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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Music

Music Business and Industry, BA

The music industry is a global, multi-billion dollar business deeply embedded in every culture. With its vast scope and reach, the industry offers many opportunities for those skilled in its systems and practices.

Our Music Industry program teaches the analytical, creative and entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed in the complex music industry field.

You'll gain knowledge and professional field experience in areas of study including:

  • Copyright regulations
  • Music publishing
  • Live event production and promotion
  • music marketing
  • The international music industry
  • The recording industry
  • Record label management

You can choose between two Areas of Emphasis:

  • Acceptance to the Applied Music Emphasis requires admission to WVU and a successful audition. Your audition also may qualify you for a School of Music scholarship.
  • Acceptance to the Multi-Instrumental Emphasis requires admission to WVU and a successful interview with the School of Music (no audition).

Your Degree Plan


Aerial view of Martin and Woodburn Halls

Build fundamental analytical, regulatory and creative knowledge and skills necessary for commercial participation in the music industry.

In our Music Business and Industry Program, we provide a solid foundation in analytical, regulatory and creative knowledge and skills essential for thriving in the commercial music industry.

Coursework covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Music fundamentals
  • Business principles
  • Intellectual property in the music industry
  • Music publishing
  • Live music events
  • Recording industry practices
  • Music product development and placement

These courses are designed to equip you with the practical expertise needed to excel in various facets of the music business.

Our program aligns with the College of Creative Arts and Media's mission of fostering experiential, student-centered learning, ensuring that you receive a comprehensive education that prepares you for real-world success in the music industry.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Applied Music

    Acceptance to the Applied Music Emphasis requires admission to WVU and a successful audition with the School of Music.

  • Multi-Instrumental

    Acceptance to the Multi-Instrumental Emphasis requires admission to WVU and a successful interview with the School of Music (no audition).

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Collaborate with local and regional businesses for hands-on experience and networking opportunities.
  • Award-winning ensembles to showcase your musical talent.
  • Regional, national and international travel opportunities.
  • Partnerships with regional arts organizations and international universities expand your network and perspective.
  • Access scores and compositions by Emmy and Grammy award-winning composer Jay Chattaway, a WVU alumnus best known for the Star Trek television series.
  • International exchange programs to expand your global perspective.
  • Outreach opportunities to share your passion with diverse audiences.
  • Since 1867, the School of Music has been an integral part of WVU’s cultural and academic fabric.
  • Institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947.
  • State-of-the-art facilities, like the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre and Bloch Learning and Performance Hall, are ideal for rehearsals, performances and creative exploration.
  • Professional development resources available to attend conferences, concerts and other professional opportunities.
  • Move seamlessly into the graduate program, offered entirely online.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

  • Mon Hills Music Group (WVU’s record label), where you can immerse yourself in all aspects of music production.
  • Collaborations with local/regional businesses for valuable real-world experience, unique insights and networking opportunities.
  • Internship opportunities for practical experience and industry exposure.
  • Applied (private) lessons and performance opportunities in large ensembles — like band, orchestra, choral, jazz or opera — or smaller chamber ensembles spanning various musical genres.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Sound Engineering Technicians

Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.

Median Salary: $59,430

Possible job titles include: Audio Engineer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, Sound Engineer.

Explore Career

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Median Salary: $70,310

Possible job titles include: Administrative Assistant, Administrative Secretary, Executive Assistant, Executive Secretary.

Explore Career

Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers and Athletes

Represent and promote artists, performers, and athletes in dealings with current or prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $84,900

Possible job titles include: Agent, Booking Agent, Talent Agent, Theatrical Agent.

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Producers and Directors

Plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, stage, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $82,510

Possible job titles include: News Producer, Producer, Promotions Producer, Television News Producer.

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Talent Directors

Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, radio, or motion picture productions.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $82,510

Possible job titles include: Artistic Director, Casting Assistant, Casting Associate, Casting Director.

Explore Career

Technical Directors/Managers

Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, engineering, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $82,510

Possible job titles include: Director, Production Director, Production Manager, Technical Director.

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Audio and Video Equipment Technicians

Set up, or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $51,640

Possible job titles include: Audio Visual Technician, Broadcast Engineer, Master Control Operator (MCO), Production Assistant.

Explore Career

Career options

We equip you for dynamic careers in the music industry, including:

  • Events: Explore tour management, event planning, sponsorships and festivals. Manage venues and oversee stage operations for seamless performances.
  • Law: Navigate music licensing, copyright management and entertainment law with expertise and precision.
  • Management: Dive into accounting, finance and royalty management. Foster artist development and manage recording studios for optimal success.
  • Marketing: Drive radio and concert promotions, and craft compelling publicity campaigns to elevate artists and their work.
  • Other: Explore diverse roles like broadcast audio, music journalism and music production. Provide crucial support as a personal or executive assistant in the music industry.

Where our grads are working

Our graduates thrive in various sectors of the music industry, including:

  • Music publishing firms
  • Business management firms
  • Entertainment magazines
  • Booking agencies
  • Performance rights organizations
  • Entertainment law firms
  • Record Labels
  • Artist management firms
  • Licensing firms
  • Video game designers/producers
  • Music studios
  • Audio equipment manufacturers/dealers
  • TV and film production studios
  • Event management firms

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Music Business and Industry major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

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