Top Affordable Colleges for a Bachelor's in Music (2022)

Top Affordable Colleges for a Bachelor's in Music (1)
Top Affordable Colleges for a Bachelor's in Music (2)

When researching the best music schools in the country, many hopeful music majors are faced with the high tuition and low acceptance rates of major music conservatories like Juilliard without realizing that there are a plethora of accessible and cheap colleges with good music programs.

While, for the purpose of this ranking, we did not discriminate between the types of schools, it’s important to understand that there is a difference when it comes to earning a music degree at a state school versus a private liberal arts college, a conservatory or even a university that has its own conservatory.

Featured Programs

Larger public universities run excellent programs through their music departments. Their students have the opportunity to have the “full college experience,” as well as the ability to expand their academic careers beyond performing arts. The curriculum at smaller college-level conservatories and music schools doesn’t stray from the performing arts, and these schools are typically more expensive and harder to get into. While students at conservatories and small, private schools don’t have the lifestyle choices of a large college, they are more likely to get individualized attention from high profile faculty members and occasionally free tuition. For those of you who want the best of both worlds, schools like the University of Southern California have a conservatory on campus. However, some students struggle to balance their general education requirements with their music school commitment.

In the end, each student planning to earn a degree in music should choose his or her school based on personal wants and needs, paying close attention to things like location, private lesson teachers for the desired discipline, class sizes, and post-graduation employment numbers. Today, those graduating with a degree in music learn the benefits of having versatile diplomas that reach beyond a performance program. Many of the best music schools on our list offer varying ranges of majors, like music education for those looking to become teachers, music business degrees, audio engineering/music production, music therapy, industry studies, and more. Some even offer or require their music majors to earn a double degree to better set them up for the working world.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

To develop this ranking of the top music programs, we used data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, Payscale.com, and each school’s website, calculating the most reputable program. In case of a tie, the more affordable program was awarded the higher ranking.

#25—Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Kingsville, Texas

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The high standards set forth by Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s School of Music has yielded award-winning ensembles and solidified the university’s place among the best colleges for music in America. Undergraduate music students enrolled at the school can pursue either a general Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Music Education while graduate students enjoy more options, including:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance

Texas A&M-Kingsville is institutionally accredited to award academic degrees in music by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The music department itself is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

#24—Utah State University

Logan, Utah

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Students enrolled in Utah State University’s Department of Music join a vibrant community of musicians and scholars studying various aspects of music, including performance, music education, and even music therapy. Housed within the Caine College of Arts, the department offers the following bachelor’s degrees:

  • Bachelor of Music in Pedagogy
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance and Pedagogy
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Graduate students also have several options in terms of degree type and specializations. These include:

  • Master of Music in Performance (with specializations in Guitar and Voice)
  • Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy (with an optional specialization in Piano)
  • Master of Music in Conducting

Utah State University is institutionally accredited to offer these bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#23—Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

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The Department of Music at Western Washington University is housed within the school’s College of Fine and Performing Arts. Here, undergraduate music students will find a robust suite of music degree programs, including:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education (P-12)
  • Bachelor of Music in History & Literature
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

A minor in Jazz Studies is also available as is a master’s degree in music. Upon audition, eligible students may receive scholarships to help pay for their music education. Western Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer these academic credentials in music. Its music department also holds special accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#22—University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

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One of the leading colleges for music degrees in the nation, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is home to a large and diverse student body. Students from all over the country and the world flock to UNLV to study music theory, performance, education, and more. For undergraduate students, there are five available degree options:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Composition

Graduate students can also pursue master’s degrees in five different areas of study. Two doctoral programs are available as well:

  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Applied Music
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has accredited UNLV to award these academic credentials in music at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

#21—Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

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Boasting a low student to faculty ratio, Central Washington University is also home to a robust music department that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in music. For bachelor’s degree-seeking students, the following credentials are available:

  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Five distinct options are offered to graduate music students, including:

  • Master of Music in Pedagogy
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Music Education

Institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, CWU is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#20—University of Nevada-Reno

Reno, Nevada

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The University of Nevada-Reno is one of the best colleges for music majors because of its 100% undergraduate placement rate. After graduating from one of three available bachelor’s degree programs, UNR music majors are placed by the university with schools, orchestras, bands, and graduate programs across the nation. Those who wish to continue their music studies in a master’s degree program have a few different options as well, including:

