Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy Minor

Logo for Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy Minor


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 public engagement.

The minor in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy offers a hands-on introduction to this professional world, from careers in theatre, museum, or library management to non-profit arts education, funding, and development. At Southern, we know there is no single pathway into these fields. Our program is designed to help you discover your own pathway through a mix of knowledge and skills-based courses.    

The minor is particularly ideal for Art, English, History, Music, or Theatre majors, or those hoping to add an arts-related focus to another discipline. To learn more, see the steps below, or contact the program coordinators: Professor Joel Dodson (English) or Professor Mike Skinner (Theatre).


• Getting Started

• Shaping Your Degree

• Curriculum Overview

• Declaring the Minor

Getting Started

SCSU Theatre Production at Lyman Center

To get started, talk to the program coordinator(s) and your academic advisor about how the minor fits with your existing degree plan.

Next, sign up for the introductory course, AAC 200 Topics in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy. AAC 200 is open to all students who have completed ENG 112 and introduces you to the field of arts administration and how to mount a public arts or culture project. 

Shaping Your Degree

Working with Early English Books at SCSU

At the end of AAC 200, you will meet with the instructor and program coordinator(s) to determine your pathway and area of focus.

Unlike other minors, Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy is all about shaping your program of study to fit your creative interests and career goals: What do you hope to do? and What do you need to know? The minor is designed to help you answer those questions through four electives (12 credits) that direct you to: 

Choose an Area of Professional Focus - You'll take two courses (6 credits) in business, marketing, accounting, grant-writing, or communications according to your chosen “Area of Professional Focus”: Leadership and Management, Marketing, Social Media, and Development, or Budget and Accounting

Build Additional Knowledge and Practical Skills in the Arts - You'll then take two more courses (6 credits) in the arts and humanities to enhance your cultural knowledge for your chosen field. At least one course should be from Applied Skills in the Arts – a course in professional writing, editing, graphic design, sound production, or digital humanities to hone your skills in the arts for the workplace.

When your coursework is complete, you’ll proceed to the capstone: a 4-credit internship at an arts or culture organization, to be chosen in consultation with your academic advisor and the program coordinator(s).    

Curriculum Overview (19 credits)

Hughes Gallery in Buley Library

Introductory Course (3 credits)

AAC 200 Topics in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy

An introductory course taught by rotating faculty in the arts and humanities at Southern, AAC 200 is a hands-on introduction to arts management, budgeting, promotion, and assessment needed to mount a public arts project, on a topic or case study selected by the instructor (e.g., Museum Exhibition, Theatre Production, Oral History, Film Archives, etc.).

Area Requirements (12 credits)

Based on their chosen pathway and with advising from the  AAC coordinator, students 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

Professional training in organizational, event, and institutional management. See list of electives here.

• Marketing, Social Media, and Development

Introduction to advertising, public relations, and social media development. See list of electives here.

• Budget and Accounting

Basics of budgeting and accounting necessary for organizations. See list of electives here.


Knowledge of Artistic Practice (6 credits)

Select one course from each of the two following areas:

Applied Skills in the Arts

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. See list of electives here.  

Arts and Cultural Knowledge

One additional elective in Art, English, History, Music, or Theatre to expand students’ knowledge-base in the arts. See list of electives here.

Field Internship Capstone (4 credits)

AAC 497 Internship in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy

With coordination and guidance from their home department and approval of the AAC coordinator, students will complete an internship as their experiential learning capstone for the minor (viz., one 4-credit internship or two 2-credit internships). Prereq: AAC 200 and approval of AAC coordinator (students will have completed their 6-credit “Area of Professional Focus” by time of internship).  

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.

(Please note: some minor declarations require you to modify your "catalog term" for your existing major in Banner. For help, speak to your advisor or department chair.)


For more information, contact: 

Joel M. Dodson, Co-Coordinator

Associate Professor of English



Mike Skinner, Co-Coordinator

Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre