CMA EDU is a career development program offered to a select group of students who have demonstrated a drive to succeed in the music industry.

Our programming, which consists of coveted mentorships and access to exciting, real-world music industry opportunities, empowers students to step into careers with composure, knowing they are supported by mentors, program leaders at CMA, and music industry experts.

As a renowned organization backed by the Country Music Association, students who enter the industry having completed our program stand out for their unique perspectives and unmatched familiarity with the industry.

At the heart of CMA EDU, we are connectors, guiding and championing the next generation of music industry professionals into the spotlight.

Meet our 2022-2023 class HERE!




The application for the 2024-2025 program year is now open! This application will close November 13th at 5pm CST.





If you have graduated as a CMA EDU member in any year, click the link below to register as an alumnus. We communicate regularly with job and networking opportunities, professional development resources, and other important news. Our alumni also have the opportunity to apply to become a mentor to a future class of CMA EDU members.




The CMA EDU Leadership Program was created to develop and support the next generation of music industry leaders as they are beginning their careers.
From 2011 until 2019, CMA EDU operated as a student-run organization on select college campuses. In 2020, CMA EDU relaunched in order to place increased emphasis on the individual members and making sure they each have the resources they need to succeed in their careers.
CMA EDU is not an internship. The CMA EDU Leadership Program is a year-long professional development program that can be completed entirely or mostly remote, which means students from any location can participate. If you are looking for a traditional internship with CMA, view internship information here.
Applications open in the summer and close in the late fall for the next year’s program year. In other words, all applicants will apply a year in advance of the program starting. If you apply in fall of 2020 and are accepted, you’ll be notified in February and your program begins in the summer of 2021. To apply, you’ll need to upload a resume, cover letter, and 2 letters of recommendation, along with some information about yourself and a few short answer questions. The application can be found here.
While programming is customized to each member, you can expect to be engaging in professional development and industry exposure opportunities during the year. We care about helping you perfect your resume, interview skills, general business and industry best practices, and networking skills. You’ll have exposure to different jobs in the industry through educational resources, Q&As with professionals, informational interviews, and more. You’ll be matched with a mentor from our alumni base who will help guide you and shed some light on the industry and navigating post-grad life. Every summer, we also invite the full CMA EDU class to our CMA EDU Leadership Summit, a multi-day conference full of professional development, industry education, and networking.
You are eligible to apply to CMA EDU if you are: 1. Passionate about the music industry and pursuing a career within the industry 2. Pursuing any type of secondary or higher education, including an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a doctorate degree, a law degree, any type of certificate, etc. Students at colleges, universities, community colleges, junior colleges, trade schools, and vocational schools are all eligible.* *These guidelines are intended to be flexible and provide pathways to students regardless of their education situation. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact us at
Yes, CMA EDU is free for all members. There is no tuition or fees associated with the program. The only expenses you may incur would be related to traveling to events or other personal expenses.
We look for candidates with a deep desire to learn and improve themselves. We value thoughtfulness, honesty, and hustle. You’ll stand out if you’re passionate about the industry and have a true desire to lead and to give back. Our staff will do everything in their power to get you to where you want to go, so we look for students who are willing to put in the work to get there. It’s also important to us that you attend our yearly Leadership Summit, so you may see a question on the application about your availability.
After your time in CMA EDU is over, you are welcomed into the CMA EDU Alumni family, over 500 strong. With access to your fellow alumni, we invite you to take part in continued programming specific to young professionals. Once you graduate, you’re also invited to apply to be a mentor to an incoming class of CMA EDU members. If you were part of CMA EDU in any year and are not in our database, click here to register as an alumnus.
CMA EDU members can be active members for up to two consecutive years. Those members who successfully complete their first year will be invited to participate for a second. Upon completion of two years, CMA EDU members roll into our alumni family.
In addition to specialized professional development training and exposure to the industry, you’ll also be a part of an ever-growing network of like-minded students and young professionals, many of whom will be your peers as you enter the industry.
Nope! Much of our programming can be done remotely, allowing students from across the country to participate. Students should be prepared to take advantage of opportunities local to them. Our yearly Leadership Summit generally takes place in Nashville, TN.
While it’s helpful for you to have an idea of what part of the industry is interesting to you, it’s not a requirement. If you already have your eye on a certain segment of the industry, you can tell us that on your application. If you don’t have a clue, don’t worry - we’ll help you figure it out.
While we do take into consideration all activities and timelines such as graduation dates, studying abroad, etc., it’s not a dealbreaker. We look at each applicant individually, so we ask that you do provide all that information so we can accurately assess your application.


Didn’t answer your question? Email and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.


Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our CMA EDU students have to say about their time in the program.