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MBA in Music Business Degree Online MBA in Music Business

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Register By: February 20 Classes Start: February 22

The MBA that Fits Your Life

  • Under $19K total tuition
  • Complete in about 1 year
  • In partnership with Berklee College of Music
  • Program accredited by ACBSP
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Curriculum revised in 2021

MBA in Music Business Degree Program Overview

Earn the business degree that best fits the music industry with the innovative Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Music Business from Southern New Hampshire University and Berklee College of Music.

The music business is rapidly changing. New production technologies, distribution methods and economic realities are creating new opportunities and challenging entrepreneurs who want to shape the industry. Success today depends on creative leaders who are well-versed in music business best practices that will continue to be relevant tomorrow.

The skills you learn in an MBA program apply to advanced career paths everywhere, but the teachings of traditional business – especially those around leadership, innovation, strategy and measuring success – are all valuable and very applicable to the music industry.

As Mike King, vice president of enrollment management and marketing and CMO of Berklee Online, explains: "SNHU is a leader in online learning with an expertise in business; Berklee is one of the most respected music colleges in the world. Together, we're helping professionals get eyes – and ears – on their music."

The online MBA in Music Business program includes 4 courses from the internationally respected Berklee College of Music. Each course will help you build the music-specific knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the industry.

Paired with core business courses from SNHU, you'll gain the foundational, interdisciplinary experience of a comprehensive MBA. Graduates of this program will receive a co-branded diploma from both SNHU and Berklee – giving you the name recognition of two major players in higher education.

An innovative, high-quality music business degree, our MBA in Music Business is one of the most affordable MBAs in the nation – and can be completed in about a year as a full-time student.

The program is a perfect fit for executives, artists, managers, record label employees and music entrepreneurs.

Learn how to:

  • Integrate, synthesize and apply business practices in a music business context
  • Analyze and interpret data for decision-making
  • Develop and foster adaptable strategies for an organization
  • Evaluate and implement various models and processes in the design and continuous improvement of organizations and their practices
  • Cultivate globally aware and culturally responsive teams and organizations
  • Create and implement plans around cultural, ethical and legal standards, as well as sustainable practices

Plus, with multiple term starts per year, no GRE/GMAT scores required and the flexibility to complete your coursework online with fluid deadlines, you'll be empowered to earn a reputable degree on your terms.

Career Outlook

The past few decades have seen tremendous changes in the way music is produced, distributed and promoted.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), U.S. recorded music revenue grew to $11.1 billion in 2019.1 Of those numbers, total revenues from streaming services rose to $8.8 billion – accounting for nearly 80% of all recorded music revenue.1

The live music industry has had to adapt amid public safety concerns brought on by a global pandemic. Music fans can now attend massive virtual shows from the comfort of their living rooms – presenting artists, producers and promoters with a new set of challenges in navigating and monetizing these experiences.

Meanwhile, artists, many paid per stream, are recording and releasing their music independently, without a record label at all. The industry is also trending toward multimedia experiences more than ever – with video streaming, social media and video games playing a pivotal role in reaching listeners.

As a result, musicians and entrepreneurs must develop the skills and tech-savvy to not only create a polished product, but put it out into the world. In partnership with Berklee College of Music, SNHU's MBA in Music Business does exactly that.

Ingrid Gerdes with the text Ingrid GerdesAlready an established artist in her own right, Ingrid Gerdes ’20 knew she wanted to fine-tune her business skills.

There was just one problem. As a touring musician and leadership chair for the Boston chapter of the Women in Music organization, she needed a program that could fit her life.

“Being able to attend classes ... virtually was a key deciding factor for me when choosing an MBA program,” she said. “It allowed me to continue my work while pursuing my degree.”

Now, Gerdes is armed with the skills she needs to pursue her goals — from growing her own voiceover company, to establishing a music festival that could help provide a whole new platform for her peers.

Vivek Paul with the text Vivek Paul"I think there's a huge gap for the whole creative industry to be educated," adds Vivek Paul ’13. Even with 20 years of industry experience under his belt, the MBA in Music Business program gave Paul tools he could use "real time" to support up-and-coming artists.

