Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy Minor

Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy Logo

Studying the arts and humanities at Southern gives you the unique advantage of the cultural richness of New Haven, a city with some of the nation’s leading organizations in the visual and performing arts, cultural heritage and preservation, and the public humanities.
The new minor in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy offers an introduction to that professional world by helping you develop skills for a more diverse range of careers in areas such as: 
• theatre, performing arts, museum, and library management
• archival and curatorial work
• non-profit cultural organization administration
• grant-writing and development
• arts education
• and more ... 
We know there’s no single pathway into these fields.  What matters is how you combine your major and areas of interest with the knowledge and practical tools needed to develop a meaningful voice in the creative sector. The 19-credit minor is particularly ideal for Art, English, History, Music, or Theatre majors, interdisciplinary students, and those hoping to add an arts-related focus to another professional discipline.
If you're a current or prospective minor, contact one of the coordinators to set up an advising appointment or click the links below to learn more about:

Curriculum and Requirements

Combining AAC with Your Major

Internships and Community Partners

Declaring the Minor


Curriculum and Requirements

Southern Students Looking at Books at the Beinecke

Unlike other minors, the purpose of Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy is to help you discover your creative and professional interests, and then shape your program of study around them. The 19-credit minor is designed to help you do that through three steps:  

Step #1 - Get a Hands-On Introduction: AAC 200 (3 credits)

AAC 200 Topics in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy is taught by rotating faculty in the arts and humanities at Southern, as well as our partners outside the university. The course is a hands-on introduction to the various "behind the scenes" roles that make up cultural organizations by learning the skills needed to mount an arts or public huamnities project, on a topic or case study selected by the instructor (e.g., Museum Exhibition, Theatre Production, Oral History, Film Archives, etc.).

Step #2 - Develop Your Focus through Area Electives (12 credits)

At then end of AAC 200, you’ll meet with the instructor and coordinator to discuss your particular interests and area of focus. You’ll then choose an additional 12 credits of electives from two general area requirements. 

Area of Professional Focus (6 credits)

Select two courses from one of the following areas:

Leadership and Management (see list of electives)
Professional training in organizational, event, and institutional management. 
Marketing, Social Media, and Development (see list of electives)
Introduction to advertising, public relations, and social media development. 
Budget and Accounting (see list of electives)
Basics of budgeting and accounting necessary for organizations. 

Knowledge of Artistic Practice (6 credits)

Select one course from each of the two following areas:

Applied Skills in the Arts (see list of electives)
A practical skills course in the arts and humanities – graphic  design, professional writing, editing, digital humanities, sound design, media research, etc - for the professional workplace. 

Arts and Cultural Knowledge (see list of electives)
One additional elective in Art, English, History, Music, or Theatre to expand students’ knowledge-base in the arts. 

Step #3 - Complete Your Field Internship Capstone (4 credits)

AAC 497 Internship in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy is the capstone to the minor. With guidance from your home department and the AAC coordinator, you can complete the capstone through a 4-credit internship or a combination of internships (3+1, 2+2, etc.). Prereq: AAC 200 and approval of AAC coordinator (students will have completed their 6-credit “Area of Professional Focus” by time of internship). 

Combining AAC with Your Major (Sample Maps and Timelines)

Southern theatre students behind the scenes

Perhaps you’re an English or History major who’d like to work in a museum or library, a musician interested in helping run a music school, or a business student who wants to devote your professional skills to the performing arts. Combining your major with an Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy minor can help you develop the combination of knowledge and experience needed to pursue these unique career paths.

The minor takes, on average, 2-3 years to finish. As there’s no set pathway, here are some sample timelines to help you imagine some of the ways you might combine the minor with your major: 

Sample Academic Map - AAC Minor and Visual or Peforming Arts Major  
2-year timeline | 3-year timeline 

Sample Academic Map – AAC Minor and Humanities Major 
2-year timeline | 3-year timeline 

Given the importance of course selection for particular professional fields or areas of interest, you should plan to arrange a personal advising appointment with one of the assigned minor coordinators - in addition to your primary academic advisor - each semester during your program of study. 

Internships and Community Partners

Speakers at public humanities roundtable

The core of the AAC minor is the 4-credit field internship capstone, which you can take in any combination (4 credits, 3+1 credits, 2+2 credits, etc.) after you’ve finished AAC 200 and your professional courses. Our new program is growing, with a variety of standing internships in the New Haven area and other opportunities with community partners: the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Long Wharf Theatre, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Yale Libraries and Museums, and more.

To view the current internship listing and guide, please visit: 

Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy Internship Guide

AACA Internship Listing (2024-2025)

Minors are encouraged to begin planning for their internship capstone by the fall or spring of their junior year. 

Declaring the Minor

New Haven Green - Arts and Ideas Festival

The AAC minor is open to all majors at Southern. As the degree takes a minimum of three semesters to complete, including a four-credit internship, we encourage you to declare the minor early in your time at Southern, from freshman year through the beginning of your junior year.

To declare the minor in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy, talk to your academic advisor or one of the program coordinator(s) below, and then visit the Change of Major or Minor page under Student Records at MySCSU.


For further information or to arrange an advising appointment, please contact: