Arts Leadership

Application for ARTL are accepted on a rolling basis. To be considered for Fall admission, the application must be received by June 1. To be considered for the Spring Semester the application must be received by October 1.

June 1, 2017

For applicants to any of the Arts Leadership programs, a bachelor’s degree and a working artistic background (three to five years as a working artist) are preferred qualifications.

Additionally, all applicants must submit the following:

  1. A resume or curriculum vitae
  2. Unofficial copies of transcripts (for faculty review purposes; please note that official copies of transcripts must also be submitted to the USC Graduate Admission office)
  3. Answers to the following five questions in essay format. There is no specific length requirement, however applicants are being considered not only for the content of the answers but also ability to express thoughts in written form. The questions are as follows:
    • What is your specific field of artistic practice? Why have you chosen to pursue a career in this field?
    • Identify one truly significant obstacle that you have faced in your life that you successfully overcame to 
become the person you are today.
    • The Arts Leadership course of study acknowledges several important environmental trends occurring in 
today’s world—the changing demographics of the country, the rise and increasing dominance of technological innovation, changing business models that reflect the new economy and globalization to name a few—that are having a dramatic impact on arts organizations in today’s world. Select one, or identify another that you think is equally as important, and explain what impact this trend you think is having or will have on the arts in America.
    • Identify someone you know personally whom you consider to be a great leader. Explain why you would call him/her great.
    • In an ideal world, without necessarily thinking about financial viability, where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing ten years from now? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Yes, absolutely I am on track to doing this” and 10 being “pie in the sky dream but I sure wish I could” rate your chances of achieving this goal.
  4. Following submission of the full application materials, an interview with the Director of the Program is required. This can occur via
    internet technology or in person. Applicants should coordinate this directly with the Program Director, Kenneth Foster at

  5. Please note the following application requirements by program:
    • Graduate Certificate (USC Thornton School):

      Note: Documents will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. All items must be submitted online through the “Fall SlideRoom portal” by the June 1st deadline. Any application not complete by June 1 may be removed from consideration.

      To access the Fall SlideRoom portal click on the following link:

      USC Thornton Fall SlideRoom Portal

    • Master of Public Administration (USC Price School):
      • The USC Price School of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Arts Leadership. Applicants must apply directly to the MPA through the Price School. Application requirements are posted on the Price website, here:
        After Admission to Price, students interested in the Arts Leadership specialization must complete item #3 above, and submit it along with a letter requesting admission to the Arts Leadership specialization directly to Ken Foster, Arts Leadership program

In some cases faculty may wish to invite applicants to interview as part of the application process. Where appropriate and considered necessary, faculty will coordinate interview dates and times with applicants directly.

Note for International Applicants

In addition to the application materials required of all applicants, international applicants must submit certified translations of any transcript or diploma not issued in English, and a statement of financial support. In addition, those international applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS in compliance with the requirements listed here.