Dec 01, 2022  
2013-2014 General Catalog 

Arts Administration Program

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Program Information

Director: Rachel Bishop
(435) 865-8561
(435) 586-7873

Administrative Assistant: Clarisse Lunt
(435) 865-8663


Graduate Faculty
Nikki Allen, Rachel Bishop, William J. Byrnes, Gerald Calvasina, David Christensen, Alan Hamlin, Wayne Roberts, Josh Stavros, Reece Summers, Carl Templin, Ryan Yonk

Degrees Offered

Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration  
Master of Arts in Arts Administration (Online) 


The Arts Administration Program develops graduates who balance administrative systems with creative process in an effort to ensure the artistic integrity and economic sustainability of arts organizations.


The Arts Administration Program will:

  • Provide a personalized, interdisciplinary education
  • Develop well-rounded professionals employable in any arts discipline
  • Offer a nonprofit management curriculum and experiential learning opportunities
  • Advocate for the arts

Program Learning Outcomes

The Arts Administration Program has five learning outcomes that build upon the missions and visions of the program, The College of Performing and Visual Arts, and Southern Utah University.

Students will:

  • Become empowered advocates for the arts
  • Apply scholarly theory directly into professional practice
  • Develop adaptability and critical thinking skills necessary to work in the arts
  • Cultivate both practical and creative approaches to problem solving.
  • Communicate in an effective and persuasive way

Overview of Programs

The graduate faculty of the Arts Administration Program exemplifies excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional contributions to the field of arts administration. This creates an environment that enhances the educational atmosphere of the program, instilling in the students a desire for lifelong learning.

Master of Fine Arts Degree

The Master of Fine Arts degree program is a two-year academic and experiential learning course of study that begins each fall. The program includes 60 credit hours (see Degree Requirements)  combined with work opportunities through our professional affiliates: The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, and Southern Utah University’s 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 in the classroom. Students also receive several opportunities outside of the classroom to participate in both scholarly and practical activities and projects. This combination of personalized academics and experiential learning gives students the tools necessary to compete in today’s job market.

Students admitted to the Master of Fine Arts degree program are automatically qualified for a professional affiliate assistantship. Work will include an assignment in one of our affiliate arts organizations for a set number of hours per week. Assistantship compensation varies each year depending on the University budget, and is usually accompanied by a one quarter to half tuition waiver. Student fees are the responsibility of the student.

Master of Arts Degree (Online)

The Master of Arts degree program will prepare graduates for management-level positions within nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. This interdisciplinary program combines specialized coursework in arts administration, graduate-level course work in accounting, marketing, public budgeting and financial management, and a final project or thesis, totaling 36 credit hours (see Degree Requirements) .

The program begins at an intensive three-day workshop in Cedar City that will introduce students not only to the field of arts administration, but Arts Administration faculty and fellow students in both degree programs.

Coursework in the Online program will include financial management, development, fundraising, marketing, legal issues, leadership, and board development. At the end of the program, students will complete either a Final Project or Thesis. The focus of a Final Project is the practical aspects of the academic material studied, and the focus of a Thesis is new research in the field of Arts Administration.


Applicants to the Arts Administration Program must have completed a Bachelor’s degree (or the international equivalent) in a relevant area of the arts, business, or the liberal arts. Students will be required to have a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for admission consideration.

Admission Materials

The following materials must be sent to SUU Admissions by February 15 (Master of Fine Arts) and August 1 (Master of Arts):

  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

Applicants for the Master of Fine Arts Program must present themselves for an interview on-campus or at a professional conference. Applicants are strongly encouraged to interview on-campus and to tour the Cedar City area and the professional affiliate organizations. Please contact the Program Director for specific dates for interviews.

Applicants for the Master of Arts Program (Online) are also encouraged to interview on-campus and to tour the Cedar City area and the professional affiliate organizations, but are only required to have a telephone interview.

Application Assessment

The Program Director and the AA Admissions Committee will assess the quality of the applicant based on the following areas:

  • Leadership skills as evidenced through the applicant’s undergraduate activities, civic volunteerism, internship with a professional arts organization, and/or a paid professional experience in arts or nonprofit organizations.
  • Communications skills as evidenced through a written Statement of Purpose addressing educational and career goals, and (MFA candidates only) a personal interview.

The Program Director and the AA Admissions Committee may make exceptions to admissions policies on a case-by-case basis.

Graduation Requirements

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all graduate courses in order 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 satisfactory progress and improvement can be proved. A graduate course must be repeated if a grade of “C-” (or lower) is earned. A course can only be repeated once.

Master of Fine Arts Program: If a student receives less than a 3.0 (B) in the Final Rotation Internship and/or Professional Capstone, the Student will not be granted the Master of Fine Arts degree and will be dismissed from the program. The Final Rotation Internship and the Professional Capstone may not be repeated.

Master of Arts Program: Students will be required to choose whether they will do a Final Project or the Final Thesis. Once begun, this choice may not be altered. If a student receives less than a 3.0 (B) in the Final Project or Final Thesis, the Student will not be granted the Master of Arts degree and will be dismissed from the program. The Final Project or the Final Thesis may not be repeated.

Additional Information

Students will be evaluated each semester based on academic work, assistantships (MFA only), and assigned special projects. Students must excel in all areas to move forward. If any area is deficient, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Students who, for valid reasons, choose to withdraw from the program (and were not dismissed) will be allowed to re-enter at the stage where they left with the approval of the Program Director and faculty, and with satisfactory qualifications. Students must complete the degree program within six years of their first semester enrollment.

Students in the Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree program (Online) cannot transfer credit into the existing Master of Fine Arts program. Although coursework between the two programs overlaps, the MFA degree involves twenty-four (24) months of intensive in-person, academic, and practical training that cannot be made up if a portion of the material is taken in the Online format.


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