Female student performing at night with band.
Undergraduate | In-Person

Music Business, BBA

Our Bachelor of Business Administration in music business blends the creative and artistic aspects of the music and entertainment world with the strength of a business degree. We are Creating Leaders, Shaping Culture!

Why Major in Music Business? 

Curb College Showcase Concert Series is entirely student produced.

A Bachelor of Business Administration in music business from Belmont prepares industry leaders as they pursue careers in an increasingly complex music and entertainment business. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, we are just steps away from the famed Music Row in the heart of Music City, giving you unparalleled access to everything you need for success!

The entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that characterizes Belmont’s music business degree has created a unique and unrivaled educational niche. We proudly hold the only AACSB International accreditation for a music business program in the world. Billboard Magazine continually ranks Belmont’s music business degree in its “Top Music Business Schools.” Its legacy, with 50 years of educational expertise, is undeniable.

Our music business program is, as stated by Billboard Magazine, a “feeder of industry leaders.” With a music business degree from Belmont, you will join many other gifted executives, artists, writers, musicians and more who impact the industry every day and work to create an even more dynamic future.

Music City, USA and Beyond

Curb College student performing at an ASCAP Writer's Night in the Curb Cafe.

Our location at the top of Nashville’s legendary Music Row gives you easy access to today’s industry leaders by way of our alumni and long-lasting relationships. This city and beyond is your classroom. With a focus on experiential learning opportunities, you will have a front-row seat in the music business and fully draw from Belmont’s longstanding relationships both in and out of Nashville. The University’s “Belmont USA” program offers you a chance to expand your cultural experience and career opportunities to such places as New York City, LA, Washington DC, Atlanta and across the world.

We have established partnerships with some of the most influential individuals and companies in the industry, including ASCAP, Big Machine, BMI, Brad Paisley & Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Creative Artists Agency, Morris Higham Management, the Music Business Association, the Music Licensing Collective, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Sony Music Publishing, TriStar Sports and Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Wide Eyed Entertainment, William Morris/Endeavor and many others. 

Learn from the Best

Our accomplished faculty represent the best of the best. They are experts in what they teach as each of them has worked in the music and entertainment field – as record label executives, publishing company leaders, artists and performers, entertainment lawyers, to concert promoters, marketing/social media experts, venue owners and so much more.  They share their expertise through their gift of storytelling!

Your Path to Success

Ashley Gorley talking with other industry execs at an event
Award-winning songwriter and alumni Ashley Gorley speaking at a Curb College seminar

Your path has been paved by the dreams and work of so many leaders and visionaries who came before you – the largest alumni base at Belmont - alumni artists and/or songwriters, such as Ashley Gorley, Tyler Hubbard, Gordon Kennedy, Hillary Lindsey, Brad Paisley, Tricia Yearwood and Hailey Whitters. And, industry leaders, such as Rusty Harmon (Sony Music Publishing Nashville President), Clint Higham (Morris Higham), Dann Huff (producer/guitarist for Kane Brown, Keith Urban), Cindy Mabe (Chair and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville), Ben Vaughn (Warner Chappel Nashville President/CEO), Carla Wallace (co-founder of Big Yellow Dog Music) and so many more! You will learn from these industry professionals by way of internships, seminars and as classroom guests!

In an industry that is aggressive and competitive, you will build a community that will last a lifetime. From Service Corps events (such as the Grammy Awards, CMA Fest, the Academy of Country Music Awards, Sundance Film Festival and more) to the Showcase Series (student leaders to plan, organize and run five arena showcases plus many other shows) from Belmont East in New York City to Belmont at Bonnaroo down on the Manchester, Tennessee, farm, this program develops skills within a supportive community environment – both within and outside the classroom.

50 Years of Music Business

For 50 years, graduates of Belmont University’s Music Business program have been leading the entertainment industry and shaping culture with an unwavering spirit of innovation — and students today are continuing the tradition.

Alumni Stories: Ranger Station

Steve and Jordan Soderholm are Belmont alumni, entrepreneurs and founders of Ranger Station, a local Nashville fragrance shop. Learn how their time at Belmont has influenced their careers.

What You'll Learn

As a music business major, you'll join the largest department on campus and will master foundational business courses, such as management, marketing, ethics, economics, finance, analytics, law, accounting and other topics.

You'll also take a deep dive into the intricacies of the music industry with courses, such as survey of music business, audio engineering, copyright law and music publishing. You will choose from a variety of other engaging classes, such as internship, digital music marketing, venue management, social and emotional wellbeing, Jay-Z-the business of hip hop, music supervision, the artist’s team, touring, inside a booking agency, music streaming, record company operations and so much more!

