Sep 30, 2023  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [Archived Catalog]

Arts Administration - MAA

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Master of Arts Administration

Arts Administration - MA5056

College of Fine Arts
Jennings House
54 E. Union St.
Athens, Ohio 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall

Program Overview

To become a successful arts administrator, and meet the evolving needs of the field, one must have applied leadership acumen as well as the creative tools to facilitate and evaluate the needs of visual, performing, cultural, and arts service organizations. The MAA harnesses the interdisciplinary and creative power of the College of Fine Arts (COFA) at Ohio University. The curriculum merges arts administration knowledge with training in discipline-specific management. Foundational courses that emphasize arts leadership, governance, management, and development are taken alongside courses in a student’s specialized area.  Students choose one, of five available, areas of specialization (Community Dance, Music Leadership, Museum Studies, Theater and Production Management, or Visual Arts Management). The MAA is a 30-credit hour degree program. Full-time enrollment has a normative completion of one calendar year (August to August). The option for part-time enrollment is available and will have varied completion times, typically two years.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain an understanding of the social, political, economic, and artistic environment in which nonprofit arts organizations work.
  • Students will recognize the challenges facing arts organizations and how relationships with boards, donors, and stakeholders shape the interconnectedness of these systems within the organization.
  • Students will gain competencies in essential arts administration functions including communication, public relations, cultural policy, marketing, advocacy, governance, ethical leadership, community engagement, and resource development and management.
  • Students will become familiar with organizational culture in a nonprofit environment including relationship building, roles of various stakeholders, strategic thinking, and the spoken and unspoken thoughts, assumptions, and principles that arts administrators might employ to guide management practices and decision making when working with diverse groups of people.
  • Students will apply theories and use a variety of applications to develop strategic plans, build an audience base, promote nonprofit arts organizations with internal and external stakeholders, and advance culturally responsible management practices. 
  • Students will learn effective fundraising and development strategies.
  • Students will solve problems when working with new ideas, challenges, organizations, and stakeholders.
  • Students will advance analytical and ethical leadership skills to communicate and manage effectively.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the assumptions and principles that arts administrators might employ to guide professional practice and decision making.

Opportunities for Graduates

The program prepares professionals to helm non-profit arts and cultural organizations (at the local, state, or national level), navigate unique challenges in the nonprofit sector, advocate for policies and resources that support arts organization, and implement programs that ensure the arts continue to enrich lives and communities. The coursework also prepares students who wish to pursue doctoral study or research opportunities with various organizations or agencies.

Further Information

Link to Program:

Admission Requirements

Criterion A

Applicants must submit the following for review:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Transcripts
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation (1 must be from student’s major discipline of study)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae

In addition, applicants must choose 1 area of specialized study from the list of 5 and submit or complete the stated items for review:

As part of the application process, students applying to the MAA choose one area of specialized arts study.  Students must also complete the stated admission requirements for that specialization to be fully considered for the degree program. The following, additional materials will be used to review and admit students into the specialized areas of study within the MAA (please note that interviews are not required to be face-to-face).  Some areas may allow for the submission of additional, supporting documents or materials.

1. Museum Studies:

  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the major discipline of the student
  • Essay stating how the Museum Studies Certificate meets the academic goals of the student.

2. Community Dance:

  • Interview with dance faculty
  • Resume that details dance education and experience

3. Theater and Production Management:

  • Interview with theater faculty
  • Resume or portfolio that details professional theater (or equivalent) experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in theater or equivalent professional experience is required

4. Music Leadership:

  • Interview with a School of Music administrator
  • Bachelor’s degree in music or equivalent professional experience is required

5. Visual Arts Management:

  • A short essay (500 words) outlining the applicant’s background, interest in fine arts, and aspirations in the field.

Criterion B

Current, undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program in COFA at OHIO, may have the admission requirements waived if they meet all of the following criteria:

  1. 3.0 GPA in their current, major discipline of study
  2. Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in their chosen area of MAA specialization
  3. Statement of interest (500-1000 words) or an interview with the Head of Arts Administration

All students in the MAA program are expected to complete all of the graduate-level, required program coursework at Ohio University.  In certain circumstances, students may be awarded transfer credit based on prior graduate-level academic coursework and/or professional experience.  These opportunities will be discussed and considered on an individual basis.   

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Arts Administration requires a minimum of 30 credit hours as well as capstone requirements.

Foundation Courses

All Arts Administration degree students are required to complete the following foundational core courses for a minimum of 12 hours:

Professional Internship

All Arts Administration degree students are required to complete the 6-hour professional internship course.

Specialized Area of Study

Choose one of the following five areas of specialization, completing a minimum of 12 hours in that area.

Music Leadership

Additional Music Electives

Complete a minimum of 7 hours from the following as approved by the program director:

  • Applied lessons (2 hours)
  • Ensembles (2 hours)
  • Music History (3 hours)
  • Music Theory (3 hours)

Theater and Production Management

Required Courses

Complete the following courses. Note: THAR 5350 requires permission for enrollment.

Theater Production Elective

Complete at least one of the following two courses:

Community Dance

Visual Arts Management

Complete the two required courses below as well as at least two courses from the list of electives.

Museum Studies

Complete the two required courses below as well as at least two approved electives. For a full list of electives, please consult the completion requirements for the Museum Studies certificate .

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience is the development and oral presentation of the capstone project or portfolio as part of the requirements of FAR 5910.

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