Arts Leadership

Master of Public Administration

  • The program details described below are subject to change. Actual degree requirements for a given academic year may differ from what is listed here.
  • Refer to the 2016-2017 USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements.
  • See the Thornton Admission page for specific application information.
  • Current students should refer to the specific requirements list for their major, which is available through the Thornton Student Affairs office.


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a two year full-time or three year part-time program that offers a professional education designed to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of a career in public management or in related public and private firms. USC Thornton has partnered with the USC Price School of Public Policy to offer an MPA with an emphasis in Arts Leadership.

Prospective students will apply for the program through USC Price. Refer to the USC Price admissions page for specific application information.

Established in 1929, the MPA program at USC Price is one of the oldest and most distinguished programs of its kind. Founded in 1884 and today the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, USC Thornton is internationally recognized as one of the finest conservatories and music schools in the U.S. Together, the MPA builds on the strengths of both schools.

To earn the Master of Public Administration degree with a specialization in Arts Leadership, students must complete 20 units of required core courses, 12 units of management competencies courses, and two 4-unit capstone courses for a total of 40 units.

Summary of Program of Study

Core Courses (10 units)

PPD 500 Intersectoral Leadership 2
PPD 501ab Economics for Policy, Planning, and Development 2-2
PPD 540 Public Administration and Society 4

Management Competencies (12 units)

PPD 545 Human Behavior in Public Organizations 4
PPD 645 Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations 4
PPD 542 Program and Policy Evaluation 4

Arts Leadership Electives (10 units)

ARTL 500 Arts Leadership and Arts Entrepreneurship 2
ARTL 501 Executive Leadership in the Arts 2
ARTL 502 Issues and the Arts in the Contemporary World 2
ARTL 503 Arts Organizations: Innovation and New Models 2
ARTL 504 Arts and the Community: Current Practice and New Visions 2

Capstone Courses (8 units)

PPD 546 Capstone in Public Administration 4
ARTL 510 Arts Leadership Practicum 2+2