Online M.A. Degree

The 21st century has shown significant increase in the nonprofit arts and culture industry. According to the Americans for the Arts most recent economic impact study, the nonprofit arts sector generates $166.2 billion in economic activity each year and according to the National Endowment for the Art's 2008 Public Participation in the Arts survey, about 35 percent of all US adults - or 78 million Americans - attended a museum, gallery or performing arts event in the past year. Thus, arts and cultural organizations are increasingly seeking trained professionals to provide vision and leadership. The University of Kentucky prepares the next generation of arts leaders through its innovative online M.A. in Arts Administration.

Ideal candidates for the M.A. include individuals who have experience in the arts or arts management and have the desire to supplement this experience with more in-depth training in the form of an advanced business and nonprofit arts-focused degree. These include persons who have graduated with a bachelor's degree in Arts Administration or a related field and professionals with experience in the arts or arts management.

UK offers its M.A. in Arts Administration as a completely online program. This provides several benefits to UK graduate students:

  • Students are accepted for both the fall and spring semesters.Flexibility - For working professionals, an online program is ideal to provide the flexibility needed to balance work, school and personal obligations. Thanks to asynchronous communication, students complete assignments and engage with their peers without the conventional restrictions of time and place.
  • Time and location - There is no residency requirement. The program is designed for students to have equal access no matter where they are located. There is no advantage to living close to campus unless a student has a personal preference. We have had students come to campus to meet faculty in person but it is certainly not necessary. The majority of our students are out-of-state.
  • Affordability - All students accepted into the Arts Administration M.A. program pay the in-state tuition rate regardless of residential location. Additionally, there are a number of financial aid options available to students who meet the requirements.
  • Quality instruction - Students who attend online classes will receive the same quality instruction as those who would attend class on-campus. The Arts Administration Program has dedicated considerable time and effort to insuring that our online courses are functional and understandable to both the student and instructor, regularly updated and aesthetically pleasing.

Access our Info Hub for resources and informational videos about our program.

Application Deadlines
Spring — October 15
Fall — March 15


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Interest Level
On-Campus BA in Arts Administration
Online MA in Arts Administration
Online PhD in Arts Administration
Online Graduate Certificates
Online Professional Development


Since the program is completely online how easily are students able to discuss topics with their professors?

Interactions and networking are critical components of our program.  Students work with their professors every week and have interactions with their peers weekly as well.  Faculty are available for video-based office hours weekly and by appointment. Faculty are expected to respond to student inquiries within 48 hours. Students typically say that faculty members are very accessible.

Do students have online library access?

Most certainly!  Students have access to the library from off campus through a log-in system.  Digital materials can be supplied immediately. Books are mailed to students at their request. 

What are the technical requirements for the online M.A. in Arts Administration?

Online courses require a minimum level of computer competency. You should have reliable, convenient access to a computer and the Internet, and be comfortable with basic computer and Internet tasks.
If you are not comfortable using a computer, you will probably be overwhelmed by the technology requirements of the courses. Try taking a computer basics class before attempting a course that is dependent on using a computer. If you are comfortable using a computer but don't feel you have reliable and convenient access to one, you may find it difficult to fully participate and keep up with course assignments.
For specific hardware and software recommendations, download the Technical Requirements guide.

When are courses offered?

Graduate courses in arts administration are offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Most MA students enroll in two courses during each of the three semesters.

How are the online courses designed?

Each course in the online M.A. is designed to engage and involve students on a weekly basis. Students participate in weekly discussions, activities and assignments. However, all of the courses are asynchronous - meaning that faculty and students do not need to be online at the same time to complete discussions and assignments. Students are able to work on their classes at a time most convenient for them rather than having to adhere to predetermined class meeting times.

How long does each course take to complete?

For a three-credit hour course, students should expect to spend 6-10 hours each week completing the course content, discussions, activities and assignments. Students are expected to login and participate in the course 4-5 days per week.

Does the program accept transfer credits?

University of Kentucky master’s degree programs may accept up to 9 credit hours of transfer credit. Credit transfers are only evaluated after an applicant has been offered admission into a program and accepted.  In order to evaluate credit transfer requests, students must submit a syllabus and examples of work from the course(s) to the Arts Administration program office for credit evaluation. 

The transferable hours include all post-baccalaureate work, graduate work taken at another regionally-accredited university or as a student in another graduate program at the University of Kentucky. The following rules also apply to credit transfer: 

  •  Course credits applied toward a previously awarded graduate degree cannot be transferred.
  • Transfer of independent work, research, thesis or dissertation credit is not permitted.
  • Short courses lasting fewer weeks than the number of credits may not be transferred.
  • A student must have been in graduate status at the time the courses were taken in order for the courses to be transferable. A student must be in good academic standing at the time of transfer.
  • Only courses assigned a B grade or better can be transferred. 

How are arts administration internships set up through the university?

Not all students in the program have to complete an internship.  This is a decision made between the student and their advisor.  For instance, students who are currently working at an arts organization may not complete an internship.  For students who do complete an internship, they will work 150-hours at their selected arts organization.  Most students have a location in mind that they wish to intern at.  Sometimes they arrange the internship themselves and other times, the faculty will help them set it up.  Students are required to submit a Learning Contract and then they are enrolled in the Internship course.  The course that corresponds with the internship is led by a faculty member and guides the students to connect their course work with their work activities. 

How are the locations determined for internships?

Most students chose to do an internship in their home location but not always. Students are free to complete an approved internship at any location in the world.

Is a thesis required for the M.A. in Arts Administration?

Students are not required to complete a traditional master's thesis. However, students are required to complete a significant research project called a Capstone Project, under the guidance of a faculty committee in the final course of the program AAD 750: Capstone Course in Arts Administration.  This course will results in a paper that describes their topic, research methods, findings and analysis.  Students are also expected to present their work in an online oral presentation.

Is there any kind of job placement assistance from the university after completing the M.A. program?

The program is designed to help you prepare for a job search in various ways including building an online portfolio as part of your program to showcase your skills and knowledge. Additionally,  the Capstone Project is designed to give students the opportunity to work on a project in the area in which they hope to work.  Of course, faculty are willing to write letters of recommendation and connect students with their field contacts for employment as well.

Is the Arts Administration Program accredited?

In the United States, there is no accrediting body for Arts Administration Programs.  The Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) is the primary professional association in the field.  AAAE produces curricular standards for arts administration programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  UK’s programs adhere to these curricular standards.  Additionally, the University of Kentucky is an active member of AAAE — in fact, our Program Director serves on the AAAE Board of Directors.

Is the GRE required?

No. The GRE is not a required element for the application for admission to the MA in Arts Administration.  A full list of requirements are available on the Admissions page.  However, should you wish to apply for a UK Graduate School Fellowship, you are required to submit GRE scores.