Online Entertainment Business Degree Program Overviews

Find out about online entertainment business courses and in which degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Many schools offer online degree programs in entertainment business at the bachelor's and master's levels. These programs, which explore the communication, finance and management skills needed in this industry, go by many names. Most programs are available completely online, but some require a few visits to campus.

In the online courses, students can view recorded lectures and download class materials as their schedules permit. They can communicate with other students and instructors via e-mail, video conferences and online message forums. Students will need a computer with a current operating system and a high-speed Internet connection. They may be required to download additional software as well.

Bachelor's degrees may be offered through a 2-year completion program for students with associate's degrees, though full 4-year programs that include general education courses are available as well. Courses in the entertainment business curriculum cover basic business topics as they relate to the entertainment industry. Students learn about artist management, marketing and legal issues. They may be required to submit a final project. Majors with courses in entertainment business include entertainment business, entertainment and media business, media business, and business administration.

In a master's degree program, which requires 2-3 years of study, students explore advanced topics related to the entertainment business, such as financial management and executive management. They also learn research methodologies and look at current research in the industry. A thesis or final project is usually required.

Bachelor's Degree in Entertainment Business

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Entertainment Business programs are available as fully online programs through 4-year colleges and universities. Entertainment and media business or just simply media business are alternate titles for such degree programs. Many colleges format their bachelor's degree programs in entertainment business as degree completion programs intended for those who have already earned an associate's degree; however, stand-alone programs do exist. Students enrolled in a B.S. in Entertainment Business develop essential communication, leadership and promotional skills, as well as financial and legislative knowledge.

Program Information and Requirements

Bachelor's degree completion programs consist of 61-64 credit hours; the stand-alone programs are approximately double that. Most universities do not require campus visits to complete this program, but some schools do include classes in their program that require occasional classroom attendance. The online format affords students the flexibility to work on their own schedule as long as certain deadlines are met. Online course management systems are used to access online learning materials, lectures, assignments and exams.

Technical requirements vary from school to school; however, students typically need access to a computer, meeting university hardware and software requirements, and a broadband Internet connection. Additional required software includes Microsoft Office, QuickBooks Pro and Adobe.

Course Topics

The curriculum of an entertainment business program combines general education, business, marketing and advertising. A final senior project is undertaken during the last semester.

Artist, Event and Media Management

This course details the career path and functional role of the artist and event manager in the music business industry. Students learn the crucial steps involved in initiating, developing and maintaining an artist's career. Other topics studied include artist-manager relationships, contract writing and target market analysis, as well as the creation, arrangement and completion of an entertainment event.

Advertising, Marketing and Promotion in the Entertainment Business

Students examine a comprehensive set of marketing strategies and promotional practices. They also explore how they apply to the subtleties of the entertainment business. The effect of consumer behavior on packaging, lifestyle, grassroots movements and the Internet is analyzed. Skills are acquired involving the assembly of press kits, licensing of media products, implementation of marketing plans and the prediction of future trends in advertising.

Business Laws and Ethics

The foundations of business legislation and moral responsibilities are illustrated. Online learners identify the functions of lawyers, agents and business managers in the entertainment industry. Copyright laws and other rulings involving the protection of intellectual property are studied. Contract negotiation tactics are honed and publishing concerns are addressed through the examination of legal case studies.

Master's Degree in Entertainment Business

Master of Science in Entertainment Business programs are available, as well as Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Entertainment Management. Within this program, students develop the advanced managerial, networking and critical thinking skills necessary to be an effective leader for a variety of entertainment organizations. The program typically culminates in a master's project or thesis.

Program Information and Requirements

Master's degree programs in entertainment business require completion of 32-44 credit hours. Master's degree programs are available in online and blended formats; combining both online and on-campus elements. The online courses are conducted asynchronously, which means that students can access the online materials at any time as long as assignments are completed within certain timeframes. Students interact with their instructors and peers through online discussion boards, chat rooms and e-mail.

Students need a high-speed Internet connection to access online lectures, video presentations, course material and assignments. Online learners are also required to have a computer with word processing software.

Course Topics

The curriculum of a master's degree program incorporates fundamental concepts and theories from business, finance, entertainment law and management. This program typically culminates in a capstone experience that condenses acquired knowledge into a single business planning and research project.

Financial Management in Entertainment Business

This course examines the important financial decisions and potential problems encountered within the entertainment industry. Entertainment business prospects are analyzed from an economic standpoint with special attention given to key financial theories and funding obtainment strategies. Skills are developed involving financial planning and decision-making, assets management and international business.

Executive Leadership and Ethics for Managers

Students investigate the delicate relationships between leaders and followers in a variety of entertainment business situations. The necessary adjustments in leadership methods and characteristics required to facilitate the different industries within the entertainment business field are identified. Other topics discussed include power and influence, directing organizational change, productive decision-making methods and mentoring.

Entertainment Business Research Methodologies

The different research methods, such as quantitative and qualitative, are reviewed, as well as their practical applications to entertainment business learning. Students use important media studies, literature and previously developed skills to create a thesis project. Emphasis is placed on the composition of a media research proposal featuring a literature review and useful research questions.

Career Information

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in entertainment business are prepared for positions in artist management, advertising, promotions and sales. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2015, there were 13,230 people employed as agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes ( They earned an average annual salary of $95,810 in May 2015, according to the BLS. This same source also reported that there were 29,340 advertising and promotions managers and 364,750 sales managers with average yearly salaries of $113,610 and $130,400 respectively in May 2015.

Master's degree holders are qualified for careers involving the marketing, promotion, direction and production of audio and visual media. In May 2015, the BLS reported the 192,890 working marketing managers earned an average yearly salary of $140,660. Additionally, the BLS estimated that the 104,650 producers and directors in the entertainment industry earned an average of $89,670, in May 2015 (

Both undergraduate and graduate degrees in entertainment business can be earned online, though some programs may have on-campus requirements. These programs are useful for people looking to get ahead in the entertainment industry and gain some crucial business skills, as careers in this field can be competitive.

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