For more four decades, the School of Business arts administration major has been the graduate degree program of choice for high-potential arts and cultural managers seeking intensive training in business, an immersion in strategic and innovative thinking, and a broad and dynamic knowledge of nonprofit cultural management. The degree has delivered on that promise through its world-class business curriculum, continual interaction with leading practitioners, and hands-on work experiences for every student. See the program website for more information.

Prospective students should see the program website for funding information.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees


Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed in: courses numbered 700 or higher.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

No credits of prior coursework are allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

No credits of prior coursework are allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits1

Program-Specific Courses Required

Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement


Other Grade Requirements

The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.

Probation Policy

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

Assessment and Examinations

Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Language Requirements

Contact the program for information on any language requirements.


Full-time MBA students may be allowed to enroll in up to 18 credits per term in the 2016–2017 academic year. Contact the Wisconsin School of Business for more information.

Admission consideration for the MBA program requires a four-year undergraduate degree or the equivalent, in any discipline, from an accredited institution. The School of Business seeks a minimum of two years of full-time work experience along with a strong undergraduate performance. In addition to academic credentials, GMAT scores, and work experience, personal achievements, motivation, communication skills (written and oral), international exposure, and recommendation letters are considered in the admission process at both the master's and doctoral levels.

Note: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), taken within five years of the starting term, is required of all applicants to the School of Business; the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) may be an acceptable alternative on a case-bycase basis. All applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pearson Test of English (PTE), Intensive English as a Second Language (IELTS) or show the completion of an Interlink program. A minimum iBT TOEFL score of 100 or equivalent, obtained within two years of the intended start term, is required. International applicants who have completed a degree at an institution whose primary language of instruction was English may request a waiver of this requirement on the application.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Students will be able to apply foundational knowledge in arts and core business topics to arts and/or nonprofit contexts that include evidence-based analysis, cultural sensitivity, artistic integrity, and appreciation for the research foundations of their work.
  • Students will be able to create, communicate, and execute a strategic plan with mission-based outcomes that relies on research-based evidence, a historical context to forecast future trends, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Students will be able to adaptively develop and manage the necessary resources in a mission-based organizational context to create sustainable systems that meet the needs of diverse stakeholders and honors the culture of the communities served.
  • Students will be able to successfully articulate their ideas to a diverse set of constituents and stakeholders via multiple methods so as to be informative, persuasive and inspiring.
  • Students will be able to make significant contributions to the thought leadership, and industry insight that strengthens and provides service to the field, lifelong learning, and career development.

Professional Conduct

  • Students will develop self-awareness and leadership skills necessary to:
    1. utilize creativity and art to articulate a clear vision;
    2. engage/inspire a diverse group of colleagues,
    3. evaluate the immediate and long-term ethical impacts of one's actions on stakeholders;
    4. and influence and promote progress in a variety of professional roles and contexts.
  • Students will be able to engage and sustain a strong cross-functional network of professionals.