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Arts in Music

Students can apply for undergraduate scholarships as well as graduate assistantships to help fund their music education. The University of Nevada-Reno holds institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Its music department also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#19—Morgan State University

Baltimore, Maryland

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Students enrolled in Morgan State University’s Department of Fine & Performing Arts receive not only masterful instruction in music, but also a high-quality liberal arts education. Students majoring in music can pursue a specialization in one of three distinct areas:

  • Instrumental Studies
  • Keyboard Studies
  • Vocal Studies

Twice as many concentrations are available for master’s degree students, including:

  • Vocal
  • Choral Conducting
  • Sacred Music
  • Instrumental
  • Vocal
  • Piano

Both undergraduate and graduate students are afforded numerous performance opportunities each year, including those that involve travel. Morgan State is a long-standing, accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The school also holds institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#18—Texas Woman’s University

Denton, Texas

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A top college for music majors, Texas Woman’s University promises to provide specialized music instruction with a strong liberal arts foundation. The school offers three different credentials for undergraduate students:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy

Graduate students will also find options for master’s-level studies, including programs in:

  • Music Education
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Music Therapy
  • Performance

In addition to institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, TWU is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the American Music Therapy Association.

#17—Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

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The low student to faculty ratio at Idaho State University enables music majors to receive individualized attention as they pursue their academic credentials. The school offers four distinct degree choices for its undergraduates:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

A music minor is also available. For graduate students, a hybrid Master of K-12 Music Education can be pursued mostly online. Idaho State holds its institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#16—San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco State University has enjoyed accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music since 1963. Since then, the school’s music department has expanded to encompass various liberal arts and professional degrees in music. For undergraduates, the following credentials are available:

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music History and Literature

Half a dozen different degree choices are available to graduate students, including:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Chamber Music
  • Master of Arts in Music Education
  • Master of Arts in Music History

Ensembles are available in numerous music genres, including classical, jazz, and even Afro-Cuban. San Francisco State holds its institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#15—California State University-East Bay

Hayward, California

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A top music university, California State University-East Bay is home to a comprehensive undergraduate music program. Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Music can choose from four distinct concentrations:

  • Instrumental/Vocal Performance
  • Composition/Music Technology
  • Music Education
  • Liberal Arts

The music department at Cal State-East Bay also offers a certificate in music education and a music minor for its undergraduate students. For those who wish to pursue graduate studies in the discipline, a highly versatile Master of Arts in Music is also available. This advanced two-year program features six different areas of emphasis, including:

  • Classical/Jazz Performance
  • Music History and World Music
  • Conducting Studies
  • Music Theory

The university has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1970. It also holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#14—California State University-Fresno

Fresno, California

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Recognized as one of the best colleges for music nationwide, California State University-Fresno offers undergraduate and graduate music credentials through its College of Arts and Humanities. Bachelor’s degree offerings include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Performance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Arts in Composition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies

A Master of Arts in Music is also available for graduate music students. All students enrolled in the university’s music program enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a 300+ seat concert hall, the expansive Wahlberg Recital Hall, and a digital recording studio. Cal State- Fresno is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, and the school’s music program is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

#13—William Paterson University

Wayne, New Jersey

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Located in a bustling metropolitan area, William Paterson University offers various top-rated music degree programs for both undergraduates and graduates alike. Standout programs for bachelor’s degree students include:

  • Bachelor of Music in Sound Engineering Arts
  • Bachelor of Music: Popular Music
  • Bachelor of Music: Music & Entertainment Industries

A Music Honors program is also available. For students interested in a graduate degree program, options include:

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  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies & Arranging
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies & Performance
  • MBA in Music & Entertainment Industries

This top college for music majors is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The university also holds institutional accreditation to offer music degrees by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#12—Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, Connecticut

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With a low student to faculty ratio, Western Connecticut State University prides itself on being a student-centered institute of higher learning, and its music department is no exception. As a result, undergraduate music students build strong relationships with faculty members as they pursue bachelor’s degrees, such as:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music: Audio and Music Production

A Master of Science in Music Education is also available at the graduate level. The New England Commission of Higher Education has accredited Western Connecticut State to confer these degrees in music. The department is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

#11—University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

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The University of North Dakota offers a variety of academic opportunities in music through its College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Music. For undergraduate students, there are four degree options:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

Graduate students have more choices, including:

  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Pedagogy
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Music Education

A terminal degree program is also an option: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Music Education. UND music students routinely have opportunities to travel for performances, even internationally. The University of North Dakota is fully accredited to award these academic degrees in music by The Higher Learning Commission. The music department is also separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#10—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

