Master’s in Entertainment Management Program Guide

October 28, 2020

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A master's in entertainment management prepares you to work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, including sports, television and film, the arts, and social media. A degree in entertainment management imparts the skills necessary to help companies and artists make effective marketing decisions, sell products and services, and maintain a presence in the entertainment world.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% and 10% growth, respectively, for public relations specialists and public relations managers by 2026.

An important aspect of entertainment management comes down to maintaining a positive public image. Graduates with this degree can become public relations professionals who boost image, engage with the public, and stir interest for people, groups, and organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% and 10% growth, respectively, for public relations specialists and public relations managers by 2026.

Should I Get a Master's in Entertainment Management?

Whether you work in entertainment or want to begin a new career in the field, a master's in entertainment management provides you with the skills necessary to work in media, music, film, and television. A master's degree in management also offers communication, business, and leadership training to entertainment professionals who want to own or join media organizations that focus on advertising, marketing, and branding.

If you work full time and want to pursue a master's in entertainment management, an online degree may be the best option. Online programs deliver coursework conveniently and flexibly. Recent bachelor's degree graduates may prefer on-campus programs, especially if they value the structure and face-to-face nature of instructor interaction. Because on-campus students work closely with faculty and peers, these programs typically offer plentiful networking opportunities.

During an entertainment management degree program, you study media technologies while learning about audience engagement and media law. Some programs require students to complete an internship with a media company.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Entertainment Management?

A master's in entertainment management prepares you for careers in public relations, advertising, and media promotions. Because careers in this field requires constant client interaction, prospective master's degree in entertainment management students should be extroverted and interested in communication and business principles.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists work to develop public image for clients. They often work as part of a team, using social media and press releases to shape perception for their individuals or companies, using tools like opinion polls to track the effectiveness of their methods.

Median Annual Salary: $59,300*

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers oversee campaigns they design for clients, interacting with the public to analyze which methods will be most effective to communicate a message or image. They also oversee a staff of public relations specialists.

Median Annual Salary: $111,280*

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers boost sales for organizations and businesses but can also use their sales knowledge to create a marketable version of their client's image. Advertising managers design and place ads; promotions managers use advertising and incentive programs to make sales; marketing managers assess demand to identify potential markets.

Median Annual Salary: $129,380*

Marketing Research Analyst

Marketing research analysts study market trends using consumer input. They develop reports on the appeal and popularity of goods, services, and clients in specific markets to help marketers design effective campaigns. Market research analysts may work independently or on teams.

Median Annual Salary: $63,230*

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Choose a Master's Program in Entertainment Management

A degree in entertainment management equips you with training to work in a number of jobs in the entertainment industry. With coursework in entertainment development, production, and promotion, you study audience relations in the industry from a number of angles. When choosing a graduate program in entertainment management, find a degree that suits your professional goals. Some schools emphasize business principles, while others focus on media relations and public communication. Many programs include internships or residency programs to offer students professional experience.

Some programs also have online or hybrid course offerings, which allow you to integrate coursework into your schedule. If you plan to study part time, schools with asynchronous classes provide the best option for you to complete the degree without potentially missing courses with limited offerings. You should also consider location as you choose an entertainment management master's degree. Online programs often have flat-rate tuition for all students, but public colleges charge in-state students much less than their out-of-state counterparts. Location of a program also affects potential networking and job-placement opportunities after graduation.

What's the Difference Between a Master's in Entertainment Management and an MBA in Entertainment Management?

An MBA in entertainment management differs slightly from a master's in entertainment management. An MBA in entertainment management often requires students to enroll in an MBA program with a concentration in entertainment, which means the coursework is often skewed toward finance and business. In a master's in entertainment management, you can expect more coursework focused on communication and public relations.

If you work in the entertainment industry and want to advance your current career, a master's in entertainment management can provide the additional education required. Recent business bachelor's degree students wishing to move directly into entertainment finance, management, and marketing will need to assess MBA programs with entertainment-specific coursework and master's degrees in entertainment management to determine which degree aligns with their career goals.

Accreditation for Master's Programs in Entertainment Management

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education recognize accreditation bodies, which assess program offerings to ensure that all institutions meet the same standards of academic excellence. Regional accreditation, which applies to both public and private nonprofit institutions, is the more common and more prestigious designation, as national accreditation typically applies to vocational and for-profit institutions. Programmatic accreditation, which ensures that a school's offerings adequately prepare students for the professional world, are run by industry-specific agencies. There is no entertainment management programmatic accreditation agency currently.

