School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Arts Administration and Policy

MacLean Center
112 S. Michigan Ave. #601
Chicago, Illinois 60603
United States




Program Goals and Objectives

In a rapidly changing and globalizing society, arts organizations are being called on to respond to new art forms and ideas, audiences, ethical challenges, and political and economic difficulties. The Master of Arts (MA) in Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) prepares you to meet these demands as a critically engaged and proactive arts administrator and manager.

Program Philosophy

This interdisciplinary program invites extended and focused theoretical and practical explorations into culture, policy, institutions, and their practice. Our approach studies the role institutions and policies play in shaping culture, through a grounded analysis of concrete practices and examples.

The MA in Arts Administration and Policy program strongly encourages you to think beyond existing institutional and policy structures and assumptions and to work flexibly in a dynamic cultural and institutional landscape.

The program emanates from a conviction that neither the short-term interests of policymakers nor the theoretical debates of the academy should circumscribe cultural policy studies, and that neither should exist absent from considerations of and interaction with artistic practice and public debate.


The SAIC Arts Administration and Policy program strongly encourages interaction with current debates and professional situations. Students plan their studies around their research needs that culminate in a thesis.

Interactions and practical experiences are actively encouraged and are facilitated through the arts administration Management Studioparticipation in SAIC Study Trips, and ProSeminar 1 with a series of invited, distinguished guest lecturers.



The Department of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) requires an online application for its full-time, 48-credit hour Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy program. You will need a valid credit card and current email address in order to complete the form. Please review the following requirements carefully before submitting your application:

  • Applications for the fall semester must be submitted no later than January 15. No applications are accepted for spring semester.
  • There is an $80 nonrefundable application fee ($100 for international applications). The application fee is discounted by 50 percent from September 1 through November 30.
  • You must upload one 500- to 750-word statement of purpose that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on arts administration and policy at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and finally, describe how the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy program is suited to your professional goals.
  • In addition to your application, you must submit an ePortfolio (critical writing sample) by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on January 16. Submit a sample of your critical writing up to 2,000 words in length. This can be either an essay assignment from a previous course of study, an excerpt from a longer research paper, or a recently published article.
  • small number of candidates will be invited to interview. Interviews are normally conducted by telephone, but some candidates may use Skype or interview in person.
  • You must upload a current résumé via the ePortfolio.

You also must submit an official college transcript and three letters of reference for admission into the program. You can ask your references to upload their letter to your online application or mail them directly to the school. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended, but not required.