Entrepreneurship for Creatives (MA)

Applications are currently being accepted to this program on a rolling basis. 
Time to degree: one year (30 credits)
Part-time options available

Columbia College Chicago's one-year graduate program in entrepreneurship will help you develop your business idea into a creative venture. You'll gain practical entrepreneurial skills to lead and innovate in the creative industries.

The program is a good fit for students who have entrepreneurial aspirations or interests in fields such as art, design, fashion, film, games, music, performing arts, and media. Whether you dream of opening your own theatre company or art gallery, launching a nonprofit for community artists, or developing an app for game designers, you'll find the tools and guidance you need to get your idea off the ground.

Previous students have planned ventures in film, music, fashion, artificial intelligence, technology, visual arts, and more. 

student presenting powerpoint deck in class

You'll cultivate your business with the help of faculty members who have current professional experience in the creative industries. You'll learn the economic, financial, legal, and marketing skills needed to thrive in the entrepreneurial sector with a focus on your specific target market. By the end of the program, you'll complete a business plan and pitch deck to use for securing venture funding.

You do not need a background or degree in business to succeed in this program. Because many classes are offered in the evenings with online components, you'll have the flexibility to continue your day job and other passions.

In the Classroom

  • As a hybrid program, you’ll take several courses online while also meeting in-person with your cohort and faculty.
  • Rather than applying your new skills and knowledge to hypothetical situations, your assignments will revolve primarily around your real business idea. This hands-on approach will give you dedicated time to research market opportunities, conduct competitor research, analyze your target customer, and assess risk.
  • Your faculty mentors will help you develop a strategy for identifying investors and the information they need in a pitch. You’ll get feedback from faculty, industry partners, and your peers as you hone your proposal.
  • You’ll take courses on topics that will give you an understanding of entrepreneurship and its impact. Courses will take a critical look at the global economic marketplace. You’ll study the theory and practice of social influence and community engagement.
  • Bolster your business acumen with courses focused on core business concepts like marketing, intellectual property and contracts, accounting, and finance. You’ll apply these skills directly to your creative venture.
  • At the end of the year, you will pitch your venture to a panel of accomplished entrepreneurs who will give you feedback and advice related to your venture.

Chicago: A hub for innovation


What makes Chicago a singular location to launch a creative enterprise? In comparison to hubs like LA and New York, Chicago is uniquely accessible. The lower cost of living in Chicago and the many incentives provided by the community to foster innovation—such as incubators and grants—make the city an ideal location for entrepreneurs in the creative industries.

In Chicago, you’ll have access to the arts, culture, and media along with entrepreneurial thought-leaders and venture capitalists.

Graduate Faculty


Columbia faculty members are researchers and professionals in the creative industries with years of experience in management and business. They are active entrepreneurs, producers, agents, lawyers, and administrators. They will share their connections and experience to help you launch your venture with confidence.

Warren Frank, Adjunct Professor

Mary Filice, Associate Professor

Jeffrey Lewis, Adjunct Professor

Monique Maye, Professor of Instruction

Phillipe Ravanas, Professor

Beth Ryan, Associate Professor of Instruction

Justin Sinkovich, Associate Chair of Business and Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor

Clayton Smith, Associate Professor of Instruction

Ryan Smith, Associate Professor of Instruction

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