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The distinguished faculty at Texas Tech University’s J.T & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts School of Music has dedicated themselves to providing students with a comprehensive and diverse music education. Housing the largest collection of instruments in the region, the school provides bachelor’s degree-seeking undergraduates with five different options:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Theory
  • Bachelor of Music (Teacher Certification)

Graduate students have even more options, including master’s and doctoral programs in composition, conducting, performance, and more. Texas Tech University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these credentials in music. The school is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#9—Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

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The Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar University is housed within the school’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. The department offers four distinct bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Music (Teacher Certification)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

Opportunities for graduate study are also available. Students may pursue a Master of Music with tracks in Performance and Music Education. Several music scholarships are available through the department to help fund the cost of these degrees. Lamar University holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

#8—Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas

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Located in a metropolitan area devoted to the arts, Wichita State University offers numerous accredited music degree programs for its undergraduate and graduate students. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students have four options to choose from:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

The school offers twice as many choices for graduate students, including:

  • Master of Music in Opera Performance
  • Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy
  • Master of Music in History and Literature
  • Master of Music in Conducting

Wichita State’s music department is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including concert halls, a chamber music venue, and recording studios. Faculty members also hold seats in renowned orchestras and ensembles across the country. The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to the university to award these academic credentials in music. The music department is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

#7—California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

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Niche has ranked California State-Long Beach among the top 75 colleges in the nation for a music degree, and for good reason. The school boasts a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate music program, and its student ensembles have been heralded as some of the finest in the country. Music majors have five distinct degree choices through the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music:

  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in History and Literature
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Even more options are afforded to graduate music students, including standout options like:

  • Master of Music in Opera
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Arts in Musicology

Cal State- Long Beach has enjoyed accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1968. The school holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#6—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

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Florida State University has offered high-quality academic instruction for music students for the better part of a century. Today, music majors will find six different bachelor’s degree options, including:

  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Theory
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition

For graduate students, the options are even more plentiful and include numerous master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples include:

  • Master of Music in Musicology
  • Master of Music in Opera Production
  • Doctor of Music in Performance
  • Doctor of Music in Composition

An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1930, Florida State is also institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked the school among the top 35 colleges for music in America.

#5—University of Missouri-Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

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As the University of Missouri System’s performing arts campus, UMKC offers top music degree programs through its renowned Conservatory. For undergraduates, bachelor’s degrees are available in six different fields of study, including:

  • Music Education
  • Performance
  • Music Therapy
  • Composition

These same disciplines can be pursued at the graduate levels, and additional areas of study for master’s degree students include:

  • Musicology
  • Music Theory
  • Conducting

Doctoral students will find study options in:

  • Music Education
  • Performance
  • Conducting
  • Composition

The university maintains strong ties to the community and performs in over 500 different events annually. The Higher Learning Commission has extended full institutional accreditation to UMKC to confer these academic degrees in music. The school is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Niche has ranked the university among the top 100 best colleges for music in America.

#4—North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

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The renowned Challey School of Music at North Dakota State University offers top music degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. For undergraduate students, the school offers the following four-year degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Music
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

In addition, graduate offerings include:

  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting

The school offers a variety of scholarships based on both academic performance and financial need. NDSU is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to offer these academic degrees in music. The music department holds separate accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.

#3—University of Houston

Houston, Texas

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The music degree programs from the University of Houston are offered through the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and the Moores School of Music. The university’s music department is large, employing over 80 distinguished faculty members and serving over 500 undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students can pursue one of half a dozen distinct credentials, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Theory
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

Graduate students have even more degree options, including master’s and doctoral degrees such as:

  • Master of Music in Musicology
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition

The University of Houston is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these music degrees. Its music department also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Niche has named UH one of the best colleges for music in the nation.

#2—Brigham Young University-Provo

Provo, Utah

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Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the distinguished School of Music at Brigham Young University-Provo is comprised of roughly 450 music majors as well as approximately 100 part-time and full-time faculty members. Students who desire to pursue an undergraduate degree in music will have several different choices, including:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Dance Theatre
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition

Graduate students have numerous options as well such as:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Arts in Musicology
  • Master of Arts in Composition
  • Master of Arts in Music Education

In addition to degree programs, the university offers dozens of small and large ensembles to support students’ performance goals, including jazz, orchestra, opera, music dance theatre, and more. BYU is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award both undergraduate and graduate credentials in music. Niche has ranked the school among the 40 best music colleges in America.

