Arts Administration | Teachers College Columbia University

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Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog 2018-2019

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Arts Administration

Department of - Arts & Humanities

Contact Information

(212) 678-3268
(212) 678-4048

Program Description

The program in Arts Administration focuses on the missions and activities of art and cultural agencies and institutions and promotes the educational role of the arts and artists.   

The program reflects the conviction that the management of cultural institutions and enterprises is a profession that requires both creativity and commitment and that, at its best, the profession has a positive impact on the quality of artistic and social life. Arts Administration is organized in conjunction with the programs in Arts and Humanities, further reflecting the importance of the basic educational role, mission, and activities of the arts in both profit and nonprofit sectors.

In order to respond to the challenges and responsibilities facing the arts in the twenty-first century, the arts manager must have an amalgam of managerial and financial skills, a broad knowledge about artistic disciplines, an awareness of community dynamics, a commitment to education in its broadest sense, and a sensitivity to the artist and the artistic process. The essence of the program lies in its effort to provide a carefully constructed core curriculum while making available the extraordinary range of intellectual and cultural resources throughout Teachers College, Columbia University and within New York City. 

The objectives of the program include the following:

  • to train new leaders to manage and administer arts and cultural venues;
  • to raise the standards of arts administration to a new level of social responsibility;
  • to strengthen advocacy roles for artists;
  • to broaden the horizons of arts educators, facilitating their interactions with the arts community;
  • to give arts educators new management and administrative tools; and
  • to provide theoretical and practical preparation for students whose professional objective is a career in arts administration.

Degree Summary

Arts Administration (AADM)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please click the "Degrees" tab above

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please continue on to this program's "Degrees" section in this document

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (60 points)

The M.A. degree consists of 60 points of coursework:

The 60 required points are comprised of: 30 points taken from the core program offerings; 6 points of coursework through the Columbia Business School; 6 points of elective business-focused coursework; 6-9 points of coursework outside of the Arts Administration Program to fulfill the breadth requirement through Teachers College courses; and 12-18 points taken as electives at Teachers College or Columbia University.  Students are also required to take an internship and complete a formal master's essay.

The core curriculum represents a unique alliance among the faculties of Teachers College, Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, and the School of Law. Included in the core requirements are principles of arts administration, policy, fundraising, theories regarding the historical foundations and socio-cultural context of the arts, accounting, financial planning, marketing, business, policy, labor relations, and copyright law.  Please note: tuition rates may vary for non-TC courses, depending on the offering school. Each student is evaluated in the first year to ensure that satisfactory progress is maintained. 

Application Information

In addition to the general Teachers College admission requirements, applicants to the program must submit scores on the GRE General Test or the GMAT. Personal statements of 750–1000 words should indicate why applicants wish to pursue careers in arts administration, what led them to this point, and what they feel makes them good candidates for admission to the program and to the field. In some instances, an interview may be arranged at any time in the application process by the program coordinator. Students begin the program in the fall semester only, cannot defer, and can register on a full-time basis only.

Faculty List



Visiting Faculty


Full-Time Instructors


Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Professor
Associate Professor of Arts Administration

For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.

Course List

A&HG 4013 Cultural Policy

Permission from professor required. A seminar covering historical and contemporary issues in arts policy focused on moments of economic, political, and social conflict and consensus.

A&HG 4100 Master's Essay: Arts Administration

Permission from program coordinator required. Students who have registered for the 60 required points of coursework but have not completed the master's essay may register for this course if they wish in order to continue to access College services. Students pay the College fee only.

A&HG 4170 Principles and Practice in Arts Administration

Permission from professor required. Overview of the history of arts administration and current professional practices. In-depth discussion of current debates in performing and visual arts organizations.

A&HG 4173 Arts in Context

Permission of professor required. A seminar and lecture-style course designed to provide a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural context for discussions of aesthetic, ethical, and political questions that define and challenge the responsible arts administrator’s role.

A&HG 4174 Law and the Arts I

Permission from professor required. Principal artistic applications of U.S. law in areas drawn from copyright law, unfair competition and trademark law, misappropriation, First Amendment questions, miscellaneous torts including rights of privacy and publicity, defamation, interference with contract, and other problems relating to authenticity of art works.

A&HG 4175 Law and the Arts II

Permission from professor required. Lectures and seminars on not-for-profit corporations, alternative forms of organization and tax exemption; the role and problems of trustees, directors, and officers; and commercial and political activity, administrative regulations concerning arts organizations, and arts-specific contracts.

A&HG 4176 Support Structures: Development and Fundraising in the Arts and Humanities

Permission from professor required. An overview of current thinking in the field on finding support and generating funds for cultural initiatives including traditional and non-traditional approaches, funding trend analysis and research, new media platforms, emerging legal structures and considerations and social entrepreneurship and revenue generation.

A&HG 4370 Practicum in arts administration

Permission from the Program Director via the Professional Development Coordinator required. This is a required course that offers professional development sessions as a supplement to the internship. This course is taken prior to the required internship.

A&HG 4470 Internship in arts administration

Permission from Program Director via the Professional Development Coordinator required. Internship arranged with host institutions on an individual basis, taking into account the student’s needs, interests, and capacities and the host’s abilities to integrate those with its operation in an educationally useful manner. Twenty hours per week over four months or the equivalent.

A&HG 4575 Masters Seminar in Arts Administration

Full-time degree candidates only. Required for all master’s students. Guided independent work culminating in the development of a comprehensive research plan and methodology to produce the culminating master’s essay. 

A&HG 4576 Master's Seminar in Arts Administration B: Research Apprenticeship

Interview required. Supervised individual apprenticeship to ongoing projects in arts management, arts law, arts and cultural policy.

A&HG 4970 Supervised individual research in arts administration

Permission from the Program Director required. Independent research in arts administration.

A&HG 5173 Principles and Practice in Arts Administration: Performing Arts

Permission from professor required. Prerequisite: A&HG 4170. A continuation of A&HG 4170 with special reference to administration and practice within performing arts organizations, including music, dance, and theater.

A&HG 5174 Principles and Practice in Arts Administration: Visual Arts

Permission from professor required.  Prerequisite: A&HG 4170. A continuation of A&HG 4170 with special reference to the application of management principles and skills to the visual arts, including museums, commercial and cooperative galleries, artists’ spaces, public art, and corporate and individual collectors and artists.

A&HG 5175 Business Policy and Planning for the Arts Manager

Permission from professor required. Designed to integrate arts administration coursework from business, law, and the arts. Moves from the financial, cultural, and political environment to strategic planning tools to specific arts situations in the creation and implementation of policy and planning objectives.

A&HG 5179 Making Sense of Censorship

Uses a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the twin phenomena of censorship and freedom of expression, historically and at present. Censorship will be investigated as a social process, intricately linked with power, knowledge production, group struggles, and social change. Students will explore its causes and consequences and strategies of intervention.