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100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate)

music colleges near me

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 Schools

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

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $5,000: 5 points
  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,500: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Graduate Degree Opportunities in Music

  • Presence of Master’s Degree Program – 1 point
  • Presence of Doctoral Degree Program – 1 point

20-Year Net ROI

  • Above 600,000 – 4 points
  • Above 500,000 – 3 points
  • Above 400,000 –2 points
  • Above 300,000 – 1 point

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Student Support Services for Music Students—1 point each

Wow Factor: awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us – 1 point

Table of Contents:

TOP TEN:

  1. San Jose State University
  2. Brigham Young University-Provo
  3. University of Houston
  4. North Dakota State University
  5. University of Missouri-Kansas City
  6. Florida State University
  7. California State University-Long Beach
  8. Wichita State University
  9. Lamar University
  10. Texas Tech University

Rating and Ranking the Best Music Schools for an Undergraduate Degree

To develop this ranking of the top music schools in the country for a bachelor’s in music, our editors began with an initial pool of nearly 270 colleges and universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) with tuition expenses of less than $25,000 per year. We applied a return-on-investment filter to narrow this pool, eliminating schools with a 20-year ROI of less than $200,000. Finally, our editors rated and ranked each school using the methodology listed above. This required the consultation of credible sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), PayScale, and each school’s website. In the case of a tie, the more affordable school received a higher ranking.

#100—California State University-Stanislaus

Turlock, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Stanislaus

California State University-Stanislaus received its programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music in 1981. For decades now, the school has provided undergraduate music majors with first-class academic and instrumental instruction as well as various performance opportunities both on and off-campus. Students can opt to pursue one of four distinct credentials in music:

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

Bachelor’s in music students may elect an optional concentration in Music Technology, and a minor in music is also available. Cal State-Stanislaus holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,542

#99—California State University-Dominguez Hills

Carson, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Dominguez Hills

An All-Steinway School, the top college for music at California State University-Dominguez Hills has enjoyed accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music since 1976. Today, the school offers three degree options for music majors at the undergraduate level:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: General
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Performance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Music Education

In addition to outstanding academic preparation, Cal State-Dominguez Hills also offers its students myriad performance opportunities through participation in various ensembles such as bands, orchestras, and vocal chambers. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the university to award the bachelor of music credential.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,946

#98—California State University-San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 29:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-San Bernardino

The top school of music at California State University-San Bernardino is committed to providing its students with rigorous and stimulating degree programs in the creative discipline of music. Focusing exclusively on the musical preparation of bachelor’s in music students, the school offers the following four-year degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has fully accredited Cal State- San Bernardino to confer these bachelor’s degrees in music. The university has been programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 2003.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,885

#97—Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Durant, Oklahoma

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Southeastern Oklahoma State University

One of the factors that makes Southeastern Oklahoma State University a top college for a bachelor’s in music in the United States is its first-rate student facilities. Music majors at the university have access to several state-of-the-art rehearsal halls, an iMac computer lab, a listening lab, and various teaching studios. In terms of academics, the school offers three distinct undergraduate degrees:

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

For graduate students, a convenient online Master of Music Education program is available. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Southeastern Oklahoma State University to award these bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the school’s music program since 1978.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,750

#96—Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, Georgia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s top college for music has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music for over half a century now. First accredited in 1967, the school now offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music. Four-year degree options for music majors at Georgia Southern include:

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

Music minors are also available in the following sub-disciplines of music:

  • Music Technology
  • Music History and Literature
  • Applied Music

For graduate students, a Master of Music Program is offered with the following concentration options:

  • Music Education
  • Music Technology
  • Performance
  • Conducting
  • Composition

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Georgia Southern University to award these music credentials at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,463

#95—Cameron University

Lawton, Oklahoma

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Cameron University

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1973, Cameron University now offers a full suite of undergraduate music degrees through its School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Art, Music, and Theatre Arts. Music majors may pursue one of the following credentials:

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

Music students at Cameron University have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a nearly 400-seat proscenium stage and a 125-seat recital hall. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Cameron University to award these four-year degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,450

#94—Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Winston-Salem State University

Housed within the university’s College of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education, the top music school at Winston-Salem State University is an affordable option for students looking for a conservatory-style music education without the expensive price tag. The school specializes in music preparation for the undergraduate student, offering the following degree options:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music (General)
  • BA in Music: Music Education
  • BA in Music: Music Business

Undergraduate minors are also available, including:

  • Music Minor
  • Music Business Minor

The music department at Winston-Salem State is also flexible in that it allows for individual customization of degree plans and even dual majors. The program has been NASM-accredited since 1974 and is institutionally accredited to confer bachelor’s degrees in music by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,941

#93—University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

First accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in 2007, the University of Arkansas- Fort Smith offers accredited undergraduate music degrees from its College of Communication, Languages, Arts, and Social Sciences. Specifically, the university awards two distinct bachelor’s level credentials:

  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Within these degree programs, customization options are plentiful and include the option to individualize one’s study to specific interests and career aspirations. Over a dozen ensembles are active on campus, including:

  • Jazz Band
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Chamber Singers

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,754

#92—Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 8

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Fort Hays State University

A top college for music majors, Fort Hays State University is also one of the most affordable music schools in our ranking. The school’s comprehensive undergraduate music program features four distinct degree options:

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

A minor in music is also available. Graduate programs are also available for music students, including:

  • Master of Liberal Studies: Music
  • Master of Professional Studies: Composition
  • Master of Professional Studies: Performance

Fort Hays State is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and it holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,280

#91—Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Northern Illinois University

Located within the university’s prestigious College of Visual and Performing Arts, the music department at Northern Illinois University offers both undergraduate and graduate music degrees in a conservatory-like environment. At the bachelor’s level, four distinct credentials are available:

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

Graduate students enjoy nearly as many degree options, including:

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Individualized Studies

An advanced performer’s certificate is also available. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northern Illinois University to confer these bachelor’s and master’s level music credentials. NIU is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $14,610

#90—Rowan University

Glassboro, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate) - Rowan University

A medium-sized top college for music majors, Rowan provides an intimate academic experience while still accommodating rising musicians’ performance needs. Undergraduate music students will find a full range of bachelor’s degree programs at the university, including the following:

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

Rowan also has a robust graduate degree program, offering the following master’s degree credentials:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies

Rowan University holds the accreditation needed to offer these academic degrees in music from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $14,000

#89—Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University offers its top music degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Music and Dance. The school’s undergraduate and graduate offerings are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and feature myriad customization options for students interested in various sub-fields of the discipline. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students will find the following credentials at EMU:

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

Graduate students have an equal number of options, including:

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

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Eastern Michigan University to confer academic degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,758

#88—University of Minnesota-Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Minnesota-Duluth

Centered around the school’s exquisite Weber Music Hall, the University of Minnesota at Duluth is a leader in undergraduate and graduate music education. For those music majors seeking a four-year degree, the school offers the following options:

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

Students who desire to continue their music studies in an advanced degree program can do so by opting for one of the following master’s degree plans:

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

Regardless of the degree, all music students at UMD are eligible to participate in the 200+ performances put on by various ensembles throughout the school’s music department. The University of Minnesota-Duluth is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,680

#87—Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Montclair State University

A top college for music majors nationwide, Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music offers premier music degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. Students seeking a four-year degree have the following options:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre
  • Bachelor of Music in School and Community Settings
  • Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

A post-baccalaureate artist diploma is also available. Montclair State’s graduate students can choose from four different master’s degree offerings:

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

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has extended institutional accreditation to the university to confer these various music degrees. Its School of Music is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,073

#86—Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Edwardsville, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): SIU - Edwardsville

Like many of the best music colleges in our ranking, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville has a long history of preparing young musicians for the stage or the classroom. First accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1964, the school currently offers over half a dozen undergraduate degree programs, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre
  • Bachelor of Music: Music Business
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

SIU-Edwardsville also offers two graduate credentials:

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

In addition to its programmatic accreditation, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville holds full institutional accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $12,219

#85—Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University’s top music school is housed within the university’s acclaimed Doudna Fine Arts Center. In addition to high-quality music instruction, the school offers its undergraduate and graduate music students numerous and meaningful performance opportunities both on and off-campus. Three distinct NASM-accredited bachelor’s degree programs are available to music majors:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music (Teacher Licensure)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

The school also offers minors in General Music and Jazz Studies. Graduate students may pursue a Master of Arts in Music program on campus or online. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited EIU to award these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,989

#84—University of Akron

Akron, Ohio

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Akron

Housed within the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Music at the University of Akron is one of the largest of the nation’s public university music schools. More than 300 music majors pursue formal academic degrees from the university, including the following options for undergraduate students:

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

Graduate students have even more choices when it comes to master’s degrees, including:

