Columbia College Chicago

Masters of Arts Management

Are you an arts grad looking to round out your background with specific skills in business and entrepreneurship? Or, are you a working professional in the arts and creative industries and want the business skills to take your work to the next level? Columbia’s full-time, two-year program is designed to catapult your career in the arts management field. You’ll combine the study of financial, legal, marketing, organizational and strategic concepts with coursework that supports your individual interests in different areas of the arts and entertainment industries.

You’ll study in a team environment and build relationships with your cohort that will live on past graduation. Our program is selective. You’ll receive individual attention from our renowned faculty composed of successful arts managers and working artists. You’ll work with other students to gain real-life experience through practicum classes in art curation; gallery management; the business of music recording, publishing and distribution; club, exhibition and live events management; executive producing for film and TV; and more.

What to Expect Your First Year

Our program is designed to maximize your time at Columbia so you can get out in the field to pursue your career full time. In your first year, you’ll be immersed in business theory and practice. You’ll take courses such as Accounting for Decision Making, Behavioral Economics and Marketing Principles. You’ll round out your second semester with courses in financial management, leadership and law. You’ll also take two management electives and will work regularly with our faculty members to hone in on your specific goals for your coursework in your second year.

What to Expect Your Last Year

In the second year of the program, we leave a lot of the decisions up to you: You’ll have six electives to fulfill after taking courses in strategic planning and new media strategies with your cohort. You’ll choose from hands-on practicum courses in which you can run a real record label or manage a club, exhibition or gallery. You’ll also choose from several high-level, practical courses on topics that fit your interests, such as fundraising, sponsorship, cultural policy, negotiation and project management. We’ll encourage you to intern at a cultural institution of your choosing to gain experience in the field.

For requirements and more information about this program, visit the course catalog.


Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

At Columbia, Chicago is our campus. We expect you to explore and engage with all the city has to offer: iconic museums and concert venues, artist collectives, theatres, a booming tech industry and so much more. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with Columbia’s collaborative organizations, such as TEDx, Google for Entrepreneurs, and many local theatres, music venues and museums. Our faculty members will work with you to help foster connections in Chicago’s creative industries, in both for-profit and nonprofit circles.

What are my internship options?

Gaining a behind-the-scenes perspective will help you further explore career opportunities post-graduation. The hands-on experience you gain through an internship will give you a decided edge as you enter the marketplace.

Our students have interned at theaters and music venues like Lookingglass Theatre and The Metro, media companies like MTV and Pitchfork, record labels like Warner Music Group, galleries and museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art and Hyde Park Art Center, and events companies like Riot Fest and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.


Admissions


Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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