#1—San Jose State University

San Jose, California

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The prestigious School of Music and Dance at San Jose State University currently enrolls approximately 350 music majors. Undergraduate students can choose from several different degree options, including:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

For graduate students, there are also numerous degrees available such as:

  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Master of Music in Music History
  • Master of Music in Music Theory

Students enrolled at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will have various performance opportunities through their participation in specific ensembles, including choral ensembles, chamber ensembles, bands, and orchestras. San Jose State is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. The school’s music department is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

About Undergraduate Degrees in Music

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Are you passionate about music and looking for a way to channel your enthusiasm into a lucrative career? An undergraduate degree in music is your ticket to success in the industry. Though associate’s credentials in music are available, far and away, the most popular and promising undergraduate degree you can pursue in the field of music is the bachelor’s degree. These are typically four-year degrees available from conservatories as well as liberal arts colleges and universities. Most music degree programs are available on campus only as they require substantial hands-on instruction and performance training in ensembles such as bands, orchestras, and chambers.

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees in Music

Though all bachelor’s in music degrees are appealing in their own right, they are not all the same. In fact, there are several different four-year credentials available to music majors. These varied options require unique coursework and prepare students for distinct career pathways. Thus, if you’re considering an undergraduate music degree, it’s important to know what types of credentials are available and how they differ from one another. Some of the more popular options available to music majors include:

  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education (BME)

Bachelor of Music Degrees: Admission

For most undergraduate degree programs, the admissions process is fairly standard. Gaining entry into a bachelor’s in music degree program is different, though. In addition to submitting basic documentation such as your high school academic transcript and college entrance exam scores, you will most likely be required to audition for a seat in your chosen undergraduate music program. This audition process can be intense and competitive, depending on the school you’re applying to. In addition to a successful audition, other common admissions criteria for undergraduate music programs include:

  • Minimum high school GPA (around 3.0)
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal essays/statements

Bachelor’s in Music Programs: Curriculum

Regardless of which type of bachelor’s in music degree program you elect to pursue, you can expect to be required to fulfill approximately 120 credit hours of coursework. Though the bulk of this coursework will be directly related to your major, you will likely be required to take some general education courses in academic areas such as the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and more.

The major-specific classes you’re required to take as part of your undergraduate music degree plan will depend on the precise type of bachelor’s degree in music you’re pursuing as well as any concentrations or areas of emphasis you elect. To give you a rough idea of the types of classes you may encounter, we’ve listed some sample course titles below. These are taken from actual bachelor’s of music degree offerings.

Sample Bachelor of Music Degree Course Titles

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  • Composition, Orchestration and Arranging
  • Music Career Management
  • Piano Skills
  • Music History and Literature
  • Sight Singing/Ear Training
  • Introduction to Conducting
  • Chromatic Harmony
  • Music Theory
  • The Classical Canon

Popular Concentrations for Music Majors

It doesn’t take a degree in music to know that this creative discipline is a broad one. In addition to the numerous instruments one can choose to play, there are various aspects of the music field you can decide to study. That’s why many undergraduate music programs enable students to concentrate their studies in a specific musical specialty or emphasis area. Below, our editors will detail some of the more popular concentrations available to music majors.

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Music Education

A bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in Music Education prepares graduates to teach music in public and private schools. These degree plans may or may not lead to teacher licensure or certification, depending on the program. Those music students who elect a specialization in Music Education can expect to take classes such as:

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  • Ethnomusicology in the Schools
  • Techniques for Teaching Music to Children
  • Introduction to Access and Equity in Music

Music Therapy

Undergraduate music degree plans with a concentration in Music Therapy positions graduates to work in a clinical setting, applying principles of music therapy to treatment plans for patients dealing with a range of mental health conditions and disorders from dementia to depression. Students who choose a concentration in Music Therapy will take courses such as the following:

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  • Clinical Orientation to Music Therapy
  • Improvisation Methods in Music Therapy
  • Music Therapy Research

Performance

Undergraduate music majors who want to perform professionally after graduation may consider a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in Performance. Students who elect this specialization often major in a specific sub-field of music performance such as voice, piano, or instrumental, for example. Classes comprising such a specialization may include:

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  • Tonal Harmony and Composition
  • Harmonic Considerations in Improvisation
  • Aural Skills

Composition

Music majors who dream of writing music as opposed to performing it will want to consider a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in Composition. Degree plans in Composition often include classes like those listed below:

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  • Instrumentation and Score Preparation
  • Contemporary Techniques in Composition
  • The Physics of Music

Music Industry/Music Business

An undergraduate degree in music with a concentration in Music Industry or Music Business prepares graduates to perform business operations within the music industry, including those related to music marketing, music production, and music distribution. Course titles comprising a degree of this nature may include:

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  • Music Industry Law and Ethics
  • Computer Applications in the Music Business
  • Music Product Development

Frequently-Asked Questions About Undergraduate Degrees in Music

Q: Is a music degree worth it?

