The Theatre School > Conservatory > Graduate Conservatory > Arts Leadership > Curriculum


The following courses are representative of classes that might be taken over the two years of the Arts Leadership program. Actual coursework is selected in collaboration with the head of the program and may cover areas such as Ethics, Grant-writing, Human Resources, Labor Relations/Negotiations, Leadership, Marketing, Non- Profit Management, Organizational Dynamics, Problem-Solving or Strategic Planning.

Managing Effective and Ethical Organizational Behavior (4 credit hours) Students will critically examine ethical and creative methods to solve problems related to managing individuals and teams. Students utilize feedback from a developmental assessment center assessing their managerial and interpersonal skills. Personal development plans are created and skills developed throughout the course. Skill development domains include perception, attribution, motivation, learning leadership, communication, team development, managing change and conflict, decision-making, power and politics and business ethics.

Introduction to Public Service Management (4 credit hours) Introduces students to organizational theories and practices useful to public service managers. Teaches how to use structural, human resource, political and symbolic perspectives to rethink public service organizations. Provides an introduction to managerial issues including workforce diversity, decision making and leadership; stresses critical thinking and writing skills.

Business and Professional Communication (4 credit hours) Explores presentational skills, interviewing skills, bargaining and negotiating skills, and small group communication skills. Surveys topics critical to effective managerial communication in a corporate environment. (or Writing in the Professions)

Writing in the Professions (4 credit hours) Improves writing skills useful in semi- and nontechnical professions; emphasis on style, tone, awareness of purpose and audience. (or Business and Professional Communication)

Financial Administration (4 credit hours) Overview of principles, practices and procedures of maintaining tax-exempt status, accounting, budgeting, and cash management.

Leadership in Organizations (4 credit hours) This course utilizes a theoretical framework to provide a foundation of understanding of effective leadership in organizations. The opportunity for self assessment of leadership strengths and management styles, as well as reflection and action planning for individual leadership development, is also provided. To enhance self-assessment, there are questionnaires, as well as classroom exercises, experienced in a supportive group environment. Examples of effective organizational leadership are also critically examined in case studies. Current leadership topics to be covered include values and vision, strategy, organizational culture, management style, leading groups and teams, and coaching, thus providing analysis from both the macro and micro organizational levels.

Fundraising and Development for Non-Profit Organizations (2 credit hours) All nonprofits need resources to carry out their mission. This class explains how to construct an appropriate, manageable fundraising plan to assist an agency in achieving its goals. Techniques for implementing annual giving, capital campaigns and special appeals are reviewed, including consideration of who among nonprofit stakeholders should be involved in the process.

Working with an External Board (4 credit hours) This course examines the legal and philosophical reasons that nonprofit organizations are governed by an external board of directors. Membership, structure and process for this body are examined, as well as the relationship of employees to the individual board members and the policies established by this group.

Law and Non-Profit Organizations (4 credit hours)Introduces laws and regulations governing nonprofit organizations, including procedures for incorporation, maintenance of tax-exempt status, and compliance with relevant labor laws. No legal background is assumed.

Synthesis Seminar (15 credit hours) All study revolves around this weekly seminar that includes aspects of the Chicago Shakespeare work experience and DePaul course integration; in addition to readings, field trips, projects, and time for independent study. The Synthesis Seminar is fluid and reflective, allowing for both examination of coursework and on-the-job experiences. Each seminar session synthesizes the students' weekly studies, experiences (both at work and in the community), independent research, and natural curiosity in close connection with TTS faculty, program director, and Chicago Shakespeare department heads.

Graduate Management Practicum (34 credit hours)

Graduate Thesis Project (5 credit hours) As the final quarter of the Synthesis Seminar this course focuses on the culmination of the Program and successful completion of a final capstone project. Projects will be individually selected in conference with Program Director during the second year of program. Possible projects include analytical report, specific substantial employment undertaking, and exploration and treatise with innovative focus in the industry. ‚Äč