Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership, MA

Home / Degree Programs / Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership, MA

Do you want to shape the future of art and design industries? Do you care about art and public impact? Gain leadership skills, critical perspectives in creative work and innovation savvy through hands-on experience exploring new models and learning from national leaders.

Creative enterprise and cultural leadership students are changemakers and innovators working toward more just and sustainable futures that connect art and design to society. The program has a particular emphasis on impact and place, looking at how art practice intersects with the social, political, economic and other structures that shape communities. This cross-disciplinary, collaborative program merges theory and practice in arts management, civic practice, creative placemaking, leadership and the management of innovation in the expanded creative fields.

The MA program in creative enterprise and cultural leadership offers classes that mix theory and practice through applied learning in collaboration with a range of community, nonprofit, business and public sector partners. Local and national leaders engage with students in classes, site visits and collaborative projects. The program culminates with a capstone applied project that can take the form of research or the launch of a new project. In addition to core classes, students select additional focused coursework to advance their own professional goals and interests. The program offers several areas of curricular emphasis including creative placemaking and placekeeping, civic practice, cross-sector work and new business models.

At A Glance

Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership, MA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application requirements

Application procedures + requirements

Application deadlines

Applications are considered on a rolling basis through June to start in the fall.

Paying for college


Find and apply for relevant scholarships.

Financial Aid

ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Degree requirements

Required Core (10 credit hours)
HDA 511 Purpose, Collaboration and Accountability (3)
HDA 512 Proposal Development (1)
HDA 513 Applied Creative Research and Evaluation Methods (3)
HDA 514 Creativity and Impact, Opportunities for Change (3)

Electives (3 credit hours)

Focus Area Coursework (9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (2 credit hour)
HDA 583 Fieldwork (2)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
HDA 593 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
For electives, students may choose from a list of approved courses or choose their own with advisor approval.

For focus area coursework, students select three classes from a curated list of options that intersect with the Master of Arts in creative enterprise and cultural leadership's core themes of art, place and impact to create their own emphasis.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a minimum of a bachelor's degree in an arts, design, business, public policy or a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. letters of recommendation
  4. letter of intent
  5. professional resume
  6. example of academic or professional work
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The letter of intent must outline the applicant's reasons for choosing to pursue a Master of Arts in creative enterprise and cultural leadership and outline how their unique background and abilities make them a suitable candidate.

Applicants are required to submit an example of academic or professional work that demonstrates, within a maximum of 30 pages, the ability and potential to be successful in the program. Following are examples of appropriate submissions:

  • business plan for a new or existing enterprise
  • critical essay from previous academic work
  • critical essay for professional audiences
  • curatorial materials
  • marketing materials designed or written by applicant
  • material produced for professional creative practice
  • other professional or technical writing relevant to the creative industries

An online interview may be held for applicants who reach the finalist stage of consideration for admission.

National leaders as faculty

The MA in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership faculty draw on the expertise of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners who are shaping the future of art and design today. ASU faculty include Institute Professors Maria Rosario Jackson(arts in equitable development), Michael Rohd (theatre and civic practice) and Daniel Roumain (field experience), as well as Herberger Institute Dean Steven Tepper (cultural policy and creative work) among others. This program offers opportunities to connect with the National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation, the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities, and other initiatives of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Faculty highlights:

Application requirements

The applicant must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate College, including a bachelor’s degree in a broad range of related fields.

Application requirements

  • Completed online application
  • English proficiency test
    (International applicants only)
  • Letter of intent
    Include your reasons for applying to this program, how your abilities and interests make you a suitable candidate, and what your future goals are after completion.
  • Sample of work
    Include a brief contextual cover sheet and 2-5 examples of relevant academic, creative or professional work such as:
    • Academic essay or report;
    • Sample of professional or technical writing;
    • Business, project or marketing plan;
    • Material produced for your professional creative practice;
    • Documentation of your creative projects (blog, video, photos, video, website)
    • Curatorial materials for an event/exhibition/program;
    • Other relevant material.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    From professionals who can speak to the potential for success in the graduate program and in future work.
  • Professional résumé
  • Undergraduate university transcripts
  • Application fee
  • GRE test scores are optional and are not a requirement to apply for this program

Application deadlines:

  • Priority deadline: February 15
  • Applications accepted on rolling basis through July 15 for a fall start

Contact Christy Brown with questions:

Apply now!

Apply for the CECL 4+1 program

What are Accelerated Programs at ASU?

ASU students may accelerate their studies by earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years (for some programs) or by earning a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 or 3 years.

Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.