  • Master of Music in Theory
  • Master of Music in Music Technology
  • Master of Music in Wind Conducting
  • Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Akron to confer these music degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school also holds program accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,636

#83—Towson University

Towson, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Towson University

Long recognized as one of the best colleges for music in Maryland, Towson University also rivals some of the leading schools of music nationwide. Its success is due, in part, to its wide range of degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For those seeking a four-year degree in music, the following options are available:

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

Those who desire an advanced degree can choose from four different master’s degree in music programs:

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

Towson University holds the necessary institutional accreditation to award these degrees from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It also holds program-specific accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,198

#82—University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UA - Little Rock

Located in the culturally rich district of downtown Little Rock, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock is known as one of the South’s best colleges for music. The school offers five distinct options for its undergraduate music majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Applied Music
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Music History
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Music Theory
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education: Instrumental
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education: Vocal

A minor in music is also available. UA-Little Rock’s music department has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1974. The school also holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,544

#81—University of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of South Dakota

Programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1953, the University of South Dakota is currently home to a robust undergraduate and graduate music program. For students seeking a four-year degree, the following options are available:

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

The university’s graduate music program is even more comprehensive, offering half a dozen different degree choices, including:

  • Master of Music in the History of Musical Instruments
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
  • Master of Music in Music Education

USD awards nearly a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships each year to support its students’ academic endeavors in the discipline of music. The Higher Learning Commission has extended the institutional accreditation necessary to award these formal music degrees to the University of South Dakota.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,332

#80—Youngstown State University

Youngstown, Ohio

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Youngstown State University

One of the oldest top colleges for music in our ranking, Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music was first accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music in 1947. The school is home to a comprehensive undergraduate program offering the following credentials:

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

Within these degree programs, various emphases can be pursued, including those in:

  • Piano
  • Organ
  • Instrumental
  • Keyboard
  • Applied Music
  • Music Theory

A minor in music is also available as is a master’s in music degree program. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Youngstown State to award these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,279

#79—Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): TAMU - Corpus Christi

Focusing exclusively on undergraduate preparation. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is one of the best public universities for music majors nationwide. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1975, the school offers the following bachelor’s degrees in music:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Music Industry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Music Studies
  • Bachelor of Music (Teacher Certification)
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

Performance opportunities are afforded to students through participation in various ensembles. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is institutionally accredited to award bachelor’s degrees in music by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,272

#78—Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Indiana State University

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1966, Indiana State University has a long-standing history of preparing its music majors for careers in performance, education, and the music business. The school is home to a comprehensive undergraduate music program, offering the following bachelor’s degrees in music:

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

An undergraduate certificate in Piano Pedagogy is also available as is a minor in music. Graduate students pursuing a master’s in music from Indiana State can choose from three distinct concentrations:

  • Music Education
  • Conducting
  • Music Performance

The Higher Learning Commission has institutionally accredited Indiana State University to confer these undergraduate and graduate credentials in music. The school’s music program is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,236

#77—University of Texas at El Paso

El Paso, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UT-El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso provides its music majors with world-class music education at public university prices. Its comprehensive undergraduate program consists of degree plans such as:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Theory/Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music

For students interested in an advanced music degree, there are four distinct options:

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Music Theory
  • Master of Music in Composition

A Conn-Selmer School, UTEP’s music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It also holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,161

#76—Tennessee Technological University

Cookeville, Tennessee

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Tennessee Tech

Like so many top colleges for music majors, Tennessee Technological University seeks to prepare its students for performance and teaching in music and as lifelong learners and practitioners of the discipline. The school offers the following four-year degrees in music:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education: Vocal
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education: Instrumental
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance

Undergraduates can also elect to pursue one of four available music minors:

  • Music Technology
  • Music Theory & Composition
  • Music History
  • Music Performance

Music students at Tennessee Tech have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the 500-seat Wattenbarger Auditorium, a recital hall, and various music labs and smart classrooms. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the university to confer undergraduate credentials in music. The music program at Tennessee Tech also holds accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,934

#75—Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Troy University

Troy University’s prestigious John M. Long School of Music can be found within the University’s College of Communication and Fine Arts. Here, both undergraduate and graduate students alike will find top-quality music instruction and a range of degree programs in sub-fields of the discipline, including music education, music industry, and instrumental performance, for example. Specifically, the following credentials are available at Troy:

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

Troy University holds full institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials in music. The university’s School of Music is also separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,908

