Arts Administration (Music)

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Florida State University

The mission of The Florida State University program in Arts Administration is to provide an education in arts management and leadership. It is based on a strong foundation in the arts (music) and in the context of increasing social, technological, and economic change. The program stresses the premise that art, education, and administration combined make a significant contribution to the total human endeavor. It is designed for students who seek administrative or management positions with such organizations as arts centers, symphony orchestras, opera companies, choruses, museums, government and private arts agencies, community arts programs, and arts councils.

The Master of Arts in Arts Administration is offered to candidates in preparation for roles as leaders in designing, implementing, and managing arts activities. Each student, in consultation with the program director, chooses core and elective courses which best suit his/her goals for the future. In addition to their work in the classroom, Arts Administration students engage in service learning experiences and 400 hours of professional internship. These practical experiences enable students to apply their study of nonprofit management theory and develop the skills needed for success in the professional world, resulting in a high success rate of job placement after graduation.

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of the College of Music’s graduate Arts Administration program is "to prepare students for roles as leaders in designing, implementing, managing, and evaluating arts activities." Accredited by the National Association Schools of Music (NASM) the program is intended for music students who seek administrative positions with performing arts centers, symphony orchestras, opera companies, choruses, museums, government and private arts agencies, community arts programs, arts councils, college/university arts presenters, and arts service organizations. The program is based on a student’s strong foundation in music (baccalaureate degree), and in the context of increasing change in 21-st century arts environments. It stresses the premise that while arts management skills are often transferable among specialties, emerging leaders with foundational knowledge are well-poised to address the challenges ahead. The degree consists of three on-campus semesters, plus a pre-professional placement (internship) with a program partner.  Program partners include Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Breckenridge Music Festival, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Leon County Council for Culture and the Arts; Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, national arts institutions such as Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts; the Tallahassee Community Chorus, the Pensacola and Tallahassee symphonies, and performing groups abroad as part of the FSU International program.  About twenty-four candidates are enrolled over the two-year experience. Many candidates are awarded assistantships within the College of Music to gain valuable practical experience. Graduates are currently placed in positions with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Washington National Opera, Maryland Teachers Association, Grant Park Music Festival, Utah Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Arts Allicance, Rochestra Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Spivey Hall, Florida West Coast and Tallahassee and Pensacola symphonies.  Focus is on the musical arts and the administrative needs of the organizations that support them.  Flexibility is awarded to each student in ”tailoring” elective courses to meet h/h career goals. Students continue with musical experiences of all kinds, and assist with many of the 500+ annual performances of student and faculty-led orchestra, band, chorus, and opera concerts.


36 total graduate hours within the following areas: Arts Administration- Legal/Business Issues; Fundraising Strategies; Audience Development and Marketing; Personnel Resource Management; Budgeting for Non-profits; Managing the Arts Organization; Survey of Musical Arts Management. Music – Music HIstory; Bibliography; Descriptive Research in Music; Music Theory; Applied Music and/or Ensemble; Opera Literature; Music Education; Jazz Studies; Commercial Music. Undergraduate proficiencies are determined during orientation testing and performance evaluation. Elective – examples are College Music Administration; Public Administration; foreign language. Internship – 6 semester hours with substantial written final project. Career Seminar. Final written and oral comprehensive examination. Proficiency required in related computer/software applications/social media.


Applicants must have a Bachelor of Music degree from an accredited college or university and demonstrate effective practical experience. Undergraduate upper-level GPA 3.0 university minimum. (Some university fellowships/scholarships require the GRE.) Students applying from outside of FSU should commit to a fall/spring sequence to maximize course opportunities and to prepare for the internship. Application information is available at Requirements: university application/ fee; College of Music application; official transcripts; three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s background and potential for success; and a statement of professional goals. International students must provide additional information. Students who wish to receive consideration for graduate assistantships are strongly advised to submit application by the priority deadline; however the College of Music continues to accept applications as long as openings are still available. Financial assistance is available through assistantships fellowships scholarships and student loans. A limited number of assistantships provide tuition waiver and stipends for students to work as orchestra manager(s) for two university orchestras; recording manager; special events; patrons association; and alumni activities; coordinator for a university arts festival; coordinator for FSU Opera outreach; assistant to the Dean for Public Service and coordinators for the FSU Summer Music Camps. Stipends vary depending upon the amount of service the nature of the assistantship and the qualifications of the student. Applicants should also note the University Fellowship and other scholarship opportunities offered by outside organizations such as the McKnight and Ford Foundations. Some of these are specifically designed for minority students.

Florida State University

Karen Munnelly

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