Arts Administration and Museum Leadership MS

Major: Arts Administration and Museum Leadership
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 50.1002
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 25-4013; 25-4012

About the Program

The Arts Administration and Museum Leadership program provides academic preparation for leadership positions with creative enterprises, museums, foundations, corporations, and government agencies involved in the arts and culture sector. Students interested in the management of arts and cultural organizations, including museums of all types, will find a curriculum that provides them with a broad foundation of understanding the history and current trends of the sector, as well as opportunities to explore specific areas of practice in more depth.

Students will choose either an Arts Administration or a Museum Leadership concentration to complete their degree. All AAML students will complete several introductory courses appropriate to their concentration, along with seven shared core AAML courses, followed by a thesis sequence for the Arts Administration concentration, and a practicum sequence for Museum Leadership.

Students may enroll in the program on a full- or part-time basis. The program is designed to accommodate working students, so all classes are offered in the evening or online. Students must matriculate in either the campus or online program, but students in either program may take some courses in the other program.

Students should plan to enter the program at the start of either the fall or spring term. Full-time students may complete the degree in five consecutive terms when beginning in the fall term, and part-time students typically take seven to eight terms to complete the degree. 

Goals and Objectives

Drexel’s Arts Administration and Museum Leadership program will prepare the cultural workforce of the future to fulfill their missions of stewardship and education. These leaders will develop a knowledge and skill base to steer tomorrow’s museums, cultural organizations, and cultural enterprises.

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the changing environment of the sector and use critical thinking skills to identify issues and broad-based policy solutions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the administrative theories and practices of arts and cultural organizations, including corporate structures, business models, governance, leadership, management, planning, capitalization, evaluation, marketing, audience and community engagement, legal issues, and fund development.
  • Understand the particular requirements of managing artistic and cultural disciplines and distinguish among the needs and requirements embedded in the management and leadership of various disciplines in the profession.
  • Demonstrate capacity for leadership in the cultural community, having an awareness of their own leadership strengths, ethical standards, and ability to motivate and engage others.
  • Identify strategies to implement the mission and vision of an organization.
  • Work effectively in teams, demonstrating competence in interpersonal communication and collaboration that can be applied in a leadership role or from any position within a team or an organization.

Additional Information

For more information please visit the Arts Administration & Museum Leadership webpage.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, applicants should provide: 

  • A resume demonstrating a strong affinity for the field through work, volunteer experiences, education, or special training.
  • A transcript showing a minimum 3.0 GPA* in their undergraduate work, and for international students whose first language is not English, the minimum TOEFL score is 90/577.
  • An essay of approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel; your short-term and long-term career plans; and how your background, experience, interest, and/or values, when combined with a Drexel degree, will enable you to pursue these goals successfully.
  • Two letters of recommendation. To electronically request recommendations, you must list your recommenders and their contact information on your application. We advise that you follow up with your recommenders to ensure they received your recommendation request — they may need to check their junk mail folder. Additionally, it is your responsibility to confirm that your recommenders will submit letters by your application deadline and follow up with recommenders who have not completed their recommendations.

No GRE required.

* Special consideration of GPA requirement will be given for applicants with relevant work experience.

Degree Requirements

Required Core Courses
AAML 525Legal and Ethical Issues in Arts and Culture3.0
AAML 550Management Techniques in Arts and Cultural Organizations3.0
AAML 560Marketing & Engagement in Arts and Cultural Orgs.3.0
AAML 575Revenue Development in Arts and Cultural Orgs.3.0
AAML 610Financial Accounting in Arts and Cultural Orgs.3.0
AAML 660Technology Tools for Arts and Cultural Managers3.0
AAML 680Leadership, Strategy & Planning in Arts and Cult.3.0
Concentration: Select one15.0
Arts Administration Concentration
Overview of the Arts
Creative Enterprise and Innovation
Research Design in the Arts
Thesis Development *
Museum Leadership Concentration
Museum History and Philosophy
Museum Management
Governance for Museums and Non-Profit Organizations
Museum Leadership Practicum **
Electives (Choose 3)9.0
International Cultural Policy
Special Topics in Arts Administration
Leadership in the Arts
Human Resources Management in the Arts
Arts Entrepreneurship
Advanced Fund Development
Arts in Education
Performing Arts Management
Visual Arts Organization Management
Community Cultural Planning
Political Activism in the Arts
Cultural Organizations in Transition
Exhibitions and Programming
Bricks and Mortar
Overview of Curatorial Practices
Total Credits45.0

AADM 798 is taken two times for a total of 6.0 credits.


