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College by Dr. Dre

College by Dr. Dre

What would you do with a degree in "disruption?"

Elizabeth Hoyt

June 04, 2013

What if you could get a degree in disruption? Now you can at the University of Southern California, thanks to Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (aka Dr. Dre).

The music moguls donated $70 million to LA-based USC to develop an undergraduate program, dubbed The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

According to the web site, the goal of the academy is to “inspire innovative, entrepreneurial thought in business, design, marketing and the arts.”

Curriculum will focus on “innovation and conceptual thinking” in hopes to “empower the next generation of disruptive leaders and professional thought leaders across a multitude of global industries.”

The academy will also allow students to learn from “industry icons and innovators as visiting faculty and guest speakers,” in addition to USC’s faculty.

USC President, C.L.Max Nikias released a statement saying that, “The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media. USC provides an extraordinarily rich academic, research and artistic environment. We are committed to encouraging our students to use their intellectual and creative resources to effect change in all segments of society. Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world.”

The four-year academy will begin enrollment, starting with 25 students, in the fall of 2014. Applicants will be chosen for “demonstrated academic excellence as well as proven ability for original thought.”

With big names comes big tuition. The academy is $43,000 per semester, which makes one wonder if you’re guaranteed tycoon status upon graduation.

While some of the curriculum is clear, other descriptions are slightly vague, causing one to wonder what industry secrets one could possibly learn for $43,000 per semester.

The school has specially designed the curriculum to span four key areas, detailed below.

1. Arts and Entrepreneurship – Under this area of core curriculum, students will have courses on The Entrepreneurial Mindset, Cases in Entrepreneurship, Evolution of the Music Industry, Design Elements, Design Theory and Inventions and Patents.

2. Technology, Design and Marketability – Under this area of core curriculum, students will have courses on Creativity, Developing, Managing and Marketing Radical Innovations, Music Capture, Rapid Visualization (2-D and 3-D) and Digital Design.

3. Concept and Business Platforms – Under this area of core curriculum, students will have courses on Music Delivery Systems, Advanced Methods in 2-D and 3-D Visualization, Consumer Behavior and Marketing, Managing New Enterprises and Feasibility Analysis.

4. Creating a Prototype – Under this area of core curriculum, students will live amongst one another in a space referred to as “The Garage,” where they will be grouped into self-directing teams. They will “determine a project that can be developed into a prototype over the course of the year,” according to the web site.

If you don’t already know, Jimmy Iovine is the Chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M records unit. He co-founded Interscope records in 1990, signing artists like Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Marilyn Manson, The Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Eminem and, of course, Dr. Dre.

He’s also the co-founder of Beats Electronic (with Dr. Dre) and one of the most prominent and respected executives within the music industry. Iovine has been around the block, so to speak, working with the likes of music icons like John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Stevie Nicks, just to name a few.

Dr. Dre is a man that likely needs no introduction. Born Andre Young, Dre is not only an artist but a producer and entrepreneur as well. In addition to his critically-acclaimed albums, Dre has discovered and/or produced albums for many of the hip-hop stars of this generation, like Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, many through Aftermath Entertainment, a record label Dre launched in 1996.

In 2008, Dre partnered with Iovine to launch Beats by Dr. Dre, which holds an impressive 40 percent market share in the headphone industry. After incorporating the BeatsAudio into the iPod doc, the Beats by Dr. Dre label later partnered with HP to integrate BeatsAudio into their HP Envy notebooks.

There’s no doubt these men have what it takes to make it in the music industry, but what about the education sector?

Whether or not this school will flop or create impactful minds of the future has yet to be seen. One thing, however, is certain: when searching for a job with a degree in “disruption,” academy graduates definitely won’t forget about Dre.



What are your thoughts on paying $43k a semester for a degree in disruption?


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