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Put Theory into Action

Courses in Business for Creative Industries + Curriculum


The MSLCE curriculum is designed to help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to lead creative people, projects, and teams. Core courses in the business of creative industries teach you the principles that are essential for creative projects. Elective courses allow you to more fully understand the demands, opportunities, and challenges of leadership that arise within and across particular creative genres and to focus on additional skills that you deem important for your career. Full-time students are registered for three to four credits of courses each quarter, which are a mix of the core and elective courses listed below. During the summer, students complete an internship, thesis, or applied project and are enrolled in an accompanying online, three-credit course.

Degree Requirements

Full-time students complete the degree in one year. Start in the fall or winter quarter.*
14 credits are required to complete the MSLCE degree
  • Four (4) core credits
  • Seven (7) elective credits
  • Three (3) credit course for Internship, Thesis, or Applied Project in the summer quarter

 *Part-time enrollment is available, contact program staff for more information. All coursework must be completed within five years of the first quarter of enrollment.

Core Courses

Understanding the Creative Industries

Jacob Smith

Show business is just as much about the business as it is the show. This combination of art and industry has long sparked debate about the status of the cultural or creative industries, and the ways in which they intermingle art and commerce. To what degree can audiences take an active role in their experience of the media? How have technological or legislative developments influenced the way in which media products are produced, distributed and consumed? How can media products be made so that they cross cultural or national boundaries? This course will address these and other questions through an engagement with scholarship on a range of creative industries including film, radio and television broadcasting, popular music, advertising and digital gaming.

Organizational Processes in Creative Enterprises

Pablo Boczkowski

Innovation involves trading off economy of thought for creativity of thought. It requires the discipline of interpreting what we see and hear in organizations from multiple standpoints.  Accordingly, we will learn to analyze situations and craft implementation plans using three perspectives on organizations—strategic design, political and cultural. While leading and managing others always presents challenges, our goal in this course is to use the three perspectives to develop a more complete understanding of these challenges and how to address them.

Economics of Creative Enterprises

Cory Sandrock

This course will give students an understanding of the language of business by studying key aspect of economics, accounting, and corporate finance. With that foundational knowledge in hand, students will explore how best to project the future of their venture and prepare an overall plan. Translating a creative concept into the language of finance is the key skill needed to launch any idea, as every potential funding source asks for certain financial information. This course will teach students how to frame creative activities with the language of business and speak intelligently about the financial data behind any new creative enterprise.

Marketing Strategies in Creative Industries

Olga Kamenchuk

The business models of creative industries are unique in many ways. Further, marketing plays a crucial role in the success of creative enterprises, which not only spend billions advertising and promoting their properties, but also depend heavily on the kindness of strangers (advertisers and donors) to fund their businesses. In this class, students will learn a consumer-driven approach to marketing strategy. After an initial overview of marketing strategy basics and creative industry idiosyncracies, learning from examples outside the world of creative enterprises, before applying the lessons and methodologies to the unique media and entertainment universe.

Elective Courses

Arts and Entertainment Law and Ethics

Rick Morris

The legal contexts of creative work, primarily in respect to matters of contract and copyright. Topics include property acquisition, talent, union, distribution, merchandising, and software contracts, trademark and intellectual property practices, and the ethics of the deal.

Digital Television

Aymar Jean Christian

This course offers an overview of traditional and new practices in the development of television programs. Students will be exposed to changes in how corporate broadcast and cable networks select and finance scripted and unscripted series as well as how independent and corporate digital networks are reshaping the production and marketing of television in the 21st century.

The Power of Pitching + Persuasion

Laverne McKinnon

A successful pitch relies on both your ability to craft a presentation and on your ability to present it. These skills can be mastered and are essential as a leader in the creative industries.  Writers pitch concepts and stories. Agents pitch ideas and clients. Producers pitch projects and strategies. Executives pitch their teams and CEOs. CEOs pitch their boards, shareholders and the public. The key to successful pitching is understanding yourself and how you are perceived, passionate connection to what you’re pitching, and creating resonance through listening and pitch craft. This course gives you the foundation of pitching techniques and strategies as well as the opportunity to discover, practice and master your own unique style.

MSLCE faculty member ERic Patrick who teaches New Media Production Management as part of the program courses in business for creative industries.
New Media Production Management

Eric Patrick

Increasingly, creative industries are creating works in new media, interactivity, game design, and animation, either as stand-alone properties or as part of a larger franchise. These forms often deviate from legacy production processes, and require different models of budgeting, production, management, and output. This class will analyze production processes in a variety of new media forms, including projection mapping, apps, video games, live event/theme parks, animation, installations, and VR production. We will study some of the innovative management methods that have emerged in these areas over the past two decades and develop an understanding of how these mediums effect logistical/aesthetic direction, personnel communications, and product release processes. 

Culture and Arts Analytics

Ágnes Horvát

Big data is currency for those initiated in the nuts and bolts of data science. Building on simple real-world examples and exercises that establish your data literacy, this course introduces key concepts and methods selected from recent interdisciplinary research on networks, social media, machine learning, the wisdom of crowds, and prediction markets. This class provides you with tools to apply this research to making predictions about the market for cultural goods like music, film, books and computer games. It explores factors that make prediction hard (e.g., social influence, ICTs, and the new digital economy) and gives you alternative that use the potential of Big Data.

