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Put Theory into Action

Curriculum + Courses


The MSLCE curriculum is designed to help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to lead creative people, projects, and teams. Core courses 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. International students are only eligible to start in the fall quarter. All coursework must be completed within five years of the first quarter of enrollment.

Core Courses

Marketing Strategies in Creative Industries
Judy Franks

› Core Course Descriptions

Organizational Processes in Creative Enterprises
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.

Understanding the Creative Industries
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. Where does the creativity lie in the complex and collaborative productions of the creative industries? What role does advertising and market research play in shaping media products? 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. The course is designed to provide a historical and theoretical introduction to the creative industries and to allow students to apply that knowledge to a range of industrial contexts.

Economics of Creative Enterprises
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
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

› Electives Course Descriptions

The Power of Pitching and Persuasion
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.

Culture and Arts Analytics
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.

Arts and Entertainment Law and Ethics
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.

Business Models in Creative Industries
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.  

Arts, Public Purpose and Policy
Artistic and creative enterprises encompass an ecosystem of commercial, not-for-profit, community and personal engagement with arts and forms of creative expression. Vital aspects of this ecosystem address the public purposes of arts, which include initiatives, stakeholders and institutions that affect – and are affected by – public policies. Arts and cultural leaders operate within this complex environment on the local, national and international levels. This course will look at a selection of current policy matters that artists and art leaders are dealing with within the U.S. In addition, students will engage with policy matters of their choosing with relevance to their own professional interests, within the U.S. and beyond.

Digital Television
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.

Understanding Media Markets: Users, Makers and Metrics
Digital media create a marketplace where an endless number of options compete for a limited supply of public attention – an environment where building audiences is a prerequisite for making money or exercising influence. This course explains how the preferences and habits of media users, the strategies and constraints of media makers, and the growing prevalence of data and metrics form a dynamic marketplace that shapes public attention. Topics include theories of media choice, the role of social networks, sharing economies, audience-making strategies, bias in measurement, recommender systems, big data, audience fragmentation, and the marketplace of ideas

Cultural Nonprofit Organizations
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. The course begins with an overview of the nonprofit sector and the primary leadership roles. Students will learn about 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. 

Culture and Globalization
What is globalization? And how does it affect cultural production? How is it that the cultural products of some countries circulate easier than others? What is the relationship between place and cultural industries? What makes a city a cultural capital? And how is it that cities compete via culture to appropriate economic capital? This course will address these and other questions through an engagement with scholarship on a range of creative industries including fashion, television, music, movies, fine arts, and the high-end food industry. The course is designed to provide a historical and theoretical introduction to the intersection between globalization and cultural production and to allow students to apply that knowledge to a range of contexts.

Leading Creative Teams
This course provides fundamental tools from the behavioral and social sciences that will improve students’ ability to analyze organizational dynamics and to take robust action. More specifically, students will develop their leadership skill-set and toolbox of strategies to be effective leaders of creative industries in general and teams in particular. Leveraging a combination of theory and practice, a hand-on applied teaching style will be used to prepare students to be able to support and lead high-performing, creative teams and firms.

Revenue Strategies for Creative Organizations
Leaders of creative enterprises are regularly faced with important questions: what is the most effective strategy that we can employ to help our organization succeed? Which organizational structure is best to meet our needs?  Which sources of revenue are worth pursuing – and which may not be relevant to our institution?  In a fast-changing environment, how will we evaluate options and risks? In this course, students will explore those questions and investigate strategies for revenue generation within the creative industries.  We will evaluate non-profit, for-profit and hybrid structures and create frameworks for identifying appropriate revenue sources for different types of organizations.  Ultimately, this course will help students build their evaluation and executive decision-making skills, preparing them for leadership roles in creative enterprises.

Personal Leadership Insights
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.

Addressing Racism in the Arts: Special Topic for AY18-19
Description forthcoming.