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Bachelor of Arts in Music (Music Business)

Available Minors: Music Performance, Music Production, Music Composition

A solid music business education begins with traditional music industry operations and moves quickly to the contemporary digital world of doing business. From the birth of music publishing to the explosion of digital income streams, the music industry is constantly evolving new and radical music business models. Students are grounded with an extensive knowledge of copyright and contract law, royalty streams, and artist’s rights.  Running their own music and media company gives music students experience with independent labels and direct marketing.  McNally Smith College of Music students also gain practical experience through internships in the music communities of the Twin Cities, Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville via McNally Smith’s inside track with the music industry’s leading entrepreneurs.

Recommended Course Schedule
120 credits (43 Major, 26 Music, 11 Elective, 40 Liberal Arts)

1st Semester 

  • BUS 118 Music Industry Economics (3)
  • BUS 105 Music Industry Careers (3)
  • MUS 107 Music Theory I (2)
  • MUS 100K Keyboard Lab I (1)
  • MUS 140 Ear Training I (1)
  • ENS 150 Large Ensemble (1)
  • Liberal Arts Courses (1)

Total Credits: 11 + Liberal Arts credits


2nd Semester

  • BUS 129 New Media Strategies (Lecture + Lab) (4)
  • BUS 211 Financial Accounting (3)
  • MUS 121 Music Theory II (2)
  • MUS 102K Keyboard Lab II (1)
  • MUS 141 Ear Training II (1)
  • ENS 100 Ensemble (1)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 12 + Liberal Arts credits


3rd Semester

  • BUS 319 Legal Aspects of Music & Entertainment (3)
  • MUS 211 Music Theory III (2)
  • MUS 208 Ear Training III (1) May substitute MUS 131 Songwriting I for MUS 211 and MUS 208
  • MUS 118 History of American Popular Music (3)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 9 + Liberal Arts credits


4th Semester

  • BUS 310 Artist Management (3)
  • BUS 323 Copyright and Music Publishing (3)
  • MUS 221 Music Theory IV (2)
  • MUS 209 Ear Training IV (1) May substitute MUS271 Songwriting & Composition II for MUS 221 and MUS 209
  • MUS 110 Artist and Industry I (1)
  • MUS 151 Music Performance Elective (ENS, APP) (2)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 12 + Liberal Arts credits


5th Semester

  • BUS 330 Music Marketing and Merchandising (3)
  • BUS 221 Managerial Accounting (3)
  • APP 100 Applied Music (1)
  • MUS 130 Artist and Industry Seminar II (1)
  • MUS 143 Desktop Music Publishing (1)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 9 + Liberal Arts credits


6th Semester

  • BUS 317 Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management (3)
  • BUS*** Business elective (3)
  • APP 100 Applied Music (1)
  • MUS 150 Music Performance Elective (ENS, APP) (2)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 9 + Liberal Arts credits


7th Semester

  • BUS 340 Strategic Management in the Music & Entertainment Industries (3)
  • APP 100 Applied Music (1)
  • MUS 152 Music Performance Elective (ENS, APP) (2)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 6 + Liberal Arts credits


8th Semester

  • BUS 3** Upper division business elective (6)
  • APP 100 Applied Music (1)
  • *** *** Music Elective (MUS, ENS, APP) (4)
  • *** *** Elective from any area (1)
  • Liberal Arts Courses*

Total Credits: 12 + Liberal Arts credits


Overall Credits: 120 – 80 major and elective, 40 liberal arts*

*Liberal arts requirements vary depending on degree program. Please refer to the course catalog for more information.

Please be aware that there may be adjustments to the semester-by-semester course sequence based upon: start date, transfer credits, specific department requirements and advisor recommendations.

Bachelor of Arts in Music (Music Business) students are required to:

  • Have a minimum of one semester of a large ensemble experience and
  • Complete their concert attendance form.

36 of the total credits are required to be 300 level or above. 
12 of the liberal arts credits are required to be 300 level or above.

The course sequence MUS 131 and MUS 271 may be substituted for MUS 211/208 and MUS 221/209 upon the approval of the student’s advisor.

Italicized courses are music electives; the italicized courses noted above are strongly recommended for your program, but not required. Other music (MUS, ENS, APP) electives can be chosen to fill the requirement.

Internship (INT3**) credits must be pre approved to be counted toward music elective credits.

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