The online music business program by SNHU and Berklee can help prepare you for a variety of careers in the music industry, including:

  • Artist & repertoire (A&R) manager: Plan, organize, direct and negotiate on behalf of musical artists. Manage relationships among musicians, publishers and booking agents. Negotiate contracts and build sustainable career paths.
  • Booking agent: Facilitate logistics involved in live performances, from securing venues to setting up hospitality. Collaborate with artist management and event promoters. Manage various aspects of contract negotiation, copyright law, sales, marketing and event planning.
  • Publicist: Work with media outlets, marketers and venues to help raise an artist’s profile and shape their image. Publicists pitch stories, manage an artist’s reputation and influence PR strategy.
  • Tour manager: Manage every aspect of concert tours, from transportation and accommodations to scheduling, merchandise and finances. Tour managers have a talent for details and logistics and a love of travel.
  • Music publisher: Oversee rights, restrictions, exclusivities and payments related to commercial contracts with songwriters and composers. Review drafts of agreements prepared by attorneys.
  • Promoter: Organize concerts, nightclub appearances and other events. Promoters conceive events, hire staff, choose venues, promote the event and plan logistics.

The MBA in music can also help prepare you for careers as a music marketing professional, music supervisor, entrepreneur, artist relations representative, copyright administrator, instrument distributor and concert promoter.

Plus, earning an MBA is an important step in a business career. It has the potential to lead to a bump in pay. According to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the median base salary for the class of 2020 is projected to be $105,000.2

The same survey noted that even in mid-2020 – during the pandemic – that hiring would rebound: About 89% of recruiters surveyed at that time planned to hire MBAs in 2021.2

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Music Business Degree

Courses & Curriculum

In 2021, the curriculum for SNHU's MBA program was revised to better meet students' needs. Courses now include more multimedia content and real-world business activities that give you the opportunity to gain job-ready skills even before you graduate.

The MBA in Music Business program is now only 10 classes.

Robert Benincasa with the text Robert BenincasaWhile all of SNHU’s online MBA programs include required core classes, the music business focus offers “different branches of the same tree,” said Robert Benincasa, a graduate academic advisor for MBA music students. “It is important for students to know that this not a music degree; it is a business degree. Above all things, it is an MBA.”

While you'll learn traditional subjects like marketing, finance and ethics, they'll all be woven through your courses, giving you a more efficient MBA experience. As a bonus, you'll be able to "earn as you learn," meaning the coursework gives you the knowledge to help you earn industry-recognized certifications and badges throughout your program.

Additionally, as a student of the online MBA in Music Business, you'll replace one required SNHU MBA course – Organizational Strategy in a Global Environment – with Music Business Leadership and Ethics.

Plus, you'll have 3 concentration courses from Berklee, which explore the practical application of business principles and best practices in the music industry. Courses include:

  • Music Business Leadership and Ethics, which examines music industry leadership scenarios while exploring the characteristics of notable leaders and different leadership approaches. It also explores ethics from a wide variety of industries to gain an understanding about why ethical choices are important. You'll analyze current issues affecting the music industry, such as the treatment of artists, intellectual property rights, revenue sharing and digital media and distribution.
  • Music Business Structures and Strategies, which offers an in-depth look at the structure of the evolving music business and strategies for creating successful business models. You'll navigate through the critical areas of the music industry, including publishing and licensing; marketing, promotion and retail; proper utilization of free music; fan funding and other forms of creative revenue for musicians; and new business opportunities. You'll learn, for example, just how important publishing is in protecting an artist's work. Plus, with new opportunities arising to license music for visual media such as film or video games, you'll discover how to use unexpected channels to reach new audiences.
  • Music Marketing Strategies, which examines the tools and emerging technologies used to generate interest in music, acquire new fans and sell content. It covers online music marketing – the opportunities available, case studies on how artists are generating interest online, ways to optimize the fan experience and the major differences between online and physical marketing campaigns. At the end of the course, you'll use everything you've learned to create a marketing plan – giving you the opportunity to flesh out a strategy that excites and invites new listeners.
  • Music Business Finance, which explores how to apply critical tools of financial analysis to leverage talent, assess the potential of music enterprises and drive new music businesses. You'll take a look at nontraditional forms of music funding, such as venture capital and crowdfunding opportunities like Kickstarter. You'll specifically focus on 3 distinct components: financial calculations; money, markets and the music business; and music funding.

Don't have a business background? No problem. Our MBA is accessible to everyone. Interested students must have a conferred undergraduate degree for acceptance, but it can be in any field. Those without an undergraduate degree in business or a related field may be asked to complete up to 2 foundation courses to get started. These foundations cover essential business skill sets and can be used to satisfy elective requirements for the general-track MBA. With foundations, the maximum length of your online MBA would be 36 credits.

Attend full time or part time. Students in the MBA have the option to enroll full time (at 2 classes per term) or part time (with 1 class per term). Full-time students should be able to complete the program in about 1 year, while part-time students could finish in about 2 years. Our SNHU students are busy, often juggling jobs, family and other obligations, so you may want to work with your academic advisor to identify the course plan that works for you. The good news is, you can switch from full time to part time and back again as often as you want.

Learn more about the prestigious, Boston-based Berklee College of Music – the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627 $9,405 
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References