Billboard Magazine has released its list of the top music business schools in the country.

Just 28 colleges and universities made the cut, including two in New Jersey.

William Patterson University in Wayne and Monmouth University in West Long Branch received special nods from the trade magazine. They join a list of schools that have long been known for their high-caliber offerings in the field, such as University of Southern California and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"We're thrilled to be recognized, and that it's been acknowledged that we have a unique offering that certainly is unmatched in most schools of our size and category," Joe Rapolla, director of Monmouth's music industry program, told New Jersey 101.5.

Over the past five years, the university has seen enrollment growth of at least 25% for its bachelor of arts in music with a concentration in the music industry. Rapolla said that growth can be attributed to major upgrades made to the program over the past several years, including added hands-on programming and the establishment of a student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records. Through a partnership with Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park, the university has gained space to teach production classes.

“It’s our goal to stay aligned with the dynamic music industry, and to provide our students with rich and relevant experiences,” Rapolla said.

William Patterson has now made two consecutive appearances on Billboard's list. The university received recognition for its program in 2014.

“We are proud and elated to be included in Billboard’s 2019 list,” said Daryl Moore, dean of the College of the Arts and Communication. “Our program is exceptional because of our distinguished faculty, notable alumni and hands-on learning opportunities that prepare our students for all aspects of the music business world.”

While schools are forced to teach online for the time being, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, only campus-based programs were included in the list revealed at the end of April.

According to Billboard, nearly 40% of the highest-achieving young executives in the music business, as profiled in Billboard's 2019 40 Under 40 feature, were graduates of a liberal arts program.

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