The fastest growing major now offered in collegiate music programs throughout the US is undoubtedly Music Business.
And, it’s easy to see why…
More and more, students and families are seeking undergraduate educations that not only teach them the fundamentals of becoming an excellent musician, but also how to make a living within the industry.
Great Music Business programs are not simple academic theory; rather, they are hands-on, providing students with real-world opportunities both in and out of the classroom to succeed at the highest level.
What we like about Music Business programs are the career outcomes. Music Business degrees can lead to careers in management, production, booking, marketing, either professionally in a music business or for a musician’s personal career.
Many music students choose to integrate a Music Business major or curriculum with a performance major, helping them round out their education in traditional performance.
Many of the schools on here also have strong popular music programs.
The reason for this is simple; many contemporary music performance schools recognize the need for complementary music business and industry training as well.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 colleges for Music Business in the US…
Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
Northeastern has a special program for music business students.
The core of Northeastern’s educational philosophy is the co-op program, a real-world incubator designed to help students place into top companies around the country for an internship during undergraduate education.
When Northeastern released its co-op program idea decades ago, the idea was chided by some academics as being too “vocational” for a serious student.
Today, it is one of the great hallmarks of their education that has been modeled countless times by other schools.
So how does this co-op program translate for the Music Industry Bachelor’s degree program?
Students at Northeastern frequently intern with some of the top music companies in the country.
Businesses partnered with Northeastern include Live Nation, an events promoter in Beverly Hills, Glassnote Records, an American label representing Mumford & Sons and Childish Gambino, and Nettwerk, a publishing and management company.
The program at Northeastern blends a traditional education with the desired training in music business, giving students an edge on what it takes to be a competent musical citizen.
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
The MBET program at the University of the Arts, which stands for Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology, is a revolutionary program combining two of the most popular interests among young musicians today, music production and business.
The core of the MBET program at University of the Arts is acquiring skills. Just some of the skills highlighted in their curriculum include marketing, communications, intellectual property, audio production, and musicianship.
Like other top Music Business schools, University of the Arts does have a partnership with many local companies in the music industry, providing their students an opportunity for internship.
University of the Arts itself is one of the most unique arts schools in the country.
A conservatory dedicated not just to music, but a variety of disciplines, being a University of the Arts student provides students the immediate opportunity for cross-discipline with other arts majors, including visual art, dance, ceramics, etc.
Students who have a keen interest in both business and performance should look into this school as a top choice option.
University of Southern California Thornton School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)
One of the few music business programs that offers both an undergraduate and graduate degree, USC’s Music Industry program is a music business program connecting promising young music students with a curriculum in management, publishing, radio, and live event production.
The excellence of this program begins with the faculty, many of which are among Los Angeles’ most accomplished creative business professionals.
Dax Kimbrough, one of the professors at this program, has over two decades of experience in the music business, previously a Director of Brand Partnerships at EMI Music label.
Another professor, Ken Lopez, was previously a VP at JBL, one of the largest speaker manufacturing companies in the country.
Students in this program must engage not only in classes offered at USC Thornton, they must also take courses at USC’s Marshall School of Business & Leventhal School of Accounting.
This preparation ensures students have a well-rounded undergraduate education from both music business professionals as well as traditional business pedagogues.
Given the school’s desirable location of Los Angeles, the Music Industry program is among the most difficult to get into based on the competition applying.