Arts and culture are big business—and growing all the time.

Arts Administration combines art or music with communications, marketing or business studies to prepare students for a wide variety of rewarding careers in the world of arts, design and culture.

Our students combine their passion for the arts with business and communications skills that are in high demand. They put these to work at internships in museums, galleries, performing arts organizations, design firms and art studios. This winning combination opens doors to exciting careers in places like Boston, New York, London and Hong Kong. 

Students have the unique opportunity to enroll in AADM 236: ​The New York Institute, an intensive month-long study course held in Manhattan that introduces them to the New York art world.

You'll meet leaders in the field throughout your studies so you can discover the areas that interest you most in this highly personalized program.

Learn more about the Department of Art and Music

Program Requirements

Interdisciplinary Major in Arts Administration

The Arts Administration Program integrates art history, studio art and music with Simmons' pre-professional programs in business, communications and information science to prepare students for leadership in today's changing creative economy. Internships and other practical experiences in the field are made possible through an array of institutional partnerships in Boston and beyond. With this combination of discipline-specific knowledge, practical skill and professional experience, graduates pursue arts-related careers in fields like development, education, marketing and digital communications within nonprofit cultural institutions, performance organizations, museums, art galleries and auction houses.

Requirements: Students are required to take 52 semester hours, including 32 in the Department of Art and Music and 20 in one of the three professional tracks listed below.:

Arts administration students can customize their major in two ways; they may choose between the Visual Arts and Music tracks, and they may choose a pre-professional track in Management, Public Relations and Marketing or Digital Communications.

Arts Administration Core Courses:

  • AADM 143 Boston Arts in Action
  • AADM 390 Arts in the Community (Seminar and Internship)

Visual Arts Track:

Two out of the four studio courses listed below (students cannot choose both ART/COMM 138 and ART/COMM 139):

  • ART 111 Draw What You See
  • ART 112 Color Studio
  • ART/COMM 138 The Poetry of Photography
  • ART/COMM 139 Color Photography CSI

Three art history courses:

  • ART 141 Introduction to Art History: Egypt to The Renaissance
  • ART 142 Introduction to Art History: Baroque to the 20th Century
  • One elective in art history

Music Track:

  • MUS 120 Introduction to Music: The Middle Ages to Early Romanticism
  • MUS 121 Introduction to Music: Early Romanticism to the Present
  • Three electives in music history, theory, or performance

Management Track:


  • BUS 100 Foundations of Business and Management
  • BUS 238 Financial Aspects of Business
  • BUS 250 Principles of Marketing

Electives (choose 2):

  • BUS 221 Project Management
  • BUS 223 Learning by Giving
  • BUS 224 Socially Minded Leadership
  • BUS 234 Organizational Communications and Behavior

Public Relations and Marketing Track:


  • BUS 250 Principles of Marketing
  • COMM 186 Introduction to Public Relations and Marketing Communications
  • COMM 281 Writing for Public Relations and Marketing Communications

Electives (choose 2):

  • BUS 230 Why We Buy (Consumer Behavior)
  • COMM 265 Editing Copy and Proof
  • COMM 286/BUS 232A Introduction to Advertising
  • COMM 323 Digital Cultures: Communication and Social Media

Digital Communications Track:


  • CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science
  • COMM 210 Introduction to Graphic Design: Principles and Practice
  • COMM 244 Web Design

Electives (choose 2):

  • ART/COMM 139 Color Photography CSI [cannot be double-counted as a studio class for the major]
  • ART/COMM 232 Advanced Digital Workshop
  • COMM 333 Web 2
  • COMM 323 Digital Cultures: Communications and Social Media
  • CS 113 GUI and Event-Driven Programming
  • CS 333 Database Design and Implementation
  • IT 320/CS 321 Web Services and Web-Centric Computing
  • LIS 432 Concepts in Cultural Heritage Informatics (consent of the instructor)
  • LIS 446 Art Documentation (consent of the instructor)
  • LIS 435 Music Librarianship (consent of the instructor)
Minor Requirements

A minor in arts administration requires:

  • AADM 143 and one other AADM course
  • Two art history or two music history courses
  • One course from the following: BUS 100, BUS 238, BUS 250, COMM 186, COMM 210, COMM 244 or COMM 281
Customize Your Program

Arts Administration is an interdisciplinary program with built-in flexibility that allows our students to tailor the program to their interests. Simmons also offers many dual-major and minor options. Your advisor will help you develop the best path to meet your goals.

We also offer a minor in Arts Administration for students majoring in other areas.

Internships and Research

Internships are a key component of the arts administration program. There are a myriad of opportunities to build your skills, résumé and mentoring relationships with arts organizations in Boston and beyond.

Our students have recently found internship positions with world-class organizations like Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Boston Ballet.

    Heather Hole
    • Heather Hole
    • Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Arts Administration Program
    • Phone: 617-521-2259
    • Office: C425
    Margaret Hanni
    • Margaret Hanni
    • Associate Professor of Art, Department Chair
    • Phone: 617-521-2267
    Gregory Slowik
    • Gregory Slowik
    • Professor and Musical Director
    • Phone: 617-521-2266
    • Office: C419
    Colleen Kiely
    Edie Bresler
    • Edith Bresler
    • Professor of Practice
    • Phone: 617-521-2988
    • Office: C423
How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.
Emily Sours

Our Students

Our arts administration students do amazing things!