#74—University of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans is known as one of the best colleges for music in the South. The school offers a comprehensive undergraduate program that enables students to customize their studies around one of four available concentrations:

  • Jazz Studies
  • Music Studies
  • Performance
  • Composition

Master’s degree in music offerings are also available for graduate students and include:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies

No matter their degree choice, UNO music students will have a variety of recital and performance opportunities. The University of New Orleans holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer formal music credentials. It is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,772

#73—State University of New York-New Paltz

New Paltz, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): SUNY-New Paltz

The State University of New York-New Paltz has been recognized as one of the top colleges for music majors in New York. An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1975, the school offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Music. Within these programs, students can pursue areas of study, such as:

  • Jazz Performance
  • Classical Performance
  • Recording and Electronic Music

SUNY-New Paltz also offers an accredited Master of Music Therapy degree. The school itself is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,502

#72—Minnesota State University-Mankato

Mankato, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): MSU-Mankato

Eligible music majors at Minnesota State University-Mankato may qualify for the music department’s nine available scholarships. Once enrolled, students may pursue credentials in one of three different areas of the music discipline:

  • General Music Studies
  • Music Education
  • Music Industry

Specific degree options for undergraduate music students include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Industry

A Master of Music in Music Performance is also available for students who desire an advanced music degree. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Minnesota State-Mankato to award these bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. The school’s music program is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,438

#71—Colorado State University-Pueblo

Pueblo, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Pueblo

Housed within its School of Creativity and Practice, the music department at Colorado State University-Pueblo has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1962. The school emphasizes academic and instrumental preparation at the undergraduate level and offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Specialization opportunities are also available for music majors, including those in:

  • Music Theory/Composition
  • Jazz Studies
  • Piano Pedagogy
  • Organ Performance Studies
  • Music and Audio Production

Colorado State University-Pueblo is institutionally accredited to confer these music credentials at the bachelor’s level by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,407

#70—University of South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of South Alabama

Energized by its recently added graduate degree program, the University of South Alabama is enrolling more music majors and expanding its performance opportunities for students. Undergraduate degree plans through the university’s music department include:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music: Business
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Alternatively, students in the bachelor’s degree in music program can opt for an emphasis outside the department. Master’s degree students also have options, including:

  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Collaborative Keyboard

The University of South Alabama is institutionally accredited to confer these music degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its music department also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,396

#69—University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UT-San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio has enjoyed accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for the last forty years. Today, it offers myriad undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music from its College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Bachelor’s degree-seeking music majors can choose from the following available credentials:

  • Bachelor of Music: Music Marketing
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Studies
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

Graduate students have just as many degree options, including:

  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance
  • Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance
  • Master of Music in Music Education

Graduate certificates are also available in the following areas:

  • Keyboard Pedagogy
  • Instrumental Performance
  • Voice Pedagogy

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited UTSA to confer these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,262

#68—West Texas A&M University

Canyon, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University’s School of Music can be found within its distinguished Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1965, the school offers formal music credentials at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students seeking a four-year degree will find a range of options available to them, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Technology

Versatile graduate degree programs are also available, including:

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

Graduate students pursuing the MA credential may choose from thesis or non-thesis options. West Texas A&M University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer these bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,135

#67—University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, Missouri

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri’s top school of music offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music from the university’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Among its undergraduate options are credentials like the following:

  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz/Commercial Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Technology
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

A traditional BA in Music is also available. A few different degree plans are also available to the university’s graduate music students, including:

  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Master of Arts in Kodaly Music Education
  • Master of Arts in Conducting

The University of Central Missouri is authorized to award these credentials in music through institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission and programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,969

#66—Shepherd University

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Shepherd University

Music majors at Shepherd University enjoy individualized instruction from distinguished faculty members, thanks to the school’s low student to faculty ratio. The university focuses solely on academic and instrumental preparation at the undergraduate level, offering the following four-year degrees:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance: Instrumental
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance: Vocal
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance: Piano
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance: Jazz
  • Bachelor of Music Education (Vocal or Instrumental)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music: Composition or Piano Pedagogy)

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Shepherd University to offer these undergraduate credentials in music. The school also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,784

#65—University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Central Oklahoma

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1996, the University of Central Oklahoma has long been known as one of the best colleges for music majors in the state of Oklahoma and beyond. The school offers half a dozen bachelor’s degree in music programs through its College of Fine Arts and Design, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance

Seven different music minors are also available to undergraduate students. For those interested in pursuing an advanced music degree, UCO offers eight different options such as:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Musical Theatre
  • Master of Music in Jazz Studies

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Central Oklahoma to award these bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,753

#64—Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Southwestern Oklahoma State University

One of the smaller top colleges for music in our ranking, Southwestern Oklahoma State University enrolls roughly 130 music students who receive quality musical instruction from 20 distinguished faculty members. Music majors seeking four-year degrees can choose from the following credentials:

  • Bachelor of Music in Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music: Business

Three degree options are available to graduate students:

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Music Therapy
  • Master of Music in Performance

Southwestern Oklahoma State’s music program was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music in 1971. The university also holds institutional accreditation to award formal music degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,695

#63—University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Wisconsin-Platteville

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s top school for music is unique. It provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to customize their degree plans by combining choral, instrumental, and general music courses. Available credentials include:

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

Undergraduate students also can participate in various ensembles, including jazz ensembles, choirs, bands, and orchestras. The University of Wisconsin- Platteville holds institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, and it also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,353

#62—California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Fullerton

California State University-Fullerton’s top school of music is housed within its distinguished College of the Arts. The school has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1966. Today it offers a comprehensive range of music degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Music majors at Cal State-Fullerton have the following bachelor’s degree options:

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

Even more degree choices are available to master’s level students:

  • Master of Arts in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Theory/Composition
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Arts in History and Literature
  • Master of Arts in Piano Pedagogy

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited California State University- Fullerton to confer these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,924

#61—Southern Utah University

Cedar City, Utah

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Southern Utah University

A top university for music majors, Southern Utah University offers undergraduate and graduate music degrees from its College of Performing and Visual Arts. Three distinct bachelor’s credentials are available to music majors:

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

Within these degree plans, students may customize their studies by choosing concentrations or areas of emphasis, including:

  • Instrumental Performance
  • Vocal Performance
  • Piano Performance

SUU also offers the following master’s degree programs for students interested in graduate study:

  • Master of Music Education
  • Master of Music in Music Technology: Performance Technology
  • Master of Music in Music Technology: Studio and Game Audio Technology

Southern Utah University is institutionally accredited to offer these music degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The university’s music program is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,770

#60—University of Texas at the Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UT-Permian Basin

A newly accredited National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) program, the University of Texas at the Permian Basin specializes in undergraduate music preparation. The school offers the following four-year degree plans in the creative discipline:

  • Bachelor of Music: Choral/Vocal
  • Bachelor of Music: String
  • Bachelor of Music: Wind/Percussion

Myriad performance opportunities are available to the school’s undergraduate students through the prestigious Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center. UT-Permian Basin is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,666

#59—North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): North Carolina A&T State University

The music program at North Carolina A&T State University emphasizes career preparation for its majors. Housed within the school’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the music department offers three undergraduate degree programs:

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

The school’s location within the Greensboro area affords student musicians with myriad performance opportunities. Numerous on-campus ensembles are also available. North Carolina A&T University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. It holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,657

#58—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Florida International University

Florida International University has positioned itself as a top college for music students looking for conservatory-style music preparation at affordable, public university tuition rates. Through its Wertheim Performing Arts Center, FIU offers a highly versatile undergraduate Bachelor of Music with nearly a dozen concentration options, including:

  • Jazz Performance
  • Music Technology
  • Music Business
  • Organ Performance
  • Music Education

A traditional Master of Music or fully online Master of Science in Music Education is also available for graduate students. FIU’s music program has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1996. It also holds the necessary institutional accreditation to award music degrees from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565

#57—Weber State University

Ogden, Utah

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 9

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Weber State University

One of the country’s top music schools for undergraduate music preparation, Weber State offers various bachelor’s degrees in music from its Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Performing Arts. These include:

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

Weber State also offers music scholarships for eligible students. The school has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1974. It is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these top music degrees at the undergraduate level.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,986

#56—Washington Adventist University

Takoma Park, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Washington Adventist University

What sets Washington Adventist University apart from the other top colleges for music majors in our ranking is its intimate learning environment and emphasis on Christian values. The school’s music department offers four undergraduate options in music:

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

In addition to rigorous academic preparation, undergraduate students are also given additional opportunities to hone their skills through participation in various ensembles and performances. Washington Adventist University is institutionally accredited to award these bachelor’s in music degrees by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Its music program has been separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 2013.
Undergraduate Tuition: $24,800

