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Music Industry Program OverviewWatch the Video
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Music Industry Program Facilities

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Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre sits with a couple students during sessions for Making Moves

Music Industry Undergraduate Degree Program

What is a Degree in Music Industry?

The Music Industry degree program at the Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is a four-year undergraduate program that focuses on the business, management, and technology of the music industry. This is an exciting time in the music industry. Everything about how music is recorded, produced, promoted, delivered and monetized is changing, seemingly on a weekly basis. These rapid changes demand that industry professionals possess a solid understanding of how the music industry fits into the larger entertainment industry. Success in the music industry also requires management and business skills, including an understanding of contracts and the legal issues regarding intellectual property, technological acumen, and the ability to innovate, integrate and adapt in an ever-evolving global music business. The Music Industry program awards a Bachelor of Science degree.

Drexel Westphal’s undergraduate Music Industry degree program is consistently ranked as one of the best music business schools in the country by Billboard Magazine. Students who major in Music Industry have access to cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities, such as the new recording studio in One Drexel Plaza, Studio One. Courses are taught by renowned faculty, such as Program Director Jeff Apruzzese, former bassist for Passion Pit and founder of the Berklee Popular Music Institute at Berklee College of Music; Dr. Joe Steinhardt, co-founder of Don Giovanni Records; Tony Dofat, powerhouse producer for top recording artists like Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, and Will Smith; Robert Weitzner, accomplished business executive and Founding Director of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM); and James McKinney, executive manager, music director, engineer, and composer whose collaborators include Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, and Doug E. Fresh.

Why Pursue a Music Industry Degree at Drexel Westphal?

The Music Industry program at Drexel Westphal encourages learning through collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the music industry. Music Industry majors select a concentration—Recording & Music Production (RAMP) or Music Business—but students are encouraged to take courses in both areas, learning both the business and creative sides of the music industry. Students in the Music Business concentration may also choose to pursue an accelerated BS/MBA in partnership with Drexel’s LeBow College of Business.

Music Industry students play a role in the industry as part of their undergraduate experience, by spending two summer co-ops working for employers at record labels, music venues, recording studios, radio stations, or booking agencies.

A music business degree can lead to a variety of careers in the industry. We have seen Drexel Music Industry graduates influence the course of the music industry in their roles as:

  • Record executives
  • Booking agents
  • Recording engineers
  • Producers
  • Label owners

Music Industry Curriculum

With a curriculum focused on cutting-edge production techniques, current business and legal developments, and a basic music education, the Music Industry program at Drexel Westphal is a unique experience for students who have a passion for the music industry. Students receive hands-on instruction starting the first day of classes using the latest equipment in our recording studios and digital audio labs.

Students who pursue the RAMP concentration take advanced courses in recording, mixing, mastering, and arranging, and have the option to take advanced electives in Scoring for Motion Pictures, Video Game Music & Audio, and Electronic Music Production. Students in the Music Business concentration take courses in Artist Representation, Music Industry E-Commerce, and spend three terms with Mad Dragon Music Group, an immersive entrepreneurial experience. Music Business electives include Music Merchandising, Touring and Booking, and Media Promotion.

Learn more about required courses, electives, and sample plans of study here.

Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Degree Requirements

Drexel Westphal's Music Industry program offers an accelerated BS/MBA program to qualified students who apply for this option with their initial application. The MBA is offered in Drexel's LeBow College of Business upon graduation with the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Industry. All students who apply for this option must take the GMAT entrance exam.

Students in Drexel Westphal’s undergraduate Music Industry major must complete 187 credits to earn the degree, which includes humanities, natural science, and social science courses, along with Music Industry core requirements. All students spend two terms (a total of six months) in Drexel’s widely-recognized co-op program, gaining valuable full-time professional experience in the music industry prior to graduation.

Co-Op Opportunities in Music Industry

Through the Drexel co-op program, Music Industry majors earn six months of full-time employment experience in the music business prior to graduation. Students complete two separate co-op terms, usually during the summer, gaining a foundation of professional skills and an invaluable network in Philadelphia, New York, across the country, and around the world.

Drexel Music Industry students have completed co-ops at such organizations as:

Resources and Facilities for Music Industry Students in Philadelphia

Drexel Music Industry majors take many classes in the URBN Center, the creative hub for the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Open studio, classrooms, and exhibition spaces provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across the College’s 17 undergraduate majors and eight graduate programs.

In 2018, the Music Industry program opened Studio One, the program’s premiere studio and classroom, designed by the renowned architectural and acoustic firm Walters-Storyk Design Group. The 1,300 square-foot Studio One is outfitted with a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console and cutting-edge recording gear and software. The Music Industry program maintains eight recording studios in total, as well as two computer labs featuring FocusRite Scarlett Solo interfaces with ProTools, Ableton Live, and Logic audio software.

The Drexel Audio Archives is home to the Sigma Sound Studios Collection, a historic collection of approximately 7,000 audiotapes documenting the legacy of Sigma Sound Studios and its pop, soul, disco, and R&B recordings that became known as “The Sound of Philadelphia.” The archives provide research opportunities for students in music history, production, and preservation. In 2019, Mad Dragon Records released Laugh to Keep From Crying, the debut album of Philadelphia soul outfit The Nat Turner Rebellion, fifty years after its original recording. Students involved in the project gained hands-on experience in music mastering, licensing, copyrights, distribution, and promotion.

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