Application 101

Application 101

Courtesy of History in High Heels

Courtesy of History in High Heels

Since the application deadline for the Master of Arts Management program is right around the corner (January 13, in case you forgot), I wanted to dedicate this blog post to breaking down the application requirements. Several prospective students in the last few months have emailed and asked me questions about all aspects of the application process, and it is my hope that this post will answer any lingering questions you may have as you approach the finish line (trust me, I’ve been there). So, let’s get started!RÉSUMÉ
If it isn’t already, make sure that your résumé is as clean, polished, and professional as possible. Those on the selection committee will notice these small details, which reminds me: Make sure you have someone proofread your résumé. Over 100+ prospective students apply each year to the program, and something as small as a spelling error could determine whether or not you advance through the selection process. When I applied to the MAM program, I submitted a one-page résumé with a legible font that highlighted my educational, teaching and professional experiences. I provided no more than two bullet points per experience so that my resume wasn’t cluttered with too much text, and didn’t make my font smaller than 11pt.

You will be required to provide two letters of recommendation. You should already have those two persons selected at this point in the process, but remember this: Your references will receive an email from Columbia that instructs them on how they will submit their letter of recommendation. However, they do not receive that email UNTIL YOU SUBMIT YOUR ENTIRE APPLICATION. Therefore, make sure you warn them of when you submit your application so that they can be on the lookout in their inboxes (especially since it could be sent to SPAM). Also, be as courteous as possible and submit your entire application as early as you can so that your references have enough time to do their contribution.

Every college and university has a different process for accessing undergraduate transcripts, so I suggest not waiting until 24 hours before the application deadline to contact your institution. Some require a fee, while others will email it to you within a handful of hours. Regardless, take the time to research and double-check this component, as it’s a required document of your overall application to the MAM program.

Don't forget, your official transcript is important!

Don’t forget, your official transcript is important!

Most of the prospective students I’ve talked with ask the most questions about the self-assessment essay. My advice for the personal statement is to inform the selection committee about your past and current experiences with arts management. Providing them with this information will allow them to paint a picture of who you are as an artist as well as a business professional in the arts industry. Additionally, I would explain why you are passionate about the arts and what you seek to achieve by becoming an active candidate in the MAM program. Giving the selection committee this information will allow them to understand your perspective and connect your personality with the requirements and expectations they have for those accepted into the program.

Both the GRE and Portfolio components are optional when submitting your application. When I applied to the MAM program, I felt confident enough with my undergraduate GPA and chose not to take the GRE. Everyone is different though, and if you believe that submitting GRE scores would better demonstrate your critical, analytical and quantitative skills to the selection committee, then that is certainly alright. It’s primarily about what makes you feel most prepared. I also felt that my résumé highlighted enough professional experiences in arts management, and therefore did not submit a portfolio when I applied two years ago. Again this is entirely different for each applicant, so do what you feel will best showcase your experiences and talents to the selection committee.

I wish all of you the best of luck in completing and submitting your applications! Should you have any remaining questions, always feel free to email me at

Chin Up: You can do this! Courtesy of Keep Calm Studio

Chin Up: You can do this!
Courtesy of Keep Calm Studio