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5 MBA Programs to Launch Your Career in Entertainment and Media (2022)

Written by Olivia Wolf

Lights, cameras—finance? That’s right, behind the glitz and glamor of Hollywood are the business professionals who produce, fund, market, and make the show happen. If you’ve ever dreamed of merging your business and creative interests, read on to learn more about the best b-schools for entertainment and media. 

Film production, sports marketing, game development—a step towards breaking into these competitive industries can be taken by building your business skills and social connections at an entertainment-focused MBA program. The best of the best—UCLA, NYU, USC, Columbia, and Schulich—have defended their hold at the top, though we have included a few new honorable mentions. In selecting these programs, we used a combination of Bloomberg’s rankings, program curriculum, and overall reputation. 

Most of our schools are located in Los Angeles and New York City, which should be no surprise given their robust entertainment and media industries. However, Toronto is the fastest developing tech hub with a thriving media scene and should be on the radar for anyone looking to step outside the US. While all of these schools offer specializations in media, many also offer dual MBA and MFA/MA/MS degrees for those who want more experience in the creative role. Career paths of alumni range from managing television networks to directing Marvel movies, and many have balanced their interests in crossover roles. So don’t limit yourself, and check out our five top MBA programs for entertainment and media. 

The Best Full-Time MBA Programs for a Career in Entertainment and Media

UCLA Anderson

University of California, Los Angeles – Anderson School of Management (UCLA Anderson) – Touch MBA Interview

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the US, and UCLA Anderson is at the forefront of cultivating its business leaders. Prominent alumni include Susan Wojcicki ‘98, the CEO of YouTube and Mike Hopkins ‘01, the SVP of Amazon Studios. Students have opportunities to intern at local companies like Walt Disney or embark on a virtual global sports program in partnership with the educational branch of elite soccer club Real Madrid C.F. Though Silicon Valley is known as the epicenter of technology, LA’s tech industry actually produces four times the GDP of its northern neighbor. So consider becoming a Bruin, and you’ll have access to top companies along with a powerful alumni network of 42,000 to launch your career in entertainment. 

Entertainment and Media in the Classroom

The Center of Media, Entertainment, and Sports offers a specialization in Entertainment Management, one of the first of its kind. Classes are taught by a mix of academics and industry professionals, such as the former Vice Chairman of the San Diego Padres. Students are required to take Entertainment Marketing and Entertainment Business in addition to two electives like Sports Management and Music Industry: Business Models from Past, Present and Future.

Entertainment and Media Outside the Classroom

The Center for Media, Entertainment, and Sports also organizes a case competition, where students present their most innovative solutions to industry problems, and the annual PULSE Conference. To play an active role in organizing media events on campus, consider joining the Entertainment Management Association or the Sports Business Association, which organizes career treks to LA and New York, mentorship programs, speakers, and industry workshops. 

Where Do Grads End Up?

6.1 % of the Class of 2021 landed jobs and 8.9% of the Class of 2022 found summer internships in the entertainment industry. Companies including Paramount, YouTube, and PlayStation hired Anderson students to work in functions such as product management and content acquisition. 

Entertainment and Media in Practice: A UCLA Anderson MBA’s Success Story

Erika Green Swafford ‘99 decided to make the shift from hospitality to entertainment by enrolling in UCLA’s MBA program. After graduating, she secured a job as a script coordinator at the Oxygen network while writing screenplays on the side. Green Swafford’s stories gained her admittance to the Warner Brothers Television Writers’ Workshop after which she became a writer and producer on the CBS show The Mentalist and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, earning her an NAACP award. Green Swafford’s most recent projects include NBC’s New Amsterdam and Peacock’s What She Said

NYU Stern

New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business (NYU Stern)

New York, New York, United States

New York is a hub for television and theater production as well as the setting of fan favorites like 30 Rock and Law and Order. At NYU Stern, students can specialize in Entertainment and Media, where they’ll have opportunities to travel to France for the Cannes Film Festival or stay local in NYC with an internship at HBO. Funding is offered by the Howard Gilman Foundation Scholarship to students entering business from the performing arts. Stern’s program prepares students to work in production, marketing, and talent management across a wide field of media including but not limited to television, sports, and radio. Can’t decide between producing and directing? Bridge the gap between business and creativity by pursuing a dual MBA/MFA at Stern and the Tisch Kanbar Institute of Film and Television.

