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Master’s Concentration

Mission-Driven Operations and Management

A nonprofit arts and culture organization can accomplish its mission only if its program operations and organizational management are efficient and effective. Financial planning, staffing, and resource management must function smoothly for any organization to succeed. In this master’s degree concentration, you’ll learn how to set and meet financial goals by cultivating partnerships, managing grants, and implementing community-based approaches. You’ll also build and customize data-driven programming strategies designed to help organizations identify and cultivate engaged audiences.

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At a Glance

Classes Begin
June 17

Term Length
10 Weeks

Master's Degree

Asynchronous and Hybrid Online
As few as 18 months

Top-Ranked University

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Brian Cicero

Talk to an Enrollment Manager

Free Application


University College is committed to educational access, and given the difficult circumstances currently impacting millions of people, we are waiving application fees.

Skills You’ll Learn

Develop strategic approaches to managing an organization’s operations
Manage people and programs in ways that encourage innovation and audience loyalty
Explore and choose sustainable business models


Master of Arts in Arts and Culture Management with a concentration in Mission-Driven Operations and Managementg requires completion of 48 credit hours (12 courses).


Core Courses




Elective Courses

Core Courses

Learn the scope of activity, historical development, and future direction of the industry. These courses provide a foundation that you'll draw on throughout your concentration and elective courses. The capstone serves as the culminating academic experience in which you'll explore a problem of practice in your field of study.

MALS 4475 Organizational Vibrancy and Measurement
MALS 4480 Arts and Culture: Best Practices and Practical Skills
MALS 4485 Legal Landscape of Arts and Culture
MALS 4905 Graduate Social Research Methods
MALS 4901 Capstone Project 
MALS 4902 Capstone Seminar
MALS 4904 Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar 
Concentration Courses

Focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector and master the skills needed to excel in that area.

NFP 4115 Leading Nonprofit Financial Health
NFP 4230 Participatory Evaluation for Program and Community Impact
NFP 4300 Operational Strategy and Structures
NFP 4305 Nonprofit Program and People Management
Elective Courses

Popular electives for students in the Arts and Culture Management program include:

MALS 4050 World Visual and Performance Art
MALS 4281 Event Planning
MALS 4284 Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship
MALS 4285 Basics of Arts and Culture Marketing
MALS 4340 Arts and Culture Leadership for Social Change
MALS 4444 Emerging Trends in Visual and Performance Art
MALS 4470 Arts and Culture: History, Context, and Trends
MALS 4490 Arts and Culture Programs for Social Impact

Elective courses may be chosen from among non-core and concentration courses in the academic program, and you may also select courses in other University College graduate programs. Your academic advisor will help you select electives that align with your career and personal goals.

Featured Instructors

Sample Schedule

Plan out your schedule and determine your preferred timeline for completing your master's degree—finish in as few as 18 months or take up to five years.

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Interested in a graduate certificate?

Explore our four and six course graduate certificates in Arts and Culture Management.

Take a Course Before You Apply


We know how important it is to get started when you’re ready and that’s why you can enroll in a course before you officially apply.

Career Outcomes

Predicted outcomes for graduates of Mission-Driven Operations and Management

Nonprofits are creating jobs three times faster than for-profits and is the third largest industry in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.
With more than 5 million arts and cultural jobs, industry employment is increasing in the majority of states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The National Center for Arts Research found that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is expansive, not just in urban areas and the coasts, but also a growing number cultural organizations appearing across rural communities.

Job Titles

Chief Operating Officer
Director of Operations
Program Director
Operations Manager
Cultural Manager
Program Manager

Nonprofit Program Director Salary: National Average



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Theme: Job Satisfaction

Arts and Culture Management

“The return on investment for the education is invaluable. Things that I would be working on for my day job, I could apply in to classes. It was a direct connection to the work I was already doing.” —Tim Vacca, graduate.

Flexible Online Classes


We understand the demands of balancing work, friends and family, and school can be challenging. That's why at University College, you can complete your program entirely online. Our online learning platform makes it easy to work anywhere at any time.

Online Experience5



Higher Learning Commission

University College programs maintain the highest level of accreditation offered by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The University of Denver and all of its academic programs are regionally accredited by this commission, and regional accreditation is the highest standard for universities in the United States.

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