What Are the Best Music Business Schools?

Explore the typical characteristics of a top-ranked music business school. Read about three top schools in this field, as determined by their national rankings, and find out what music business degrees you could pursue at each school. Schools offering Music Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Characteristics of Top Music Business Schools?

The best music business schools typically have a highly ranked business program that offers a music emphasis or a music school with well-established business programs. You also might want to choose a school that offers undergraduate and graduate music business programs. Schools that offer you access to on-campus music facilities or internships in the music industry can help you prepare for your future career. You also should look for schools that offer opportunities to network within the industry, for example, through alumni organizations or affiliations with music companies.

What Are Three of the Best Music Business Schools?

New York University in New York

New York University (NYU) placed 12th in U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top graduate business schools in 2019 and 30th among national universities. NYU's music business program in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development offers undergraduate and graduate courses taught by industry professionals. You could earn experience through international study in global music management and internships with industry-leading NYC companies, as well as involvement with the university's WNYU radio station or its Village Records company. You'll also have access to the university's James L. Dolan Music Recording Studio. Your core and elective music, liberal arts and business courses will be taken at the Leonard J. Stern School of Business. In the graduate program, you'd have a music technology option that could lead to a career in audio for games and interactive devices. The following are your music business degree options at NYU:

  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Music Business
  • Master of Arts in Music Business

University of Miami in Miami, FL

The University of Miami (UM) placed 53rd in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of national universities in 2019. Your program in the Frost School of Music could prepare you for a career publishing, distributing or promoting music. You'll take courses in business and academic subjects while studying a principal instrument or voice. You will also have access to concert and recital halls, recording studios and facilities like the L. Austin Weeks Center for Recording and Performance and a music technology center with music engineering, computer, electronic music and production labs. The student-run 'Cane Records offers opportunities for practical experience. In your senior year, you can choose an arts management or record industry track. The program also offers a business administration minor and requires a music firm internship. The master's program offers advanced study opportunities that include legal aspects of the business as well as the opportunity to complete an internship or thesis. These degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries
  • Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries

University of Southern California in Los Angeles

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Southern California (USC) the 22nd top national university in 2019, a tied position; USC also tied for 10th best undergraduate business program in the country. The Thornton School of Music offers five performance spaces. You also will have access to the university's music library, which has special collections that include Warner Brothers, Harry James and Ray Herbeck archives. Thornton's music industry program offers two bachelor's degree options that both require an internship. The B.M. program could be a good fit if you have performance skills and want a business-oriented degree. The B.S. program requires music theory and industry courses plus business finance, as well as the chance to choose an industry or technology track. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Music in the Music Industry
  • Bachelor of Science in the Music Industry

Ten Schools That Offer Music Business Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Berklee College of Music 4-year, Private Boston, MA$44,000
The College of Saint Rose 4-year, Private Albany, NY$32,500
Belmont University 4-year, Private Nashville, TN$34,000
Middle Tennessee State University 4-year, Public Murfreesboro, TN$9,000
New Jersey City University 4-year, Public Jersey City, NJ$12,000
Syracuse University 4-year, Private Syracuse, NY$52,000
William Paterson University 4-year, Public Wayne, NJ$13,000
The University of Colorado-Denver 4-year, Public Denver, CO$9,000
Northwest University 4-year, Private Kirkland, WA$16,000
Illinois State University 4-year, Public Normal, IL$14,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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