Mike Curb Programs in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership

Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership

The Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership (CECL) empowers students to advance innovation in the cultural sector, support creative work and careers and design public and private enterprises that will strengthen arts and design in the future. The program prepares graduates to understand the complex economic, legal, political and social context that surrounds any innovation or enterprise.  Students are exposed to design thinking pedagogy as they increase their capacity for interpersonal communication, public communication, opportunity recognition, network/systems thinking, problem recognition and creativity as well as demonstrated ability in cultural leadership and knowledge of the creative industries, distribution of creative products, the creative process and management of innovation in the creative industries.

Emphasis for 2020-21 Academic Year: 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 responds to growing trends connecting the interdisciplinary art and design fields into spaces that are not arts-centered such as municipal agencies, health industries, and community development. It does this through a particular curricular emphasis on arts in equitable development (creative placemaking) and civic practice.

Fall 2018 Outstanding Graduates: Sam Shugert

National Leaders as Faculty

Our MA in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership faculty include Institute Professor Maria Rosario Jackson (arts in equitable development), Institute Professor Michael Rohd (theatre and civic practice), Institute Professor Daniel Roumain (music and project-based learning) and Dean Steven Tepper (cultural policy and creative work) among others. As well as opportunities to connect with the National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation, the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities, and other initiatives.

CECL Faculty and related initiatives featured in ASU Now:


The MA degree is 31 credit hours and can be completed in 3 semesters, the last of which does not require full time residency.

Sample plan of study

Semester 1

Course Number/NameCredit Hours
HDA 511 Leadership in the Creative Industries1
HDA 513 Creativity and Design Thinking3
HDA 521 Arts, Culture and the Economy3
Creative Enterprise Development Elective3

Semester 2

Course Number/NameCredit Hours
HDA 512 Strategy: Problem Identification and Opportunity Recognition in the Creative Industries2
HDA 583 CURB Creative Connection Field Experience/Practicum1
HDA 522 Media Literacy and Distribution in the Creative Industries3
GRA 501 Creative Environment and Collaborative Leadership3
Approved Elective3

Semester 3 (residency not required; Applied Project defense must be conducted on campus)

Course Number/NameCredit Hours
Leadership Elective (may be taken online)3
HDA 593 Applied Project6

Course descriptions
  • HDA 511 Leadership in the Creative Industries - 1 credit; introduction to the concept of the creative industries through facilitated discussion with leaders in the field
  • HDA 512 Strategy: Problem Identification and Opportunity Recognition in the Creative Industries - 2 credits; a first semester course in which students will identify one or more opportunities that they will address methodologically and practically throughout their course of study
  • HDA 513 Creativity and Design Thinking - 3 credits; creativity studies and design thinking methodology, whereby creative ideas are brought to fruition
  • HDA 521 Arts, Culture and the Economy - 3 credits; issues of the economics of arts and culture; role of art, design and media in society
  • HDA 522 Media Literacy and Distribution in the Creative Industries - 3 credits; intellectual property in the media age, distribution of creative products, media entrepreneurship
  • GRA 501 Creative Environment and Collaborative Leadership – 3 credits; explores and investigates creativity and group collaboration leadership as it applies to the creative process.
  • Creative Enterprise and Development Elective – 3 credits 
  • Leadership Elective – 3 credits
  • General Elective – 3 credits
  • HDA 583 Fieldwork/Practicum - 1 credit; field experience to engage in creative industries of another city included with program expenses
  • HDA 593 Applied Project - 6 credits; launch of a creative enterprise with individual faculty supervision that began development in HDA 512 Strategy

Graduate handbook for the MA in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership


The applicant must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate College, including a bachelor’s degree in a broad range of related fields. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in the last 60 undergraduate semester hours of coursework.

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

Application requirements
  • Completed online application
  • English proficiency test
    (International applicants only)
  • Letter of intent 
    Include your reasons for applying to this program and how your abilities and interests make you a suitable candidate. 
  • 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 resume
  • Undergraduate university transcripts
  • Application fee
  • GRE test scores are optional and are not a requirement to apply for this program

Contact our Program Coordinator with questions: Karyn.Ricci@asu.edu

Accelerated Masters 4+1 program for undergraduates

The Accelerated Masters (4+1) program enables Herberger Institute students completing approved Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees and interested in the Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership to complete both degrees in a five-year period.

MA in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership +
Eligible undergraduate degrees:

    • BA in Art (Art History)
    • BA in Art (Museum Studies)
    • BA in Arts
    • BA in Digital Culture
    • BS in Environmental Design
    • BA in Film (Filmmaking Practices)
    • BA in Film (Film & Media Productions)
    • BA in Music
    • BA in Theatre

Contact Program Coordinator Karyn Ricci at karyn.ricci@asu.edu for more information about the Accelerated MA 4+1 program for current undergraduates at Herberger Institute for Design and the arts.