Visual Arts Administration

← Back to All Programs

New York University

Visual Arts Administration MA program was the first in the nation to focus on visual arts management careers in both traditional and alternative contexts. The program prepares leaders for a broad range of arts organizations. It takes into account the cultural and economic impact of the visual arts, nationally and internationally, as well as the challenges facing the arts today.

Goals and Objectives

Established in 1971, the M.A. Program in Visual Arts Administration was the first in the nation to focus specifically on management careers in the visual arts, in both traditional and alternative contexts. Taking into account the cultural and economic impact of the visual arts, nationally and internationally, as well as the challenges facing the arts today, the program prepares students to become leaders in a broad range of arts organizations.

The Visual Arts Administration M.A. Program 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 non-profit and for-profit; and the role of art theorists, critics, curators, and collectors.

The program curriculum also considers how education in arts organizations expands knowledge and builds 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 the theoretical and practical tools for fundraising, financial management, marketing and knowledge of new media and technology in the visual arts. While the program is primarily oriented toward the non-profit segment of the field, it also offers a strong for-profit concentration.

Emphasis is placed on collaboration across the visual arts administration field. The program takes advantage of its position in New York City to utilize the variety of arts organizations and professionals available through case studies, focus groups, site visits and examples of theory applied to practice. Using the program’s extensive internship and alumni networks allows students access to a wide range of individuals and organizations in the field and increases the depth of their understanding of the complexities of this challenging area.

Since its beginnings, the program has taken an extensive and integrated international outlook. The curriculum fosters a global perspective within course readings and discussions, and through several study abroad options. In London, for example, students analyze the exhibition and display of art in material culture through a dynamic curriculum that blends classroom sessions and site visits. In the Netherlands and Berlin, Performing Arts Administration and Visual Arts Administration students compare and contrast the management of cultural institutions in the U.S. and Europe, with an emphasis on cultural policy, cultural diplomacy, funding mechanisms, globalism and mobility, and cultural identity and diversity.


51 points of course work are required for graduation. Courses are offered on a rotating basis to accommodate both full and part time enrollment. Students take courses at the Stern School of Business or the Wagner School of Public Service and fulfill one to three credits of internships with a range of sponsors including galleries museums and other arts organizations. The program sequence is determined by advisement and tailored to the needs of each individual student.

I. Core Courses (9 pts required)

ARVA-GE 2030 Environment of Visual Arts Administration (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2109 Digital Tech and the Art Org.: From Strategy to Practice (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2028 Law and the Visual Arts (3 pts)

II. Primary Areas of Study (Select either area – 9 pts required)

Arts Management

ARVA-GE 2032 Development for the Vis. Arts (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2133 Strat Plng. and Governance (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2027 Exhibition & Display Art & Material Cult. (3 pts)

Arts Arts Market

ARVA-GE 2016 Art Collecting (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2076 Visual Arts Markets (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2171 Appraisal & Valuation of Art (3 pts)

III. Business Courses (9 pts. required)

Leonard N. Stern School of Business or Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

COR1-GB 1306 Financial Accounting (3 pts)
COR1-GB 1302 Leadership in Organizations (3 pts)
COR1-GB 2310 Marketing Concepts and Strategies (3 pts)

IV. Internships (3 pts. required)

ARVA-GE 2302 Internship in Art (variable 1-3 pts/semester)

V. Thesis (3 pts. required)

ARVA-GE 2299 Research in Visual Arts Administration (2 pts)
ARVA-GE 2301 Final Project (1 pt)

VI. Secondary Areas of Study (Choose one from the following suggested areas of study, or create your own area of study – 9 pts required)

Curatorial Studies

ARVA-GE 2019 Exhibition Design (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2198 Collections & Exhib. Mgmt. (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2911 Curatorial Practice (3 pts)

Arts Advocacy/Art Education

ARVA-GE 2035 Arts Advocacy: Concept and Practice (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2112 Urban Dev. & Visual Arts (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2021 Education in Art Museums (3 pts.)

VII. Electives (selected from, but not limited to, courses offered throughout the university – 9 pts)

ART-GE 2002 Intro to Galleries and Museums (3 pts)
MPAPA-GE 2225 Cultural Tourism (1.5 pts)
ARVA-GE 2212 Corporate Sponsorship in the Arts (1.5 pts)
ARVA-GE 2015 Function and Structure of Museums (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2060 The Artist’s Career (3 pts)
ARVA-GE-2079 High Impact Media Relations & Marketing for New Visual Art Ventures (1.5 pts)
ARVA-GE 2118 Business and the Visual Arts (3 pts)
ARVA- GE 2120 Contemporary Art and Community Museums (3 pts)
ARVA- GE 2121 Praxis in Contemporary Art and Community Partnerships (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2134 Cultural Branding in Arts Organizations (3 pts)
ARVA-GE 2912 Grad Projects: Facets of an Art Dealer (2 pts)
ARVA-GE 2913 Grad Projects: Curating Biennials
ARVA- GE 2914 Grad Projects: Cultural Heritage
ARVA-GE 2915 Art Market Analysis and Investment (1.5 pts)
ARTCR-GE 2141 History of Taste 1850-present (3 pts)
ARTCR-GE 2151 History of Art Since 1945 (3 pts)
ARTCR-GE 2235 History of Cont Art &New Media (3 pts)
ARTED-GE 2070 Current Issues in Art Education. (3 pts)
ARTED-GE 2276 Art Education in Alt Settings (3 pts)

VIII. Study Abroad

ARVA-GE 2215 Issues and Practice in Arts Administration: The European Context (6 pts) (Netherlands and Berlin)
ARVA-GE 2027 Exhibition & Display of Art and Material Culture in London (3 pts)

Program Total: 51 points


Applications for admission to the program and financial aid information should be requested from:

New York University
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Office of Graduate Admissions
Joseph and Violet Pless Hall
82 Washington Square East
New York, NY 10003

212-998-5030 FAX 212-995-4328

Follow the instructions outlined by the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development Graduate Admissions Office for filing your application. Your application, transcripts and other necessary material can be uploaded, and applicants can register their recommenders via the online system. Go to

In order to be considered for admission to the program, applicants must have a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 and a strong art history background as well as appropriate internship and/or work experience. After applications have been reviewed, you will be contacted for a personal interview. If this is not possible, a telephone interview will be arranged.

International students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 in order to apply to the program. Upon arrival at New York University, accepted applicants will be tested by the American Language Institute and must qualify for level 84 of instruction, which must then be completed.

For additional information regarding the program please call or write directly to:

Erin Sircy
Art Professions Graduate Advisor
Department of Art & Art Professions
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
34 Stuyvesant Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003

212-998-5700 FAX 212-995-4320

For general information pertaining to admission see the current Steinhardt School of Education Bulletin. To download a copy visit:

Application Deadlines

Admission for the following academic year (admission is for the Fall semester only):

Admission (for the following academic year)

January 6 International applications due
January 6 Graduate application and supporting materials due
April 30 Notification of acceptance
(Financial Aid deadline is February 1)

New York University

Sandra Lang

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-998-5700

Read More About This Program