New Graduate Concentration in Nonprofit & Arts Management

The School of Public Policy (SPP) and the Arts Extension Service are offering a new concentration in nonprofit and arts management for students in SPP’s Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Policy and Administration programs. This is an exciting inter-college collaboration between the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass, which reflects the increasing overlap between the realms of public policy, nonprofit management, and arts and culture.

“Many of our students go on to careers in the nonprofit sector,” said Alasdair Roberts, SPP director. “This concentration will allow them to delve deeply into topics such as cultural policy and management, leaving them well prepared for their work.” The skills offered by this master’s concentration will support students interested in working on cultural policy and advocacy at the city, regional, state or national level in conjunction with local and state arts agencies, arts advocacy organizations, unions, cultural districts, business improvement districts, and more.

AES Director Dee Boyle-Clapp comments, “Policy matters and is the result of efforts to create change. The arts management field is currently working on issues of equity, increasing support for education, addressing climate change, supporting women’s and LGBTQIA rights, and more. This graduate concentration provides arts, humanities, and public policy graduate students with the opportunity to explore the intersection of arts management and public policy, obtain a new credential, and take classes that teach the skills needed to make the world a better place!”

Students in the new concentration will benefit from AES’s National Arts Policy Archives and Library (NAPAAL), located in the Special Collections of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at the W.E.B. DuBois library. NAPAAL is a collection of more than fifty years of arts policy documents from the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and individual collections. Digitized materials are available online, but additional materials are available for campus visitors, including students in the new concentration program.

Students in the concentration will take a minimum of three nonprofit-focused courses, and may choose from a menu of online and on-campus offerings.

Courses eligible for the Nonprofit and Arts Management concentration include:

Students in interested in the new concentration in Nonprofit & Arts Management should contact the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy at or 413-545-3940. SPP is now accepting applications for the coming academic year, with rolling admission and financial aid decisions. SPP offers a one-year Master of Public Policy; a 4+1 Master of Public Policy open to seniors at UMass Amherst and Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges; and a two-year Master of Public Policy & Administration. Students in the MPPA program may opt to pursue dual degrees in in business administration, education, public health, and regional planning.

Students may also contact AES to learn more about AES courses and certificate programs, on campus and online, should contact us at or 413-545-2360. We will schedule a short consultation session to help you identify the program that best suits your interests.