Master of Arts in Arts Administration (MAAA)

Focus your passion and advance your career in the arts

It takes more than passion to successfully lead an arts organization. Future arts administrators need business acumen, marketing expertise, and management skills to tackle the art world's greatest challenges.

As a MAAA student, you’ll learn from top scholars in arts management and cultural policy. In addition to being committed educators, O'Neill faculty members are highly regarded by their peers in the arts management industry and at academic institutions across the country. Combining faculty and practical expertise with the astonishing variety of cultural offerings on campus and in Bloomington, students can look forward to an intellectually and culturally stimulating experience in the study and practice of arts management, while preparing themselves for leadership in the arts in the decades ahead.

100%employment or continuing education rate for grads (2020-21)

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Application deadlines

Fall term:  

  • Priority deadline: January 15 
  • Final deadline: June 1 
  • International: January 15 

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Why you should consider the MAAA Program

Description of the video:

Anjali Varma, MAAA student: I want to help build a world where arts is not just appreciated, but is highly regarded as a viable career option.


Tehvon Fowler-Chapman, MAAA’18, Executive Director, Washington Concert Opera: The MAAA program prepared me to manage by showing me how important it is to consider everyone who's impacted by your decisions.


Eric Ashby, MAAA-MPA student: Arts administration in a very basic sense is being the bridge between arts and audiences. And you have people helping raise money. You have people in operations and this program helps you understand those unique management considerations that are attached to the arts so that you can effectively be that bridge.


Karen Gahl-Mills, Director, O’Neill Arts Administration Programs: Here at the O'Neill school, which is a school of public and environmental affairs, you get the benefit of not only studying the best in management for the arts, but you get to do it surrounded by students from around the country and around the world - thinking about the big problems facing our communities.


Eric Ashby: Arts, artists, the creative economy have unique attributes that can be leveraged as community problem solving vehicles. And so I really think leading for the greater good lies at the intersection of the arts and community.


Chloe Dukes, MAAA student:  I chose O'Neill because affordability was very important to me, as well as the large network of alumni. Just to see where they are now, how they were prepared for the work that they're doing. I wanted that for myself.


Michael Cervantes, MAAA’19: O’Neill absolutely set me up for success. Every single aspect of my time within the program was something that has contributed to my ability to succeed in my current role.


Karen Gahl-Mills: This is a residential program, but you don't pause your career. You come here and get more professional experience through practicum assignments that you get to direct through a really robust internship program, which we help you fund.

Anjali Varma: The MAAA program encourages hands-on experience and a hands-on experience in an arts organization helps you seal the information that you're learning theoretically in classes.

Eric Ashby: No matter what you're interested in, whether it's visual arts, music, dance theater, it's all here. And there's opportunities to engage in that in a really meaningful way.

Chloe Dukes: I've been able to work with organizations such as Artisan Alley and the Bloomington Creative Glass Center and use the things I'm learning in the classroom to help the community.

Eric Ashby: Bloomington really does have the cultural resources and assets of a large city, but it's in a smaller community, which means that you actually have the opportunity to go in and be a part of big decisions and do really hands-on work.

Karen Gahl-Mills: We have researchers who are really on the cutting edge of what research in cultural affairs looks like. We also have extraordinary practitioners as our faculty folks who have done it, who have run organizations and the combination of theory and practice from our faculty benefits our students.


Chloe Dukes: They care a lot and they want to push their students to be the very best version of themselves and to make sure that they're ready to enter in the workforce.

Eric Ashby: One of the great things about the arts administration program here is that they make big feel really small. So you have access to the resources of a Big Ten institution, but you also have a cohort. So you get kind of the best of both worlds.

Colin Knapp, MAAA student: The relationships that I have built here are going to serve as really incredible resources moving forward.

Eric Ashby: That community is just invaluable. And I think that's something that has to happen organically and it's happening organically at O'Neill.

Chloe Dukes: You'll learn from your teachers. You'll learn from your colleagues. You'll learn from walking down the street and just seeing things that inspire you every day.

Off-screen speaker:  I've really relished my time here, time that I'm able to spend growing as a leader.

Anjali Varna: If you're really passionate about the arts and you really want to facilitate the continuation of it, I would highly recommend this program.