A: There is an unfortunate misconception that music degrees are worthless. While this certainly isn’t the case, only you can decide whether an undergraduate music degree is worth investing time, effort, and money. Though bachelor’s degree programs in music can be rigorous, the payoff for graduates is often a rewarding career, both financially and personally.

Q: How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in music?

A: The standard completion time for a bachelor of music degree program is four years. There are factors that could affect the length of your program, though, such as how many classes you take per term and whether or not you choose a dual major or other specialized courses of study.

Q: Can I earn an undergraduate music degree online?

A: Online bachelor’s degree programs in music do exist, but they are not very common. If you’re considering distance learning for your undergraduate music education, you must weigh any potential drawbacks such as loss of experiential learning and performance opportunities.

Q: Are part-time bachelor’s in music programs available?

A: Most undergraduate music degree programs require a full-time commitment, but there are exceptions. If you plan to study music part-time, keep in mind that this could increase the duration of your degree program.

Q: Is there a standard accrediting body for music degree programs?
A: Yes. The accrediting agency for music degree programs in the United States is the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). All schools featured in this ranking hold official NASM accreditation.

Career Questions About Bachelor’s Degrees in Music

Q: What can I do with a bachelor’s in music credential?

A: Contrary to popular belief, a wide variety of career choices are associated with an undergraduate degree in music. Some popular career paths include a music teacher, performer, composer, producer, and music therapist.

Q: How much will I make with an bachelor’s in music degree?

A: It isn’t easy to predict. Pay will vary depending on the precise type of undergraduate degree in music you hold and your terms of employment and geographical area. Still, PayScale reports the average salary for professionals with a Bachelor of Arts in Music to be just over $60,000 per year.

Q: Are music degrees in demand?

A: Though jobs for musicians and singers are growing slower than the average occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), other careers requiring a bachelor’s degree in music are, in fact, in demand. For example, the job prospects for music teachers and music therapists are promising.

Q: What professional organizations should music majors/graduates join?

A: Dozens of professional organizations and associations exist in the field of music. Some of these are listed below for the sake of reference:

  • Association of Music Producers
  • National Association of Music Merchants
  • Association of Independent Music Publishers
  • National Association for Music Education
  • American Music Therapy Association for Students
  • International Society for the Performing Arts
  • American Federation of Musicians

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FAQs

Which college is best for BA music? ›

Top BA in Music Universities in India 2022
  • MSU Baroda - Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. ...
  • LPU Jalandhar - Lovely Professional University. ...
  • BHU Varanasi - Banaras Hindu University. ...
  • UNIPUNE (Pune University) - Savitribai Phule Pune University. ...
  • Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar. ...
  • University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

What is the best college to major in music? ›

The 20 Best Music Conservatories in the U.S.
  1. Juilliard School. (New York, New York) ...
  2. Curtis Institute of Music. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) ...
  3. Manhattan School of Music. ...
  4. Berklee College of Music. ...
  5. Mannes College-The New School for Music. ...
  6. New England Conservatory of Music. ...
  7. Boston Conservatory. ...
  8. Cleveland Institute of Music.

What is the cheapest bachelor degree to get? ›

We did the research and have compiled a list of 10 cheapest bachelor's degrees available online in 2021.
  1. University of the People. ...
  2. Tennessee State University, USA. ...
  3. Aspen University – USA. ...
  4. Georgia Southwestern State University, USA. ...
  5. Derby University. ...
  6. Fort Hayes State University. ...
  7. Valdosta State University. ...
  8. Open University – UK.

What should I major in if I want to make music? ›

  • Top Choices for Music Majors.
  • Performance.
  • Music Business.
  • Music Production and Engineering.
  • Music Education.
  • Composition.
  • Film Scoring.
7 Oct 2022

Is BA music a good career? ›

BA Music Vocal Salaries is also quite good. Career after BA Music Vocal course, The students taking the BA Music Vocal route mould a character with the selection and excessive analysis thereby making them eligible for the profiles for the tedious procedure of selection. Some of the Jobs areas are : Music Industry.