Master's in Entertainment Management Program Admissions

When you apply to a master's in entertainment management degree, you must consider each school's admissions requirements. All programs require a bachelor's degree, and many also have minimum GPA and test score requirements. Many entertainment-related degrees prefer students with industry experience. Applying to multiple schools bolsters your chances of acceptance, so investigate schools thoroughly, including online and on-campus programs. Online admissions often allow multiple enrollment dates, though on-campus programs typically offer only one or two per year.


Admission to a master's program in entertainment management requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Though your bachelor's does not need to be in entertainment, some schools may require prerequisite coursework in related fields. Students with a background in communications, fine arts, or management are usually well-prepared for a master's in entertainment management. Most master's degrees in entertainment management prefer students with professional experience in management, marketing, advertising, or another entertainment-related field. Applicants do not need to currently work in entertainment but students benefit from knowledge of the industry and of contemporary multimedia. Master's programs in entertainment management require students to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Professional experience and high test scores may offset this requirement. Some schools may admit students with GPAs below 3.0 on a probationary or provisional basis.

Admission Materials

Schools have formal applications for admission, most of which can be completed online. Some schools may require a personal statement or resume as part of the application. Graduate schools do not use services like the Common App. You must submit transcripts from your undergraduate degree and any previous graduate coursework when you apply to a graduate program. Offices of the registrar provide transcripts for a fee and will send them directly to schools' admissions departments. Most graduate programs require students to submit two to three letters of recommendation. Letters should be written by individuals who can attest to your academic abilities, work ethic, and professional experience. Ask your recommenders a few weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure they have sufficient time to write your letters. Many graduate schools require applicants to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). You should investigate each program's minimum score requirements. Students can send their GRE and GMAT scores directly to prospective schools on test day. Graduate school applications range from $30 to $150. Many schools offer application fee waivers or reductions for students with demonstrated financial need.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's Program in Entertainment Management?

Coursework for master's programs in entertainment management varies. Many programs focus on music management, though others offer advanced classes in communications and performing arts administration. Examine specific concentrations offered by each program to find schools oriented to your professional goals.

Concentrations Offered for a Master's Degree in Entertainment Management
Concentration Description Careers
Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries In a master's of music in music business and entertainment industries, students learn to manage digital and mobile media as executives and entrepreneurs, studying music ethics, creative copyright, and licensure. Music marketing professional, music public relations manager, music public relations specialist, digital media marketer, music distributor
Master of Science in Television Management Students earning their master's of science in television management develop the skills necessary to produce and promote television programming in broadcast and online markets. Television producers, broadcasting company managers, multimedia company executives, multimedia company marketers, social media specialists
Master's Degree in Arts Administration and Museum Leadership A master's degree in arts administration and museum leadership teaches students about the financial principles, technological innovations, and marketing skills involved in planning and promoting exhibitions and performances. Students study audience engagement and take on leadership roles in museums and art agencies. Museum director, cultural center director, director of cultural affairs, artistic director
Master of Communication and Media Management A master of communication and media management degree trains students to communicate effectively with audiences, communities, and corporations. Students research and use developing technological tools, communication best practices, and traditional communication strategies. Digital promotions manager, communication director, public relations manager, social media manager
Master of Science in Media Management A master of science in media management includes coursework on strategies and tools for contemporary media practices. Students study internet culture, media finance, and media ethics. Social media marketer, advertising manager, promotions manager, broadcasting executive

Courses in a Master's in Entertainment Management Program

Coursework for entertainment management master's degrees varies by school, but some fundamental similarities exist across institutions. Most programs offer generalized courses in communication and business.

Digital Media Writing

In digital media writing courses, students study communication and technology in the entertainment industry. Students learn to write for digital platforms to engage with audiences, focusing on the efficacy and practicality of various media.

Money and the Media

Money and media classes teach students about funding media projects and maximizing economic outcomes. Students study funding opportunities, especially digital platforms, learn strategies to raise funds, and use cost-benefit analyses and financial modeling.

Marketing and Promotion in Entertainment

Marketing and promotion in entertainment classes use case studies to teach students about marketing, advertising, and promotion in the entertainment industry, applying these practices to digital media.

