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Master’s Degree Programs in Music Business Overview

Majors Overview February 24, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in music business and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Music Business

Schools offer degrees in this field under various names, including Master of Science (M.S.) in Music Management or Music Business. Full-time students complete these programs in about two years. These programs involve the examination by students of the business aspect of music entertainment via coursework in finance, marketing, and music industry management. The program also includes the exploration of concepts related to the legal aspects of licensing, music, and the contracts of recording artists. In some programs, students explore the production, distribution, and promotion aspects of music. They may choose from optional specializations in related areas such as music technology.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in music or business, though some schools may not insist on any particular major. Some schools may insist on prior music-related experience or education, in addition to submission of personal essays, resumes, and letters of recommendation.


Program coursework is devised to teach students about business administration in the music industry through courses on artist management, intellectual property, contract law, and strategic marketing. Students can complete an internship or thesis in an entertainment setting to gain practical skills. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

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

Career Choices

Program graduates can choose from a broad array of career opportunities. Professionals with the legal aspects of music, knowledge in contract management and business administration, and the marketing process are in demand in the music industry. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Music publisher
•Booking Agent
•Product Manager
•Entertainment writer
•Artist manager

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may earn doctoral degrees in music theory, music technology, or music history. These degrees can lead to careers as music librarians, professors or researchers at universities, or publishers in the recording industry. Through doctoral programs, students are offered a link between artistry in the entertainment industry and scholarly research.

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