Top MBA Programs for Media / Entertainment 2024

It’s often said that there’s no business like show business, a mantra increasingly embraced by business school students. The rising demand from both students and employers has fueled the expansion of MBA programs tailored to the media and entertainment industry. These specialized programs are designed to equip future leaders with the skills necessary to navigate and excel in this dynamic field.

Top MBA programs in Media or Entertainment typically encompass a comprehensive curriculum that addresses the unique marketing, finance, management, accounting, legal, and economic challenges faced by entertainment and media firms. These programs often delve into various sectors such as film, television, music, sports, and publishing, providing a well-rounded education that is crucial for success in the industry.

The media and entertainment industry is currently experiencing a digital revolution. As consumers increasingly "cord-cut" traditional TV and media packages in favor of on-demand streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, new digital players are continually entering the market. This shift is mirrored in the curricula of leading MBA programs, which emphasize the importance of digital innovation. Students are taught how to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape, avoid being outpaced by digital upstarts, and even how to launch their own successful startups.

Additionally, the best Media/Entertainment MBA programs often offer opportunities for hands-on experience through internships, industry projects, and collaborations with major media firms. This practical approach ensures that graduates are not only theoretically prepared but also have the real-world experience needed to thrive in the competitive media and entertainment sectors.

Whether you're looking to break into the industry or advance your career, selecting the right MBA program is crucial. The following is a list of the top MBA programs in Media/Entertainment, known for their rigorous curricula, industry connections, and successful alumni networks. These programs are recognized for producing graduates who are well-equipped to become leaders in the evolving world of media and entertainment.

New York City, New York 178 Followers 249 Discussions
NYU - Stern

New York University’s Stern School of Business runs an MBA program in Entertainment, Media and Technology. Stern is one of the world’s top schools, consistently placed in the upper echelons of the most prestigious MBA rankings. No doubt, the school draws on its fortuitous location in the Big Apple, a leader in media. The media MBA’s advisory board includes senior executives from news site Buzzfeed plus Amazon. 

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Los Angeles, California 103 Followers 120 Discussions
USC - Marshall

MBA students at this top business school in California can take a formal Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment. The certificate includes in-depth courses on the business of film, television and new (digital) media. Noteworthy is the fact that the course is taught by veterans of the media industry, sometimes off-site at media studios or agency offices. That is a fantastic way for students to develop networks that can help them succeed in a business famous for being quite cliquey. 

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong (PRC) 43 Followers 85 Discussions

MBA students studying media and entertainment in Hong Kong know that China is an up and coming media and entertainment industry powerhouse. As rapid economic growth lifts millions of Chinese into the middle classes, they have begun to embrace creative sectors such as film, which is actually the world’s fastest-growing film market, according to Deloitte. With the HKU MBA program, students also have the opportunity to study at Columbia Business School, in New York City, an entertainment capital, and take elective courses such as “Media Marketing and Entrepreneurship,” and “Media Platforms and Content.”

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Los Angeles, California 90 Followers 147 Discussions
UCLA - Anderson

UCLA Anderson runs a specialization in Entertainment Management and Technology Leadership that covers everything from entertainment to sports, content creation and media innovation, plus digital technology. The school leverages its location in Los Angeles, which puts it very close to Hollywood and some of the biggest names in the media business. Of a recent graduating class, over eight percent of the school’s MBAs were hired into the entertainment industry, employed by companies including Paramount, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers. 

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New York City, New York 159 Followers 259 Discussions
Columbia CBS

MBA students at Columbia Business School in New York City can take a diverse range of courses on media and entertainment, crack a range of case studies with media and tech companies, and can participate in active student associations. With over 200 members, for example, the student-run Media Management Association is one of the biggest and most active on campus. What’s more, the course gets superstar media executives as speakers. Among them are Jeff Zucker, chief executive of CNN; Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO; and Mark Thompson, CEO of the New York Times. 

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Charlottesville, Virginia 27 Followers 63 Discussions

The Darden MBA offers pretty exceptional preparation for a career in the media or entertainment industry. The school runs job treks to New York and Los Angeles to meet companies such as ESPN, Sony Productions, ABC, NBC, MTV and Reuters. But also its campus in Charlottesville is close to a number of music management and film production enterprises and the famed Virginia Film Festival. The Media, Entertainment and Sports Club is also a source of networking for students to get into the sector. In terms of programming, there’s a popular second year elective course focused on theatre and creativity, while students can choose to do their final practical business project in media or entertainment.

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Boston, Massachusetts 87 Followers 205 Discussions

Harvard Business School in Boston runs a second-year MBA course focused on the business of entertainment, media and sports. It covers film, television, music, publishing, video games, arts, and more. Harvard is perhaps one of the best-known business school brands, having essentially created the MBA degree and having brought the case study method from law to business schools. That name recognition, plus a thorough education in the business of media and entertainment, is surely a winning combination for anyone hoping to work in the industry. 

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Chicago, Illinois 42 Followers 150 Discussions
Chicago - Booth

Chicago Booth has a Media, Entertainment and Sports Group that is dedicated to helping MBA students land jobs in these highly dynamic industries. The student-led group develops solid relationships with alumni and corporate recruiters, preparing members for internships or full-time jobs in the field. 

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Cardiff, United Kingdom 15 Followers 91 Discussions

Cardiff Business School in Wales, part of the UK, runs an entire MBA program in Media Management that is designed to give students a solid background in business management, married with specialized media knowledge. The course is highly-regarded. It draws on 25 years’ experience among faculty from Cardiff University’s renowned School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, who teach part of the program. 

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Toronto, Canada 88 Followers 112 Discussions
York - Schulich

Schulich runs the only English-language MBA with a Specialization in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management in Canada. Founded in 1969, the course provides specialist schooling in broadcasting, digital and social media, nonprofit arts and social enterprise. It’s taught by world-leading faculty, plus senior industry executives. The advisory board includes directors from Random House of Canada, Sundance Production and the Toronto Arts Council. Graduates go on to work in global senior management roles across the arts, creative industries, even in government.  

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