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Master of Arts
Visual Arts Administration

Become a Visual Arts Administrator

Our Visual Arts Administration MA was the first in the nation to focus on visual arts management careers in both traditional and alternative contexts. This degree prepares you for leadership roles in a broad range of arts organizations. We take into account the cultural and economic impact of the visual arts, nationally and internationally, as well as the challenges facing the arts today.

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Visual Arts Administration students embrace at an exhibition. Two students hug in the foreground; one is facing the camera with a smile on her face. In the background, another student adjusts a painting installed on the wall.

Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Visual Arts Administration

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

Our Visual Arts Administration MA addresses the whole art ecology, including:

  •  The cultural environment in which art and arts organizations operate

  • The role of the artist in society

  • How artwork is documented, presented, and interpreted

  • The structure and management of organizations that display artwork – both nonprofit and for-profit

  • The role of art theorists, critics, curators, and collectors

The degree curriculum considers how visual arts organizations expand knowledge and build audiences, the increasing role of art in urban development and public spaces, and new approaches and tools for encouraging access and participation. A strong emphasis is placed on acquiring theoretical and practical tools for fundraising, financial management, marketing, and knowledge of new media and technology in the visual arts. This degree is oriented toward both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors of the field.

Learn about the Visual Arts Administration faculty.


The MA takes advantage of our position in New York City to access a variety of arts organizations and professionals for case studies, focus groups, site visits and examples of theory applied to practice. You'll also have the opportunity to study abroad and observe exciting changes in the visual and performing arts in other countries.

You will take entry-level business courses at the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and fulfill internships with a range of sponsors, including galleries, museums, and other arts organizations. In addition to business and internship requirements, you will complete a substantial master’s thesis. 

Using the program's extensive internship component and alumni networks, you will have access to a wide range of individuals and organizations in the field and increase the depth of your understanding of the complexities of this challenging area.

Upon completion of our program, our graduates:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the creative process, how art and artists function in society.

  • Analyze the economic, political and social environment in which artists and arts organizations operate, including legal, ethical and policy issues

  • Identify and evaluate how artwork is interpreted, presented, documented and archived.

  • Critique and compare the structure, operations and management of organizations that present or produce artwork on various scales.

  • Outline strategies for marketing, audience development, outreach, and community development in the arts.

  • Have acquired business skills in accounting, finance, organizational theory, and management, as well as arts-related media and technology.

  • Have developed an expansive and inclusive world view of the visual arts field that values different global perspectives, identities, concerns, and goals.

Program Head Sandra Lang on the MA Visual Arts Administration Program

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