UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to Offer New Bachelor of Arts in Music Industry Starting in Fall 2023

New program offers dynamic coursework, faculty and internship opportunities to help students jump-start careers in the music industry

To meet student demand, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has launched a new music industry bachelor’s degree program that will place graduates on career paths in areas such as artist and label management, publicity, music publishing and licensing. Innovative coursework and student-led creative projects will draw on the broad expertise of new and existing faculty as well as working professionals.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Industry is the only program of its kind in the UC system and builds on the success of the School of Music’s popular undergraduate minor program. UCLA is uniquely positioned to operate this competitive program. More than a quarter of the nation’s music industry job postings are in California, and seven of the top ten U.S. cities employing music industry professionals are within 50 miles of UCLA’s Westwood campus.

The major is also designed to attract and support transfer students from California community colleges, thereby creating affordability and access.

“Our goal and responsibility is to empower our diverse community of outstanding students to become the next generation of change thinkers in the music industry,” said Eileen Strempel, founding dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music. “The success of our previous projects built our credibility and infrastructure while giving us time to assemble a strong 12-member advisory board, led by Warner Music’s visionary Tom Corson. Serve as Chair and guide us in establishing the curriculum for this new major.

Taught by tenured professors and professionals from all levels of the music industry, UCLA’s new major offers a 360-degree view of the entertainment industry, including music and law, finance, entrepreneurship, artist management, live music promotion, digital marketing, publishing and music supervision. Additionally, this degree provides creative instruction in audio technology, musicianship, songwriting, and production.

“What sets the curriculum offered at UCLA apart from other music industry degree programs is that it combines direct skills involvement such as internships, apprenticeships and student-led projects with liberal arts courses at major institutions of study,” said the program’s founding chair Robert Fink said.

Since the Herb Alpert School of Music’s inception in 2018, it has consistently appeared on Billboard’s top music business schools rankings.

“The UCLA School of Music is deeply connected to our industry and understands it very well,” said Tom Corson, Co-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Warner Music Group and inaugural Chairman of the Herb Alpert School of Music Dean’s Advisory Council (Tom Corson) said. “Every business needs people with the passion and training this program provides. We need future professionals who seriously consider the many aspects of the music industry – cultural influences, creative innovation and operational realities – and bring fresh, fresh, innovative ideas to the business. Wise point.

Students and faculty in this major will address 21Yingshi Century music industry’s immediacy and creative flexibility, Fink said. Existing and evolving courses will introduce students to new global markets, streaming algorithms, and the complexities of generative artificial intelligence, preparing them to embrace and disrupt the future of industry.


Recent additions to the School of Music bring world-class research capabilities in music industry studies to its permanent faculty.

  • Thomas Hodgson Focused on data science, algorithmic justice, and the global music industry.
  • Catherine Provenzano Explore how audio engineers understand new technologies and how new music tools are changing the definition of skills and jobs in the industry.
  • David MacfadyenAn expert on Soviet popular music culture, he brought his direct experience from the collapse of Soviet cultural institutions to understanding new models of music distribution and economic value.

UCLA music industry students will also learn from professionals currently pushing for greater inclusion and representation in the industry, including:

  • Lauren SpaldingCo-founder of Femme House, a nonprofit that creates behind-the-scenes and technology opportunities for female, gender-expansive, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ creatives, she brings her advocacy into the classroom in music, activism, and artist classes manage.
  • amy cooney, A songwriter (Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Akon) who works professionally as a gender-complex artist AMES provides a contemporary role model for the diverse perspectives and experiences of students in songwriting classes.


In addition to foundational courses in music and law, publishing, music supervision and artist management, students will learn about contemporary topics including:

  • Data Science for the Music Industry: This course explores data science for music professionals and provides a history of charts, jukeboxes, Nielsen, sound scanning, and recent advances in music consumption monitoring while reviewing the impact of data technologies and the rise of data analytics in the Internet age. Students work directly with real-world music industry datasets and learn basic Python programming for data retrieval and analysis.
  • Music and Activism: An introduction to the history and practice of music activism, taught by activist professionals who combine careers in the music industry with effective advocacy for inclusion and change. Students will learn about artist-run brands and collectives, social justice organizing in media, and arts activism in entrepreneurial and nonprofit settings. Students develop and execute a socially conscious and potentially impactful music-related business plan.
  • Artificial Intelligence, Intellectual Property Rights, and Musical Labor: This advanced course will allow a small group of students to use and explore the impact of predictive and generative artificial intelligence, whether based on advanced DSP (AutoTune, “deepfake” sounds) or large text/music datasets (Spotify, ChatGPT), Meta AudioCraft). Students will explore the economic and ethical implications of artificial intelligence music.

“Our students are challenged to take a critical view of the music industry and the formative impact of technology on music practice around the world,” Fink said. “Since I’ve taught here, UCLA faculty have been Studying the Pop Music Industry. Now, through the power of public higher education, we are on a mission to change that.

About the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

In 2007, the Herb Alpert Foundation generously donated $30 million to establish the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. This gift enables UCLA to strengthen collaboration among UCLA’s three music-related affiliations—ethnomusicology, musicology, and musicology. In 2016, the UC Board of Regents voted to officially establish the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, becoming the 12th school of music at UCLA.th A professional school and the only music school in the UC system.

The school’s faculty are committed to scholarship in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, music performance, and music education, and are therefore able to respect all global musical traditions and balance scholarship and practice. The school has also pioneered new models of comprehensive music studies through innovative degree programs, including Global Jazz Studies and Music Industry.

Drawing on the superior resources of the UCLA Music Library, Ethnomusicology Archives, Western and World Instrument Collections, state-of-the-art recording/production facilities, and Southern California’s rich history of professional music production and strong creative community, Herb. The Alpert School of Music provides students with the practical skills, confidence, and critical judgment needed to become successful music educators, scholars, practitioners, managers, and advocates.

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