Arts Administration

Whatever WMU is doing to prepare their students for a future in the professional arena … it works!”—Dale AJ Rose, director of performance studies/MFA acting program and associate chair, interim artistic director for Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Western Michigan University’s Arts Administration program is designed for students pursuing leadership and administrative positions in theatre and other arts and cultural organizations and for those interested in connecting audiences to the arts. The core curriculum provides students with foundational courses in performing and/or visual arts, and courses specific to the management of theatres, and arts and cultural organizations that develop skills in arts programming, marketing, communication, fundraising, finance, venue management, and audience engagement. The curriculum allows flexibility for students to choose elective courses tailored to their strengths and interests in the field. Courses of study can be customized with the approval of the Director of Theatre Arts Management. Practical application is emphasized through hands-on experiences within the local arts industry.

Beyond the classroom

As an arts administration student at WMU, you will participate as an arts administrator in the theatre production program each year, which will serve as a laboratory for some of your practical application experiences. You will have many opportunities to engage in various administrative and management roles within other arts organizations on campus and throughout the Kalamazoo community as well. 

All students will complete 21 credits in a chosen Fine Arts discipline (Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre). At least 15 credits must be in a single department. At least 2 different departments must be represented. All of this course work will be selected in collaboration with and approved by the advisors in each discipline and the Director of Theatre Arts Management.

Additionally, all students will complete the following 12 credits:

THEA 2900 – Practicum Credits: 1

THEA 2900 – Practicum Credits: 1

THEA 2900 – Practicum Credits: 1

THEA 2600 – Intro to Theatre Arts Management Credits: 3

THEA 3820 – Job Preparation and Promotion Credits: 3

THEA 3900 – Professional Theatre Internship Credits: 3

Professional internship placement can be in a chosen arts discipline.

In addition to the 33 hours of required core courses in an arts discipline, Arts Administration students must select 24 credit hours from recommended courses from the College of Business, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and/or the School of Communication. Relevant courses from other departments may be chosen, but require approval.


Interviewing and acceptance

Acceptance to the program is conducted on a rolling basis. Prospective students can apply at any time. Candidates will interview with the Director of Arts Management either virtually or in person. The interview will allow potential students the opportunity to show their work and share any information about themselves and their interest in the management of theatre.

Preparing For Your Interview:

Applicants should bring to the interview any applicable work they may have including documents that show administrative skills using various software programs, any graphic design or layout work on such things as programs, show posters, etc. Applicants also must provide two writing samples. Writing samples can be anything you have written for school, including papers or essays you have done for class. 

Curriculum Catalog


Alumni in theatre arts management are working with Brooklyn Academy of Music, Serino Coyne Marketing in NY, Hamilton National Tour, 321 Theatrical Management (Wicked/FunHome), the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Cort Theatre of Chicago, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and more.

For further information on Department of Theatre majors or the minor, email Debra Gambino, academic advisor.