Cultural Nonprofit Organizations

Larissa Buchholz

The traditional models that have supported cultural nonprofit organizations are decaying. Performances and traditional development no longer support them alone, increasingly artists represent a continuous workforce, and the market for volunteers is more competitive than ever before. This course introduces students to this new landscape and addresses the strategic decisions with which cultural nonprofit leaders must grapple, including the fiduciary and normative roles of board members and typical responsibilities of chief executives and artistic directors. In addition, special attention will be given to the relationship between the board and staff, which can be managed in a variety of ways, as well as management challenges that are unique to the cultural nonprofit sector. 

MSLCE faculty member Robert Langewisch who teaches Personal Leadership Insights
Personal Leadership Insights

Robert Langewisch

This course is a unique opportunity for students who are highly motivated and committed to their personal development and growth as a leader. Students are lead in small groups through a series of assignments that will help them increase self-awareness and gain clarity about their unique leadership skills, values, strengths and limitations. Each class will consist of group discussions and peer coaching exercises around self-reflective assignments. In addition, students meet one-on-one with a Leadership Coach.

MSLCE faculty member Allison Henry who teaches Business Models.
Business Models

Allison Henry 

How can you harness creative energy into a thriving business?  This course will offer a structured way to understand, analyze and apply key concepts around value creation and value capture for creative enterprises. Learn how to develop a strong fit between products/services and customers/market, and how to effectively go-to-market to meet growth and profitability targets. Various business models will be covered, from content creation, distribution, presentation, curation, and more.

MSLCE faculty member Al Heartley who teaches (In)Equity in Arts and Entertainment.
(In)Equity in Arts and Entertainment: History + Practice

Al Heartley

This course will investigate historical and current efforts toward equity, diversity, and inclusion and the pursuit of anti-racism work within the performing arts and entertainment fields. The course will delve into industry norms and trends, successes and failures, practical examples of implementation, problems within the field, and resources for emerging leaders. Areas of study will include the history of The Public Theater and East West Players, the We See You White American Theatre (WSYWAT) movement, August Wilson’s “The Ground on Which I Stand” speech, International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), Asian American Arts Alliance, The Kilroy’s, and the Sol Project

MSLCE faculty member Noshir Contractor who teaches Leveraging Networks in Creative Industries.
Leveraging Networks in Creative Enterprises

Noshir Contractor 

Networks play a pivotal role in the success of people and projects within the creative enterprise. Networks shape how we build and manage our careers, leverage entrepreneurship, mobilize for strategic partnerships, assemble dream teams to maximize innovation, optimize implementation, hone marketing strategies, and enhance customer engagement. Developments in the digital realm offer unprecedented opportunities to re-imagine the creative enterprise based on fluid and diverse networks. The ability to design and leverage these networks will differentiate leaders in the creative sector. This course provides you with the concepts, insights, and techniques to give you that competitive edge using a set of case studies, review articles as well as an overview of easy-to-use, but powerful, computer-based visual-analytics.

Brand Management in the Digital Age

TJ Billard 

Brands are ubiquitous to modern society. The logics of branding shape how we view nearly every aspect of social life and, oftentimes, how we view ourselves. But the practices of brand management—of creating, shaping, maintaining, and contesting brand meaning—have transformed dramatically in recent decades. Technological changes have “opened up” the processes of branding and shifted the distribution of communicative power within consumer culture. At the same time, brands have become more “personal,” taking on public personalities and more explicit stances on issues of identity and justice. This course provides an overview of how these changes have altered the practices of brand management,=. The ultimate aim is to provide students with a practical understanding of how brand management works, while also providing them with the conceptual tools to critique those practices.

The Power of Strategic Storytelling

Nathan Walter 

Humans are innate storytellers and narratives have played a vital role in transmitting crucial information for thousands of years. Indeed, human-beings are creatures who naturally think about the world in story elements and who rely on narrative structures in order to explain their surrounding world and the actions of those who inhabit that world. In various contexts, research has repeatedly demonstrated that engaging stories may be especially valuable as they facilitate processing of new, difficult, or controversial information, produce longer-lasting effects, and encourage adoption of story-consistent attitudes and behaviors. Informed by the media psychology perspective, this course will examine core texts, story factors, audience characteristics, and processes underlying narrative persuasion, as well as ongoing inconsistencies and debates.

Mandi Glowen who teaches Professional Development as part of the program courses in business for creative industries.
Professional Development

Mandi Glowen

This course provides a space for practical application of career skills and strategy through assessment, reflection, industry engagement.

Summer Quarter Experiential Learning

MSLCE students have three experiential options to choose from during their summer quarter that complement their previous courses in business for creative industries: an internship, thesis, or applied project. For each option, students are enrolled in a corresponding 3-credit course.


We support students as they identify and apply for internships across the creative sector, whether in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or abroad. In additional to completing the hours at their internship, students participate in online coursework designed to enhance their work experience.


This is a formal research paper where students identify a research question, secure a faculty advisor, and produce a written paper analyzing their findings.

Applied Project

This is similar in scope and preparation to the thesis; students identify the project, secure a faculty advisor, and complete research and produce a written paper. The applied project has a more practical application, however, and students with entrepreneurial interests often use this option to pursue market research, business model development, or marketing strategy work on a new venture, but other applications are also possible.