Entertainment Law and Ethics

Entertainment law and ethics coursework investigates domestic and international film, music, television, and sports law. Students study ethical models for working with entertainers and entertainment organizations, learning about topics like intellectual property and contract writing.

Entertainment Business Structures

Entertainment business structures teaches students about corporate organizational framework in entertainment. Students study development and distribution processes across media, including marketing strategies.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master's in Entertainment Management?

Graduate degrees in entertainment management range between 30 and 50 credit hours. Many programs have classes available online, though some hybrid degrees may require students to take some classes on campus. Many programs also offer professional residency programs as part of the degree, which can extend enrollment.

Full-time students can complete a master's degree in entertainment management in as little as 12 months, but part-time students may take as many as three years. Online programs offer more flexible coursework for students with work or family obligations. If you enter a master's program in entertainment management with professional experience, you may be able to waive some degree requirements. This can shorten the length of your degree significantly. Contact potential programs to ask if this option is available.

How Much Is a Master's in Entertainment Management?

The cost of a master's degree in entertainment management varies. Online programs charge tuition based on credit hours, while on-campus students typically pay one term-based rate, which covers multiple classes. In-state students pay significantly less tuition, though some online programs offer in-state tuition to students regardless of residency status. Tuition ranges from $620 to $1,025 per credit hour, which means your degree can cost between $18,600 and $51,000.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Entertainment Management Prepares For

Accreditation in Public Relations

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) offers this certification for working public relations professionals. Experienced public relations workers, particularly those in entertainment, can complete the APR through an exam and participation in a formal panel discussion.

Certificate in Principles of Public Relations

Students and recent entertainment management graduates can apply for a certificate in principles of public relations from PRSA. Through an online course and electronic examination, future public relations professionals demonstrate career competency. Many schools offer this certificate in cooperation with the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee.

Artist Agent and Manager License

Some states, including New York and California, require agents and managers to obtain licensure to work with artists and entertainers. The process to obtain such certification varies by state.

Resources for Graduate Entertainment Management Students

Variety Magazine

Variety offers daily updates on many sectors of the industry, including television, film, and theater. Subscribing to publications like Variety ensures that as an entertainment professional, you are informed of current news and upcoming trends in the business.

American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers

ASCAP protects performing artists by monitoring copyrights and performances of protected music. ASCAP hosts resources for music creators, listeners, and music industry professionals, including workshops.


PublicLegal provides searchable and detailed information on legal topics including those related to entertainment law. It provides links to legal archives, academic resources, and research indices.

The Alliance for Media Arts And Culture

The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, known as The ALLIANCE, advances the media arts through collaboration and innovation. Entertainment professionals can access The ALLIANCE's resource library, programs, electronic bulletin, and job bank.

Professional Organizations in Entertainment Management

No matter which subfield of entertainment you work in, joining professional organizations offers many benefits, including networking opportunities, industry resources, and professional development programs. Through professional organizations, you can stay current in your field through discounts, access to events, and news updates. You also have the ability to communicate with experts in your field, collaborate with colleagues, and help advance your profession in policies and standards of practice.

Public Relations Society of America

PRSA constitutes the largest group of public relations and communications professionals in the country. PRSA brings together local chapters and professional affiliates for networking, professional development, and industry diversity initiatives, also maintaining job postings and a code of ethics guidelines. Members can attend webinars and workshops.

North America Performing Arts Managers and Agents

NAPAMA members include performing arts agents and managers. The organization boasts professional development opportunities, advocacy initiatives, tax filing help sessions, and networking events with other entertainment professionals.

Music Managers Forum

The MMF-US brings together music managers from around the country. The MMF-US runs advocacy programs, hosts annual networking events, and publishes a newsletter to keep its members up to date on the music industry. Membership to the MMF-US is open.

International Music Managers Forum

The IMMF shares information, resources, and experiences with music professionals around the world. The IMMF offers training, industry discounts, and market insights to members. Members can also network and participate in advocacy initiatives.

International Artist Managers Association

Made up of classical music artist managers across the globe, the IAMA advances the standards for music professionals and the music industry. Membership to the IAMA includes newsletters, access to expert assistance, discounts for conferences and events, and access to the Classical Music Artist directory.

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