Skip to content

The Business of Creative Industries

The highly competitive entertainment market demands a professional who is both managerially proficient and artistically savvy. Unfortunately, there exists a significant dichotomy in the skill sets and perspectives of business/finance professionals and creative artists. This dichotomy tends to create problems within entertainment organizations. It is essential that the business professional understand where the artistic mindset is coming from and how to manage that relationship to maximum mutual advantage.

This concentration provides students with an opportunity to gain an enhanced level of knowledge about the commercial side of creative businesses.

Description of fields for which concentration prepares students:
The concentrations listed below seek to expand opportunities for students by including interdisciplinary options in broadcasting, film, telecommunications, the internet, and music. A business foundation is enjoined with courses from programs throughout USC. The program also seeks to clearly identify those students committed to a business career within a creative industry and acknowledge the completion of a curriculum that will enhance their performance in the field.

Description of the academic content and requirements for concentration:
Two foundational courses provide an introduction to various creative industries in which business professionals are hired. The first recommended course assures breadth in training by introducing the student to the creative industries through (a) a review of how these industries are organized and operate and (b) critical discussions of the pressing issues that these industries face. The second recommended course features business development and models for products and services delivered through increasingly pervasive networked digital platforms (NDI), focusing on the convergence of telecommunications, IT, software, content, and media. From this foundation the student steps into a specific area of interest or selects an assortment of courses from those listed below. Four courses constitute a concentration.


Foundation Courses:

  • GSBA-555: Management and Organization of the Creative Industries
  • GSBA-556: Business Models for Interactive Digital Media & Services

Industry Specializations:

Telecommunication / Mass Media

  • CMGT-542: Business Strategies of Communication and Entertainment
  • CMGT-545: Communication and Global Competition
  • CMGT-558: The International Entertainment Marketplace
  • CMGT-570: Economics of the Communication Industries
  • LAW-657: International Protection of Intellectual Property
  • LAW-772: Intellectual Property

Interactive Media / Digital Entertainment

  • CMGT-549: Case Studies in Digital Entertainment
  • CMGT-558: The International Entertainment Marketplace
  • ISE-544: Management of Engineering Teams
  • ISE-585: Strategic Management of Technology
  • LAW-657: International Protection of Intellectual Property
  • LAW-772: Intellectual Property
  • LAW-773: Internet Law

Cinema / Television / Entertainment

Note to MBA students: If you are not officially admitted into the Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment program, the 9-unit limit (below) applies.  You may not apply more than 9 units of non-Marshall courses to your MBA without special permission from your program director.

  • CMGT-558: The International Entertainment Marketplace
  • Finance
    Making Money with Movies (~ CTPR-562)
    Entertainment Industry Finance and Economics (~ CTPR-562)
    Feature Film Financing and the Studio System (CNTV-523)
  • The Business of Representation (CTPR-563)
  • Marketing
    Publicity for Cinema and Television (CNTV-561)
    Entertainment Marketing in Today's Environment (CNTV-525)
  • Film/Motion Pictures
    Feature Film Financing and the Studio System (CNTV-523)
    Seminar in Motion Picture Distribution, Budgeting, and Management (CTPR-560)
    Anatomy of a Studio (~CNTV-589)
    A Motion Picture Studio and How it Operates (~ CTPR-562)
    The Role of the Producer in Motion Pictures and Television (~ CNTV-589)
  • Television
    The World of Television ... How Does it Work? (~ CNTV-589)
    Revolution or Evolution: How New Technologies are Changing Television Programming (~CNTV-589)
    TV in Revolution: What will the future bring?  (~ CNTV-589)
    Global Cable and Syndication - Where the Big Dollars Are in TV  (~ CNTV-589)
    Television Programming (~CNTV-589)
    The Television Industry: Networks, Cable and the Internet (CNTV-522)
  • Producing
    The Role of the Producer in Motion Pictures and Television (~ CNTV-589)
    The World of the Producer (CNTV-521)
  • Technology
    Revolution or Evolution: How New Technologies are Changing Television Programming (~ CNTV-589)
    Digital Technologies and the Entertainment Industry (CNTV-524)
    New Technologies in the Entertainment Industry (~ CNTV-589)
    The Internet and the Entertainment Industry (~ CNTV-589)
  • LAW-599 (or alternate number if/when offered): Legal Issues in TV and Film


  • CMGT-547: Distribution of Recordings: Media, Retail and Online Channels
  • CMGT-558: The International Entertainment Marketplace
  • LAW-653: Legal Issues in the Music Industry
  • MUIN-570: The Music Industry


  • MOR-579: The Business of Sports Entertainment
  • MKT-533: Branding Strategy
  • LAW-660: Trademark

Note: Most non-business classes require a D clearance to register. Check the Schedule of Classes for the appropriate phone number or email address and request your D clearances early.
Law: MBA students are welcome to register for law classes after the JD and LLM students register. If there is space available in a course, graduate students from other USC departments wishing to enroll need to obtain the permission of the instructor via a signature on one of the law school's academic petition forms. In lieu of a signature we have accepted an e-mail from the instructor approving the student's enrollment.

Nine-unit Limit:
Students earning a Marshall master's degree are expected to complete their graduate electives within the Marshall School of Business by taking courses that begin with prefixes ACCT, BAEP, BUCO, DSO, FBE, GSBA, MKT, and MOR. Unless the student is completing a dual degree program, MBA students may complete up to nine units of graduate-level course work at USC outside the Marshall School of Business for elective credit providing the courses chosen are listed in the Marshall ECG. An MBA student may take up to nine (9) units of courses published in the ECG without petitioning. An MBA student who wishes to have either (a) more than 9 non-Marshall units or (b) a non-Marshall course that is not listed in the ECG applied to the degree must request permission and receive approval to do so prior to taking the course. Students in MS and Graduate Certificate programs may not apply non-Marshall courses to their degree unless (a) the courses are included in the published curriculum of the program or (b) permission is granted by the Academic Director of the program prior to taking the course. A request for an exception must be submitted via petition (Marshall General Petition Form) to the student's program office. Only courses beginning with the Marshall prefixes may be applied to the Marshall portion of a dual degree program.