Depending on your career interests, you can choose from several emphases:

  • Business
  • Legal Studies (including 3+3 JD)
  • Live Event Management
  • International Music Business
  • Music Production
  • Tour Operations

Program Details


The music business major is equivalent to a double major in business administration and music business, so you won't need to complete a minor area of study. A major in music business leads to the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and requires a total of 128 credit hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 50 hours
  • Business courses: 33 hours
  • B.B.A. core technical requirement: 3 hours
  • Major area: 13 hours
  • Emphasis area: 15-27 hours
  • General electives: All remaining hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

  • MBU 1110. Survey of Music Business
    This course is a general overview and a study of the major functional areas of the music business. Attention is given to the theoretical foundations and practical application of current business practices in the music industry including supporting organizations and the revenue flow from music consumer to creator.
  • MBU 2000. Internship and Career Foundations
    This career development course addresses personal and professional development, career and job strategies, interviewing and networking skills, and internship participation expectations.
  • MBU 2120 Digital Music Marketing
    A study of best practice strategies for digital marketing in the music industry.
  • MBU 2130. History of the Recording Business
    A study of the history of the recorded music business from 1877 to the present with emphasis on the development of independent and major recording labels, popular recordings, social, cultural, economic and political influences, and the stylistic differences of notable historic time periods.
  • MBU 2131 Venue Management I
    A study of venue and event management that provides a practical and theoretical understanding of public assembly venues and how they operate.  Whether part of a sport administration, event management, hospitality or other related discipline, this class will address the functions common to all venues, as well as how different disciplines apply to venue management.  
  • MBU 2520. Copyright Law
    This course provides an in-depth study of copyright law in the entertainment industry including its origins, rationale, protections and limitations.
  • MBU 2610. Radio Promotions
    A study of the major areas of radio promotion as it relates to the music industry. Students receive an in-depth look at the label’s use of charting, demographics, release plans, sales and the role of research in the life of a radio single.
  • MBU 2620. Influencing Culture as a Christian in the Entertainment Industry
    This course examines the role and influence of Christianity within the entertainment industries with an emphasis on how the Christian faith and Christian ethics influences, business practices, marketing and the development of entertainment products and the creative arts, and the role that Christians play as creatives and in professional entertainment workplaces. Emphasis will be placed on raising awareness of strategies for maintaining one’s Christian identity and influencing culture when working in the entertainment industry.
  • MBU 2730. Electronic Media in the Music Industry
    This course investigates the integration of electronic media and the media’s role in promoting music-oriented artists. Emphasis is given to current events, personal, and professional change, and predicting the future influence of electronic media industries.
  • MBU 3000. Music Business Internship
    This formal career education experience enables students to intern at entertainment business organizations for a selected period of time. Grade is pass/fail. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.)
  • MBU 3210 DIY Creative
    Examining Creative Innovation, DIY Creative helps engage highly personalized self-development, evaluating key professional topics such as: artistic and creative techniques; vocal and instrumental frameworks for health and efficiency; self-publishing; strategic planning for brand development in the music industry, and more. DIY engages reflective discussions, interdisciplinary pedagogical approaches, and foundational content pertinent to any creative.
  • MBU 3330. International Music Business
    An exploration of issues confronting entertainment and Music Business firms in a competitive global environment. Particular emphasis includes the manufacturing, marketing, management or financing of entertainment and promotion of the music and entertainment industries which are additional areas of study.
  • MBU 3360. Entertainment Career Development
    A study of personal entertainment career development and management including educational, promotional, and financial concerns of the professional entertainer. Various unions, guilds, and associations are studied from the entertainer’s viewpoint.
  • MBU 3450. Music Publishing
    This course is a study of music publishing income streams, contracts and licensing, foreign publishing, catalog development and setting up a publishing company.
  • MBU 3550. Music Industry Contract Law
    This course examines the background and principles of contract law as applied to the negotiation, creation, interpretation and enforcement of binding agreements in the music industry.
  • MBU 3460 Tour Merchandising
    A study of the business of touring merchandise, including related tour entities, production, merchandise, VIP/Sponsorships, and tour management.
  • MBU 3620. Marketing of Recorded Music
    A study of the theories and techniques used in the marketing of recorded music by major and independent labels and artists to consumers. Topics include market structure and analysis, distribution methods, promotional strategies, charts, airplay, pricing, research and legal issues specific to entertainment marketing.
  • MBU 3720. Public Relations in the Music Industry
    An applied based overview of the functions and tools of public relations (PR) techniques used to affect public perception and image of an artist within the music industry. Topics include the analysis of media strategy and crisis control, the development of press releases, print and electronic press kits, promotional events and artist-oriented news for media distribution.
  • MBU 3740. Music Supervision In Film and Television
    This course presents the role of the Music Supervisor through an analysis of scripts and the exploration of the musical, financial, legal, and production aspects of placing music in film, television, and other entertainment media.
  • MBU 3760. A & R Administration
    This course presents the artist and repertoire (A & R) operations of recording companies including how contractual obligations impact activities and profitability and how music products are delivered and archived for future re-purposing.
  • MBU 4015. Senior Capstone
    This course is a culminating experience in the major, which also addresses the goals for the Senior Capstone as defined in the course description for GND 4015. These goals include reflection on the students’ whole educational experiences and on their transition from the university setting to post-graduation.
  • MBU 4200. Record Company Operations
    Practicum-based course applying the operational principles of independent record labels.
  • MBU 4210 Venue Management II
    A study of who, what, why, when and where of opening and running a successful live music venue, including examining the inner-workings of establishing and running nightly shows from a venue owner perspective.  This course will emphasize the entrepreneurial aspects of the development and operations of a live music business.  
  • MBU 4630. Legal Issues in the Entertainment Industry
    This course presents an overview of current and emerging legal trends that have significant implications in the entertainment industries.
  • MBU 4800. Entrepreneurship in the Music Industry
    Entertainment entrepreneurship is based on the process of identifying opportunities in the entertainment marketplace, exploring potential resources to pursue those opportunities and committing to action the resources necessary to exploit the opportunities for long-term gain.
  • MBU 4820. Artist Management
    An analysis of the various aspects of artist management including talent agencies, personal management, performance and recording contracts, tours and artist promotion.
  • MBU 4830. Concert Promotion and Booking
    A study of the role of the concert promoter and the organization of concert promoting, including contracts, riders, venues, audience projections/demographics and finance (budgets, corporate sponsorships, gate receipts, etc.).

