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Frequently Asked Questions

When may I start the program?
Students may start the Arts and Cultural Management (ACM) program at the beginning of any semester (January, May, or August). Applications are taken on an ongoing basis. One week before the start of the semester, new students are required to attend an orientation that introduces them to Saint Mary's University and the Arts and Cultural Management program.

How long will it take to complete my degree?
The program can be completed on a part-time basis over eight-nine semesters or full-time over five-six semesters. Part-time means a minimum of three credits per semester in order to be eligible for financial aid; full-time status requires six credits or more per semester. Academic progressions can be customized to meet a student's need.

When do classes meet?
Classes are offered in eight week sections. A class usually meets once a week, in a four-hour time block on a weekday evening, plus on two or three Saturdays. 15 hours of class time is required for each credit hour. So a 3 credit class will have 45 hours of class time. In some classes, there may be activities outside of the classroom related to the class that are made available to students. Students are given plenty of advance notice to make arrangements to attend.

Where do classes meet?
ACM classes meet on the Twin Cities campus. A daily listing of class locations is posted at the entrances to all campus buildings.

Who is my program advisor?
The program director advises all students on class selection, program progression, residency selection, and the final paper.

What are the summative activities?
There are two summative classes that are taken in sequence starting in the fall semester and ending in the spring semester; Residency/Capstone Progression and Capstone. These are each semester-long classes.

What is a residency?
ACM students are required to complete one residency, usually near the end of their progression, experiencing the business of an arts organization. The residency must meet a minimum standard of 240 hours. All residencies must be approved in writing by the program director before students may register for the course credits and begin logging hours towards completion of requirement.

Residency work usually focuses on one or two management projects as the core activity even if a variety of other tasks are included. In addition to the practical experience, the residency is an opportunity for the student to be part of an organization, observing day-to-day operations, organizational and arts community culture, management styles, various staff functions, and internal and external communications.

Residencies are usually done at the end of a student's progression, either over one or two semesters. Residencies are to be completed by the fall semester before taking the Capstone class.

How is a residency obtained?
The program director works with students to create a residency plan to meet their career goals. While students are responsible for securing their own internships, residency opportunities forwarded to the program director are distributed to students.

Where can I do my residency?
Residencies may be done in the Twin Cities or at any arts organization that meets the student's needs and during times that do not conflict with required courses.

Are paid residencies available?
Most residencies are unpaid, though from time to time an arts organization may have special funds to pay an intern.

How can I do a residency if I am employed full-time?
Students who are employed full-time work with the program director to locate and create internship experiences that fit their needs and schedules. Employed students often utilize flextime or vacation time, or do evening, weekend, or independent work for arts organization to meet the residency requirements. Students already employed at an arts organization may take on an additional project or work in another department to fulfill an internship.

Is there residency coursework?
At the end of the residency class an extensive organizational analysis is due, which requires the student to become very familiar with the structure and culture of the residency organization.

What is the summative activity or final paper?
The capstone class is the last course in the program. Students write a final paper of 30-40 pages on an arts management topic that both explores relevant literature and synthesizes concepts, knowledge, and experiences from across the program. After completing the paper, students present their paper during a symposium attended by their fellow students, faculty, and members of the arts community.