What should I major in if I love music? ›

10 Types of Music Majors Explained
  • Music Technology.
  • Music Business.
  • Music Education.
  • Marketing.
  • Public Relations.
  • Audio Production.
  • Retail Management.
  • Publishing.
20 Sept 2019

Is majoring in music worth it? ›

Yes, a music degree is worth it for most aspiring musicians. Music degrees are essential for employment in the music industry as well as building well-rounded musicians. However, in some areas of music, a degree may not be necessary.

Is music a hard major? ›

Although it may sound like it's an easy major, the fact is music can be hard. That's because it's competitive and demanding, and requires students to devote plenty of time, dedication and commitment to it. However, for those who love music and are planning on working in music-related fields, it can be rewarding.

What college should I go to if I want to be a musician? ›

Schools with Degree Programs for Singers
College/UniversityLocationDegrees Offered
Berklee College of MusicBoston, MABachelor's, Master's
Miami UniversityOxford, OHBachelor's, Master's
University of HoustonHouston, TXBachelor's, Master's, Doctoral
JuilliardNew York, NYBachelor's, Master's, Doctoral
6 more rows
20 Oct 2021

What is the easiest highest paying degree? ›

8 Easy Degrees That Pay Well
  • Business Administration. Business administration is one major that is usually considered “easy.” Some programs will also only take 3 years to finish! ...
  • English. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Marketing. ...
  • Supply Chain Management. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Communication.
6 Jul 2022

Which bachelor degree is the hardest? ›

What Are the 10 Most Difficult College Majors?
  • Economics – 2.95.
  • Biology – 3.02.
  • Geology – 3.03.
  • Philosophy – 3.08.
  • Finance – 3.08.
  • Physics – 3.10.
  • Computer Science – 3.13.
  • Mechanical Engineering – 3.17.
5 days ago

What is the hardest bachelor degree to earn? ›

Architecture major is currently the hardest college major in the US. A study conducted by Indiana University (National Study of Student Engagement) has shown some of the reasons why major in architecture is so difficult.

What careers does music lead to? ›

Music graduates are skilled music professionals and are employed as musicians, composers, singers, dancers, producers, production managers, technicians, designers, writers and more.

What are the three majors in music? ›

The 3 major record labels are: Universal Music Group. Sony Music. Warner Music Group.

Does GPA matter for a music major? ›

The answer is a resounding “depends-on-the-school-you-are-applying-to.” If we look for a minimum GPA requirement that an independent conservatory like Juilliard lists on its website, we will find no such requirement.

What job in music pays the most? ›

Here we break down the Top 5 highest paying music career jobs in 2022.
  • Job Titles: Sound Engineer. Music Degree Needed: Music Production. ...
  • Job Title: Recording Engineer. Music Degree: Electronic Music Production and Sound Design. ...
  • Job Title: Music Professor. ...
  • Job Title: Music Therapist. ...
  • Job Title: Music Director or Composer.
3 Jun 2022

Does music pay well? ›

Everyone knows that music is a highly lucrative industry. But what many people don't know is that there are specific jobs in the music industry that pay more than others. If you're passionate about music, rewarding career opportunities are available.

Is music a BA or BS? ›

Bachelor of Science in Music (BS)

Music business and music industry majors are likely to find themselves getting BS degrees. Some schools also offer the BS for music education and sound recording technology.

What is the toughest major? ›

20 Hardest Majors: The Ultimate Guide
  1. Chemistry. At number one on the list is chemistry.
  2. Architecture. ...
  3. Chemical Engineering. ...
  4. Computer Science. ...
  5. Aerospace Engineering. ...
  6. Biomedical Engineering. ...
  7. Materials Engineering. ...
  8. Petroleum Engineering. ...

Should I go to college if I want to be a musician? ›

If you plan to be an employed musician, such as in an orchestra, university, opera, or even in Broadway, you most certainly need a degree in music. Well over 99% of all musicians employed in a major professional orchestra, opera company, and in tenured professorships have music degrees.

What is the hardest major to get a job? ›

Top 20 Hardest Degrees To Get A Job With | Hardest Degree in the World 2022
  • Medicine.
  • Architecture.
  • Astrophysics.
  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Pharmacy.
  • Chemistry.
  • Physics.
  • Biomedical Engineering.

