Nov 28, 2022  
2012-2013 General Catalog 

Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration (M.F.A.)

Program Information

Director: James C. Marchant
Burch Mann House

Administrative Assistant: Clarisse Lunt
(435) 865-8663 & (435) 865-8561


Graduate Faculty
Professors: William J. Byrnes, Carl Templin, Alan Hamlin, David Christensen, Gerald Calvasina; Associate Professors: Art Challis, Wayne Roberts
Assistant Professor: James C. Marchant

Adjunct Faculty:

Degrees Offered

Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration (M.F.A.) 

Overview of Program

The A.A. program is offered in a two-calendar year format beginning each fall and consisting of 60 credit hours combined with work opportunities with the professional affiliates, including the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery and the College of Performing and Visual Arts.

A limited number of students are accepted to the program each year, thereby providing the highest level of personal instruction and mentoring to each student. Students receive the opportunity to participate in a series of scholarly and practical activities which result in the combination of knowledge and experience necessary to compete in today’s job market upon completion of the program.

Faculty and professional guests exemplify excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional contributions to the field of arts administration. This creates an exhilarating environment which enhances and provides a pathway of lifelong learning.


The Arts Administration program seeks to provide a practical interdisciplinary education that develops well-rounded generalists, employable in any of the arts disciplines as professional arts administrators. The program provides a solid curriculum that focuses on practical applications and philosophies of nonprofit management necessary to prepare each student with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a professional leadership position in the field of arts administration.

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

The Arts Administration program’s goal is to develop graduates who can balance administrative structure with artistic process in an effort to ensure artistic integrity and fiscal responsibility of arts organizations.

A successful student will:

  • Articulate and define the field of arts administration.
  • Develop and integrate practical approaches to functions of arts administration.
  • Identify future challenges and opportunities in the arts through administrative practice.
  • Recognize behavior and skill sets of professionals in the field.
  • Apply their scholarship firsthand in professional assistantships in the offices of the professional affiliates, gaining experience in management, budgeting, personnel, fundraising, leadership, and marketing.
Implementation and Assessment

A successful student will:

  • Demonstrate in the classroom, in graded exercises, understanding of the general principles and practices of arts administration.
  • Successfully apply critical and analytical thinking to practical problems presented in class as they relate to readings, case studies, and through personal experience with the professional affiliates of the A.A. program.
  • Evidence through examination of a comprehensive base of knowledge regarding the field of arts administration including roles, functions, theories, and applications.
  • Undergo a formal assessment after the first year in the program. Coursework, assistantships and preparation for a career in arts administration will be evaluated by program faculty and staff. Individual goals will be set to help ensure educational and practical success.
  • Complete a Professional Capstone in which the student interns in a professional nonprofit arts organization. Capstones include a portfolio demonstrating successful communication and skills while working in the organization. Each capstone will be presented to the faculty and assessed through an oral and written defense.

Other Information

Admission Materials

The following materials should be sent to the program by March 1 for full priority consideration (although earlier submissions are advised):

  1. SUU Graduate Programs Admissions application and fee
  2. Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  3. Resume including academic, professional and volunteer experience
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation
  5. Written Statement of Purpose

Other Requirements

In addition, applicants must schedule an interview with the Director either on campus or at selected national conference sites (January 2 through March 31 for the following Fall semester). Please contact the program secretary for specific off-campus sites and dates for interviews. Exceptions to admissions policies may be made by the Program Director and the A.A. Screening Committee on a case by case basis.

Application Assessment

The Program Director and the A.A. Applications Screening Committee will assess the quality of the applicant based on the following areas:

  • Leadership skills evidenced through the applicant’s undergraduate leadership activities, civic volunteerism, internship with a professional arts organization and/or a paid professional experience in the arts or nonprofit related work
  • Demonstration of communications skills as evidenced through a written statement of purpose addressing their intent as well as their career goals, and an oral communication through a personal interview
  • Earned Bachelor’s degree, preferably in an arts discipline with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher


Students admitted to the program are automatically qualified to be considered for assistantships. Work will include an assignment in an arts organization for a set number of hours per week. Assistantships range between $7,000 and $8,000 annually and usually includes a one quarter to  full tuition waiver. Student fees are the responsibility of the student.

Graduation Requirements

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all graduate courses to graduate. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 average GPA may be terminated from the program. A student may continue in the program if it can be demonstrated that satisfactory progress is being made toward graduation. Any graduate course in which a “C-” grade or lower is earned must be repeated, and can be repeated only once. Students who, for valid reasons, are unable to remain in the program will be allowed to re-enter at the stage where they left, with the approval of administration and faculty, and with satisfactory qualifications. Students must complete the M.F.A. Arts Administration program within six years of their first semester’s enrollment.