Entertainment and Media in the Classroom

Students who specialize in Entertainment and Media learn about economics, law, and information systems in the context of media industries like publishing and film. Classes include Business of Independent Film and Business of Sports Marketing in addition to The Craft and Commerce of Cinema: Cannes Film Festival. Students can also take up to 25% of their classes at other NYU graduate schools, including the Tisch School of the Arts. 

For those who want to combine their savvy business skills with their more creative film aspirations, check out the dual MBA/MFA degree. These ambitious students spend their first year at Stern, their second at Kanbar, and their third split between the two. Dual degree seekers will need to put any vacation plans on hold, as this rigorous program requires coursework over both summers. 

Entertainment and Media Outside the Classroom

The Entertainment, Media, and Sports Association (EMSA) hosts networking events, career treks, and an annual conference. The club also oversees the Entertainment and Media Solutions program, which challenges students to solve a pressing issue presented by WarnerMedia. Throughout the fall semester of their first year, students have opportunities to attend workshops and connect with alumni mentors.

As part of Stern Signature Projects, another EMSA initiative, students form teams and pair up with a media company to tackle industry problems. For the inaugural project, five students created a distribution and marketing plan in collaboration with the Production Lab for the independent film Cronies, created by Tisch alumni Michael J. Larnell and Spike Lee.  

Where Do Grads End Up?

2% of the Class of 2021 accepted jobs in Entertainment, Media, and Sports. 7.9% of the Class of 2022 landed a summer internship in the industry. Companies that hire NYU Stern grads include HBO, Spotify, and Hulu. 

Entertainment and Media in Practice: An NYU Stern MBA’s Success Story

Cathy Yan ‘14 had an eclectic background in dance, journalism, corporate strategy, and investment banking. Seeking to merge her creative and business interests, Yan decided to pursue the dual MBA/MFA degree at NYU. Though Yan lacked experience in the film industry, she dove headfirst into the program, founding the Production Lab and making lifelong connections with her mentors and cohort. Today, Yan is both a producer and director best known for Dead Pigs and Birds of Prey

USC Marshall

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business (USC Marshall) – Touch MBA Interview with a Student

Los Angeles, California, United states

Located in Los Angeles, USC Marshall is widely regarded as a top b-school for entertainment and media. A whopping 12% of its graduates land jobs in the entertainment sector, more than any other on this list. Students can pursue a Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment through USC’s world-renowned School of Cinematic Arts, the alma mater of Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell. Get ready to find summer internships in finance or marketing at Walt Disney, where dreams really do come true. 

Entertainment and Media in the Classroom

Students committed to working in the film and television industry should consider applying for the Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment. The program requires 16 credits of classes like The World of the Producer and Digital Technologies and the Entertainment Industry. Past instructors include a former president of NBC and a global marketing president of Sony. Classes often meet in the evenings and may be located off campus at a studio. The certificate prepares students to enter the entertainment industry in marketing, information systems, finance, and strategic planning departments. 

For those interested in gaining a wider breadth of exposure to the entertainment and media industries, consider a concentration in the Business of Creative Industries. Students are required to take Business Models for Digital Platforms and Management and Organization of the Creative Industries. They can then choose two electives (from over 30 courses) in the fields of telecommunication, interactive media, cinema and television, music, and sports. 

Entertainment and Media Outside the Classroom

The Business of Entertainment Association hosts the Evolution of Entertainment Conference, which brings industry professionals together at the largest student-led conference at USC. The club also organizes case competitions in collaboration with Warner Bros and Walt Disney, where students vie to solve the industry’s most pressing issues. A four-day trip to the Sundance Film Festival might be the highlight of the year, providing students with networking opportunities and a taste of the red carpet. 

Students who join the Marshall Interactive Gaming Association can solve industry problems and analyze game features in competitions hosted by Blizzard Entertainment and Sensor Tower. Students can also participate in the Advanced Game Project, where they act as producers and UX designers on teams with students at USC’s famed Games Program. 

Where Do Grads End Up?

10% of full-time hires and 14% of internship hires are in the entertainment and media industry. Top hiring companies include Walt Disney, Electronic Arts, NBC, Tic Toc Games, Roku, IBM, TikTok, and Universal Music Group. 

