As arts organizations today face a changing environment that presents both unprecedented opportunities and increased financial and competitive pressures, there is a need for skilled and resourceful administrators, managers, and leaders in the arts. The SMU MA/MBA program in business and arts administration is designed to address this need. It is based on the philosophy that a successful career in arts management requires a thorough knowledge of contemporary business practices coupled with both a deep understanding of the arts and the ability to recognize and seize opportunities. The joint degree program combines courses in business and the arts with internships and intensive experience with arts organizations to produce graduates who are well-prepared to hold leadership positions in arts, entertainment, and nonprofit organizations around the world.
The Arts Management program requires students to enroll for two graduate degrees concurrently – the only program of this kind in the U.S. Students receive an MA Arts Management from the Meadows School of the Arts and an MBA from the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. The SMU program in Business and Arts Administration is based upon the philosophy that a successful career in arts management requires a thorough knowledge of contemporary business practices coupled with a deep appreciation for the arts.Today more than ever there is both a need and a demand for skilled and resourceful administrators and managers in leadership roles in the arts. As arts organizations face increased financial and competitive pressures it is important for them to have savvy business professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the arts at the helm.Our innovative combination of courses in both business and the arts as well as internships and intensive experience with arts organizations and their particular challenges creates graduates who are well-prepared to hold leadership positions in arts entertainment education and non-profit organizations around the world. Global exchange opportunities provide students exposure to the world’s diversity of arts models trends and challenges. Students gain an international perspective through the Global Leadership Program and through an exchange semester with Bocconi University in Milan during their second year of the program. In addition hands-on learning complements the innovative MA/MBA academic program. Because preserving producing and presenting quality arts experiences calls for skilled and strategic management students acquire first-hand knowledge through participation in semester-long practica at leading Dallas-area arts organizations and in an intensive summer internship experience.
Students are required to complete 77 hours (27 hours in Meadows School of the Arts and 50 hours in Edwin L. Cox School of Business) over a 21-month period. Course work begins in late August and continues for five terms segmented into two Modules each. The third term (summer of the first year) is spent fulfilling the internship requirement. A project paper is required at the completion of the internship. Fall term of year two offers the opportunity to study at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. As part of the MBA curriculum and to increase awareness of our global economy students participate in a required three-week course combining classroom instruction and a two-week field research trip to one of three regions of the world: Asia, Europe or Latin America. Further international study is possible.Underlying the academic program is an appreciation for the practical nature of arts administration. Because preserving and presenting quality arts experiences calls for skilled and strategic management students are required to participate in practica at Dallas-area art organizations and a full-time summer internship in Dallas or elsewhere in the United States. These practical hands-on experiences allow students to apply classroom knowledge in real situations and are a highly valued element of the MA/MBA experience. Full time interns have been placed at such organizations as Arena Stage Washington DC; San Francisco Opera; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Walt Disney Theatrical Productions; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
To enter the joint-degree program you must be admitted to both the Cox School of Business and the Meadows School of the Arts. Admission criteria emphasize previous arts training and experience. Central to a successful career in arts administration is a strong personal commitment to the development and perpetuation of high-level artistic activities. You must demonstrate such a commitment either through an undergraduate or advanced degree in an arts field or a degree in another field combined with significant academic professional or personal experience in the arts. In addition you should demonstrate strong academic capabilities; leadership potential and interpersonal and communication skills. Greater preference will be given to those applicants who have had professional experience after their undergraduate education. While these guidelines are very important flexibility is maintained consistent with the University’s overall admission policies. On an objective basis applicants to the program are judged on the result of the required GMAT or GRE and the applicant’s undergraduate experience and academic achievement. Applications are accepted online on a rolling basis. Specific application requirements can be found on the Cox School of Business website. All qualified applicants being given serious consideration for admission must be interviewed by the division chair and the MBA Admissions Office. All full-time students begin the course of study in the fall due to the sequence of required courses.