MUSL 750 is taken two times for a total of 6.0 credits.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample Plan of Study - Arts Administration (AADM) Concentration - Campus Full-Time

First Year
AADM 5053.0AAML 5503.0AADM 7853.0AADM 798*3.0
AADM 5203.0AAML 5603.0Electives6.0AAML 6103.0
AAML 5253.0AAML 5753.0 AAML 6603.0
 9 9 9 9
Second Year
AADM 798*3.0   
AAML 6803.0   
Total Credits 45

AADM 798 is taken two times for a total of 6.0 credits.

Sample Plan of Study - Museum Leadership (MUSL) Concentration - Campus Full-time

First Year
AAML 5253.0AAML 5503.0MUSL 6503.0AAML 6103.0
MUSL 5003.0AAML 5603.0Electives6.0AAML 6603.0
MUSL 5303.0AAML 5753.0 MUSL 750*3.0
 9 9 9 9
Second Year
AAML 6803.0   
MUSL 750*3.0   
Total Credits 45

MUSL 750 is taken two times for a total of 6.0 credits.

Arts Administration & Museum Leadership Faculty

Salina Almanzar, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Professor. Cultural preservation, community engagement
Jasmine E. Austin (Johnson), MS (Drexel University ). Adjunct Professor. Development Manager at Moore College of Art & Design; Founder & CEO of Selah Studios, LLC; Elder at CareView Community Church. Empowering and encouraging others through the arts and other cultural experiences, enabling them to embrace a deeper sense of well-being.
Laura-Edythe Coleman, PhD (Florida State University). Assistant Professor. Museum studies, cultural heritage informatics, social justice and inclusion, research methods, collections management, and digital curation.
Lindsey Crane, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Professor. Peace and social change through the arts
Mary Emery, MBA (Temple University). Adjunct Professor. Director of Finance and Controller, Vanguard Charitable.
Sharon Erwin, JD (Temple University). Adjunct Professor.
Derek Gillman, MA, LLM (University of Oxford). Distinguished Visiting Professor. Visual studies.
Julie Goodman, MFA (Temple University) Department Head, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise. Associate Professor. Cultural policy, political activism in the arts, changes in economic and social policy, arts sector changes.
Marcus Harshaw, MA (John Hopkins University). Adjunct Faculty.
Polly McKenna-Cress, MFA (University of the Arts) Museum Leadership Practicum Director. Adjunct Professor.
Heather McLaughlin, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Professor.
Carly Rappaport-Stein, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Faculty.
Allison Trimarco-White, MAM (Carnegie Mellon University). Adjunct Faculty. Founder of Creative Capacity, LLC, strategic planning, fundraising, audience development, and board development projects.
Neville Vakharia, PhD (ABD 2022) (Drexel University) Associate Dean for Research & Planning. Associate Professor. Technology in the arts, strategic planning and evaluation, management and leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Inez Wolins, PhD (ABD), MA (New York University, Syracuse University). Adjunct Faculty. Museum, historic sites, and non-profit experience in governance, strategic planning, exhibition development, evaluation, community engagement, programming, interpretation, development and marketing.
Brent Woods, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Faculty.
Pamela Yau, MA (City University, London) Program Director, MS Arts Administration & Museum Leadership. Assistant Teaching Professor. Marketing and communications for the arts, research design, management, creative entrepreneurship, innovation, diversity, equity, inclusion in the arts.
Andrew Zitcer, PhD (Rutgers University) Program Director, Urban Strategy. Associate Professor. Urban planning, creative placemaking, cooperative practice
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