MA in Art & Social Engagement

The MA in Art & Social Engagement is a specialized program focused on the study of community- based art grounded in the theoretical discovery and critical examination of - works created within a social context. These works vary to include an artist working within a grassroots organization in their local community, a large-scale project in which arts groups are programming in public spaces while examining cultural practices. Much like the framework in which these projects emerge, the program is designed to be delivered in an environment where candidates study under the guidance and direction of experts currently working on socially engaged projects.



  • Engage candidates in an educational framework that critically identifies and addresses new and emerging art practices in socially engaged, community-based art.
  • Connect candidates with community-based experts through an innovative, research-based, hands-on educational experience that critically examines social practice in action.
  • Engage candidates in the cultural and theoretical pedagogy surrounding social practice in the arts, and provide opportunities for responding with scholarly oral and written communications.

Connect candidates with the knowledge and resources necessary for successful project planning, communication skills and advocacy.

The purpose of the program is  to build capacity around the process of social practice through research, experiential strategies and access to experts working in the field and produce graduates who are leaders in the field of community-based art.


Who is this Course of Study for?

Candidates may reside outside of Philadelphia due to the nature of the program’s full-time instruction for 6 weeks during the summer terms and online courses in fall and spring. Ideal candidates for this degree program may include someone working in a museum or non-profit arts administration sector with an interest in social practice who has a desire to branch out and develop skills and a deeper knowledge related to this discipline that they can bring back to their organization. A list of prospective graduate students for whom the degree is intended may include:

  • Community Leaders
  • Writers
  • Activists
  • Curators
  • Students with backgrounds in Liberal Arts
  • Art Administrators
  • Museum employees
  • Educators