|Full Sail University||BS/MS in Entertainment Business|
|University of Southern California||MS in Integrated Design, Business and Technology|
|William Paterson University||Part-Time Flex MBA - Music and Entertainment Management Concentration|
The global entertainment industry is an estimated $1.8 trillion market that encompasses radio, television and film, dance, opera and music, and fine art theater and literary publishing. By 2021, the global market is expected to reach $2.2 trillion dollars in revenue, with the U.S. contributing $720 billion by 2020.
As the entertainment industry continues to grow, the demand for talented leaders will increase as well. While having a passion for entertainment and business is a great start to a career in the industry, a degree from an accredited school is necessary if you want to compete. Besides accreditation, the best schools for entertainment business degrees will:
- Have a solid reputation for producing entertainment business professionals who are successful in their respective careers
- Offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers the most in-demand areas of the music business
- Provide opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the music industry through experiential learning experiences such as internships, externships, and job simulations
- Have faculty who are active in the entertainment industry
- Have an active career center with a notable placement rate
Some of the best schools with entertainment business degrees are also located in or near major entertainment capitals such as Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville and New York. While location is important, students seeking the best programs also place a high value on convenience and flexibility. Fortunately, many of the best schools with entertainment business degrees also offer online programs.
We’ve identified below several universities that meet all of the criteria of a “Best” school for aspiring entertainment business professionals. The schools are listed in alphabetical order, beginning with Full Sail University.
Best Online Schools with Entertainment Business Degrees in the U.S.
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University is an arts, entertainment, media, and technology school that serves approximately 15,000 students across 210 acres of campus space, including 110+ studios and labs. Known for its immersive, fast-paced approach to learning, Full Sail University has won three of the prestigious TEC awards. The school is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education (CIE), Florida Department of Education.
Full Sail University began in 1979 as a recording studio in Dayton, Ohio named Full Sail Productions. Today the school offers 93 programs leading to associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Programs are offered on-campus and online via the Full Sail Online platform. Among these programs are a BS and MS in Entertainment Business.
The BS in Entertainment Business takes just 29 months to complete online. Per the school, the program “combines essential business and management knowledge with personal development in a project-based environment, modeling the same kinds of professional scenarios you’ll encounter in your chosen industry.” Taught by professionals in the field, courses cover everything from marketing and global media management to business technology and design, event management, and professional selling. Learn more about Full Sail's programs.
Course highlights include:
- Audience Metrics
- Business in the Entertainment and Media Industries
- Business Accounting
- Business Law
- Business Management
- Entertainment Business Models
- Entrepreneurship in the Entertainment Business
- Event Management
- Global Media Management
- Intellectual Property
- Leadership and Organizational Behavior
- Principals of Business Finance
Students will also complete seven “Project and Portfolio” courses worth three credits each including Project and Portfolio I-II: Business and Marketing, and Project and Portfolio III-VII: Entertainment Business. Project and Portfolio courses combine “hands-on learning experiences with summative and formative portfolio assessments,” says the school. These courses are taken in addition to an internship, which can be pursued after the student has successfully completed 50% of the required credit hours for the BS program.
The MS in Entertainment Business “is an advanced exploration of the specific business and management skills required to excel and lead in the entertainment world” says the school. Students in the program “learn the strategies of top executives and are given the opportunity to apply that knowledge in practical exercises.” Courses cover key concepts such as contract negotiation, financial planning, and publishing and distribution.
Course highlights include:
- Advanced Entertainment Law
- Business Plan Development
- Business Storytelling and Brand Development
- Entertainment Business Finance
- Entertainment Media Publishing and Distribution
- Executive Leadership
- Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership
- Negotiation and Deal-Making
- Product and Artist Management
- Project and Team Management
Students will also complete Final Project: Business Plan as a requirement for graduation. This final course requires a written business plan that students will present to faculty and peers. The Business Plan “is a comprehensive academic examination of a topic selected by the student” and “encompasses academic objectives and concepts learned from each course in the degree program.”
Per the school, graduates of Full Sail’s Entertainment Business programs are employed in a number of fields listed under the broad “Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes,” as categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Sample job titles include Agent, Artist Agent, Artist Manager, Artist Representative, Athlete Marketing Agent, Booking Agent, Talent Agent, Talent Buyer, and Talent Manager.
