Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about the Arts Administration program.

Are the GRE and GMAT required? 

In general, All applicants must submit either their GRE or GMAT scores. One of them is required and can’t be waived. 


What are the minimum GRE or GMAT scores?

ARAD does not publish minimum GRE or GMAT scores. Our admissions committee conducts a holistic review of each candidate’s materials to assess their candidacy, and board scores are never the single determining factor in the committee’s decision-making.


What are you looking for in the admissions essay?

Successful candidates make sure they consider and answer the admissions essay questions carefully and completely. Their answers should reflect engagement with and understanding of the essay prompt and the program. Rather than explaining your resume, your admissions essay should be focused on how the program will help you attain your professional and educational goals.


Is an interview required with the Admissions Committee as part of the application?

Due to the large number of applications we receive, the Admissions Committee does not offer any interviews. However, if you are in the NYC area and would like to meet with someone in person prior to applying, we encourage you to reach out to the Program Manager. Faculty, including the Program Director, are available to meet with prospective students during their weekly office hours, and these meetings can be confirmed through the Program Manager. 


I’m a practicing artist. Can I upload my portfolio as part of my application?

While we encourage artists of all practices who are interested in pursuing a career in arts administration to apply, we do not review portfolios. Our Admissions Committee reviews each application carefully on the merits of its focus on arts administration.


If I’m accepted into the program, can I defer my enrollment? 

Enrollment in the program cannot be deferred.


Can I transfer credits or apply work from my prior undergraduate or master's work to my ARAD degree?

Teachers College does not permit transfer of credits.


Is a thesis required in order to graduate?

All students are required to fulfill a master's capstone (thesis or portfolio project) for the ARAD degree; prior master's projects cannot substitute for this requirement. 


What kinds of topics do students write about for the thesis or project?

Our students’ wide-ranging interests are reflected in their theses and projects. Below is a selected list of recent theses and projects:

  • Generation Y and the Why of Generosity: Millennial Volunteers in Museums by Chad Rabago
  • Young Patron Groups in Art Museums: Administrative Planning for the Millennial Generation by Lisa Burke
  • Beyond Brick-and-Mortar: The Studio Museum Engaging in Harlem by Beryl Brianne Ford
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Pre-Professional Classical Music Training Programs for Underrepresented Youth by Angelica Tran
  • Racing Against the Glass Escalator: How Women Become Art Museum Executive Directors and Advocate for their Compensation by Caitlin Green
  • The Shanghai Pilot Free-Trade Zone (SHFTZ) and New Opportunities for Cultural Exchange: Research on the Development of Arts Organizations in the SHFTZ (2014-17) by Yu Zhao
  • Bridging the Gap: The Use of Digital Technology in the Art Museum Exhibition Design Process by Juan Carlos Santos Andrade
  • Artron for Elites: An Artistic Platform proposed to Arton Art Group for High Net Worth Individuals in China by V Jie
  • Recruitment, Selection and Training of Teaching Artists of Color in Non-Profit Theatre Arts Education by Thanh Nguyen, has been translated into Vietnamese and both English and Vietnamese versions will be archived in The Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences, under the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam
  • Growing Old with Art: A Comparative Study of Creative Aging Programs Across Taiwan and the United States by Hsun-Fang Chang


How much does it cost to attend the ARAD program?

TC’s tuition and fees are listed here; however, we advise students that each school at Columbia has a different per credit fee, which is usually higher than TC’s rate, so they should budget accordingly.


Do you offer scholarships for international students?

Our scholarship aid is limited but we do offer merit-based support to incoming students, including those from outside the United States. We encourage international applicants to seek other sources of funding as well, including the Fulbright Fellowship if available in your country.


If I request funding, does that affect my chances of getting into the program?

Requests for funding do not in any way affect admissions decisions. 


I indicated I didn't want funding on the application, but now I've changed my mind. Can I still get support?

If you need funding, you must indicate that on the admissions application otherwise you will not have access to the full range of funding options. If you decide you do want to be considered for funding after submitting your application, please reach out to the Program Manager to see if there is any program-level funding available. Please note: Program funding is extremely limited.

Where can I find more information about policies and procedures related to the ARAD program?

Degree requirements, policies and procedures are detailed in the ARAD handbook, available in the Current Student Google Site and distributed on admitted student week. This handbook should be your first point of reference for course selection questions related to your degree.


Who handles cross-registration in the ARAD office?

The Program Manager is your main point of contact for cross-registration questions.


What is the procedure for cross-registration?

TC’s cross-registration guidelines can be found here. In addition, before the start of each semester, students are sent detailed instructions on how to register and cross-register. ARAD has partnerships with the Business School, the Theatre Management Program at the School of Art, and the Non-Profit Management Program at the School of Professional Studies, so we can offer streamlined procedures for registering for classes in those schools. Instructions are listed in the email as well as on the Current Student Google Site.


Can I waive the accounting class requirement? 

If you pass the accounting exam, offered through the Columbia Business School, you will not need to take the Accounting I class, however, you will still need to fulfill the overall 60-credit program requirement.


Can I waive the required internship by getting credit for prior work experience? 

No, you will not be able to waive the internship requirement. The internship requirement is an academic and professional degree experience meant to benefit your professional growth.


Can I take an internship my first semester?

We strongly discourage students from taking a registered internship in the fall of their first year in the program. 


Are there opportunities to complete my internship outside the U.S.?

Students may intern in other cities, states, and countries. Recent graduates of our program completed their internship requirements in Washington D.C., Hong Kong and Shanghai. The ARAD program requires full-time enrollment, so non-local internships during the fall and spring terms may be prohibitively difficult to arrange.


Is there an opportunity to be a teaching assistant?

ARAD classes are too small to be eligible for teaching assistant support, however, students may seek these positions in other programs. Positions are listed on the TC Job site. 


Is there an opportunity to do research with faculty? 

Yes! Any open positions will be listed on the TC job website and advertised via email. There are also positions at each of Columbia’s 20 Schools, each of which has a similar jobs portal that we encourage interested students to peruse.


How do I petition to graduate? 

While TC will send reminders to students to petition to graduate, ARAD handles the petition internally in advance of the February deadline (for May graduations, which are the most common). Our students do not need to do anything to complete the petition process, though their program adviser may reach out to them in January of their second year to clarify any outstanding questions.

 Does ARAD offer ways for alumni to meet other ARAD alumni?

Every year we host an alumni mixer in New York City, which is a great opportunity for our alumni to gather and meet with faculty, staff, and their fellow alumni. The event is posted on our Events page and alumni in the tri-state area are emailed as well.


Are ARAD events open to alumni to attend?

Yes! We welcome our alumni to attend our public events, including the Distinguished Speakers Series, film screenings, and microcourses. Our events are free and open to the public so we encourage alumni to invite guests. The Events page of our website houses our events schedule.


I have an update about my job or contact info I want to share with the program. Who do I contact?

We love hearing your news and having up-to-date contact information is important to us, so please reach out to the Program Manager with your updates!


I have a job or internship opportunity I’d like to share with the ARAD community. Who is the right person to contact?

We welcome opportunities for current students as well as other alumni. Please send them to our Professional Development Coordinator



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