Media Management, BA

The media industry is in a renaissance. You have the opportunity to dive in at a time when the only rule is that there are no rules. Emerging technologies are constantly changing the way we create and distribute content across platforms.

From Netflix and Hulu to GrubHub and Uber to Snapchat and Spotify, the ways audiences consume media is increasingly digitally focused and socially driven. At Columbia, you’ll gain the essential management and business skills necessary to navigate a dynamic industry, lead teams, strategize, forecast and produce.

On campus in Chicago, home to many big-name tech and media companies and a vibrant startup community, you’ll gain access to a professional network of leaders in the field. You’ll also have access to faculty and coursework in our leading Media Arts programs that offer courses in film, video, interactive arts, television, graphic design, animation and radio.
What to Expect Your First Year

In your first year, you’ll gain foundational knowledge that will be vital to your success in the media industry. You’ll take core business courses in topics such as marketing, management and economics. But these aren’t your average business courses. We tailor them to the arts and media fields, so each example and scenario will make sense for the unique landscape of the arts industries.

You’ll also take a jam-packed survey course called Business of Media. This course will give you the lay of the land: current trends, opportunities, threats and themes emerging in the field. You’ll explore how different media industries are structured and will meet with guest professionals and Columbia alumni to get a sense of what the work looks like day to day. You’ll also go on site visits to some of Chicago’s top startups such as 1871, one of the leading digital startup incubators in the country, or Lost Arts, an entrepreneurial laboratory space for creatives.

What to Expect Your Last Year

By your last year at Columbia, you’ll be honing your skillset and building a resume. You’ll put your knowledge to work in courses like Digital Media Strategies. During your practicum course, you’ll launch digital marketing campaigns in collaboration with students from different majors in a digital promotion and distribution agency. You may have the opportunity to participate in activities at the South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, one of the largest digital media events in the world.

You’ll also likely secure an internship in the field through our highly connected network of alumni and faculty, and the Career Center. Our students intern at companies such as Pitchfork, Facets Cinematheque and MTV, and local publications like the Chicago Reader and Chicago Tribune.

Detailed Program Information

Download a Four-Year Plan

For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

At Columbia, we know that you want to experience the industry, not just talk about it. We’re constantly building partnerships with companies like Google for Entrepreneurs, Universal Music and TEDx. We bring artists and professionals to campus for master classes and other events so you can ask questions, test ideas, and serve as an integral part of teams planning and executing such events.

Columbia is home to a rich community of designers, makers and creatives. Your peers will be graphic and web designers, journalists, filmmakers, podcasters, game designers, photographers, musicians and media artists. You’ll have the opportunity to join teams and support the work of others as you help foster a creative culture and promote other students’ work—or your own—using the skills you gain in the classroom.

What are my internship options?

We encourage you to intern as often as possible in the field. Internships are your opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how ideas are communicated and decisions are made. You’ll work with faculty members and the Columbia Career Center to explore options at local startups and companies that seek young and energetic thinkers to make real contributions to their teams.

Our students have interned at companies such as Pitchfork, Facets Cinematheque and MTV, and local publications like the Chicago Reader and Chicago Tribune.


Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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