Arts Entrepreneurship and Management Program
PO Box 872002
Tempe, Arizona 85287
United States



Dr. Linda Essig

Program Goals and Objectives

The MFA program in theatre with a concentration in arts entrepreneurship and management teaches the skills of arts entrepreneurship, arts management and arts marketing within the context of the Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre, also grounding students in theories of performance, community-based arts, and theatre history and literature. Thus, students develop a holistic understanding of the role of arts managers as enablers of art-making. Students can earn a concurrent certificate in nonprofit leadership and management.


            The MFA Theatre (AEM) program requires courses in arts entrepreneurship and management, core theatre studies, nonprofit leadership, and creative practice, including an internship and an applied project (see the “Applied Projects” section, following.). The following courses are required

Arts Entrepreneurship and Management Required courses:

THP550 Theatre Organizations and Management (3)

THP551 Arts Management (3)

THP552 Arts Entrepreneurship (3)

THP598 Topic: Arts and Public Policy (3)

THP598 Topic: Arts Marketing (3)

THP598 Topic: Legal Issues in the Arts (3)

MFA Theatre Core:

THE500 Research Methods (3)

THE504 Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3)

THE520 Theatre History (3)

Nonprofit Leadership:

NLM510 Foundations of Nonprofit Management (3)

NLM520 Financial and Resource Management (3)

NLM540 Human Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (3)

A minimum of two more NLM elective courses, pre-approved by program director or graduate committee chair. These may include Program Evaluation, Social Entrepreneurship, Grant-Writing for Nonprofit Organizations, etc.

Theatre Practice:

THP514 Projects in Community Based Theatre (3) [or pre-approved substitute in socially engaged arts practice]

THP517 Stage Management (3)

THP526 and THP527 Conceptualization and Collaboration I and II (6)

THP680 Practicum (1) [management of a collaborative project]

Internship: THP684 Internship (1-3)

Applied Project: THP693 Applied Project  (3-4)

Total: 60-63 credits


Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program. In addition, the School of Film, Dance and Theatre requires a minimum of 30 undergraduate semester hours of coursework in theatre, film, dance, music, art or business with a minimum GPA of 3.20 overall.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. resume
  4. three letters of recommendation from professionals who can speak to the potential for success in arts entrepreneurship or management
  5. sample of critical writing, such as a term paper or research project (in lieu of GRE scores)
  6. statement of educational and professional objectives
  7. sample of materials indicative of the candidate's potential to succeed as an arts entrepreneur or manager that might include but are not limited to publicity materials, marketing plans, budgets, stage management prompt books, grant proposals, business plans
  8. interview
  9. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Interviews may be conducted on campus or remotely.

Applicants should see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms.