The Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL) program at the University of Minnesota serves the needs of professionals in the arts and cultural communities. The ACL program develops students’ leadership capacity by utilizing their work, advocacy, and volunteer experience in the arts and cultural sectors. The program features faculty who are practitioners and leaders in the field that present coursework and projects that provide hands-on, practical experience. Required curricula blended with flexible electives allow students to build a program focused around their strengths, experiences, and professional goals.
Minnesota's arts, culture, and philanthropic communities are among the most highly regarded in the U.S. Support for artists is unparalleled. Nationally and internationally recognized and innovative nonprofits of all sizes and genres, as well as community based organizations representing a wide spectrum of interests, are abundant. The backdrop for learning and engaging is exceptional.
ACL students and graduates are leaders. They’re entrepreneurs, changemakers, thought-leaders, and innovators within organizations and communities. They are the forefront and next generation of arts and cultural leaders
Students complete 18 credits of required Arts & Cultural Leadership core coursework and 12 credits of electives.
The Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL) program prepares you to lead, whether you aim to be at the helm of an arts, cultural, or nonprofit organization, a voice in cultural advocacy, or a creative force in your community.
Courses and program experiences are designed to enhance essential skills in:
Creative problem solving
Fundraising and budgeting
In the ACL program, you have the flexibility to pursue 12 credits of elective coursework leading to potential self-curated specializations, including Culture, Place, and Community Leadership; Museum Leadership; Organizational Leadership; or a self-designed specialization. The program can be completed in as little as two years, though students have up to five years to complete the program.
Apply online or contact an advisor for more information. Annual application deadlines are March 1st for fall admission and October 1st for spring admission.
We acknowledge that the process of university admissions has traditionally been a method of gatekeeping that disproportionately excludes certain populations. Therefore, we strive to be as equitable as possible in admissions procedures and considerations. Applicants are reviewed holistically, and lack of one of the listed requirements may not necessarily disqualify an applicant. If you have questions about the admission requirements or advice on how to put together application materials, please don't hesitate to ask.
Application requirements include:
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. If GPA is below 3.0, applicants are encouraged to consult with the ACL adviser.
- Three years of professional, advocacy, or volunteer experience
- Online application form and application fee
- Statement of Purpose
- Two letters of reference
- Current resume
- Academic or professional writing sample (approximately 10 pages)
Note: The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is NOT required.