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For creative individuals with a business mindset who want to lead teams across the many sectors of the entertainment industry — be it TV production, organizing music festivals, or managing a sports team — pursuing a master’s in entertainment management can provide various opportunities.

These programs are designed to be versatile, providing graduates with the strategic, operational, and leadership skills necessary for high-impact roles in this field. Though salaries can fluctuate based on the specific sector, this investment in your education can lead to many lucrative careers. From marketing managers, who earn a median salary of $140,040, to producers, event coordinators, and talent agents, this degree is ideal for a wide range of ambitions.

Typically, this degree takes 18 months to two years for full-time students to complete, with the average cost of graduate education in the United States at $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

How to Choose a Master’s in Entertainment Management Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing your area of study within this particular degree is crucial, as a graduate program in entertainment management can provide opportunities for many potential career paths. Specializing allows you to tailor your education to your specific interests and professional goals, improving your employability in niche areas of the entertainment industry.

For example, students fascinated by content creation may enjoy concentrating in digital media production, while those passionate about music may prefer music industry management. Furthermore, individuals interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of film and TV production will likely opt to specialize in production management, and those drawn to live events — like theater or concerts — may excel in live entertainment management.

Research schools and programs

Now that you have a specialization in mind, you can use this knowledge to narrow your focus when it comes time to research schools and programs — potentially producing better results aligned with your career aspirations. Of course, there are other elements to consider at this time, such as:

  • What are the faculty’s backgrounds and areas of expertise?
  • Are there industry partnerships or internships available?
  • How does the program support career development in this specialization?
  • What are alum outcomes in my specialization area?

You can find this information on university websites by directly inquiring with admissions offices or attending informational sessions and open houses.

Prepare for tests and applications

Once you’ve identified potential schools for your master’s in entertainment management, early preparation is critical for excelling in your tests and applications.

Gather application materials such as transcripts and letters of recommendation at least two to three months in advance. This allows ample time to complete your personal statement simultaneously, where you can make a positive and lasting impression on the admissions committee. For schools requiring test scores, consider enrolling in a test prep program several months before your application deadlines to boost your scores.

Select your program

While the arrival of acceptance letters is often exciting, it can also mean you have a significant decision to make. Take some time to revisit your initial criteria, focusing on how each program aligns with your priorities, such as curriculum relevance, faculty you’re excited to learn from, and industry connections. Consider the total cost of attendance alongside any financial aid opportunities to ensure you make an affordable choice.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Financing your graduate degree while minimizing debt may seem impossible, but fortunately, many financial aid resources are available to help.

Prioritize scholarships and grants, which don’t require repayment, tapping into both university-offered and external sources. Consider assistantships that offer tuition waivers or stipends in exchange for research or teaching responsibilities. If you’re currently employed, ask about employer tuition reimbursement programs, especially if this degree will improve your job performance. Use federal loans as a last resort to cover remaining financial gaps, ensuring you borrow only what’s necessary to keep future debt manageable.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Entertainment Management Programs

Best Master's in Entertainment Management Degree Programs

The New School

Pace University

Drexel university

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

This list includes programs that are held on campus, via an online connection, or as a hybrid of the two. Many online programs include an on-campus component, so it’s worth asking about this if you are applying to a program that is far from home.

All our chosen programs are approved by the regional accrediting organization active in the institution’s home state, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the New England Commission of Higher Education.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Entertainment Management Program?

A master’s in entertainment management provides students with the strategic, managerial, and logistics skills necessary for leadership roles in the entertainment industry. These degree programs encompass a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses in entertainment law, marketing, finance, and digital media strategies alongside specialized electives for the music, film, and live entertainment sectors.

As a student, you’ll learn to navigate content production, distribution, and promotion with a keen focus on emerging technologies and consumer trends. Many programs incorporate practical experiences through internships and industry projects, offering firsthand insights into entertainment business operations. Additionally, some degrees may require a thesis or capstone course — often beneficial for exploring a particular area of interest in depth.

Often designed for full-time students, these programs can be completed in 18 months to two years.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in entertainment management program

  • Entertainment Law and Ethics: Frequently a core requirement, this course analyzes the legal frameworks and ethical considerations unique to the entertainment industry. Students learn about copyright laws, contracts, licensing, and the moral dilemmas professionals face in music, film, television, and digital media.
  • Digital Media Strategies: In this class, students explore the rapidly evolving digital landscape, including social media, streaming services, and digital marketing tactics. They learn how to create engaging content, use data analytics for decision-making, and develop strategies to maximize online visibility and audience engagement.
  • Production and Operations Management: This course covers the operational aspects of entertainment production, including scheduling, logistics, and project management. Students gain insights into the complexities of organizing live events, film productions, and other entertainment projects from conception to execution.
  • Entertainment Marketing: An elective in some curriculums, this course focuses on the principles and practices of marketing within the entertainment sector, including brand development, audience research, and cross-platform promotion. Students examine case studies and develop marketing plans for entertainment products or services.

Master’s in Entertainment Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master's in entertainment management degree program?

The admissions process may vary depending on the school you wish to attend, but many schools share similar criteria for application materials. These include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

Some schools may also require a minimum GPA or standardized test scores from the GRE or GMAT. It’s important to reach out to an admissions counselor early in the process, as they can provide guidance on specific requirements and tips for strengthening your application.

How much does a master's in entertainment management degree cost?

The average tuition cost of these degrees for the 2020-2021 academic year was $19,749. However, you’ll also need to budget for additional expenses like course materials, textbooks, commuting, and housing. On-campus students might incur extra fees for facilities and activities. At the same time, online learners will likely save on some costs but may encounter fees for distance learning and access to online resources.

How long does it take to earn a master's in entertainment management degree?

Achieving a master’s in entertainment management takes 18 months to two years for full-time students, while part-time students might take longer, often three to four years, due to reduced course loads each semester. Some students prefer part-time enrollment, which allows for more flexibility when balancing a full-time job or family commitments. Still, those with more time to dedicate to their studies may opt for full-time enrollment, which usually leads to quicker degree completion.

It’s crucial to consider the program’s total required credits, as this varies between institutions and directly influences the duration of the program.