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Hear from Kevin Maifeld, Founding Director & Professor of the MFA in Arts Leadership program, as well as MFA alumni.

Empowering a new wave of arts professionals

The Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership (MFAL) at Seattle University—the first program of its kind on the West Coast—brings together our nationally-renowned faculty in arts leadership with the essential business and management skills necessary for you to lead various arts organizations. With our low student-to-faculty ratio and the program’s cohort approach, you will benefit from direct access to faculty and develop lifelong relationships and support networks. In the thriving arts center of Seattle, you will gain the theoretical and practical experience necessary to successfully compete for arts leadership positions in Seattle and around the world.

At the core of our MFAL program’s reputation is our institution’s commitment to social justice and professional development complemented by a deep foundation of academic rigor and applied research. Through our program, you will use your skills and knowledge to build a broad portfolio of practice in the arts sector of your choice to take with you into your arts leadership career.

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Development Director |

Laura Hammarlund MFA '12

Seattle U's MFA in Arts Leadership program sets a path for success because the classes are taught by top notch instructors coupled with hands on practicum experience. After graduation, I felt confident and prepared to launch a career in arts administration and I continue to feel supported by the camaraderie of my fellow alums.

Seattle's Artistic Laboratory

Known now as a hub for innovation, Seattle is home to a dynamic and historic arts community. With a variety of performance and visual arts centers throughout the city, you will build essential relationships with our community partners, connections that can turn into lifelong careers in arts leadership. Our students work with artistic organizations at the forefront of this community, including: Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle OperaSeattle Art Museum and the Museum of Pop Culture. So, no matter what your artistic interest, our MFAL program will place you in the best position to gain the skills you need for a fulfilling career in the arts.

Integrate Yourself Into the Arts Leadership Community

Through our practicum program and connections in the community, and as a full member in the Association of Arts Administration Educators, our MFAL program provides you with a host of resources within and beyond the university.  

Graduate Management Practicum

Apply what you learn in the classroom to the real world immediately with our unique Graduate Management Practicum. You will have the opportunity to work alongside arts leaders doing what you want to do every day. You will spend at least four hours each week in a local arts organization, some of which offer paid positions.

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Summary Capstone Project

Integrate your practicum and academic experience into a final capstone Summary Project. Explore a topic of your interest in-depth using academic research and your experience in the field to investigate a cultural sector or policy issue, or an arts management problem. This applied research project allows you to demonstrate the full breadth of your education from the past two years.

Alumni at Work

Nina Yarbrough, MFA alumna
Nina Yarbrough, MFA '16

Business Development Manager
Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas

Charly McCreary, MFA alumna
Charly McCreary, MFA '15

Founding Member
The Cabiri

Ben McCarthy MFA Alumnus
Ben McCarthy, MFA '15

Executive Director
Three Dollar Cinema

Meini Li, MFA Alumna
Meini Li, MFA '14

Advancement Manager
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

Events and Information Sessions


  • Kevin Maifeld

    Kevin Maifeld

    Director, Arts Leadership Programs

MFA in Arts Leadership