Arts Administration

Arts Administration

Two women standing in front of a colorful painting

The arts enrich our lives with moments of beauty, humor, surprise, and delight. But the arts also are a business, and like any business, arts organizations need competent, confident professionals who can manage resources and maximize opportunities.

Consider pursuing Penn State Behrend’s B.A. in Arts Administration if you are drawn to working in the arts but not interested in the unpredictability of a performing or studio art career. Our Arts Administration major is one of the very few such undergraduate programs in the country.

Employers of Arts Administration graduates are an eclectic mix—museums, auction houses, art galleries, theatre companies, orchestras and symphonies, operas, ballet companies, choruses, arts councils and collectives, music publishers, and universities among them—and the career opportunities they offer are equally varied. These organizations require executive directors, gallery and company managers, tour directors, marketing and public relations specialists, social media managers, fundraisers, event planners, volunteer supervisors, and curators and archivists, to list only a few of the possibilities.

Penn State Behrend, Where the Arts Mean Business

There are more than 100,000 arts organizations in the United States. The interdisciplinary B.A. in Arts Administration combines broad exposure to the arts with intensive training in marketing, management, event planning, and development to produce capable arts administrators, managers, and entrepreneurs with both aesthetic sensibility and business acumen.

Based on your interests and career goals, you’ll choose one of three modules—Music, Theatre, or Visual Arts—as an area of concentration and focus for your coursework. From there, you’ll also pick one of two options for further skills development:

  • Digital Media Option: You’ll study design and social media engagement to prepare you to create and manage online content, including coursework in web writing, image editing, layout, and advertising strategies for electronic environments.
  • Marketing Option: Choose this business core if you are interested in careers involving fiscal planning. Coursework includes statistics, marketing research, and services marketing, areas of expertise that meet the specific needs of arts and cultural organizations.

Do you want to travel? Want to get credit for it? We regularly offer a course featuring a spring break trip to Rome, Italy.

The arts faculty at Penn State Behrend brings world-class experience to the classroom. Film and television acting, recording contracts, international scholarship, grant expertise, orchestral conducting, community outreach, choral directing, designing art gallery exhibitions, and artwork in nationally exhibited shows. Our faculty are doers and teachers.

Contact Dr. Sharon Dale, Program Chair of Arts Administration, with any further questions (