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Art Administration Degree Program Information

Degree programs in art administration, which is also known as art management, are typically available at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels.

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Essential Information

Individuals who are interested in studying both art and business might consider enrolling in a degree program in arts administration or arts management. A degree in art administration will prepare students for work in arts-related organizations by teaching them the basics of business, economics, and management issues specific to art related fields.

Management positions in art galleries, arts organizations and museums have varying educational requirements. However, many of these organizations do prefer to hire applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree. Earning a master's degree can further improve employment prospects.


Bachelor's Degree in Arts Administration

In bachelor's degree programs in the field, fine arts studies are combined with instruction in business, management and economics topics pertinent to running arts-related organizations. Depending on the program, students may also be allowed to focus in a specific area of the arts, such as music, dance or theater. Programs cover general business administration topics, such as organizational behavior, human resource management and non-profit management, along with subjects related specifically to art administration. Some common course topics include:

  • Arts marketing
  • Fundraising for the arts
  • Financial management for arts organizations
  • Art administration communications
  • Contemporary art management issues

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Arts Management
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  • Drawing
  • Metal and Jewelry Art
  • Multimedia Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and Textile Arts

Master's Degree in Arts Administration

A master's degree program in art administration may allow students to further specialize their skills within an area of concentration such as visual arts, community arts or media management. In addition, there is an increased focus on getting real-world experience in the field and developing networking opportunities through internships and participation in local arts programs and events. Programs might lead to a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Business Administration. Applicants to these programs must have a bachelor's degree and submit an entrance essay.

Coursework at the graduate level typically combines studies in the cultural and social aspects of the arts with management techniques and theories. Some common course topics include:

  • Interpretative exhibits
  • Political and public advocacy for the arts
  • Educational programming
  • Museum theory
  • Arts administration legal issues

Popular Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly all arts administrators hold a bachelor's degree, and most also possess a graduate degree. However, bachelor's degree programs in art administration can prepare students for a variety of entry-level administrative or support positions in areas such as:

  • Arts education
  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer or venue coordination

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS does not have employment data specific to arts administration. However, as of September 2016, the BLS reports that there are 2,231,500 employees working in all types of occupations in the arts, entertainment and recreation fields. As of August 2016, employees within those industries have an average hourly salary of $19.53.

Continuing Education

Although rare, some schools offer opportunities to study art administration at the doctoral level. These programs might allow students to choose art administration as a major or supplemental area of study.

For art enthusiasts who want to work in management positions, an art administration degree can provide relevant business training as it relates to the industry. Students who earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in the field have the best job prospects.

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