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 curricula, and program requirements.

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School Overviews

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music business are available from some of the top-ranking schools in the United States. We'll take a look at a handful of these programs and what sets them apart from other schools.

Three of the best schools in the U.S. for bachelor's and master's degree programs in music business include New York University, the University of Southern California, and Belmont University. In addition to being located in the music industry hubs of New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, these schools have received high national or regional university rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Their programs provide students with a broad understanding of the music industry and the role of business within it. Some require applicants to have basic music skills in addition to business savvy.

New York University

Music business programs at New York University are offered through the Steinhardt School of Business, which is home to the nation's 5th best undergraduate business programs and the 20th-best graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The university was also ranked 36th among the top national universities in the same year.

The Bachelor of Music in Music Business is a liberal arts program in which students complete coursework in jazz theory, music history, financial accounting, music in media, and concert management. They can also get work experience with Village Records, the school's very own artist and recording label. In the Master of Arts in Music Business program, students learn 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. A concentration in music technology is available to students who have experience in this area. Students gain instruction in digital audio processing, Web audio, and concert recording.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles was ranked 23rd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The Thornton School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and has served as a major part of the Los Angeles creative community since its establishment in 1884. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry program which provides hands-on experience for those seeking careers in artist management, publishing, songwriting, radio, and the recording industry. Students pursuing this degree gain basic music skills as well as knowledge in music theory, business, finance, and writing.

Belmont University

For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Belmont University as the 2nd most innovative school and the 6th best regional university in the South. The school established the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business in 2003, which is home to faculty that includes entrepreneurs and producers. Its programs are accredited by both ABET and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. These include a music business major that has a production or business emphasis and results in Bachelor of Business Administration. Undergraduate students also have the option of a music business minor. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Business Administration with an entertainment and music business specialization.

Top Music Business Schools

The following schools also offer top music business programs for interested students:

College/University Name Location Distinction
Baruch College New York, NY The Management of Musical Enterprises degree combines courses from the Weismann School of Arts and Sciences with courses from the Zicklin School of Business
DePaul University Chicago, IL Offers a performance arts management undergraduate degree that addresses non-profit arts management as well as commercial music management
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI Offers a graduate dual degree program that links music business with music performance
University of New Haven West Haven, CT Has internships in their Bachelor of Arts in Music Business program that take advantage of being within commuting distance of New York City
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC Bachelor of Science in Music Business program requires at least 60 music credits and 12 business credits; a senior recital is also required

Students can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in music business from some of the country's top universities. These top programs are unique for the internship opportunities, specializations, and learning experiences they offer students.

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