University of Southern California, Iovine and Young Academy, Los Angeles, California
The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at University of Southern California (USC Iovine and Young Academy) is located in the entertainment capital of the world—Los Angeles. Founded by Andre Young (Dr. Dre) and Jimmy Iovine (founder of Interscope Records), the school offers a unique program that combines business, design, and technology as it applies to the entertainment industry. Per the Academy, the program teaches, “critical thinking” while nurturing “unbridled creativity at the intersection of four essential areas: art and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication.”
The Academy’s BS in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation requires 128 units, including 76 units in the Core, and 12 units in major electives. Students must select elective courses from the school’s current offerings in Visual Design, Technology, Venture Management, Audio Design and Communication, or from future electives as they become available. Sample business courses include:
- Basics of Project and Operations Management
- Business and Professional Communication
- Design Consulting: Problem Solving for Organizations
- Design of Effective Organizations
- Founders Dilemma
- Interpersonal Competence and Development
- Marketing of Creative Disruption and Innovation
- Strategic Management of Innovation
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Taking the Leap
Students will complete a “Seminar in Entrepreneurship” and an “Entertainment Entrepreneurship,” as part of the business core.
Entertainment related coursework includes:
- Designing Media/Communication Projects for Social Change
- Digital Toolbox: Motion Graphics
- Innovation, Entertainment and the Arts
- Mobile Gaming Programming
- Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs
During the final year of the program, students will complete the Academy Capstone known as “The Garage Experience.” The Capstone allows students to develop “innovative projects leading to operational prototypes and viable enterprises.” Students are mentored by faculty who are professionals in the field and other industry experts.
While the BS in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation is not available 100% online, some components are. In addition, graduates of the BS program may move on to the Academy’s new Online MS in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.
The cross-disciplinary master’s program known as “Design@USC” offers coursework designed by a “collaborative team of world-class faculty drawn from the USC Iovine and Young Academy, the USC Roski School of Art and Design, the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and other USC schools and academic programs.” Designed for “students and professionals who may be established in technical, business, artistic or other fields,” the MS program consists of 13 courses and just two residencies. With the exception of the two residencies, the program is 100% online. Students will graduate from the program as “leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to shape and build today's evolving creative economy.”
The BS graduated its first class in May 2018, with three members co-founding a startup company while still in the program. The company (Mira) produced an augmented-reality headset called Prism and gained $1.5 million in venture-capital investment.
USC has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since March 6, 1949. The school’s music programs have additional accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The business programs at USC are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
William Paterson University, Cotsakos College of Business, Wayne, New Jersey
Located just 24 miles from New York, Cotsakos College of Business at William Paterson University (CCOB WPU) offers a Part-Time Flex MBA that allows students to accelerate their studies with summer courses or choose a blend of flexible online, hybrid, and weekend courses along with traditional evening courses. The program has seven specialized concentrations. Among is a Music and Entertainment Management focus that prepares graduates for both the music and entertainment industries.
The program provides advanced study in the areas of entertainment business, entrepreneurship, entertainment law, music business, and music management. Per the school, “courses have an international scope and are taught by industry leaders as well as full-time faculty.” Sample courses include:
- Entertainment Law
- Entrepreneurship in the Music and Entertainment Industry
- Financial and Economic Global Strategy
- Influence, Persuasion, and Negotiation Strategy
- Innovation, Strategy and Corporate Sustainability
- Management Theory
- The Current State of the Music and Entertainment Industry Credits
- The Music and Entertainment Industry
Students will complete an internship/capstone experience designed specifically for the supervised practical application of previously studied theory in a group setting. The experience takes place under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Study abroad opportunities are available as well as job placement. Currently 90% of CCOB MBA graduates are in entertainment management and leadership positions six months after graduation.
Graduates of the Music and Entertainment Management MBA go on to work in a variety of careers in the entertainment industry including Entrepreneur, PR Manager, Talent Manager, Booking Agent, Marketing Manager, Distribution Management, and many others.
William Paterson University has been continuously accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the region’s accrediting body for colleges and universities, since its first accreditation in 1958. Cotsakos College of Business is AACSB-accredited.
“USC Iovine and Young Academy Launches New Online Master of Science.” Academy News, USC Iovine and Young Academy, 2017. Web. 10 Oct. 2018.
“Value of the global entertainment and media market from 2011 to 2021.” Statista, The Statistics Portal, Statista, 2017. Web. 07 Nov. 2018.