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Students who graduate with a master’s in entertainment management can find work as agents and managers for artists, actors, musicians, athletes, and other performers in the entertainment business. They can also pursue careers in producing, directing, event management, venue management, talent acquisition, and other related occupations.

While the average cost of tuition for graduate school is $20,513 per year, a master’s in entertainment management can lead to a variety of high-paying opportunities, making this a worthwhile investment for many students. Full-time students can typically earn their degree within two years.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Program

Choose your area of study

This degree is available as a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Business Administration (MBA). An MBA program will cover a broad range of business topics, while the other degree formats are typically more focused.

Since entertainment is such a broad industry, a degree in entertainment management applies to many career paths. So, before looking for a program, it’s a good idea to know what area of the business you’d like to work in. Many programs allow you to choose a concentration and focus your studies on a particular specialty area, such as sports, television, theater, marketing, public relations, or another field in the entertainment industry. Think about what career you’d like to pursue after graduation, and use that to help you choose your area of study.

Research schools and programs

You should only consider institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in entertainment management program will also be accredited by a respected industry group like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This programmatic accrediting organization has particularly high standards for business education.

Also, if you’d like to do an internship, check to see what’s available and what businesses the school is connected with. You want to be sure you’re getting experience in the field you’d like to work in after graduation.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit the school’s website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Entrance exams are generally not necessary for graduate programs. Most universities require that applicants already have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a related field.

Applicants should submit transcripts along with the application. Usually, prospective students also need to submit resumes, personal statements, one or more letters of recommendation, and a few short essays explaining why they want to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. GRE scores may also be required. Minimum test scores and grade point averages can vary from program to program.

Indeed, each school and program have their own set of application requirements. Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

When selecting a program, review the research you’ve done and consider the features of each one. You may have a favorite, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted to that one, so look at other options as well. Make a list of all the programs you’d enroll in, and put them in order of preference. Apply to all the schools on your list.

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a few in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Be sure to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), check into scholarships offered by the university or other institutions, and find out what other grants or loans are available. Check the school’s website to see if work-study programs are available. If your schedule allows, you can also work part-time to help pay for your degree. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Entertainment Management Degree Programs

University of Miami

Colorado State University Graduate School

The New School

Drexel University

Southern Connecticut State University

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How We Rank Schools

We focused our research on graduate degrees in management for media, entertainment, and related fields. Our list includes degrees such as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

A key eligibility criterion for this list is that programs are offered completely or mainly online. In circumstances where coursework is offered both online and on-campus, students can complete their degree through a combination of distance learning and in-person classes.

All of the schools on our list have regional accreditation. Some programs also have programmatic accreditation through organizations like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Once we found programs that met our criteria, we evaluated them based on their reputation, faculty, flexibility, outcomes, and cost. Based on these evaluations, we assigned each program an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Program?

In an online master’s program in entertainment management, students learn to work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. This degree combines business acumen with creativity, and students will develop the skills needed to lead teams as well as work in marketing, negotiation, and managerial roles.

Many universities offer entirely online programs. All course material is delivered via an online learning platform such as Blackboard, Canvas, or Moodle. On these platforms, an individual student portal allows students to access the course syllabus, schedules, reading and audio-video material, lectures, and grades, and they will receive and submit class assignments via the portal as well. The platforms also feature chats and message boards so students can keep in contact with one another and instructors.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s degree in entertainment management program

  • Negotiation. Whether discussing contracts for high-profile celebrities or terms for an entertainment venue, negotiating skills are essential in the entertainment business. In this course, students learn tried-and-true strategies as well as new, innovative techniques for getting the most out of any deal.
  • Script and story analysis. The difference between a hit play or show and one that flops is often the script or story idea. In this course, students develop a better understanding of dialogue, plot, setting, symbolism, themes, and various literary elements.
  • Financial management in live entertainment. This course teaches students how to create detailed budgets for live arts and entertainment events. They learn how to make different kinds of events safe, fun, and profitable.
  • Legal issues. Whether you’re managing a celebrity, running a live entertainment venue, or running a television station, there are always legal issues to deal with. Various courses dealing with the law teach students about contracts, clauses, salaries, privacy issues, and much more.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Entertainment Management?

Career outlook

If you’re passionate about the world of entertainment, an online master’s degree in entertainment management can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities. With the guidance and knowledge gained from a master’s program, you can find yourself at the forefront of shaping the industry’s future.

The entertainment industry is a dynamic and multifaceted field that encompasses film, television, music, live events, and more. The career outlook for individuals with a master’s degree in entertainment management is promising, as the entertainment industry continues to grow and evolve. Although entertainment management covers a broad range of potential career paths, here are a few of the more common ones:

  • Entertainment or recreation manager — Plan events, oversee the operations of an entertainment facility or venue, and hire and train staff.
    • Median annual salary: $67,220
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 8%
    • New job openings projected: 3,100 annually
  • Advertising, promotions, or marketing manager — Conduct market research, plan promotional campaigns, and supervise promotions staff.
    • Median annual salary: $138,730
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 6%
    • New job openings projected: 34,000 annually
  • Top executive — Coordinate the work of an organization by establishing goals, overseeing activities, and appointing department heads and managers.
    • Median annual salary: $100,090
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 3%
    • New job openings projected: 311,600 annually

Online Master’s Degree in Entertainment Management Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s degree in entertainment management program?

Most universities require that applicants of this graduate program already have a bachelor’s degree, and admission is possible if it’s in an unrelated field. Applicants may have to complete an interview with an admissions advisor or professor.

Some entertainment management programs require that applicants have a GPA of at least 3.0, and transcripts should be submitted along with a resume, letters of recommendation from former professors, and a personal statement or essay, if required. Those with a lower GPA may be admitted on a per-case basis. It’s always best to speak with an admissions counselor before applying.

How much does an online master’s degree in entertainment management cost?

The average cost of tuition for graduate school is $20,513 per year. Private schools tend to be more expensive than public schools, and public schools usually charge out-of-state students a higher tuition rate than in-state students. Expect some additional expenses for books, software, and other technology-related items.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s degree in entertainment management?

A master’s in entertainment management, depending on the school, requires anywhere from 30 to 49 credits, and most full-time students complete the program in two years. Some accelerated online programs allow students to complete the degree in about 18 months.

Is an online entertainment management degree worth it?

Pursuing an online master’s degree in entertainment management can be a worthwhile investment in your future within the vibrant and ever-evolving entertainment industry. The skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities gained through this program can open doors to diverse and rewarding career opportunities.

Online programs offer the flexibility to study from anywhere, allowing students to balance education with work or personal commitments. This flexibility is particularly valuable in an industry that often involves irregular hours and travel. A master’s degree can make a candidate far more competitive for high-paying and influential roles within the industry.

Earning your degree online also indicates to potential employers that you have excellent time management skills and are uniquely motivated to succeed in a competitive field.