Responding to student demand, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has introduced a new music industry bachelor’s degree this fall that will set students on a track toward artist and label management, publicity, music publishing, licensing and other music business–related careers.
The new program will involve innovative coursework and student-led projects that draw on broad expertise from new and longstanding faculty at the school, alongside working industry professionals.
The only program of its kind in the University of California system, the music industry bachelor’s degree builds on the success of the music school’s most popular undergraduate minor. With more than a quarter of the nation’s music industry job postings in California and seven of the top 10 U.S. cities employing music industry professionals within 50 miles of the Westwood campus, UCLA is uniquely situated to operate the curriculum.
The major is also designed to attract and support incoming transfer students from California community colleges, which creates affordability and access.
“Our goal and responsibility is to empower a diverse community of exceptional students as next-generation transformational thinkers in the music industry,” said Eileen Strempel, dean of the music school. “The success of our previous programs built our credibility and infrastructure, while providing us the time to assemble a powerful 12-member advisory board chaired by Warner Records visionary Tom Corson to guide us in building this new major’s curriculum.”
Taught by a combination of tenure track faculty and professionals at all levels of the music industry, the new major provides a 360-degree view of the entertainment business, including music and the law, finance, entrepreneurship, artist management, live-music promotion, digital marketing, publishing and music supervision. In addition, the degree program provides creative instruction in audio technology, musicianship, songwriting and production.
“What sets UCLA’s offering apart from other music industry degree programs is the integration of direct skills engagement such as internships, apprenticeships and student-led projects with the liberal arts curriculum of a major research institution,” said Robert Fink, founding chair of the music industry degree program.
Since the Herb Alpert School of Music was established in 2018, it has consistently appeared on Billboard’s Top Music Business Schools list.
“UCLA’s School of Music is closely affiliated with our industry and knows it well,” said Corson, co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Records and chair of the dean’s board of advisors at the Herb Alpert School of Music. “Every business needs people who have the passion and the training that this program will provide. We need future professionals who’ve seriously considered many aspects of the music industry — cultural impact, creative innovation, and operational reality — and bring a fresh, informed point of view to the business.”