If you’re into the energy of bright lights and big cities but don’t necessarily want to be in the spotlight, a master’s in entertainment management may be what you are looking for!
Combining both business and creativity, entertainment management is a vibrant industry that is rapidly rising. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations are growing by 12.5%! Not to mention, most careers in the entertainment management field pay six figures!
If you’re driven, creative, and love working with people, you won’t want to miss the best master’s degrees for the entertainment industry.
What is a Master’s in Entertainment Management?
A master’s degree in entertainment management will prepare you to work behind-the-scenes in the entertainment industry. Entertainment management graduate programs are a blend of business and creativity that develop students with skills to lead teams. The best part about entertainment management graduate programs is the sheer number of focuses. The entertainment industry encompasses the following fields:
- Social media
A master’s in entertainment may be a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MS), or a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). Most master’s in entertainment management require 30-50 credit hours, which include coursework, a capstone project (or thesis), and a practicum exam. The top master’s in entertainment management require internships or other experiential learning opportunities.
While entertainment management graduate programs vary on admission requirements, you will need a bachelor’s degree in a related field and a cumulative 3.0 GPA to apply. Some schools require test scores from the GRE or GMAT, while others do not.
Careers for Master’s in Entertainment Management Majors
The best entertainment management master’s degrees produce graduates with effective communication, analytical, and leadership skills. These skills are highly sought after by all employers, but especially those in the entertainment management industry.
There are so many career opportunities for entertainment management graduate students. Because this degree emphasizes both business and entertainment, it lends to careers in the entertainment industry like the following:
- Entertainment business managers
- Advertising/marketing managers
- Public relations managers
- Sales managers
- Artist/performer agent
- Artistic director
- Talent manager
If you are interested in a certain avenue of entertainment management, check to see if the
entertainment management graduate programs have that focus. For example, if you are interested in the business side, go for an MBA in media and entertainment management. If you are interested in the entertainment side, look for graduate schools that offer an M.A. in media and entertainment. Keep in mind that most jobs in the entertainment management industry are full-time and require traveling.
Master’s in Entertainment Management Salary Potential
With a master’s in entertainment management, your salary potential will depend on what specific career you pursue. However, the outlook is positive! You can definitely earn a great salary in many of the careers in this industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers, and other public figures earn an average annual salary of $102,070. Producers and directors make an average of $76,400 each year. The highest 10% earn more than $184,000, and the lowest earn less than $36,070.
Art directors bring in a median salary of $97,270 per year, while those who work in the motion picture and video industries make an average of $122,960! Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers bring in a median annual salary of $141,490, while sales managers earn a yearly salary of $132,290.
It’s safe to say that there’s money to make in the entertainment management industry, and a master’s in arts entertainment and media management will get you there.
What are the Best Master’s in Entertainment Management?
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University of Kentucky
Founded in 1865, the University of Kentucky is one of the most comprehensive in the country. Here in the “Heart of the Bluegrass,” you will find more than 200 academic programs spanning 16 colleges, an honors college, and a graduate school. One of the top master’s in entertainment management comes from UK’s graduate school: an affordable online MA in arts administration.
UK’s online MA in arts administration is flexible and affordable. It is designed for working professionals, and there is no residency requirement: all online students pay the same tuition rate. The program entails 36 credit hours of coursework, an internship, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include:
- Social Media Marketing, Promotion, and Branding
- Community Engagement in the Arts
- Art Administration Technologies
Potential students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university are welcome to apply. Additionally, you will submit:
- Statement of purpose
- Writing sample
- Two recommendation letters
GRE scores are not required. Check out this video about UK’s MA in arts administration, and maybe you will decide this is the school for you.
Established in 1906 as a one-room accounting school, Pace University has evolved over the past 115 years into what it is today. Pace University “offers unbeatable opportunity to ambitious students at every level, in dozens of disciplines, and on three campuses.” If studying arts in New York City appeals to you, then you won’t want to miss Pace’s Master of Science in arts and entertainment management.
The MS in arts and entertainment management is offered through Lubin School of Business and one of two AACSB-accredited programs in New York. This program requires 30 credit hours divided into 15 credits of required courses, 12 credits of electives, and three credits in a capstone course. Notable courses include:
- Leading and Managing Teams
- Arts and Entertainment Management
- Social Media and Mobile Marketing Strategies
Pace University’s arts and entertainment degree provides opportunities and experiences that you won’t find elsewhere. Pace is home to the 15-time Emmy-nominated Bravo TV’s Inside the Actors series, which is broadcast to 125 countries! This series recently featured Jennifer Aniston, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt. Check out this link for more information on Pace University’s entertainment master’s degree.
The New School
Since its founding in 1919, The New School, located in New York City, has been all about media! In fact, the first college course that explored the motion picture was at the New School in 1926. The School of Media Studies at The New School is where you find our #3 ranking—a Master of Science in Media Management.
The New School’s MS in media management is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed full-time, part-time, on campus, or online. The program combines business and leadership courses with creative production classes to create graduates who are ready to enter the media industry. Students also have the option to complete a graduate minor in one of the following:
- Business development
- Data analytics
- Innovation and entrepreneurship
- Project leadership
- Marketing and media sales
- Integrated media strategies
The New School Media Management graduates are highly sought after in the media industry. Many jump right into their careers during their internships and before graduating. Some work for leading media companies like NBC News, CNN, and Sony Music Entertainment to name a few.