3+3 for Music Business into Belmont Law

This 3+3 Program (B.B.A. to J.D.) connects the music business to the legal profession giving students to opportunity to earn a B.B.A and Juris Doctor degree in six years to, among other things, save tuition costs. Through this unique arrangement with the Belmont College of Law, this 3+3 program allows students to begin their first year of law school during their fourth year of undergraduate study (by completing their B.B.A. in Music Business, Legal Studies Emphasis).

This program is designed to allow qualified students, if accepted through application to Belmont’s College of Law, who complete the undergraduate requirements in Music Business/Legal Studies Emphasis B.B.A (including the BELL Core [general education]), the ability to matriculate to Belmont College of Law. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school (with at least 29 earned LAW hours), the student will earn their undergraduate degree (B.B.A), and, upon completion of the College of Law’s degree requirements in the College of Law, will earn the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

Beyond the classroom, you’ll have a wealth of opportunities to explore the business of music, make connections, and discover your purpose.

  • Gain insights from industry leaders like Brad Paisley, Ashley Gorley, Ben Vaughn, Vince Gill, and so many more, whether in our classrooms as guest speakers, at our seminar series, or with them as interns.
  • Study away and abroad through our programs in NYC, LA, Atlanta, and across the world in England, Ireland and beyond. Programs range from a few weeks away to a semester.
  • Intern with one of our industry partners in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York or beyond.
  • Connect with classmates and gain hands-on industry experience by joining one of more than 20 clubs and organizations devoted to the music and entertainment industry – such as Service Corps, CMA EDU, GRAMMY U, and Women in Entertainment.
  • Receive hands-on experience working at events like the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, CMA Awards and many more.

aacsb logoBelmont University’s B.B.A. programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier agency for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting.

Fewer than 5% of business schools worldwide achieve AACSB accreditation, and Belmont is the only private college or university in Tennessee that is accredited by AACSB International for BBA, MBA and accounting programs. Belmont’s program is the only AACSB-accredited music business in the world.

“It’s leaning into the opportunities Belmont is providing as well as the city of Nashville. Everyone at Belmont was doing something unique and had all these wild ideas that made it feel possible to chase those big dreams. And now, Nashville has this super cool community that really supports each other.”

Steve Soderholm (’12), Founder, Perfumer and CEO of Ranger Station

Career Possibilities

Whether you love music from the creator’s perspective or love the business of music, the opportunities you have by holding a Bachelor of Business Administration are never-ending. Here are just a few of the careers you’ll be equipped to pursue:

  • Artist manager
  • Production
  • Publicist
  • Concert promoter
  • Entertainment attorney
  • Music publisher
  • Record Label management
  • Music marketing
  • Booking agent
  • Business manager

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Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Natalie Peterson
Admissions Coordinator
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