What is the average number of applications that you receive for the Arts Leadership program and what number are you looking to admit each year?
Each year, we plan to enroll 40 students, which are divided into two cohorts of twenty. We generally receive over 100 applications each year.
May I still apply if my major or bachelor degree isn’t arts related?
Yes. Several of our current students come from academic and work experiences other than of the arts. We welcome students from all backgrounds and are particularly interested in applicants that have a diversity of experience in a variety of non-profit, for-profit, and arts environments.
How much weight is placed on previous and/or current professional experience in the arts?
Applicants in our program typically come with some experience in nonprofit organization or comparable work or volunteer experience but applicants with diverse industry experiences are encouraged to apply. Students who have a broad range of arts experiences in a variety of organizations generally do best in our program. If you have questions about how your professional or academic readiness for the program, feel free to contact us with your resume.
Do you require the GRE? Subject test or general test?
Not for all students. The MFA Arts Leadership program only requires the GRE General Test from students who have earned degrees from institutions issuing non-graded transcripts. For more information, please visit the Graduate Admissions website.
Is there any preparatory coursework that is required before the start of the program?
Fall quarter syllabi are distributed to incoming students approximately a month before classes begin to allow students to purchase textbooks and begin any coursework required before the first class session.
When is the program start date?
The MFA Arts Leadership program starts at the beginning of the Fall Quarter each year. Please visit our Academic Calendar for the specific date.
Can I transfer/apply for the Winter or Spring Quarters?
No. Because we are a cohort model, all students must start in the Fall quarter. If you are accepted to the MFA Arts Leadership program, but cannot start the following Fall, you can defer your enrollment for one year.
When is the application deadline?
March 15. Please make sure all of your application materials are submitted before that deadline for consideration. If you are applying after the March 15 deadline, please email the Program Director for information.
Can I apply before the deadline?
Yes. If you submit a complete application before the deadline, we will look at your application and make an acceptance decision as soon as possible. Application decisions are usually made within two or three weeks of submission.
When will I receive an admissions decision?
We try to send our decisions within 2-3 weeks after we’ve received a complete application. Applications submitted around the March 15 deadline might take longer.
I hear you use a 'waitlist'. How does that work?
Students are placed on the waitlist for a variety of reasons, including late submission, low GPA, less than two years organizational experience, or he/she has similar arts experiences to other accepted students. Those on the waitlist will be notified of changes to their status as soon as possible.
How much will this program cost?
Please visit the Graduate Admissions- Tuition & Fees website for the most up to date information about program costs.
Is there financial aid or scholarship money available?
Yes. MFA Arts Leadership offers two types of scholarships for first-year students. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is March 15. Please visit our Scholarships page for program-specific information, and the Graduate Admissions website for more information about financial aid and other scholarships.
What housing options are available for graduate students?
Though most MFA Arts Leadership students choose to find their own housing, we do have some helpful information. Logan Court Townhomes and Murphy Apartments are both available through Seattle University Housing and Residence Life. While both are available for graduate and law students, they have limited space each year, and Murphy Apartments is also available to undergraduate students. Please visit the Housing website for more information about rates and applying. The Douglas Apartments is a privately owned and managed property located on campus for Seattle University students. About 30% of their renters are graduate and law students. Please visit their website for more information and rates. Seattle University has partnered with Places4Students.com, a company that specializes in providing off-campus housing solutions for post-secondary students. This service is free for all students to use as an effective method of finding a place to live off-campus or finding a roommate. There are other privately owned off-campus options near campus, including Anthem Apartments and Apodments. Other search tools for apartments are Padmapper, Zumper, and Abodo. We also recommend trying to connect with other students starting the program via Facebook if you are looking for roommates.
I am a current Seattle University student. Is the admissions process different for me?
No. You must submit all application materials as would any other applicant. The only part that will be different for you is submitting your transcript. Please see the Graduate Admissions website for more information.
What English language tests do you accept? What scores must I reach on these tests?
This chart should answer all your questions. If it does not, please contact Graduate Admissions.
|Graduate, General Admission||Graduate, CLB Program|
|Pearson Test of English||63%||58%|
What is the Graduate CLB Program?
The CLB program is a Culture and Language Bridge program that students must enroll in prior to starting their graduate degree program at Seattle University if they get below a certain score on any of the English tests listed above. More information on the CLB program can be found here.
Do I need to get my transcripts evaluated?
