Best Music Business Schools: List of Top Schools

Learn about the best schools in the nation to offer music business educational programs that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Read on for more information about school rankings, degree curriculum, and program requirements.

School Overviews

Bachelor's and master's degree programs are offered by two of the best music business schools in the US, located in two of the largest hubs of the music industry business: New York and Los Angeles. Both universities have been ranked by the U.S. News & World Report and provide students with a broad understanding of the music industry and the role of business within it. Some programs require that students have basic musical skills in addition to business savvy.

1. New York University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Music business students attending New York University generally do at least some work with 'Village Records', the school's very own artist and recording label.

New York University's (NYU) music business programs are offered through the Steinhardt School of Business, which tied for 11th among the best business school in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report. NYU was also named the 32nd best national university for 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

While earning the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Music Business, students learn the structure of, and how to think critically about, the music industry. Course topics include emerging markets in music, artist management, ethics in the entertainment industry, and strategic marketing, as well as others. The M.A. in Music Business with a concentration in music technology is for those who have experience in music technology. Students gain instruction in digital audio processing, Web audio, and concert recording

The Bachelor's of Music (B.M.) in Music Business is a liberal arts program with coursework in jazz theory, music history, financial accounting, music in media, and concert management.

2. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

School Highlight: The University of Southern California's School of Music has served as a major part of the Los Angeles creative community ever since its establishment in 1884.

University of Southern California (USC) was ranked 25th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2015 and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The Thornton School of Music has two bachelor's degree programs in music business, which provide hands-on experience for those seeking careers in artist management, publishing, songwriting, radio, and the recording industry.

The B.M. in Music Industry program is designed for students with the music performance ability to enter the bachelor's program in performance, but want a career in the music industry. Curriculum includes popular music performance, music technology, and music history. Those who earn the Bachelor of Science in Music Industry gain basic music skills, as well as knowledge in music theory, business, finance, and writing.

Top Music Business Schools

College/University Name Distinction Location
Belmont University Belmont's Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business is accredited in both business (AACSB) and technology (ABET) Nashville, TN
CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College The Management of Musical Enterprises degree at Baruch combines courses from the Weismann School of Arts and Sciences with courses from the Zicklin School of Business New York, NY
DePaul University A performance arts management undergraduate degree addresses non-profit arts management as well as commercial music management Chicago, IL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor A dual degree that links music business with music performance is available at the graduate level Ann Arbor, MI
University of New Haven Internships in this Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music Business program take advantage of being within commuting distance of New York City West Haven, CT
Winston-Salem State University The B.S. in Music Business requires at least 60 music credits and 12 business credits; a senior recital is also needed Winston-Salem, NC

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