Our recent graduates have started their careers as:

  • Manager of Artistic Planning and Administration, New York Philharmonic
  • Vice President, LA Opera Connects
  • Design Production Manager, School of the Arts Institute of Chicago
  • Marketing Manager, Paul Taylor Dance Company
  • Director of Development, Opera Omaha
  • Marketing and Communications Director, Indiana Arts Commission
  • Development Associate, Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives
  • Associate Contract Manager, Amazon Music
  • Logistics Engineer, American Red Cross
  • Government and Public Services Consultant, Deloitte

The MAAA Program

3-4semesters to complete

45Credit hours

280hour internship

Hone your management and leadership skills

Our MAAA curriculum is designed so that you can complete all course work in three to four semesters, plus a 280-hour internship. The curriculum requires a total of 45 credits for graduation. Of these, 30 credits are earned through core courses, 9 credits through elective courses, and 6 credits through experiential learning. All students enter the program in the fall semester.

With a Master of Arts in Arts Administration (MAAA) at O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, you will cultivate the foundational skills, core knowledge, and practical expertise necessary to become an effective arts advocate and leader of change.

Introduction Course (3 credit hours)

  • Organization Behavior and the Arts (Y 502)

Management and Policy Courses (9 credit hours)

Performing Arts (3 credit hours)
Choose One:

  • Programming the Performing Arts (Y 505)
  • Performing Arts Organization Management (Y 508)
  • Performing Arts Center Management (Y 511)

Visual Arts (3 credit hours) 
Choose One:

  • Curating for Museums and Galleries (Y 506)
  • Museum Management (Y 525)

Arts and Cultural Policy (3 credit hours) 
Choose One:

  • Cultural Planning and Urban Development (Y 551)
  • Public Policy in the Arts (Y 559)

Skill-Building Courses (9 credit hours)

  • Financial Management in the Arts (Y 515)
  • Audience Development and Marketing the Arts (Y 530)
  • Fund Development for Nonprofits (Y 558)

Theory and Survey Courses (6 credit hours)

  • Arts Organizations in the Public Sector and Private Sectors (Y 504)
  • Legal Issues in the Arts (Y 562)

Capstone (3 credit hours)

  • Seminar in Arts Administrations (Y 650)

See course descriptions

As part of the MAAA program, you will complete 9 credit hours of elective course. Elective courses must be graduate level (500+) and can be taken through any academic program on campus. Elective course offerings vary each semester, so be sure to view the current schedule of classes at the Office of the Registrar.

From curating to human resources, stage management to graphic design, IU offers students a variety of elective course options. Many Arts Administration students take electives in Arts Administration at O’Neill; the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance; Jacobs School of Music; the School of Art and Design; and the Media School.

Make the most of your graduate school experience with our outside dual degree programs and pursue two interests by combining your Master of Arts in Arts Administration with a second master’s degree.

International Dual Degree:

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

See course descriptions in the Graduate Bulletin

“The MAAA program is the place where you will learn to think critically about the opportunities and challenges facing artists and arts organizations. The pandemic has forced a significant ‘reset’ on the field, which, while difficult, also provides the ability for administrators to experiment, innovate, and drive positive change. By studying with our extraordinary faculty, by learning from and working with arts leaders from around the nation, and by building a network that will support you throughout your career, you will finish this degree prepared to help reshape our cultural landscape for the better.” 

—Karen Gahl-Mills, Director, Arts Administration Program

Gain real-world experience while still in school

In the Master of Arts in Arts Administration program, you’re required to complete a 280-hour internship as well as three, 50-hour practicum projects. You may register for internship credit (AADM Y750) and practicum credit (AADM Y550) at any time within the program.

Learn more about MAAA’s experiential learning component

You can join professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved


Henry Bowen, MAAA'21

Manager of Artistic Planning and Administration, New York Philharmonic

“The time I spent in work study roles at IU Auditorium and the Lotus Festival greatly improved my knowledge of the inner workings of arts organizations. Courses with the esteemed MAAA faculty provided a foundation of knowledge in nonprofit leadership, finance, and communications that I use in my day-to-day work.”


Chloe Dukes, MAAA'21

Design Production Manager, School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

“O'Neill is special because of the faculty. They care a lot, and they're very well connected and knowledgeable. They want to push their students to be the very best version of themselves, and to make sure that they're ready to enter the workforce and make a difference.”


Andrew Recinos, MAAA'95

President and CEO, Tessitura Network

“Arts and culture bring curiosity, and creativity and compassion, and all of these traits that our communities need more of than ever. And if you have that fire, if you believe in that, the best way to help bring this to the world is to work in arts administration. And the best way to create the professional skills that you need to succeed is this program.”