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Master's Degree in Music Business: Program Summary and Course Info

Research master's degrees in music business programs. Get information about courses, degree requirements and career options to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Several schools offer master's degree programs that focus on the business aspect of the music entertainment industry. Students must hold a bachelor's degree. Some programs say the degree must be in music or business, but others don't stipulate a major. These programs take about two years of full-time study to complete.

In a music business master's degree program, students usually complete core courses in business as related to the music industry. These courses often include organizational leadership and business law. The curriculum also usually includes courses specific to the industry such as artist management, promotions, strategic marketing and recording rights. Students may be required to take a few courses in music as well.

Many master's programs require hands-on experience in the industry through internships. Other programs say a thesis can be substituted for this experience.


Master's Degree in Music Business

Degrees in this field go by a few different names, including Master of Science in Music Business or Music Management. In these programs, students examine the business side of music entertainment through coursework in marketing, finance and music industry management. They explore concepts related to the legal aspects of music, licensing and the contracts of recording artists. Some programs delve into the distribution, production and promotion of music. Optional specializations may be available in related areas, like music technology.

Education Prerequisites

Master's degree programs require that students possess bachelor's degrees. In some cases, prior music-related education or experience is necessary. Schools may also require students to submit resumes, personal essays and letters of recommendation.

Course Topics

Students learn about business administration in the music industry by studying intellectual property, artist management, strategic marketing and contract law. Practical skills may be attained through the completion of a thesis or internship opportunity within an entertainment setting. Additional topics include:

  • Music business entrepreneurship
  • Copyright law
  • Business ethics
  • Financial accounting
  • Venue management

Popular Career Options

Graduates of music business programs pursue a broad range of career opportunities. The music industry requires professionals with knowledge in business administration and contract management, the legal aspects of music and the marketing process. Some popular career options include:

  • Entertainment writer
  • Product manager
  • Music publisher
  • Artist manager
  • Booking agent

Continuing Education

Graduates may wish to continue their education by pursuing doctoral degrees in music technology, music theory or music history. Graduates of doctoral programs may find work as researchers or professors at universities, publishers in the recording industry or music librarians. Doctoral programs offer students a connection between scholarly research and artistry in the entertainment industry.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Cincinnati include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
        • Music Composition and Theory
        • Music History and Literature
        • Music Merchandising and Management
        • Music Performing
        • Musical Conducting
        • Piano and Organ
        • Voice and Opera
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
        • Music Composition and Theory
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
        • Music Composition and Theory
        • Music Performing
        • Piano and Organ
        • Stringed Instruments
        • Voice and Opera
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

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