Completed prerequisite studies in Art and Business Administration as specified following a review by the Arts Administration director. Students entering the program with a bachelor’s degree should ideally have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of a Business curriculum and 12 hours of an Arts curriculum. It is recognized, however, that students will come from a variety of academic backgrounds. Candidates are therefore urged to consult the Program Director to discuss their transcripts and/or eligibility and/or the possible need to complete prerequisite studies.
  • A demonstrable interest in the arts, determined by a) an interview with the Program Director and b) a personal written statement that also speaks to the applicant’s career and educational goals;
  • At least two letters of recommendation;
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75, or GRE/GMAT scores that indicate an appropriate level of academic ability.


  • ARTA501 Arts Administration Overview (3)
  • ARTA535 Professional Seminar in Arts Administration: Visiting Lecturer Series (3)
  • ARTA550 Practicum Seminar in Arts Administration & Management (Graduate level) (3)
  • ARTA640 Arts Administration Thesis Project (3)
  • ARTA650 Capstone in Arts Administration (3)
  • LEAD513 Developing Leadership Skills: One-on-One Leadership, Conflict Management, and Team Building (3)
  • LEAD514 Leadership and Community: Empowerment, Collaboration and Dialogue (3)
  • LEAD515 The Business of Leadership: Financial, Organizational, and Cultural (3)
  • LEAD529 Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change (3)
  • LEAD530 Modeling, Branding and Marketing Your Leadership (3)


Practical Experience

A distinctive feature of the program is the emphasis on practical experience with a number of the diverse arts organizations, large and small, that form Western New York’s rich cultural landscape. Course work such as the Practicum in Arts Administration and the Professional Seminar in Arts Administration may be evaluated by arts professionals in consultation with the Program Director. Students will be expected to demonstrate both academic excellence and professionalism in all courses and classes, whether their work is on campus, on site at one or more of the not-for-profit cultural organizations associated with the program, or in association with arts professionals or administrators within the cultural community.

Time Limitation for Degree Completion

Excluding an approved leave of absence, all requirements for the MS, Arts Administration, must be completed within a period of four (4) calendar years, effective from the first date of matriculation in the program.

Requirements for Graduation

  • Application for Degree: All graduate students are required to file an Application for Degree form with the Registrar’s Office at the onset of the final term of study.  The application is accessible on the Registrar’s web page.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00.