What is Arts Administration? Training and knowledge for managers, artists, performers and arts enthusiasts who wish to pursue professional activities or careers related to managing, producing or advancing the cultural arts.

Where is arts administration needed? Performance and institutional arts organizations, including museums and art galleries, symphonies and musical groups, theatres, and dance companies; in community or regional centers for the arts; in government, corporate, and foundation agencies that are concerned with the development of the arts.

Is it just nonprofits? Arts administrators most often work in the nonprofit sector and the program we offer reflects this model. The U.S. nonprofit arts industry employs approximately 5.7 million full-time persons and there are approximately 32,000 nonprofit arts organizations in U.S. However, there are many aspects in the field that can be helpful in the for-profit sector, such as working in artist management, in the music industry, commercial theatre, dance schools, and commercial art galleries, or for artists who want to learn skills that will help them better manage their own artistic careers.

Why should I study Arts Administration? The demands of the arts manager has grown more sophisticated (beyond connoisseurship), thereby demanding formalized training. The best preparation for a career in arts administration is an academic background enhanced by practical, professional experience.  However, most arts administrators learned “on the job” and only 20% of working professionals ever completed coursework in arts administration at the undergraduate college level. Goucher is among only a handful of schools in the U.S. who offer a packaged program of courses for undergraduates.

What does Goucher offer? Goucher currently offers a Concentration in Arts Administration (which is a designation a few credits less than a MINOR).  The concentration is seven courses/21 credits total: three core courses in Arts Administration (BUS 170, 270, 375); three courses in Business Management (BUS 110, 120, 229); and one course in Economics (EC 101). Goucher also offers a Master of Arts in Arts Administration, a graduate program designed for working professionals who have had a few years of hands-on experience.

What will I learn? All three core courses feature several guest speakers of working arts administrators, which helps to reinforce learning from text and lectures and connects them to working professionals. A hallmark of the program is that the learning is often based on real-life samples and from case studies of existing organizations. The assignments are real-life applications of work that arts administrators do, such as writing or creating mission statements, fundraising letters, budgets, business plan/grant proposals, and organizational assessment or evaluations.  

Who can study Art Administration? Any undergraduate student enrolled at Goucher may take one, two, or all three core courses in Arts Administration (BUS 170, 270, 375); these are done in a sequence.  However, in order to complete the program as a designated concentration, you must major in an art form. The courses in the arts (Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre) provide a solid foundation in an art form. Students must complete their artistic major that covers both historical/theoretical and studio work. 

What if I want to study Business Management too? That’s fine and is an excellent way to build more comprehensive management and business skills. Some students complete their major in an art form, add the concentration and also pursue either a minor or a major in Business Management as well.  Only those completing a major in the Arts, however, are eligible for the official designation of Concentration in Arts Administration.

When can I start? The Introductory class, BUS 170, is offered every Spring; the second course BUS 270, is offered every Fall; and the capstone seminar, BUS 375, is offered every Spring.                       

How long will it take? There are seven courses total: three core courses, plus four additional courses in Business Management and Economics.  Most students are able to take two courses relating to the concentration per semester. It is recommended to take BUS 170 either as a freshman or a sophomore and begin the Economics and Accounting courses no earlier than your sophomore year.  At minimum, you would need to start by spring of your junior year in order to complete the 3 core courses (170 in spring of junior year; 270 in fall of senior year, and 375 in spring of senior year).

What are the courses I need?  In order to complete the 21-credit CONCENTRATION:
Three core courses:

  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 170: Introduction to Arts Administration
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 270: Case Studies in Arts Administration (formerly MGT 370/ “The Arts Administrator”)
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 375: Strategic Leadership for the Arts Administrator


  • ECONOMICS 101 (Principles of Economics: Micro) * Prerequisite or co-requisite: MA 160 or math placement test results above MA 160
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 110 (Principles of Accounting I)
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 120 (Principles of Accounting 2) *  Prerequisites: BUS 110 + MA 160, or math placement test results of MA 170 or higher
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 229 (Marketing Management)  * Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor

What about internships? Internships are a terrific way to explore the field and define your own career goals. Students have extensive opportunities for rewarding internships.  Goucher is strategically located, with access to numerous arts organizations in the Baltimore-Washington area as well as in New York and other cities. Many students complete arts-related internships for college credit, usually for 3 credits; most are done on a volunteer basis but some opportunities may pay wages or offer a stipend. Some complete their internship during a semester while in Baltimore, in summers in Baltimore, “at home,” or elsewhere.

Who can I talk to if I want to learn more? Contact Alison Cahen Lohr, Instructor and Program Advisor, Arts Administration Concentration at alohr@goucher.edu, Office is Van Meter G-40. 


BUS 170 Introduction to Arts Administration
An overview of the burgeoning field of arts administration for those considering the profession and to help artists and performers understand the administrative aspects of a nonprofit arts organization. Topics include organizational purpose and management structure, leadership, board governance and issues, fundraising, financial management, program and artistic development, marketing and promotion. Practical projects and guest speakers from professional performance companies and arts institutions. (SPRING)

BUS  270 Case Studies in Arts Administration  (FORMERLY MGT 370/The Arts Administrator)
What are the qualifications of a good arts administrator? This course centers on case studies of real arts organizations to present issues and solve management problems. Topics include: artistic content; leadership; fundraising and developing financial resources; community development, diversity and educational outreach; audience development, marketing, and crisis communications; technology and cultural facilities. Guest speakers from area organizations are featured. Prerequisite: BUS 170. (FALL)

BUS 375 Strategic Leadership for the Arts Administrator
What are the most pressing challenges for an arts administrator today? The course considers the responsibilities of management and examines capacity building and fiscal stabilization of arts organizations. Topics include long-range strategic planning, staffing, board, and human resource development, and legal matters and their implications. Students discuss current issues shaping the nonprofit arts field. Practical projects and guests speakers. Prerequisite: BUS 270 (formerly MGT 370). (SPRING)

EC 101 Principles of Economics: Micro (FULFILLS GEN ED #10)
An introduction to methods of analysis used by economists to study social phenomena and to develop policy proposals. Emphasis on motivations of individuals and groups in social and economic interaction, with attention to the study of product, labor, and international markets.  Pre or co-requisites: MA 160 (114) or math placement test results
above MA 160 (114). (FALL AND SPRING)

BUS 110 Principles of Accounting I
Fundamental principles and concepts of accounting and their application to sole proprietorships. Emphasis on cashflow considerations and control aspects of accounting rather than a purely bookkeeping approach. (FALL AND SPRING)

BUS  120 Principles of Accounting II
A continuation of fundamental accounting principles and concepts. Emphasis is on corporations, the nature of stock, debt and working capital, interpretation of financial statements, and managerial departmental accounting concepts. Pre/co-requisites: BUS  110 and MA 160, or math placement test results of MA 170 or higher (FALL AND SPRING)

BUS 229 Marketing Management  (FULFILLS GEN ED #9)
A review of the basic concepts and practice in modern marketing. Course demonstrates marketing principles through an array of current events in the manufacturing and service sectors, in profit and nonprofit organizations, and domestic, international, and multinational companies. Students are responsible for conducting market research and presentation of a marketing plan. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (FALL AND SPRING)