The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Master of Arts (MA) in Arts Administration and Policy program provides an academic structure within which students can master specific sets of skills while at the same time building a critical perspective toward issues of contemporary arts administration. The following requirements are in effect from academic year 2014–15.

Critical and Cultural Policy Studies15
  • ARTSAD 5005 Arts Organizations in Society (3)
  • ARTSAD 5100 ProSeminar 1: Foundation (3)

Choose either:

  • ARTSAD 5505 Law, Politics, & the Arts (3)
    or ARTSAD 6018 Art Economies (3)

Each semester, the department provides a list of courses that fulfill the following requirements:

  • Narratives/presentations (3)
  • Contemporary Theory/Philosophy (3)
Management Studies12
  • ARTSAD 5054 Management Studio (3)
  • ARTSAD 5055 Management Studio II (3)
  • ARTSAD 5056 Management Studio III (3)
  • ARTSAD 5017 Financial Management (3)
Research and Professional Practice9
  • ARTSAD ProSeminar 2: Research (3)
  • ARTSAD 6058 Thesis I (3)
  • ARTSAD 6095 Thesis II (3)
Completion of thesis  
Total Credit Hours48


Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree. This includes time off for leaves of absence. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Critical and Policy Studies courses: Each semester, a list of courses that satisfy the requirements for Narratives/Presentation and Contemporary Theory/Philosophy is available from the Arts Administration and Policy administrative office.
  3. ProSeminars and Thesis: Taken in the first two semesters, ProSeminars are a two-course sequence designed to support students' progress through the degree by providing exposure to a wide variety of professional practices and instruction in research and practice methodologies. The thesis courses are completed in the final year of study.
  4. Internships: Students without solid professional experience are strongly encouraged to do internship placements, whether for credit or not. AAP Department faculty are available to advise and assist in identifying and securing placements.
  5. Transfer credits: A minimum of 42 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to six transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
  6. Curriculum: The program requires 48 credit hours; electives, internships, and thesis are subject to the approval of the Arts Administration Program advisor.
  7. Enrollment: Nine credit hours constitutes full-time enrollment, although as many as 15 credit hours may be earned in any semester. Two semesters of full-time status are required of all students when they begin the program; thereafter a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester are required for continued enrollment in the program.
  8. Full-time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions requirements, MA in Arts Administration and Policy faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or