• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

Music Industry Studies - Curriculum


Required Coursework

The MIS Option resides in a music performance-oriented department and its curriculum reflects the music industry adage: “It’s easier to make a businessman out of a musician, than a musician out of a businessman.” The total 120-unit degree program strikes a balance between general education, traditional music performance, and music business studies. Presented here in an easy-to-read, summarized format, please see the University Catalog for additional detail and information.

1. General Education & Title V courses required of all college students (39 units)

2. Music Core course requirements (27 units)

  • MUS 111/L: Musicianship I (2 units)
  • MUS 112/L: Musicianship II (2 units)
  • MUS 211/L: Musicianship III (2 units)
  • MUS 110A*: Keyboard Musicianship I (1 unit)
  • MUS 110B*: Keyboard Musicianship II (1 unit)
  • MUS 210A*: Keyboard Musicianship III (1 unit)
  • MUS 210B*: Keyboard Musicianship IV (1 unit)
  • MUS 191/L: Music Technology I (3 units)
  • MUS 201: Style and Literature of Western Music I (3 units)
  • MUS 202: Style and Literature of Western Music II (3 units)
  • MUS 213: Harmony I (3 units)
  • MUS 307: Music from a Global Perspective (3 units)
  • MUS 483ME/L: Music Entrepreneurship (2 units)

3. Lesson and Ensemble requirements (8 units)

  • Individual Lessons (4 units)
  • Performance Ensembles (4 units)

 4. Music Industry Studies Option requirements (33 units)

  • MUS 293/L: Early Field Experience in the Music Industry (3 units)
  • MUS 303A: History of Popular Music in America I (3 units)
  • MUS 303B: History of Popular Music in America II (3 units)
  • MUS 391/L: Music Technology II (3 units)
  • MUS 397R/L: Sound Recording (3 units)
  • MUS 393A: Music Industry Studies I (3 units)
  • MUS 393B: Music Industry Studies II (3 units)
  • BLAW 280: Business Law (3 units)
  • MGT 360: Management and Organizational Behavior (3 units)
  • MUS 493C: Music Industry Practicum (2 units) or MUS 494A: Internship in Music (2 units)
  • MUS 494AC: Internship in Music – Capstone Experience (4 units)

 5. Electives (13 units)

 * The following four courses substitute for the core requirements of MUS 110A, MUS 110B, MUS 210A and MUS 210B for students who auditioned for the degree option on piano.

  • MUS 235A: Contemporary Keyboard Styles — Latin (1 unit)
  • MUS 235B: Contemporary Keyboard Styles — Jazz, Rock, and Pop (1 unit)
  • MUS 235C: Contemporary Keyboard Styles — Afro-Cuban (1 unit)
  • MUS 235D: Contemporary Keyboard Styles — Gospel (1 unit)

How long does it take to complete the MIS Option?

While the total 120-unit Bachelor of Arts in Music – Music Industry Studies Option can be completed in four years (if entering as a freshman) or two years (if entering as a transfer student), due the many networking and internship opportunities in this program, students often elect to take an extra 1-2 semesters to complete their degree. Many find this extra time useful in the development of their professional network. It is often said in the music industry that, “it’s who you know that helps you get your job, but what you know that helps you keep it.” This industry adage illustrates that students not only need to work on the “what they know” (though formal course work), but also the “who they know” (through networking and internships). Taking extra time to complete this degree program is the personal choice of the student.

I don’t like classical music. Can I take lessons in jazz or popular music instead?

MIS Option applied music lessons are rooted in classical technique and repertoire. This is not to imply that other styles of music are completely excluded, but merely to acknowledge that pedagogically, the study of classical music is the primary vehicle in which students develop their tone and technique. Only those MIS students admitted on the electric bass guitar are offered jazz lessons (as there is no classical repertoire for the electric bass).

What is Five of Five Music Entertainment?