Entertainment and Media in Practice: A USC Marshall MBA’s Success Story

Chris DeWolfe ’97 developed the social media platform Sitegeist for his final project in The Impact of Tech on Media and Entertainment at USC. After graduating, DeWolfe used the site as a prototype for MySpace, which he co-founded in 2003. DeWolfe sold MySpace at the height of its popularity and went on to co-found the video game developer Jam City. The company helped to pioneer the mobile gaming industry with hits like Cookie Jam and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. In 2006 DeWolfe was named one of Time‘s 100 most influential people as well as USC’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year.


Columbia University, Columbia Business School – Touch MBA Interview

New York, New York, United States

Columbia Business School is just a train ride away from NYC’s Silicon Alley, Wall Street, and Broadway, formidable rivals to California’s Silicon Valley and Hollywood district. Unlike the other programs on this list, Columbia’s Media and Technology program focuses specifically on—well, media and technology. Students can fulfill this pathway by taking an entertainment marketing class one term and a Python coding class the next. For those who want a stronger emphasis on writing, consider the dual MBA/MS program in partnership with Columbia Journalism School

Entertainment and Media in the Classroom

Students following the Media and Technology pathway are encouraged to begin with the foundations course Media Platforms and Content. Other electives are categorized into three topics: function, strategy, and industry. Sports Analytics would be considered a functional topic, Internet Wars would be strategy, and Virtual Reality and the Future of Storytelling would be industry. Students can take any assortment of these classes and up to six credits at Columbia’s other schools (journalism, law, film). Bonus: there are no classes on Fridays!

Entertainment and Media Outside the Classroom

Students can join the Media Management Association, which supports the Media and Technology Program, invites speakers to campus, and organizes treks. With no Friday classes, students can join organized trips to nearby companies like The New York Times or Samsung. Annual treks allow students to explore companies that are further away like Disney in Los Angeles, Google in Silicon Valley, or National Geographic in Washington DC. Since 2012, groups of students have also traveled to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. 

Where Do Grads End Up?

1.9% of the Class of 2021 found jobs in the entertainment industry. 2.6% of summer internships secured in 2021 were in entertainment. Multiple students landed jobs at Facebook, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Disney Streaming, 

Entertainment and Media in Practice: A Columbia MBA’s Success Story

Lisa Chow ‘13 leveraged her undergrad degree in math to become a business and economics reporter at WNYC. Seeking to deepen her knowledge of business, Chow decided to pursue her MBA at Columbia, where she was a Knight-Bagehot and Wieger’s Fellow. After graduating, Chow was hired as one of Gimlet Media’s first employees. There, she hosted and produced the podcast Startup, whose first season focused on the launch of Gimlet itself. The company has since grown to include 80 employees and a dozen shows. Today, Chow works as an editor of The New York Times’ podcast The Daily

York Schulich

York University, Schulich School of Business (Schulich) – Touch MBA Interview

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Schulich is located in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the fastest growing tech hub in North America (bonus—it’s also one of the most livable cities). Students can specialize or earn a diploma in Arts, Media, and Entertainment Management or even complete a dual MBA/MFA/MA degree at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design. Alumni go on to work in a wide range of industries including social media, broadcasting, nonprofits, and government agencies. 

Entertainment and Media in the Classroom

Students wishing to specialize in Arts, Media, and Entertainment Management begin by taking Issues in Arts and Cultural Management and Cultural Policy. They then choose two of three electives: Managing in the New Broadcast World, The Business of Creativity in the Cultural Sector, and Business Solutions for Digital Media

Students seeking to pursue the diploma must complete the above plus a strategy study at a media site and an internship at a cultural organization. 

The MBA can also be pursued in conjunction with either an MFA in Film Production and Screenwriting, Visual Arts, and Dance or an MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies, Cinema and Media, and Dance, Music, and Theater Studies

Entertainment and Media Outside the Classroom

The Arts and Media Management Club organizes networking events, professional development workshops, and participation at case competitions. 

Where Do Grads End Up?

4% of the Class of 2021 accepted jobs in the media industry. Employers that recruited at Schulich include Firstlight Media, Bloom Digital Marketing, Groupe Media, Panasonic Canada, Reprise Media, and Twitter. 

Entertainment and Media in Practice: A Schulich MBA’s Success Story

After earning a degree in American Studies with a film focus at Columbia, Christina Kubacki ‘10 worked as an account executive for Yahoo at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide. At a time when jobs in the entertainment industry were scarce, Kubacki decided to boost her skillset with a dual MBA/MA in Cinema and Media Studies and a diploma in Arts and Media Management at Schulich. During her time as an MBA student, Kubacki served as VP of Communication and Programming for the Arts and Media Management Club and graduated with honors. Currently, Kubacki is the VP of Content Planning and Analysis (Global, Film, and Television) at Entertainment One, where she has worked for 12 years. 


