Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy


Lead with Confidence

A rigorous Ivy League certification designed to advance your career in arts and culture.

The Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy is a premier opportunity for professionals working in the arts and culture sector to learn valuable skills in strategy, fundraising, financial management, governance, and marketing while forging meaningful connections with a diverse cohort of leaders – all at a uniquely affordable price.


Since 2015, NAS has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice to implement an actionable, skills-based curriculum taught by the world’s leading business minds. Through the program’s blended learning environment, participants can learn online and at their own pace while forming lasting relationships that provide opportunities for support and career advancement during live online sessions and an in-person convening at the University of Pennsylvania.


Graduates from the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy will join the NAS Community Hub, where they can network and collaborate with nearly 1,000 alumni from this and other NAS programs.


You’ll receive…

an Ivy League certificate through our partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, an internationally renowned academic institution.

You’ll gain…

concrete skills you can immediately apply to your work. Implement tools in real-time to positively impact your organization the right way.

You’ll join…

an international cohort of arts leaders, growing your network and building a community of support with whom you can connect and collaborate.

You’ll learn…

at your own pace. Courses are designed to be flexible around your busy life. Most students report spending an average of 4-6 hours per week on coursework.

This unique program is designed to give you expert industry knowledge, flexible scheduling, a powerful professional network and an Ivy League credential that will help you reshape the cultural landscape.

Download the Course Catalog

Discover the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy’s curriculum, faculty, and student feedback. Downloading the course catalog will sign you up to receive program email alerts.


2022 Schedule


  • Application Deadline: September 26, 2021
  • Online Orientation: December 2021
  • Online Learning: January – July 2022
  • In-Person Convening: March 9-12, 2022
    Meet and learn alongside your cohort at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Closing Convening: August 2022
    One-and-a-half day virtual convening. Dates TBA.

Attendance at convenings is mandatory in order to complete the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy.

Who Should Apply

You are:

  • An early to mid-career professional (at least 3 years of experience) in the arts and culture sector
  • Or, seeking to enter the sector (with a minimum of 3 years work experience)
  • Curious, open and driven
  • Searching for tools and frameworks to help you navigate and move forward in your career

No prerequisites in education or otherwise are required. The Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy strives to be accessible to leaders at all stages of their careers. All professionals interested in advancing their careers in the arts and cultural field are invited to apply.

Program Cost

Tuition for the eight-month Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy is $5,950 and covers all materials required to successfully complete the program. Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs for the in-person convening in Philadelphia.


View a recorded webinar, walking through your eight-month journey with in-depth looks at our online curriculum, in-person convening at the University of Pennsylvania in March 2022, program faculty, and more.


What Our Alumni Have to Say

We’re proud that our Executive Program alumni have used the knowledge and skills they’ve gained in the program to become leaders in the world of arts and culture strategy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do faculty have office hours?

Courses are monitored and graded by teaching fellows. These dedicated practitioners are experts in the areas they facilitate for the program and are accessible to students at any time. Course professors do not maintain office hours.

Are financial aid or scholarships available?

Financial aid is not available through NAS or the University of Pennsylvania. Many students reach out to their employers to receive partial or full tuition coverage, using the program to further their organization’s work and bring the tools they’ve learned directly back into the workplace.

NAS can arrange payment plans with students who would like additional time to complete their tuition payment.

What are graduation requirements?

You must complete a total of four online courses and attend both the in-person convening at the University of Pennsylvania and the virtual convening and commencement in order to graduate. Enrollment in the following courses is required:

  • Strategy & Positioning
  • Arts & Culture Finance
  • Leading Healthy Teams
  • Nonprofit Fundraising

Students may select any of the following elective courses:

  • Community & Collaboration
  • Nonprofit Governance
  • Impact Management
  • Introduction to Social Media
  • Evaluation for Nonprofits

NAS is flexible, within reason, on some deadlines, however we recommend students make every effort to submit their work on time as catching up can be difficult. On occasion, students are unable to complete their work within the program time frame and those in good standing may request a deferral to the program’s next year pending a review of their circumstances.

Why is the in-person convening mandatory?

The in-person convening at the University of Pennsylvania is critical to our educational model. Meeting your colleagues and having the opportunity to share ideas and build connections is one of the best parts of the program. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

What is the weekly time commitment needed for this program?

Former students share that they spend an average of 4-6 hours of work per week on the program. This is a part-time program, designed to be taken alongside, and complementary to, your existing professional responsibilities. The majority of course material is delivered online and can be view from the comfort of your home or office.

Unlike existing executive education programs, which span only a weekend or several weeks at most, this program teaches a series of actionable skills you can apply to your work right away and offers extended engagement to build a community of trusted peers.

What opportunities are available to alumni?

Alumni of the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy receive lifelong access to the NAS community, more than 1,000 arts and culture leaders working in organizations both large and small throughout the world. Program cohorts have access to their class' private Facebook group and NAS will be launching a private alumni network platform later this summer, dedicated to sharing, support, and continued learning and connection between our entire alumni community.

Is this a degree-accrediting program?

The Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy does not confer a degree. Graduates receive a signed,executive certificate of completion from the University of Pennsylvania and NAS.

After completing the program, all students can apply for the University of Pennsylvania Masters in Nonprofit Leadership with advance standing. Click here for more information about this program.