Is a musician in high demand? ›

Employment Outlook for Musicians and Singers

Employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth will be attributed to increases in demand for musical performances.

What major should I choose to be a artist? ›

Your ideal Creative Arts major is Visual Arts, which provides knowledge and practical experience in art forms such as painting, filmmaker photography, modeling and simulation, sculpture, digital imaging, and more.

Is musician a good career choice? ›

Is a career in music a good move? Of course, it is if you want a highly rewarding career where you get to perform music every day and do what you love. It is worth it, but you better be prepared to put the work in. It is not an easy ride, but once you get the taste for it, you won't look back.

What are fun majors that pay well? ›

10 Best Paying Fun Majors Best Degrees for a Good Time
  • Software Developer. If working by yourself is something that you enjoy, then this is a major that you want to keep in mind. ...
  • Dental Hygienist. ...
  • Librarian. ...
  • Radiology Technician. ...
  • Artist. ...
  • Astronomer. ...
  • Event Planner. ...
  • Chef.

What 2 year degree pays the most? ›

What Are the Highest-Paying Associate Degrees?
  • Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Aeronautics. ...
  • MRI Technology. ...
  • Radiology Technology. ...
  • Respiratory Therapy. ...
  • Occupational Therapy. ...
  • Mechanical Engineering. ...
  • Network Engineering. Network engineers design, administer, and maintain local and wide area network systems.

What major makes least money? ›

Worst-paying college majors
  • Family and Consumer Sciences. $32K.
  • General Social Sciences. $34K.
  • Performing Arts. $34K.
  • Social Services. $35K.
  • Anthropology. $36K.
  • Early Childhood Education. $36K.
  • Theology and Religion. $36.6K.
  • Psychology. $37K.
12 Feb 2022

What is the most regretted major? ›

The most-regretted college majors
Major% who regret
Sciences35% 35% 35%
Education31% 31% 31%
Social sciences/law29% 29% 29%
Communications27% 27% 27%
6 more rows
30 Jul 2022

What is the most stressful degree? ›

College majors in the STEM field tend to be the most stressful, such as engineering and architecture. The same is true for many of those in the medical or healthcare field, including nursing and neuroscience. There are also stressful majors from other fields, such as accounting and related areas.

What's the easiest college major? ›

Based on the number of graduates, the average G.P.A. that needs to be maintained, as well as the amount of time the students will have to dedicate to studying, humanities, education, and communication majors are among the easiest online college majors or on-campus majors to pursue.

What does a bachelor of music do? ›

There are so many other roles and opportunities that come from studying Music, learning different genres and networking. To just name a few, you could also become a Songwriter, Copyright Specialist, Resident Musician, Music Consultant, Tour Promoter, Arranger, Music Programmer and so much more.

Is a music career stressful? ›

While it may not always seem obvious, working in the music industry can be as stressful as most other industries. Unreliable people, things not sounding how you want, and slower progression then you had planned; all of these and more can really add up.

How much does a music career pay? ›

The average Musician salary is $44,231 as of September 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $34,275 and $52,782. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

What is a music degree called? ›

Bachelor of Music (BM or BMus) is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of a program of study in music.

What is the most common major in music? ›

Bachelor of Music (BM)

The Bachelor of Music is the most common type of music degree. It's these types of degrees that are almost exclusively offered at conservatories and music departments at universities.

Can you major in music with no experience? ›

Can you major in music with no experience? That depends on what kind of music major you want to be. If you are going to be a performance major (instrumental or voice) you need experience, and lots of it.

What major has the lowest GPA? ›

Science majors tend to have lower GPAs on average, with chemistry being the major with the lowest average GPA. Meanwhile, education majors earn the highest GPAs on average.

Is majoring in music easy? ›

Between classes, rehearsals, and performances, music majors are often quite busy and rarely have downtime for themselves. Therefore, it is not the easiest major for any student.

Why is G major so common? ›

One of the reasons the key of G is so popular is because it is relatively easy for guitarists and other musicians to play. Part of this comes from the fact that it only has one sharp (F). Also, the finger position on the guitar frets is not overly complex.

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Music Careers

https://www.bestcolleges.com › careers › music
https://www.bestcolleges.com › careers › music
Popular Online Music Career Programs ; Bachelor of Science in Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis Purdue University Global.

