University of Kentucky

PhD in Arts Administration

The field of arts administration is largely considered to have been formally developed in the United States in the 1960s. The institutionalization of the field has continued to solidify and expand well into the 21st century.

What was once considered a niche industry, the arts and cultural sector, is one of the largest exports of products of the US (and one of the only with a trade surplus), supports over 4.9 million jobs, and contributes $730 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). By contributing 4.2% to the US GDP, arts and cultural production is a larger economic sector than agriculture, travel and tourism, transportation and warehousing, and construction.

As the field has expanded so has the necessity for appropriately trained researchers. The PhD in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky allows committed and engaged arts scholars the opportunity to study in a rigorous, online degree program focused on field competencies and research methodologies regardless of residential location. 



Students must begin the PhD in Arts Administration in the fall semester.
The program is designed for students to take 6-credit hours per semester (fall, spring, and summer) during years one and two. In years three and four, students register for 6-credit hours per semester in fall and spring only.
Students must continuously enroll in AAD 767: Dissertation Residency Credit in fall and spring semesters until the degree is completed.
Year One
AAD 655: Cultural Policy
EPE/EDP 557: Gathering, Using and Analyzing Educational Data I
AAD 665: Creative Cities, Creative Placemaking, & Community Vibrancy
EPE 619: Survey Research
AAD 790: Arts and Culture Research Studies
AAD Concentration Course (3)
Year Two
AAD 629: Organization Theories in Arts Administration
EPE 620: Introduction to Evaluation
Dissertation Prospectus Due (October 1)
AAD 720: Sustaining Leadership in the Arts
EPE 663: Field Studies in Educational Studies
AAD Research Area Course (3)
AAD Research Area Course (3)
Year Three
AAD Research Area Course (3)
AAD 795: Arts Administration Research Planning and Proposal Writing (3)
PhD Proposal Due / Oral Defense
No course work required
No course work required
Completion of Comprehensive Examination
Year Four
AAD 767: Dissertation Residency Credit (2)*
AAD 767: Dissertation Residency Credit (2)*
No course work required
*Students must continuously enroll in AAD 767: Dissertation Residency Credit in fall and spring semesters until the degree is completed.


The program is designed to provide research specialization in arts and culture beyond the master's level. All students are expected to have at least minimal training in the common body of knowledge in the functional areas of arts administration.
In order to apply to the PhD in Arts Administration, students must have an earned graduate degree in arts administration or a related discipline. Field practitioners in the arts and cultural sectors with graduate degrees in related disciplines may be considered for admission; however, would likely be assigned foundational coursework which would not apply to the required 46-credit hours for the PhD.

Students will only be admitted in the fall semester.

Admission Requirements
Students interested in the PhD in Arts Administration will be required to submit an application utilizing the system as designated by the UK Graduate School (currently Apply Yourself). Students will be required to submit the following items:

- Current resume;
- Statement of purpose;
- Portfolio of writing samples;
- Official transcripts;
- GRE scores; and
- Three letters of recommendation.

The Arts Administration Graduate Admissions Faculty will review the PhD applications in order to select the finalists. Finalists will be interviewed via video conference in order to determine the student’s:
Rationale for pursuing a PhD;
Proclivity to online education and aptitude for rigorous research expectations;
Area of research interest; and
Systems in place to support the student through doctoral studies.
Admission to the Certificate in Research Methods in Education
The PhD in Arts Administration is designed to concurrently earn a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Education. Students must apply separately to both the PhD and the Graduate Certificate in UK’s Apply Yourself system. Of note, Apply Yourself will require you to submit your applications separately using different email addresses.

University of Kentucky
205 Fine Arts Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0022
United States

Dr. Rachel Shane
Jill Schinberg
Lee Erik Eachus
Dr. Yuha Jung

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 859.257.9616

Read More About This Program  


[email protected]