Arizona State University, Herberger Institute for Design and the ArtsThe Design School

Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
PO Box 872012
Tempe, Arizona 85287
United States



Dr. Linda Essig

Program Goals and Objectives

The Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership empowers students to advance innovation in the cultural sector, support creative work and careers and design public and private enterprises that will strengthen arts and design in the future. The program prepares graduates to understand the complex economic, legal, political and social context that surrounds any innovation or enterprise.  Students are exposed to design thinking pedagogy as they increase their capacity for interpersonal communication, public communication, opportunity recognition, network/systems thinking, problem recognition and creativity as well as demonstrated ability in cultural leadership and knowledge of the creative industries, distribution of creative products, the creative process and management of innovation in the creative industries.


Course Descriptions

  • HDA 511 Leadership in the Creative Industries - 1 credit; introduction to the concept of the creative industries through facilitated discussion with leaders in the field
  • HDA 512 Strategy: Problem Identification and Opportunity Recognition in the Creative Industries - 2 credits; a first semester course in which students will identify one or more opportunities that they will address methodologically and practically throughout their course of study
  • HDA 513 Creativity and Design Thinking - 3 credits; creativity studies and design thinking methodology, whereby creative ideas are brought to fruition
  • HDA 521 Arts, Culture and the Economy - 3 credits; issues of the economics of arts and culture; role of art, design and media in society
  • HDA 522 Media Literacy and Distribution in the Creative Industries - 3 credits; intellectual property in the media age, distribution of creative products, media entrepreneurship
  • GRA 501 Creative Environment and Collaborative Leadership – 3 credits; explores and investigates creativity and group collaboration leadership as it applies to the creative process.
  • Creative Enterprise and Development Elective – 3 credits that may be satisfied from the following: MUS 598 Music Product Development; THP 552 Arts Entrepreneurship; NLM 562 Social Entrepreneurship; or another approved graduate-level course
  • Leadership Elective – 3 credits that may be satisfied from the following: HDA 598 Artists, Institutions and Change; THP 551 Arts Management; PAF 503 Public Affairs; PAF 520 Public Management; NLM 540 Strategic Nonprofit HR Management; or other graduate-level courses with a leadership focus by approval
  • Elective – 3 credits in graduate-level courses: MUE 598 Music and Community Engagement; NLM 510 The Nonprofit Sector; NLM 525 Fundraising and Resource Development; or by approval
  • HDA 583 Fieldwork/Practicum - 1 credit; CURB Creative Connection field experience in Nashville, New York or L.A.
  • HDA 593 Applied Project - 6 credits; launch of a creative enterprise with individual faculty supervision that began development in HDA 512 Strategy


Student must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate College. In addition, a bachelor’s degree in arts or design discipline, business, sociology, public policy or related discipline is required. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in the last 60 undergraduate semester hours of course work.

Application Materials

  • Completed online application
  • English proficiency test (International applicants)
  • GRE scores*
  • Letter of intent
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • All undergraduate university transcripts
  • Application fee

 *GRE scores will be waived if both of the following two conditions are met:

  1. High undergraduate GPA (3.5 or higher) AND
  2. Five or more years of professional experience in the cultural and creative sector

Apply now

Application Deadlines

Applications will open September 1, 2017.

February 1, 2018       Priority Deadline**

February 28, 2018     Student notifications

**Applications will be accepted and considered after the deadline on a rolling basis depending on space availability.