The 6 Best Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Programs
| TBS Staff
Are you ready to discover your college program?
An online master’s in entertainment management prepares graduates to work as movie or television producers, music promoters, or advertising managers for production companies or studios. The degree provides valuable skills in media leadership, public relations, and management. Many entertainment management careers offer lucrative salaries, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting that advertising managers and public relations managers earn median salaries of over $110,000 a year. This article outlines what to look for when researching the top online master's in entertainment management programs.
Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
The Best Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Degree Programs
Through its Frost School of Music, the University of Miami offers a Master of Music degree in music business and entertainment industries (MBEI) and a Master of Arts degree in arts presenting and live entertainment management (AP Live).
Each program requires the completion of 30 credit hours, and many students graduate in as little as 18 months. The MBEI program offers courses and experiences related to music promotion, live entertainment legal issues, and publishing and licensing. The AP Live degree focuses on management, marketing, finance, risk management, and legal issues in the entertainment industry.
To apply to either of the programs, prospective students must provide a resume, transcripts, a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. The programs may also request GRE scores upon reviewing an applicant’s academic record.
The New School’s master of science in media management program gives students a foundation in managing both conventional and emerging media platforms. Students work with a variety of media, including television, movies, social media, video games, music, and digital media. Graduates leave the program with a full understanding of media finance, distribution, marketing, production, and the development of new technologies.
The 36–credit online master’s in entertainment management includes an internship, in which students work directly with an established professional in New York City, as well as a capstone course, in which students create a thesis or business plan in their area(s) of interest. To apply, prospective students must submit a statement of purpose, a current resume, and two letters of recommendation. They may also submit a writing or creative sample of their work to supplement their application materials.
Located in Philadelphia, Drexel University offers two master of entertainment industry management online programs: an MS in arts administration and an MS in television management.
The arts administration program focuses on leadership in the art and museum world, with courses covering technology tools, management techniques, finance, marketing, and legal and ethical issues. Students may concentrate their studies on arts administration or museum administration.
Students enrolled in the television management program engage in coursework focused largely on principles and best practices in management and programming. They also regularly participate in internships in major media markets like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York City. While most of the program takes place online, students must attend an on–campus orientation and a two–day professional residency. Both programs require eligible applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution, along with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Colorado State’s master of communications and media management degree offers an in–depth study of traditional, modern, and emerging technologies, tools, and strategies that affect how individuals, groups, and organizations communicate daily. The hybrid program involves students taking six core courses in person at the school’s Fort Collins campus. Students may then take their four electives online. The program requires 30 credit hours to graduate.
As they work through the program, students take classes on human–centered design, using tools and platforms that help solve various storytelling problems. Students also explore the opportunities and challenges of digital communication channels, including the ethical dilemmas associated with them. To apply, prospective students must provide their GRE scores and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
UC Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus offers a master of science in management with a specialization in sports and entertainment. The program focuses primarily on management, with courses covering finance, law and negotiation, global entertainment management, and corporate risk management. Students also must take part in an internship in the sports and entertainment industry.
The 30–credit master of entertainment industry management online program also features "London Calling," a travel abroad course in global sports and entertainment management in which students learn about entertainment marketing at an international level. Eligible applicants must have a four–year degree from an accredited college or university and provide their GMAT scores. Those who already hold an MBA may seek a waiver from this latter requirement. While the program does not require proof of previous work experience, staff members view this experience positively when making admissions decisions.
Southern Connecticut State’s MS in sport and entertainment management focuses on facility management, marketing, finance, legal and ethical issues, and global issues affecting the industry. Students graduate knowing how to communicate, how to make sound business decisions, and how to conduct thorough research.
Required courses include sport and entertainment law, sport ethics, operational research, agent and artist management, and sport administration. Applicants to this fully online MBA in entertainment management must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. While the program does not require GRE or GMAT scores, it does ask for letters of recommendation.
Choosing an Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Program
While earning a master of entertainment industry management online, graduate students take core classes in media management and leadership, media sales management, and media law. An online MBA in entertainment management may also emphasize business skills. These courses prepare graduates to work in a variety of media professions, such as producer, public relations manager, and advertising manager.
When choosing an online master’s in entertainment management program, prospective students should consider whether a program’s specializations align with their career path. Some programs, for example, offer a specialization in music management or advertising, which lead to different professional paths after graduation. These specializations allow students to tailor their degree to their interests.
Prospective students should also consider factors such as program cost, time to completion, and graduation requirements. The total cost of a master’s degree varies depending on the institution and the number of required credits. Students can pursue financial aid opportunities to lower costs. Some entertainment management programs offer accelerated or part–time options, allowing students to complete their degree at a suitable pace. Graduation requirements vary, with some programs offering internship opportunities or requiring a final project.Return to the top
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Entertainment Management Program?
Online master’s in entertainment management programs feature unique curricula, graduation requirements, and specializations. Prospective students may prefer a concentration in music management, television management, or media advertising, depending on their desired career path. By researching these considerations, students can find a program aligned with their goals.
Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Entertainment Management
- Media Management and Leadership
- Graduate students learn foundational skills in media management and leadership, including theories of management, social responsibility in media management, and organizational issues in media.
- Media Economics
- This course covers economics in media industries, business models for different segments of the media, and decision making in media industries. Graduate students may also study consumer demand, risk management, and revenue generation.
- TV Management
- Specialized courses like TV management focus on the skills required for specific media industries. This course studies new media, proposal writing, and research strategies for television management.
- Media Law
- Classes on media law cover the regulations governing radio, television, music, and other media industries. The course may include contracts, negotiations, intellectual property, and collective bargaining.
- Media Sales Management
- Courses in media sales management cover advertising sales, media sales leadership, and new technologies in advertising. Students learn about the media sales process and emerging changes in the field.
Careers with a Master’s in Entertainment Management
After earning an online master’s in entertainment management, graduates pursue a variety of career paths. Professionals can specialize in advertising or public relations to promote a client such as an actor or musician. They may also work for a production company or studio, promoting the company’s movies or television shows. The degree also prepares graduates to work as producers.
- Producers help to create movies, television shows, theater productions, and other productions. They make business and financial decisions, raise money for projects, and play a role in the hiring process. Producers may also set the budget and ensure the project stays on deadline. A master's in entertainment management plus experience qualifies professionals to work as producers.
- Median Annual Salary: $71,620
- Projected Growth Rate: 12%
- Advertising Manager
- Advertising managers create advertising campaigns, sell advertising time, and promote clients or groups. In entertainment, advertising managers may develop ad campaigns for clients, or they may work for a studio or production company. A master's degree helps advertising managers advance their career.
- Median Annual Salary: $129,380
- Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Public Relations Manager
- Public relations managers oversee the public image of their client or employer. They may oversee a staff of publicists, act as a spokesperson for the media, and develop an image or identity for their client. In entertainment, PR managers may work for an entertainer or a studio.
- Median Annual Salary: $111,280
- Projected Growth Rate: 10%
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsReturn to the top
Popular with our students.
Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.
Take the next step toward your future with online learning.
Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.