Read below for a head-to-head comparison of top entertainment and media MBA programs. You can also contact our team to get free b-school selection help.


Table best viewed on desktop/laptop or phone turned horizontally

Concentration- Tech Management
- Entertainment Management
- Business of Creative Industries
- Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment
- Arts, Media & Entertainment Specialization
- Graduate Diploma in Arts, Media & Entertainment Management
Specialized MBA or Related Master DegreesNoneNoneMBA/MFA/MA
Number of Related Electives13495
Related Student Clubs- Entertainment Management Association
- Sports Business Association
- Business of Entertainment Association
- Marshall Interactive Gaming Society
Arts & Media Management Club
Related Co-CurricularsPULSE Conference for Entertainment, Sports, Technology- Evolution of Entertainment Conference
- Case Competitions
- Sundance Film Festival
- Studio Treks
- Advanced Game Project
- Career Treks
- Professional Development Workshops
Related Programs & Centers of ResearchCenter for Media, Entertainment & SportsIndustry Mentorship ProgramNone
School Specific Related ScholarshipsNoneNoneNone
Media & Entertainment Pathway URL(s)Center for Media, Entertainment & SportsBusiness of Creative IndustriesArts, Media & Entertainment Management
PLACEMENTClass of 2021Class of 2021Class of 2021
Percentage of Grads Entering Industry6.1% Entertainment & Media13% Entertainment, Media & Interactive Gaming4% Media
Absolute Number of Grads Entering Industry222111
Median Salary of Grads Entering Industry$117,500$105,000$91,000

NYU MBA vs. Columbia MBA

Table best viewed on desktop/laptop or phone turned horizontally

ConcentrationEntertainment & Media SpecializationNone
Specialized MBA or Related Master DegreesMBA/MFA FilmMBA/MS Journalism
Number of Related Electives5734
Related Student ClubsEntertainment, Media & Sports Association- Media Management Association
- Technology Club
Related Co-Curriculars- NYU Production Lab Stern Signature Projects
- Cannes Film Festival
- Office Visits
- Student Treks
Related Programs & Centers of ResearchEntertainment & Media SolutionsMedia & Technology Program
School Specific Related ScholarshipsHoward Gilman Foundation ScholarshipNone
Media & Entertainment Pathway URL(s)Entertainment & MediaMedia & Technology
PLACEMENTClass of 2021Class of 2021
Percentage of Grads Entering Industry2% Entertainment, Media & Sports1.9% Entertainment & Media
Absolute Number of Grads Entering Industry610
Median Salary of Grads Entering Industry$140,000$137,500

Honorable Mentions

Harvard Business School

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard sent the third highest number of graduates into the entertainment and media sector in 2021. While the school doesn’t offer an entertainment specialization, it does teach the elective The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sport. Students can also join the Entertainment and Media Club, the Esports and Gaming Club, the Business of Sports Club, or the Art Society

University of Pennsylvania, Wharton

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Though Wharton doesn’t offer a major or even electives in entertainment, the program still tied for fifth in the number of graduates it sent to work in entertainment and media in 2021. Students can join the Media and Entertainment Club and the Sports Business Club to engage with others interested in the industry. They also have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge through classes at UPenn’s other schools, including the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Design. 

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford, California, United States

Stanford tied with Wharton for fifth in the number of 2021 grads entering the entertainment industry. Like Wharton, Stanford’s program doesn’t offer a specialization in the field, but it does offer elective courses like Sports Business Management, The Entertainment Industry — An Intersection of Art and Commerce, and Negotiation Dynamics in Sports, Entertainment and Media. Students can also pursue a dual degree with any Master’s program at Stanford University. Outside of the classroom, students can join the Arts, Media and Entertainment Club, the Gaming Club, the Sports Management Club, or even the Improvisational Theater Troupe.

What Do You Think?

While we’ve highlighted our favorite entertainment and media MBA programs, we know there are many great programs. Is there another business school that you think deserves to be featured? If so, let us know why in the comments below.

Interested in seeing how you stack-up against applicants to these 5 programs? Submit your profile and get an early indication of fit.

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