Engaged with the Industry—and the World

Leveraging Northeastern’s excellence in global experiential learning, our program offers a co-op track that allows students to study in Boston and gain real-world experience in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles–and other music capitals across the world.

Expert Faculty

With real-world research and professional experience with the issues facing today’s music industry, our exceptional faculty bring fresh insight and innovation to their teaching.


Through the elective courses, students shape their own curriculum, following paths that meet personal and professional aspirations. We also offer a joint JD/Music Industry Leadership program in partnership with the Northeastern University School of Law.


The Master of Science in Music Industry Leadership program focuses on the core scholarly areas of music industry leadership. Core courses focus on fundamental issues associated with music leadership theory and practice. Elective courses allow students to focus on particular music leadership and management issues, attaining a degree of specialization. This approach allows the creation of long-term skills that enhance the potential of graduates within a fluid and ever-changing field.

The program consists of 33 credit hours:  

MUSI 6000 Management of Music Organizations (3 CH)

MUSI 6100 Music Industry Research Methodology (3 CH)

MUSI 6200 Financial Management in the Music Industry (3 CH)

MUSI 6300 Intellectual Property for Music Management (3 CH)

MUSI 6400 Marketing Strategies in the Music Industry (3 CH)

Electives (18 CH)

Sample Elective Courses:

MUSI 6500 Leadership of Music Organizations

MUSI 6540 Special Topics in Music Industry Leadership

MUSI 6600 Music Industry Negotiation

MUSI 6700 Advanced Licensing Techniques for Music Management

MUSI 6800 Music and Mobile Technologies

MUSI 7976 Directed Study

MUSI 7980 Capstone

MUSI 7990 Thesis

AACE 6000 Arts and Culture Organizational Leadership

AACE 6010 Planning for Arts and Cultural Organizations

AACE 6020 Experiential Study in Arts Administration

AACE 6110 Information Technology for Arts and Cultural Organizations

AACE 6200 Programming and Community Engagement for Cultural Entrepreneurs

Course Descriptions


Department Chair

Daniel Godfrey, PhD, Yale University, Music Composition


David Herlihy

David Herlihy, JD, Boston College, Law


Andrew Mall, PhD, University of Chicago, Ethnomusicology

Rebekah Moore, PhD, Ethnomusicology, Museum Studies Minor, Indiana University 

Adjunct Faculty 

Maria Finkelmeier, Master of Music, Eastman School of Music


Jeff Kushner, Master of Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Robert Lyons, M.B.A. Northeastern University


This dual-degree option takes advantage of Northeastern’s unique and dynamic co-op
program, which provides students with multiple opportunities for real-world, experiential learning at the intersection of law and music business. Over the course of 45 months, students enroll successively in the university’s School of Law (years one, three and four) and College of Arts, Media and Design (year two).

Program Sequence

Year One
Fall & Spring – Traditional First-Year Law Curriculum

Year Two
Summer – Law Co-op
Fall, Winter, & Spring – Music Industry Courses

Year Three
Summer – Music Industry Courses
Fall – Law School Courses
Winter – Law Co-op
Spring – Law School Courses

Year Four
Summer – Law Co-op
Fall – Law School Courses
Winter – Law Co-op
Spring – Law School Courses


Candidates for the JD/MS program must independently apply and gain admission to the School of Law and the College of Arts, Media and Design. Admission to one school does not ensure admission to the other. Candidates may apply to both schools prior to matriculation at the law school, or students may wait until they are enrolled in the School of Law before seeking admission to the College of Arts, Media and Design. During either the first or second year of law school, students may apply to the MS program during the winter or spring for enrollment the following September.

Program Outcomes

Overall Learning Outcomes

  1. Students should be able to integrate and synthesize leadership theory and practice, management theory and practice, music organization development, music organization financial management, and intellectual property management to be informed and efficient managers in the music industry; and
  2. Students should be able to apply and synthesize theories and practice from divergent disciplines to the music industry.

Leadership Theory and Practice

Students should be able to:

  1. apply core fundamentals of leadership theory and practice applied to the music industry;
  2. integrate leadership theories and practices as evidenced in literature reviews, empirical research studies, conceptual models, and case studies within the music industry; and
  3. apply leadership theories and practices to the music industry directly via the creation of music organizations.

Management Theory and Practice

Students should be able to:

  1. describe various models for the organization, operation and sustaining of music organizations;
  2. examine management practices within a wide variety of music and entertainment organizations; and
  3. apply learned managerial theories through organization creation, simulations and group presentations.

Music Organization Development

Students should be able to:

  1. describe how a music organization is structured and operated;
  2. explain the core legal and fiduciary requirements for a music organization relative to ensuring necessary resources; and
  3. write essential organizational documentation such as articles of incorporation, bylaws and business plans.

Music Organization Financial Management

Students should be able to:

  1. identify the core concepts of accounting for a music organization; and
  2. integrate the dynamics of establishing a system for financial management including, but not limited to, a chart of accounts, financial statements, risk policy, and internal control policy.

Intellectual Property Management

Students should be able to:

  1. explain the core concepts of copyright, trademark and patent law associated with music organizations;
  2. describe the management of intellectual property within music organizations; and
  3. apply intellectual property theory to the monetization and protection of musical compositions.


As an international leader in cooperative education (co-op), Northeastern offers unique experiential learning opportunities for its master’s degree students. Students in our Master of Science in Music Industry Leadership have recently worked at the following organizations:

BlueNote Entertainment (NYC)
LoyalT Management (NYC)
Aircraft Music Library (Boston)
Riptide Music (LA)
Dan Hodges Publishing (Nashville)
Island Records (NYC)


The Master of Science in Music Industry Leadership program welcomes applications from motivated individuals whose previous education and other accomplishments show potential for leadership and creative problem solving. Candidates come from diverse fields, including music (B. Mus, B.A. or B.S.) communication studies, business, media studies and other liberal arts programs.

For more information about admission to the Master of Science in Music Industry Leadership program please visit the CAMD Graduate Studies Web site.