Business of Entertainment

Elective Course Guide

The USC School of Cinematic Arts Office of Industry Relations offers a formal Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment. Each semester the school offers four courses in specialized topics such as entertainment marketing, entertainment finance, representation, and the business interests of agents and managers.

Note to MBA students: You must apply for admission and be admitted to this program in order to earn the certificate and have all 16 units applied to your MBA.

For the most up-to-date information, contact the School of Cinematic Arts Office of Student-Industry Relations, SCA 235, (213) 740-4432,

Description of careers for which this program prepares students:
This program is designed for students interested in working in the film and television industries. Film and television industry firms primarily hire MBA's to work in finance, entertainment properties marketing, strategic planning, and information systems.

Description of the academic content and requirements:
The Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment program provides graduate-level education in various aspects of the business of film, television, and new media.

The Marshall students who are interested in this program should build a solid foundation in a traditional core managerial discipline or pursue a joint concentration (e.g., Marketing and Finance) and then build on this with elective courses that support their career aspirations. Most Cinematic Arts classes in this program are taught by entertainment industry professionals and typically meet in the evening. Some classes meet off campus at studios or agency offices.

Required for the Certificate:
Completion of the certificate program requires 16 units of graduate-level coursework selected from the following list of courses offered by the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

  • CNTV 521 The World of the Producer (4)
  • CNTV 522 The Television Industry: Networks, Cable and the Internet (4)
  • CNTV 523 Feature Film Financing and the Studio System (4)
  • CNTV 524 Digital Technologies and the Entertainment Industry (4)
  • CNTV 525 Entertainment Marketing in Today's Environment (4)
  • CNTV 562 Seminar in Motion Picture Business (2 or 4, max 8)
    Past offerings under CNTV-562 have included the following titles:
    • A Motion Picture Studio and How it Operates
    • Entertainment Industry Finance and Economics
    • Making Money with Movies
  • CNTV 563 The Business of Representation (4)
  • Other past offerings have included the following titles:
    • Anatomy of a Studio
    • Global Cable and Syndication - Where the Big Dollars Are in TV
    • Revolution or Evolution: How New Technologies are Changing the Face of Hollywood
    • New Technologies in the Entertainment Industry
    • The Internet and the Entertainment Industry
    • Television Programming
    • The World of Television … How Does it Work?
    • TV in Revolution; What will the future bring?

Listing of and biographies for some of the previous guest instructors for CNTV courses

Successful completion of the program is documented on the student's permanent transcript and acknowledged by a certificate (diploma) awarded by the University.

Application of Units to Marshall Master's Degrees:
All sixteen units required for the Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment may be applied to the M.B.A. degree. M.B.A. students who do not complete all 16 units are subject to the Nine-Unit Limit policy:

Nine-Unit Limit:

Students earning a Marshall master's degree are expected to complete their graduate electives within the Marshall School of Business by taking courses that begin with prefixes ACCT, BAEP, BUCO, DSO, FBE, GSBA, MKT, and MOR.

MBA students: Unless the student is completing a dual degree program, MBA students may complete up to nine units of graduate-level course work at USC outside the Marshall School of Business for elective credit. A request for an exception to take a non-Marshall course must be submitted via petition (Marshall General Petition Form) to the student's program office prior to registering for the course. Units beyond the maximum 9.0 units are not counted toward the student’s MBA degree.

  • An exception is made for those students completing the Business of Entertainment Certificate through the School of Cinematic Arts, which requires 4 Cinema courses (16.0 non-Marshall units). 
  • For MBA students who participate in Marshall’s International Exchange Program, a maximum of 15.0 units of USC-500O may be applied to the MBA degree.  No other non-Marshall coursework may be applied to the MBA degree.
  • Further exceptions to the maximum 9.0 units of non-Marshall course policy are rarely approved, and only if the student is on the Dean’s List with a minimum GPA of 3.60, coupled with a compelling reason for why the course uniquely aligns with their academic and career goals. 
  • Only courses beginning with the Marshall prefixes may be applied to the Marshall portion of a dual degree program.

MS, MMS, and Graduate Certificate students: Students in MS, the MMS, and Graduate Certificate programs may not apply non-Marshall courses to their degree unless (a) the courses are included in the published curriculum of the program or (b) permission is granted by the Academic Director of the program prior to taking the course. A request for an exception must be submitted via petition (Marshall General Petition Form) to the student's program office prior to registering for the course.