Experiential Learning

Students who enroll in the Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM) program spend their first year in Pittsburgh gaining core management skills. The students then move to Los Angeles, CA, during the second year of the program to apply these skills in required nearly full-time internships or employment (4 days per week) while taking coursework taught by professionals in the entertainment field.

MEIM students blend their classroom experience with real world application of their skills by:

  • Interning or working (if desired) on a part-time basis during their first year of school in Pittsburgh
  • completing the required full-time internship over the summer
  • working as an intern on a required nearly full-time basis during the second year of school in Los Angeles
  • completing a comprehensive team-based project (Capstone) for an entertainment client in year two
  • attending film festivals and conferences throughout both years of the program

Students can leverage a series of opportunities to optimize their graduate school experience, providing them with a competitive advantage in the job market upon graduation.

During the School Year

Year 1 (Pittsburgh)

In the Region:  The optional First-Year Practicum enables students enrolled in the MEIM program to work part-time (10-12 hours per week) for off-campus organizations while attending school on a full-time basis. Working in the community enables students to put their skills into practice, while enhancing their resume. Eligible US citizens who work for public and non-profit organizations are often eligible to be paid through the Federal Community Service Work Study program.

On-Campus: In addition to off-campus work opportunities, there are a variety of positions available on campus for MEIM students (regardless of citizenship) to pursue:


Summer Internships

MEIM students are required to complete a summer internship between their second and third semesters. The majority of our MEIM students complete their summer internship in New York City or Los Angeles, though other US cities are also acceptable.

Year 2 (Los Angeles)

The Second-Year Practicum (REQUIRED FOR ALL MEIM STUDENTS) is an immersion in the heart of the entertainment industry, providing the students with a critical platform for showcasing their knowledge, skills and experience. Students are required to intern approximately 30 hours per week (or a minimum of 300 hours a semester) while in Los Angeles.

Capstone Projects

A key feature of the MEIM second-year curriculum is the Capstone Project. This yearlong course goes further than a traditional thesis by giving students the opportunity to work on a topical applied research project under the direction and guidance of a marquee entertainment company. The Capstone project offers students the opportunity to apply and demonstrate their analytical and practical management skills in relation to a specific concept or issue while addressing and deepening their understanding of the opportunities, challenges and issues the entertainment industry faces on a daily basis.

This Capstone Project embraces four educational goals that synthesize the Heinz College experience and apply it to the analysis of complex issues:

  • Develop problem structuring and solving skills;
  • Develop project management, teamwork, and communication skills;
  • Provide an experience that integrates and synthesizes core coursework;
  • Provide a real world organizational experience.

Film Festivals

All students in the program attend the South By Southwest Interactive Conference & Film Festival (SXSW) in the first year of the program and Sundance Film Festival in the second year of the program. The past few years, the MEIM program has also sponsored some students to attend Cannes Film Festival in France. While not everyone in the program attends Cannes, students can apply for a partial scholarship to the festival. Seminars and networking events are scheduled at the festivals to increase student-learning opportunities.