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Arts Management Online Non-credit Certificate Classes

Frequently asked questions:

How do I register for Arts Management Online?

Registration is easy! Enrollment opens about 2 months before the start of each class. Visit the CPE website to register today.

When is each course offered?





FALL 2014


Introduction to Arts Management



Yes (6-week intensive course)


Strategic Planning

Yes No Yes

Board Development

No No No

Arts Fundraising

Yes No No

Arts Marketing

No Yes


Financial Management

No No Yes

Arts Programming

No No Yes

Program Evaluation

No No Yes

Arts Education and Policy

No Yes No

Creative Economy

No No No

Greening Your Nonprofit Arts Organization

No No Yes

Grantwriting for the Arts

No No Yes
Foundations in Arts Entrepreneurship
Yes Yes (6-week intensive course) No


What is the tuition per class?

Noncredit classes cost $675 and will remain at that level for the foreseeable future.  Please note that state arts agencies, state, regional or national arts organizations may qualify for group discounts. Special attention to constituent issues can be addressed through separate or additional lectures and issue forums.  Students may optionally earn 3 credits of undergraduate credit by registering for HM&FNART, College of Humanities and Fine Arts courses (level 390).  For-credit courses cost $1314($438/credit) plus a $45 registration fee.

Students only need to purchase one text, Fundamentals of Arts Management, 5th edition for the majority of the Arts Management Online classes offered by the Arts Extension Service (AES). Call 413-545-5537 to purchase this text, available for $65, over the phone, or visit The UMASS Extension Bookstore Website.

No additional costs are associated with certification.

When do classes start?

Arts Management Online classes are offered during the spring, summer and fall semesters, according to the following schedule:

  • Spring Semester: Classes start late-January/early February and end late April/mid-May and registration opens in mid-November.
  • Summer Semester: Classes start in late May/early June and end in August and registration opens in April.
  • Fall Semester: Classes start in early September and end in mid December and registration opens end of July

How do I get a certificate in Arts Management?

Earn a Core Certificate in Arts Management by successfully completing four online courses. Success is defined as completing all assignments well and participating meaningfully in class discussions. Complete all eight classes for our Professional Certificate.  Upon completion, fill out and send in a Request for Certificate form, and after courses are verified, your certificate will be mailed to you. 

Can I get a waiver for the Intro course?

We created the Intro course in response to the very real need to provide a deeper background for our Arts Management students.  Lingo, jargon, the unique landscape of arts funding, make this course invaluable for those who come to class without a minimum of three years in an arts management leadership position in a nonprofit arts institution or a State, Regional or National arts agency.

Are group discounts offered?

Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more participants who sign up from a single organization. Special attention to constituent needs can be addressed through separate or additional lectures and issue forums.

Is scholarship funding available?

Some state arts agencies and workforce development offices offer professional development grants that may be used for this course. Visit for a list of state arts agencies.

Do I have to pay for my class in full when I register?

Yes. You will need to pay the full cost of your tuition and fees when you register for any Arts Management Online course.

Are the classes entirely online?

Yes, courses are entirely online. We have participants from all over the world, and thus this feature is both necessary and our desirable. Students find that the convenience of accessing a course when they are ready is one of many reasons that online classes are becoming so widely sought.

How many classes can I take at once?

Due to the volume of coursework required, we do not allow students to take more than 2 courses per semester. Therefore, it is possible to complete four courses for a Core Certificate in two semesters, and a Professional Certificate in four semesters.  We expect that you will work a minimum of 6 hours per week on your course, more as needed to prepare for and ask weekly questions of your Case Study organization. 

Are there prerequisites for the courses?

Starting in the Fall of 2011, we will require new and incoming Arts Administration candidates who have less than three years of experience in the field to take the Introduction to Arts Management, this is particularly important for those who are new or transitioning careers.  This course will help to lay the foundation for your understanding of the potential roles, work, and possibilities.  In addition, for each of our other courses, the major prerequisite for the courses is that you must identify a case study to work with. (Creative Economy will ask you to identify a community, not one organization.)  Here is some information about case studies that will work for this purpose:

Case Studies:
Our classes are practical courses that enable you to learn the principals of nonprofit management and apply these principles to a case study organization. The class will culminate in the preparation of a final project that offers specific strategies for enacting concepts learned in the course.

A Note About Confidentiality: None of your assignments require you to identify your case study, which you can keep entirely confidential (assigning a fictitious name), should the organization be concerned about revealing its operations.