University of Miami
Known as one of America’s top private research universities, the University of Miami serves over 17,000 students from around the globe. UM consists of 12 schools and colleges and nearly 350 majors. From UM’s Frost School of Music is a master’s degree worth checking out: a Master of Arts in live entertainment management.
UM’s MA in live entertainment is 30 credit hours divided into 12 credits of major courses, 15 credits of electives, and three credits of a final project. Major courses include:
- Marketing in the Music Industry
- Global Live Entertainment
- Financial Management in Live Entertainment
- Legal Aspects of the Live Entertainment Industry
For the final project, you can choose between a live entertainment practicum or capstone. Applications for this MA program are accepted for the fall term only. Applicants should have:
- A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Three recommendation letters
- A resume
Check out this link for additional information on applying to UM. The University of Miami offers the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state applicants as well as numerous financial aid opportunities.
University of Southern California
A leading private research university in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California does not disappoint. Founded in 1880, USC is also known as the oldest private research university in the state! USC Marshall’s School of Business partners with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to provide a formal graduate certificate in the business of entertainment.
USC’s professional business of entertainment certificate requires 16 units from a list of courses offered by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Some of these courses include:
- The World of the Producer
- The Television Industry: Network, Cable and the Internet
- Feature Film Financing and the Studio System
- Digital Technologies and the Entertainment Industry
- Graduate Film Seminar
USC’s business of entertainment certificate is a great way to enter the entertainment industry in a shorter amount of time. Likewise, earning a graduate certificate versus a graduate degree can decrease costs. If you’re interested in USC, check out these Frequently Asked Questions regarding the application process.
Top Searched Programs
Check out these additional top searched programs from the best graduate colleges for entertainment management:
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is ranked #20 among private universities and #28 university in the world, according to Times Higher Education, 2021. CMU offers both a Master of Arts Management and a Master of Entertainment Industry Management that are worth checking out.
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina features a Master of Science in sports and entertainment management, one of the best in the world. The sports and entertainment master’s degree is a comprehensive program that is taught by outstanding faculty and leads to numerous career opportunities.
Drexel University is a comprehensive global research institution known for its experiential learning model and academic rigor. Drexel offers a television and media management graduate program that can be completed either on campus or online. Additionally, this program includes two options: a stand-alone MS degree or a dual MS/MBA option.
The University of California-Los Angeles, commonly known as UCLA, is a public research university with over 40,000 students. Through UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, you will find a Master’s of Business Administration with an entertainment management concentration—an unbeatable combination!
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut University is a top-ranking public institution in New Haven, Connecticut. SCSU features a unique Master of Science in sport and entertainment management that can be completed either online or on campus.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with a master’s degree in entertainment management?
Because a master’s degree in entertainment management produces graduates with business, leadership, and strong communication skills, there are many careers available for graduates.
Most careers involve behind-the-scenes work like business contracts, marketing, and advertising. Some entertainment management graduates pursue producer roles in TV shows, films, or movies. Others prefer the advertising and promotions side of things and become marketing managers.
There is really no limit to what you can do with a master’s in entertainment management. As long as the career you’re considering involves background roles in arts, media, and entertainment, you are qualified.
What classes can I expect in an entertainment management master’s program?
An entertainment management master’s program is typically 30-50 credit hours and includes entertainment business management courses like the following:
- Media Management and Leadership
- Entertainment Business Finance
- Digital Marketing
- Arts and Entertainment Management
- Social Media and Mobile Marketing Strategies
A master’s degree in entertainment management requires major courses, electives, and a type of capstone project.
What is the difference between a master’s in entertainment management and MBA in entertainment management?
While a master’s in entertainment management and an MBA in entertainment management require similar coursework, there are some key differences. An MBA in entertainment management is a Master’s of Business Administration with an entertainment management concentration. Most of the coursework in an MBA revolves around finance, business, and management.
A master’s in entertainment management will include some business courses, but the focus will be on communications, public relations, and marketing. For a truly well-rounded degree that encompasses both entertainment and business, look for an MBA in arts, media, and entertainment management.
How much can I make with a master’s in entertainment management?
With a master’s in entertainment management, you can expect to earn a great salary. Let’s say you want to become a producer or director. Producers and directors earn an average salary of $76,400 each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the business side of entertainment management will result in a higher salary. For example, sales managers earn a median salary of $132,290. Likewise, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers bring in an average yearly salary of $141,490!
How much does a master’s in entertainment management cost?
College Tuition Compare reports that for the 2020-2021 year, the average tuition cost of colleges offering Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management programs is $21,186.
You probably won’t find a cheap entertainment management degree, but you can definitely find some affordable ones. High-value colleges with entertainment management master’s programs will offer in-state tuition regardless of whether you live in-state or out-of-state.
While the cost of a master’s in entertainment management depends on the graduate school, online degrees are generally cheaper. The cheapest masters of entertainment management will be offered online since you won’t have to pay for housing and out-of-state tuition.
Regardless of the art and entertainment graduate school’s tuition, you can fill out the FASFA and get any financial aid that you qualify for. You can also apply for scholarship opportunities, which often go unnoticed by students. Don’t let cost deter you. Do your research, and you will find low-cost masters of entertainment management out there.
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