Which college is best for music in India? ›

Top Music Universities in India 2022
  • MSU Baroda - Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. ...
  • LPU Jalandhar - Lovely Professional University. ...
  • BHU Varanasi - Banaras Hindu University. ...
  • DU Delhi - University of Delhi. ...
  • UNIPUNE (Pune University) - Savitribai Phule Pune University. ...
  • Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar.

What do you study in Ba music? ›

BA Music has got several specialized course components like vocal music, instrumental music and various dance forms. History of Music, Music Theory and Music Interpretation are some of the major subjects that are included in this course.

What is a BA in music industry? ›

The Bachelor of Arts in Music option in Music Industry Studies (MIS) prepares students for executive and administrative careers in the music industry (entrance audition required). This option offers a blend of the art of music and the discipline of business.

What can I do after BA in music? ›

Audio Engineer is one of the most in-demand careers right now. Students who are graduating after completing Bachelor of Arts in Music are the most eligible people for this job.

Which city is best for music career? ›

The 50 best cities for musicians
RankCityMusic Businesses Per Density
1San Francisco, CA2.77
2Washington, DC1.13
3Minneapolis, MN1.02
4Seattle, WA0.58
45 more rows
25 Oct 2021

What college should I go to if I want to be a musician? ›

Schools with Degree Programs for Singers
College/UniversityLocationDegrees Offered
Berklee College of MusicBoston, MABachelor's, Master's
Miami UniversityOxford, OHBachelor's, Master's
University of HoustonHouston, TXBachelor's, Master's, Doctoral
JuilliardNew York, NYBachelor's, Master's, Doctoral
6 more rows
20 Oct 2021

Which country is best for music career? ›

Countries With The Best Music In The World 2022
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Out of all countries, the United States of America has the finest music. ...
  • THE UNITED KINGDOM: The next on the list is the United kingdom. ...
  • GERMANY: Germany ranks third in the international music business.
4 Jun 2022

How many years for BA music? ›

Bachelor of Arts [BA] (Music Vocal) is a 3 year undergraduate full-time musical course, eligibility to which is 10+2 or an equivalent examination from recognized university.

Is music an easy major? ›

Between classes, rehearsals, and performances, music majors are often quite busy and rarely have downtime for themselves. Therefore, it is not the easiest major for any student.

What is a bachelor's degree in music called? ›

Bachelor of Music (BM or BMus) is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of a program of study in music.

Is music a BA or BS? ›

Bachelor of Science in Music (BS)

Music business and music industry majors are likely to find themselves getting BS degrees. Some schools also offer the BS for music education and sound recording technology.

Which is better BA or BAA? ›

B.A. versus B.A.A.

A Bachelor of Arts is a general education in the arts with a specific major, while a B.A.A. is a Bachelor of Applied Arts, which offers greater specificity in a particular field of arts and experiential learning.

What is the difference between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music? ›

The Basic Differences in Music Degrees

Bachelor of Music (BM) degree at a university is more similar to the depth and rigor required by a conservatory. Bachelor of Arts (BA) is a liberal arts degree with a concentration in music.

What is the highest paying job in music? ›

Here we break down the Top 5 highest paying music career jobs in 2022.
  • Job Titles: Sound Engineer. Music Degree Needed: Music Production. ...
  • Job Title: Recording Engineer. Music Degree: Electronic Music Production and Sound Design. ...
  • Job Title: Music Professor. ...
  • Job Title: Music Therapist. ...
  • Job Title: Music Director or Composer.
3 Jun 2022

Is a music degree hard? ›

You may think majoring in music is going to be significantly more fun and less stressful than majoring in business or economics, but the truth is: majoring in music is extremely time consuming! Being a music major requires an incredible amount of energy, focus and determination.

Can you be successful with a music degree? ›

A degree in music can pave the way for many different career options in the world of music. They range anywhere from performing, music directing, DJing to acting. Some music students take on teaching jobs. With the right concentration and major, a more well-defined career path can be set by music majors.

› What-can-I-do-with-a-bachelors... ›

I majored in music in the early 1990s, and went on to get a masters degree. At that time, there was still a thriving record industry, a lot of work composing fo...

Scope after B.A in music

http://entrance-exam.net › scope-after-ba-in-music
http://entrance-exam.net › scope-after-ba-in-music
The importance of the art of music is much high today when compared to olden times. The number of Colleges and Universities offering bachelor and masters degree...
A BA in Music is a nice to have degree if you enjoy music (like I do). If you get a teaching certificate, you can teach music to kids K through 12. With a Maste...

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