  • Option #1: Choose Your Own Organization (highly recommended): If you are currently working in an arts or culture organization, you will get the most out of this class if you use your own institution as your case study organization. If you are not currently responsible for the subject matter covered in this course within your organization, ask the people in these roles if they would work with you on the assignments.
  • Option #2: Choose Another Non-Profit Organization with Which You Are Familiar: You may obtain similar results by working closely with a nonprofit organization of which you are not a member. For instance, if you volunteer for a nonprofit agency, we recommend you use that organization as your case study organization, even if this organization is not solely focused on the arts. We have had many students who work at non-arts agencies that apply the learning to their unique environments.
  • Option #3: Contact an Area Arts Agency or Non-Profit: If you are a full-time student or not associated with an organization, then you must find one that you can observe. If you have a friend who runs a social service organization that may be a better case study than an arts council whose leaders are not interested in your learning. This is the least preferred route, since it is often difficult to arrange access to a non-profit agency's information on such short notice.
  • Option #4: Request a Case Study Match from the Arts Extension Service office. We have a list of nonprofit arts organizations willing to serve as a Case Study in exchange for your completed final project or plan. Students will sign a Letter of Agreement, promising to complete the course and keep the Case Study's information confidential.

Other Prerequisites: 
You will also have to have and know how to use Microsoft Word (or comparable word processing program) and Adobe Acrobat (Reader). Financial Management also requires familiarity with Excel. Students must also be prepared to actively work within a group process, since activities in some courses may include a group project.

Why do I need a case study?

Our program is designed to be a hands-on practical learning experience. To that end, a case study arts nonprofit organization must be identified, preferably before you begin your course work, although your instructor may be able to advise you. For example, if you were to take Arts Marketing, throughout the 12 weeks of the course, you will formulate a marketing plan for your case study, piece by piece.

How do I find a case study?

If you are not employed by a nonprofit, and do not currently volunteer for one, please email the Arts Extension Service for advice. In the Spring of 2009 we launched a Case Study match, utilizing a list of organizations we have compiled. You may also contact your state or local cultural council or local library for advice on an organization.

I work for a for-profit arts institution, can I use it as my case study?

Yes, you may use a for-profit arts institution as your case study.  However, for select courses, such as Financial Management and Arts Fundraising, you may need to work with a separate nonprofit institution in order to complete certain assignments.  If you have any questions please call us at 413-545-2360.

What order should I take the courses in?

Introduction to Arts Management is a prerequisite to each of courses.  You may take it prior to or concurrently with any other course.

We are aware that each of you come to the class with different backgrounds and desires.  You may take the courses in any order you'd like to fulfill your certificate requirements and obtain the skills that you most need to do your job, find a job, or grow your nonprofit.  See the schedule of classes at the top of the page for course offerings by semester.

How will my work be evaluated?

Students will be evaluated on level of participation, completing assigned work, and participating in threaded discussions. Online courses have clear due dates and time requirements, just like in a real classroom.

Do I have to log on at any specific time?

No, this is why online courses are becoming so sought after. You set your work schedule, as long as you meet the above requirements. Due to the diversity of our student body, we do not require students to log on at a particular time, although some of our instructors do hold "office hours" where a student can log on and post messages to their instructor for an immediate reply.

Can I get credits for doing this?

Yes, students may register for the online courses as 300 level 3 credit courses.

Aside from the additional fee, students interested in taking our courses for credit should be aware that their work would be held to a high standard in evaluation because of the credit award. Timeliness of completion, quality of work, and frequent and thoughtful participation in discussions will all be factored into the final grade the student receives, which will be a traditional letter grade in accordance with the University system.

Are there any other fees I will need to pay?

Beyond the course fee of 675.00, there is a textbook required for all of our courses. The title is “Fundamentals of Arts Management” and the text is available for purchase from the UMASS Extension Bookstore for $65.00 with a $5.00 shipping and handling charge. There is no additional charge for certification.  NOTE: Our Bookstore will no longer ship international orders.  To order a book to be shipped overseas, please email us at:

How does the Online class work?

Using a web browser, you will log on to the internet and navigate to the UMASS Online site. You will log in to the site using a user name and password provided to you at the start of class. Each week, in the assigned folders online, the instructor will post a new lecture (the instructor will inform you at the beginning of the course what day of the week this will take place). The instructor may note additional readings or websites that are part of homework. An assignment incorporating aspects discussed in the lecture will be posted at this time as well. Students will have the next week to complete the assignment and post it in the section of the course allocated for assignment postings. Additionally, students are required to visit and participate in the threaded discussion section of the course, where students can communicate to each other and to the instructor to discuss topics relevant to the lecture, or their homework. As assignments are completed, the instructor will review and provide feedback. The instructor will also track course participation from week to week. At the end of the course, you will receive a pass/fail notification unless you have made arrangements for credit.

How do I talk to my instructor?

Some instructors hold office hours, during which you can log onto the site and talk to your instructor "live". Instructors are also available via email and phone.

How much time does homework and participation generally take per week?

Past students have reported that they spend between 5-6 hours per week per course completing assignments, but this varies greatly depending on their familiarity and ease of access to their case study organization. Many students will log on to the site once, download the lectures and postings, and work offline, logging on again to post assignments and discussion points within the threaded discussions. Actual time spent online can be minimized in this way.

I have more questions, how do I get help?

Please refer to our contact page for phone numbers and email address where you can direct further questions.

223 Middlesex House, 111 County Circle, University of Massachusetts Amherst • Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-2360 • Fax: (413) 545-2361 • Email:

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