Five of Five Music Entertainment (VVME) is a student-run, faculty-advised music and entertainment label based out of the Music Industry Studies program at California State University, Northridge. Since 1997, VVME has worked with a wide array of developing artists and helped them make their mark in the music industry. Positioning itself as an all-purpose music entertainment company and staffed by this generation’s most aspiring young music industry professionals, VVME provides the production and business expertise necessary for success in today’s music industry.

How important are internships in the MIS Option?

Experiential learning is a critical component to any music industry education. The MIS Option culminates in a 4-unit internship that requires students to complete a minimum of 12 hours of service per week over a 15-week period. This capstone experience provides valuable on-the-job training and allows the student to experience the industry first-hand. Quite frequently, students find that this internship provides them the necessary stepping-stone needed to transfer from college to full-time employment. In fact, many interns often transition to full-time employment at the same business in which they intern.

 A partial listings of businesses at which MIS students have interned include:


4Fini, Inc. (Kevin Lyman)

Grand Vision

React Recordings

5 Alarm Music

GSO Business Management

Red Light Management (Los Angeles)

AEG Live

Heavy Hitters Music Group

Red Light Management (Nashville)

Alfred Music

Hopeless Records

Remo, Inc.

American Federation of Musicians

House of Blues

Rhino Entertainment

Arista Records


Right Track

Ark 21 Records

Ingram and Brauns Musik Shoppe

Rip Tide Music


Insignia Music

Roger Corman Music

Awesomeness TV

Interscope Records

Rogers & Cowan

BFM Digital

Island Records

Sargent House

Bicycle Music

Jampol Artist Management


Big Fish Audio

KCSN 88.5 FM

Sin-Drome Records

Bill Silva Entertainment

Kent Blackwelder Management

Songwriter Services

Bill Silva Management

Key Artist Agency

Sony Music

BMG Chrysalis

KLOS 95.5 FM

Staples Center


L.A. Opera

Steinberg N.A.

Boo Management

LA Personal Development

Strategic Artist Management

Breath of Life Records


SuperMusicVision (Thomas Golubić)

California Plaza Presents

Live Nation

Team J Station

Capitol Records

Longo Music Services

The Ant Farm

Career Artist Management

Luck Media & Marketing, Inc.

The Bicycle Music Company


M & K Sound Entertainment

The Collective

Century Media Records

Mama Foundation

The Format

Chaos Visual Productions

Maple Jam Management Group

The Jonas Group

Clear Channel

Maple Jam Music Group

The Left Bank Organization

CMH Records


The Mint

Columbia Records

McGhee Entertainment

The Music Collective (Alan Ett Music)

Dana B. Goods

MCL Music Services

The Recording Academy (NARAS)

Death Star Studios

Movement Entertainment

TLAMS Entertainment Services

Deluxe Entertainment

Music Alternatives

Triton Records

Derek Power Management

Music Concepts

Union Entertainment Group

Devour Entertainment

Music Dealers

United Television Broadcasting Systems

Disc Marketing, Inc.

Nacional Records (Tomas Cookman)

Universal Music Enterprises



Universal Music Group

Drew's Tickets

NBC Universal

Universal Music Publishing

Drum Channel

Neville Johnson, Entertainment Industry Attorney

Universal Pictures Music Publishing

E! Networks

Nokia Theatre

Universal Studios

Eagle Cove/Deluxe Entertainment

North Star Media

Unsound Records

Elias Arts

Ocean Cities Entertainment

Urban Network

EMI Music

Opus 1

Valley Performing Arts Center

Favored Nations

Original Sound

Vocalize U

Fox Motion Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Warner Bros. Records

Fox Music


Warner Music Group

Fox Sports

Peter Rotter Music Services

Warner/Chappell Music

Garden City Music

Position Music


Garson Entertainment

Prescriptive Music

Wixen Music

Generation Music, Inc.

Radio Express

Zomba Music

Gimbel Music Group

RCA Records




For additional information, contact:
Mr. Jeffrey Izzo
Assistant Professor | Mike Curb Chair in Music Industry Studies | Music Industry Studies Area Coordinator
Department of Music
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8314
Telephone: 818-677-3041
Office Location: Cypress Hall, Room 226