MFA in Theatre:  Arts Leadership

  • Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson - Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
  • Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson - Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Critical thinking, creative problem solving, and bold experimentation form the core of our arts leadership program.


We combine coursework with hands-on learning to provide a theoretical framework and practical experience in arts management and advocacy to prepare students for the demands of today’s leadership roles in the arts. 

Our  program is based on professional standards and practices, with particular emphasis on:

  • Collaborative management approaches
  • Interpersonal and business communication strategies
  • New trends in the field

To complete the degree, successful completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours is required. The program is designed to be completed in three years.

All accepted students receive an assistantship and full tuition waiver. To maintain assistantship support, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester.

Typically the Arts Leadership program accepts 1-3 students each year.

The MFA in Arts Leadership program is a member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators.

NEW! We are pleased to announce a new Graduate Certificate in Arts Leadership. Open to currently enrolled graduate students at Virginia Tech and professionals working in the field. 

View Curriculum and Course Descriptions

As part of the plan of study, each graduate student completes a semester-long internship. To date, Arts Leadership students have had internships with:

  • Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Donmar Warehouse, London, England
  • Harlem School of the Arts, New York, New York
  • Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, New York
  • Superfly Events (Bonnaroo), San Francisco, California
  • ​United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Washington Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

Students in the program are also encouraged to pursue internship and work opportunities during the summers.  Arts Leadership students have participated in summer work and internships at a range of arts organizations across the country, including:

  • Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Virginia
  • The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Connecticut
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, Michigan
  • The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Lincoln Center, New York, New York
  • Roundabout Theatre Company, New York, New York
  • Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The new graduate program in Arts Leadership graduated its first cohort in May 2017. Graduates from the program have gone on to positions in organizations including, Roundabout Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Jefferson Center, and the United Performing Arts Fund.

In the fall of 2014, MFA in Arts Leadership students launched the School of Performing Arts blog and all students in the program contribute regularly to the blog- CreatiVe ConnecTions.

To make a gift to the School of Performing Arts visit the link below. Designate your gift to the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Once you select the College a secondary field will open and you may then designate the School of Performing Arts.

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