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The entertainment management major at the University of Central Florida has approximately 200 students enrolled, even though degree underwriter Dr. Kelly Semrad expected 50.

Student demand for the entertainment management major at the University of Central Florida is outpacing expectations by a large margin.

“We are well over the student demand numbers that we had anticipated,” said Rosen College of Hospitality Management assistant professor and entertainment degree underwriter Dr. Kelly Semrad, PhD. “The first year we anticipated 50 students and now we are approaching 200.”

Nearly 200 students have joined the Entertainment Management major, which was announced toward the end of the spring 2016 semester. Fifteen classes have been developed for the degree program, which joined Rosen College of Hospitality Management and the College of Arts and Humanities. Marcus Gibson, a sophomore in the entertainment management program, returned back to school for the new degree.

“I deeply regretted not getting my degree when I first attended college, but there wasn’t a program I was truly passionate for,” Gibson said. “When I found out about the entertainment management program, I visited Rosen College campus and meet with Professor [Ron] Logan. Within the first 5 minutes of speaking with Professor Logan I knew this was the opportunity that I have been waiting for to accomplish my goal and further my career.”

The entertainment management degree will give University of Central Florida students the option to explore careers such as positions in music management, club management and audio-visual media management. According to Semrad, this is the only entertainment management degree available at a public university in Florida.

“If you look across the entire country, there are limited-access programs that merely reference entertainment management,” Semrad said. “This is the first of its kind.”

Logan, a professor currently teaching classes for the new degree program as well as one of the team members to put this program to life, is pleasantly surprised at its development.

“Our challenge now is how to deal with the growth,” Logan said. “We are certainly way ahead of the game. We didn't think we’d have these kind of numbers until the second or third year.”

Semrad and Logan both said that the new degree program will not only help students who are looking to pursue entertainment management, but will also help the local and surrounding industry.

“The relationship of industry and education is the most exciting part,” Logan said. “It's the only degree program in entertainment management that gives you real life experience and education in one gulp. We’re totally a prototype. Every day we’re looking at a blank sheet of paper and saying what do we put on that-- it's a new philosophy and a new approach.”

In the degree’s first semester, four classes are currently being taught. Logan said there will be an additional four available in the spring 2017 semester. For students like Gibson, it’s a dream come true.

“Having this opportunity at UCF means the world to me. I have always wanted to progress in the entertainment industry but never had any formal training on how to manage,” Gibson said. “I have the chance to gain education in the field I am currently working and truly enjoy. For a constant learner like me, it doesn’t get any better than this."

Story originally published on Sept. 27, 2016.

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