Rob Shay, Yo-Yo Ma and Joan Braun


Welcome to the Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!

The College of Music’s professional Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration prepares students with the managerial skills and knowledge they need to work in the performing arts industry. Students gain knowledge and insights into the opportunities and challenges facing today’s arts administration professionals through unique class sessions bringing Boulder students and distance learners together in a boardroom setting.

The goal of the certificate is to provide students with a valuable credential to supplement existing graduate degrees, and an attainable and cost-effective credential for practicing professionals. The program is open to working professionals and any CU Boulder students already enrolled in a graduate degree in music, theatre or dance.

Apply for the arts administration certificate

Demand for arts administrators

The arts industry, taken as a whole, is a vast enterprise in our country. According to Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit arts advocacy organization located in the nation’s capital, nearly 5 million workers were employed by arts and cultural industries (2021). In Colorado, 748 performing arts organizations employ some 5,242 people (2023). Combined, these data demonstrate the robust nature of the performing arts industry as a whole and the corresponding demand for qualified, educated arts administrators.

What we’re hearing from our graduates

Mary Kettlewell (MM ’18 voice performance) applauds the certificate for opening doors to her position as program administrator at the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA), a small state government commission in Austin dedicated to funding arts organizations in Texas: 

It’s the reason I was hired. And now, I have the satisfaction of going to work every day knowing that I’m part of the reason that arts organizations in my area receive funding and are able to commission new works, create new outreach programs and provide artistic opportunities to underserved populations in Texas.