Yes, all international transcripts need to be evaluated by an evaluation service before they are sent to SU. Seattle University only accepts evaluations from Educational Credential Evaluators or Educational Perspectives. More information is available in the International Students section of the Graduate Admissions website.
Do I also need to send official copies of my transcripts with the evaluated copy?
Yes. Seattle University also needs an official (only considered official if they arrive in original envelope from the issuing institution or sent electronically via secured institution to institution system) set of transcripts, degree certificates, and/or graduation certificates.
Where should I send application materials?
All application materials should be sent to the following address:
Office of Graduate Admissions
901 12th Avenue
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
As an international student, will I be able to work after graduation?
International students have access to Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is a temporary work authorization for F-1 visa students. Through OPT, students can apply for jobs closely related to their field of study anywhere in the United States, and work full time for up to 12 months after they graduate. For more information, visit the International Student Center website.
What is the program schedule like?
During the first year, MFA Arts Leadership students take classes Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters. The Summer Quarter is 8 weeks long, and students a break of 4 to 5 weeks before starting the Fall Quarter of their second year. Second year, students take classes during the Fall and Winter quarters, and then spend their final quarter (Spring) working on their Summary Project and Graduate Management Practicum.
How are the classes scheduled? Are there a required number of classes I need to take each quarter? How many classes will I have per week?
A full-time course load is 7 credits each quarter, which includes two classes and a practicum. The final quarter is 6 credits—the Summary Project (3) and the Graduate Management Practicum (3). Classes generally meet once a week from 6-9pm. Classes can be scheduled Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Saturday. Practicum scheduling is worked out between the student and their supervisor each quarter, but students are expected to spend at least 3-5 hours a week working for their practicum.
What makes Seattle University distinctive from other programs?
Seattle University’s MFA Arts Leadership program is different because of its practicum program, where students apply their knowledge in real arts organizations in Seattle. Practicums are required each quarter, not just during the summer or at the end of the program like other Master’s programs. Our cohort model fosters collaboration, strong relationships, and teamwork, and gives students a built in network when they graduate. Finally, many of our faculty are arts professionals currently leading arts organizations.
What are the field experiences in the MFA in Arts Leadership Program?
The 9-credit practicum (one credit for six quarters and three for the final quarter of the program) is an internship where students work in local arts organizations applying their learning to real world situations. Through this internship, students build on their classroom learning, gain valuable practical experience, and develop lifelong relationships with the arts community.
What are the dates of the quarters?
Please look at the current Academic Calendar for quarter dates.
May I take a quarter off?
Yes, if a life event prevents you from continuing full time, you may take one quarter off and resume your studies the following quarter, pending approval by the Program Director.
Can I observe a class, or speak with a faculty member, student or alumni?
Please contact Rachel Betron for more information.
What does AAAE membership mean? Why is it important?
Full membership in AAAE (Association of Arts Administration Educators) means that the SU Arts Leadership program has met their standards for curriculum, faculty expertise, and student success.
What is the Arts Leadership program's involvement with national and international organizations?
The MFA program is active in several national and international organizations including AAAE, TCG, ENCATC, STP&A, AIMAC, SAEE, ICCPR, and ACEI. In 2013, Seattle University and the Arts Leadership program hosted the 39th STP&A conference, “Arts & Culture: Creating Community in a High Tech World.”
What is the difference between Arts Leadership and Arts Management?
Arts leadership programs prepare students to serve at the executive level or department head level of arts organizations or to create their own organization. Leadership involves setting a strategic direction for an organization, and we focus on the specifics of doing so for the arts. While management is one component of arts leadership, arts management programs study the management functions in arts organizations at all levels, and primarily prepare students for entry- and mid-level positions in organizations.
What is the job market like for arts leaders in the Seattle area?
Seattle has a robust arts community and many of our alumni are serving at the leadership level of local and regional arts organizations. We regularly send out regional and national job listings exclusively to current students and alumni, hoping to give them an edge in the job search.
Does the program help students get full time positions after graduation?
Our faculty actively support all students in their job searches while in the program and after graduation. Our students have access to ARTSearch job listings, as well as career counseling and resume reviews by faculty members.
Where are alumni working now?
Our alumni work throughout Seattle and the country, as you can see from our Alumni @ Work sidebar and Alumni page. Organizations include the Pacific Northwest Ballet, MFA Boston, the Kirkland Performance Center, and the Seattle Symphony.
Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
Rachel Betron, MEd
Student Financial Services