CMA EDU is a career development program offered to a select group of college 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.



Applications are open from late summer until late fall. Applications are currently closed for our 2021-2022 program year. Check back here for application and eligibility information.




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. Within small groups, you’ll also work on a capstone project that you’ll present to CMA staff. 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 for the CMA EDU Leadership Program if: 1. You are an incoming junior or senior at a 4-year university or college. 2. You are passionate about the music industry and pursuing a career within the industry. 3. You have demonstrated an appetite for and a commitment to growing personally and professionally. 4. You have a desire to work hard, learn actively, and develop your leadership skills.
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 you graduate, 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 graduated as a CMA EDU member in any year and are not in our database, click here to register as an alumnus.
CMA EDU members who successfully complete the program as a junior are given the option to retain their membership for their senior year. You don’t have to reapply, but we will ask you to give us some updated information.
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 your graduation date and study abroad activities, it is not a deal-breaker. However, you are not eligible if you are studying abroad during your final semester.
Find local opportunities on your campus to be involved in the local music scene, and get that resume in tip-top shape for when you apply! You can also stay in touch with us and become part of our network by following us on Instagram.


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