The Master of Arts–Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is a one-year program where students gain the knowledge, skills, and expertise to be an innovative arts administrator, nonprofit executive, or social entrepreneur. The business-focused curriculum utilizes hands-on learning and project work in the classroom, as well as applied field experiences in local arts organizations. Throughout the yearlong experience, students connect with and learn from real-world arts leaders and are part of a strong, close-knit community of alumni and arts practitioners.
The Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership master’s program is part of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration—one of the only arts-focused programs within a US business school, giving students an edge as strategic leaders.
Please see the program website for more information and application instructions.
The following will be required for admission to the Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership master's program:
- Undergraduate university degree, or expected completion of such a degree prior to starting the MA-Business program.
- Demonstrated knowledge of business fundamentals (or specific plan for acquiring prior to the start of the program); some possible ways of satisfying this include:
- Undergraduate degree with business major or minor
- Completion of Certificate in Business or Certificate of Entrepreneurship at UW-Madison
- Earning GPA >= 3.0 in intermediate college course work covering at least two core business disciplines (marketing, operations, finance, accounting, management); completion of GEN BUS 310 or GEN BUS 311 satisfies this requirement, and can be taken online during the summer prior to the start of the program
- Undergraduate transcript, GPA >= 3.0.
- One letter of recommendation, preferably addressing the applicant’s professional skills.
- Response to essay questions.
- An interview may be requested.
Additional international student requirements:
- TOEFL score of at least 100 (or TOEFL paper-based test score of 600 or IELTS score of 7.0). Applicants are exempt from this requirement if:
- English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate institution; or
- You have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment; or
- You have completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction. Completion of graded course work cannot be more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.
Bolz Center Resources
The Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership Program gives you the opportunity to earn a master’s degree fusing business and cultural practice and receive paid work and/or project development seed funding. Please contact the Bolz Center for specific information regarding merit aid and other financial support.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement
|15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement Policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement
|3.00 GPA required. This program follows the Graduate School's policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
|Other Grade Requirements
|Students may be required to retake a course for which they receive a grade lower than a C.
|Assessments and Examinations
|All students must pass the impact consulting courses, M H R 746 and 747.
|No language requirements.
|M H R/INTEGART 632
|Introduction to Arts Entrepreneurship
|M H R/INTEGART 636
|Entrepreneurship in Arts & Cultural Organizations
|M H R 723
|M H R 746
|Impact Consulting for Arts-Based Organizations and Communities I
|M H R 747
|Impact Consulting for Arts-Based Organizations and Communities II
|M H R 750
|Professional Development for Arts Leadership 1
|M H R 765
|Contemporary Topics (Nonprofit Gov & Board Member)
|M H R 773
|M H R 774
|Elective Courses (see below)
Students will take this 1 credit course twice.
Please consult with your advisor for course approval. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of arts management, any course offered by the School of Business (including departments: ACCT I S, ACT SCI, FINANCE, GEN BUS, INFO SYS, INTL BUS, M H R, MARKETING, OTM, REAL EST, or R M I) can be used to complete the required elective credits. Courses outside of the School of Business will be considered on a case‐by‐case basis. Students in this program may find these elective courses particularly relevant:
|Advanced Design Thinking for Transformation
|Managing by Design
|M H R 722
|M H R 734
|M H R 741
|M H R 715
|Strategic Management of Innovation
|New Product Innovation
|URB R PL 741
|Introduction to Planning
|M H R 628
|REAL EST/URB R PL 720
|M H R 611
|Strategic Talent Management
|ACCT I S 710
|Marketing in a Digital Age
|Social Creative Marketing
|Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
|Civil Society and Community Leadership
|PUB AFFR 820
|Community Economic Analysis
|URB R PL/C&E SOC/SOC 617
|M H R/INTEGART 632
|M H R/INTEGART 636
|M H R 744
|M H R 723
|M H R 746
|M H R 747
|M H R 750
|M H R 773
|M H R 774
|Total Credits 30
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above of required or elective courses from the undergraduate work completed at UW–Madison towards fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. However, this work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken as a course numbered 700 or above.
UW–Madison University Special
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 700 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to the master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Any student who feels that they have been mistreated by a faculty or staff member has the right to lodge a complaint. Complaints may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To ensure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint and to protect both the student's rights and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the grievance procedures below are used in the School of Business.
The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Business. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless other campus rules or contracts cover the complaint:
- If the student feels comfortable/safe doing so, the student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant (TA) and the student is not satisfied after discussion of the grievance with the TA, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is still not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
- If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed.
- On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a written decision within 30 days to the student on the action taken by the committee.
- If either party is not satisfied with the decision, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the appropriate associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the Office of the Dean. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
- On receipt of such a written complaint, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will convene a subcommittee of relevant stakeholders pending the nature of the issue. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Business who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from when the grievance was filed with the Office of the Dean.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Business, Office of the Dean, 4339 Grainger, 975 University Avenue, 608-262-7867.
State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018, email@example.com.
The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision at the school/college level. These policies are described in the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures: https://grad.wisc.edu/documents/grievances-and-appeals/
Students must be enrolled full-time.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
Bolz Center Resources
Students have a multitude of opportunities to pursue professional development, both within the programs, as well as across campus. In the Bolz Center, students will be part of the biennial Bolz Center Collegium, a professional development and alumni event, which boasts national/international field and industry speakers and workshops. We also provide opportunities for our students to participate in events including Madison Nonprofit Day, WI Arts Advocacy Day, and the UW Fundraising and Development Workshop each year. Additional speakers and guests visit the center for one-day convenings and seminars, and we host site visits where we visit these industry leaders in their home cities and organizations.
- Explore and apply foundational knowledge in arts and business topics in non-profit and entrepreneurial contexts that include evidence-based decision-making, cultural sensitivity and artistic integrity.
- Demonstrate knowledge of strategic frameworks and their use in mission-based organizations and agencies to interpret data and executive on evidence-based plans.
- Lead and manage teams effectively in a variety of cross-sector cultural settings, using the tools of organizational analysis, community development and placemaking and program evaluation.
- Engage in ethical decision-making that is sensitive to and informed by a diverse group of stakeholders, when developing and advancing plans of strategy, fund development, entrepreneurial action and evaluation.
- Successfully share their ideas with a diverse set of constituents and stakeholders through group facilitation methodologies, as well as employing frameworks for informative, persuasive and inspired communications.
- Build cross-sector professional networks by providing volunteer service to the field and working within and across arts/creative enterprises and/or relevant communities.
For more information about the faculty and their research interests, please visit the directory.
Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2026–2027.