The Program

Mission and goals


The program’s mission is to train a new generation of managers who currently hold positions related to the international dimension of organizations active in the performing arts, in the heritage sector (museums, historic sites), or in cultural industries (film, publishing, sound recording, radio and television).

Goals and learning objectives

The IM program is designed to

  • provide insight into management processes and the ways in which arts organizations operate within the various management disciplines, including marketing, fundraising, human resources, finance, production and distribution, and administration
  • identify and encourage the development of best practices in arts and cultural management
  • explore the impact of legal, economic and cultural policy on the arts
  • address issues of international relevance to arts and cultural organizations, rigorously and in detail
  • present students with theory, case studies, hands-on learning and empirical research in the field of arts and cultural management
  • provide a forum for challenging and debating theories and models, as well as their application in global arts and cultural practice

The program has seven learning outcomes and objectives:

  • mastery of the fundamentals of arts management, including financial management, marketing, consumer behaviour, fundraising, operations, contracting and negotiating, governance and strategy
  • firm grasp of how arts and cultural industries impact the values, norms and cultures of societies around the world
  • understanding of how cultural policy influences the structure, priorities and decision-making of arts and cultural organizations and the communities they serve
  • ability to use creative problem-solving techniques that place the emphasis on environmental factors
  • understanding of cultural economics and the fundamentals of international law as they relate to arts industries
  • competency in identifying the key drivers of success in global arts industries
  • ability to measure and track the economic impact of the arts on society, both locally and globally

At the end of the program, you will have competency in four areas that are essential to the work of any cultural organization, based on the perspective that it is the artist who creates works of art and the manager who presents them to the world. These four competencies are:

  • designing and implementing a cultural project
  • selling a cultural product in domestic and foreign markets
  • ensuring the financial stability of the organization
  • mastery of the tools that support the organization
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Pedagogical approach

Teaching methods used in the program include theoretical courses, case studies, field work, lectures by world leaders in international cultural management, and visits to well-known cultural organizations and facilities. A 10-day campus abroad in a fourth country, in South America or Asia, will eventually be added if warranted by the number of students.

Structure and courses


The duration of the program is 12 months. You must have completed your courses and your final project by the end of this 12-month period, starting from the date of the first class. All students in the program must be registered on a full-time basis in all three sessions.


The program comprises 45 credits.

As an IM student, you will be required to complete a total of 39 course credits, in addition to completing a final project worth 6 credits.


The 45 credits making up the IM are evenly divided among the three institutions, as follows:

Southern Methodist University
15 credits (5 courses, 3 credits each)
Theme: Management of Non-profit Arts Organizations and Private-Sector Funding

15 credits (10 courses, 1.5 credits each)
Theme: Marketing

15 credits (3 courses, 3 credits each, and a final project worth 6 credits)
Theme: Cultural Industries – final project supervision


Student assessment

Your learning will be assessed by means of a combination of exams, team exercises, group projects, syntheses and/or participation in class. This last element is essential and will be an important component of your evaluation, as your professional and personal experience can greatly enrich the learning of your peers. Accordingly, you will be required to attend every class and to make the necessary personal arrangements to do so. At the beginning of each course, you will be informed of the type and conditions of evaluation (evaluation criteria, relative weight of the different elements of the evaluation).

Only the instructor may determine a student’s grade in a course.  A student may not take a course on a Pass/Fail basis.  A student’s grade-point average (“G.P.A.”) is computed by multiplying the term hours of each graded course taken by the grade points earned in the course and then dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of graded hours.

Bocconi’s grading scale and HEC’s and SMU’s grading scale track as follows:

Bocconi Grade

SMU & HEC Grades

30 A (4.00)
28-29 A- (3.70)
27 B+ (3.30)
26 B (3.00)
25 B- (2.70)
24 C+ (2.30)
23 C (2.00)
Lower than 23 F (Fail)


Students must earn a minimum of 23/C/2.0 to pass a course.  Students must maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 25/B-/2.70 to be considered in good standing.

Full-time students will be dismissed from the MM Program who achieve:

  • Less than a cumulative 2.30 G.P.A. at the end of 15 G.P.A. hours or the first term; or
  • Less than a cumulative 2.30 G.P.A. at the end of 30 G.P.A. hours or the second term.

A student whose cumulative G.P.A. at the end of the first or second term is between 2.30 and 2.70 will be placed on academic probation.  In addition, any student awarded a scholarship who goes on academic probation will immediately lose the scholarship but may be given an opportunity to regain his/her scholarship when his/her cumulative G.P.A. rises to 2.70 or above.  A student must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.30 or better at the end of the third term in order to receive a degree.


You will be responsible for managing your own orientation within the program. To earn your degree, you must fulfil all the requirements of your program and comply with the regulations and procedures of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, HEC Montréal and SDA Bocconi in Milan.

The degree will be jointly awarded by HEC Montréal and SMU.

Assistance with job placement

Once you have successfully completed the program, we will assist you, in collaboration with members of the international advisory committee, in finding a position within your target market.

Alumni may utilize the career center at HEC and SMU for lifetime assistance with job placement.