#55—Oakland University

Rochester, Michigan

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Oakland University

Music majors enrolled in Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are taught by distinguished faculty members who have received national and international acclaim for their musicianship. Degree-seeking undergraduate students will find four different options in terms of credentials:

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

Graduate degrees are also available and include:

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

For those students interested in pursuing a terminal degree, the school also offers a PhD in Music Education. Oakland University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, and it also holds institutional accreditation to award academic degrees in the performing arts by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,346

#54—New Jersey City University

Jersey City, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): New Jersey City University

 New Jersey City University’s music department is housed within its distinguished William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences. The school has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1971, and today it offers a variety of undergraduate degree programs in music, including:

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

Three distinct graduate degree programs are also available:

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

New Jersey City University is institutionally accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these undergraduate and graduate credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $12,414

#53—Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Bowling Green State University

One of the larger top colleges for music in our ranking, Bowling Green State is home to almost 500 undergraduate and graduate music students. Still, students receive personalized instruction from talented faculty members, thanks to the music department’s low student to faculty ratio. In terms of academics, the school offers seven distinct bachelor’s degree options for its music majors, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music History and Literature
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

Bowling Green State offers an equal number of options for its graduate students, including a Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music. For students seeking a master’s level credential, the following options are available:

  • Master of Music in Theory
  • Master of Music in Ethnomusicology
  • Master of Music in Music History
  • Master of Music in Performance

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947, Bowling Green State University also holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,316

#52—Central Connecticut State University

New Britain, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Central Connecticut State University

Central Connecticut State University has been offering formal music instruction since the 1940s. Today, the NASM-accredited institution offers a variety of different degree programs and specializations for music majors, including:

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

For BA in Music students, three optional concentrations are available:

  • Performance
  • Jazz Studies
  • Theory/Composition

In addition to academic instruction, the music department at Central Connecticut State also offers performance opportunities for students and is home to several student clubs and organizations related to the music discipline. The university holds its institutional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,068

#51—Rhode Island College

Providence, Rhode Island

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Rhode Island College

Music majors enrolled at Rhode Island College enjoy a rich music education while immersed in the culture of the state’s “Creative Capital” of Providence. Focused primarily on undergraduate preparation in the performing arts, the school offers the following bachelor’s-level credentials for its music students:

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

A Master of Music Education program is also available for the school’s graduate students. Rhode Island College has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1973. It is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,578

#50—Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Eastern Kentucky University

Music majors at Eastern Kentucky University have ample opportunity to showcase their performance skills through the school’s 100+ annual concerts. They also enjoy a range of facilities and services to support their music studies, including a music technology lab and three different concert halls. Boasting a strong undergraduate presence, the school offers four different bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music: Music Industry
  • Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Graduate students at EKU have nearly as many choices and can pursue the following master’s-level credentials:

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

Eastern Kentucky University is institutionally accredited to confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. It also holds programmatic accreditation from both the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,876

#49—Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Iowa State University

The Department of Music and Theatre at Iowa State University has made its students’ professional achievement and lifelong learning one of its primary missions. The school focuses solely on undergraduate instruction and offers four bachelor’s degree plans for music majors:

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

Music students at Iowa State have myriad opportunities to join ensembles, including symphony orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) has accredited the school to offer these academic degrees in music. The university is also institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,320

#48—Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Oklahoma State University

One of the most established music schools in America, the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music at Oklahoma State University has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1937. Today, the school offers four different degree options for its undergraduate students:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music: Business

Graduate students may also choose to pursue a Master of Music in Performance. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Oklahoma State to award academic degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,019

#47—University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Northern Iowa

Often recognized as one of the best music schools in the Midwest, the University of Northern Iowa offers high-quality music instruction at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For undergraduate students, the school offers the following degree plans:

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

Eight distinct master’s credentials are also available, including:

  • Master of Music in Music History
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy
  • Master of Music in Conducting

Ensemble opportunities through UNI include bands, orchestras, chorales, and jazz ensembles, for example. The University of Northern Iowa is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, and it holds separate accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,938

#46—Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University’s music department has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1991. Today, the school is home to both a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate music program. For bachelor’s degree students, credentials include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education

An undergraduate minor is also available. The school’s Master of Music Education program is a hybrid offering comprised of on-campus summer courses and online classes. This graduate degree offering includes three distinct tracks:

  • Elementary
  • Choral
  • Instrumental

Mississippi State University holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,910

#45—State University of New York-Oneonta

Oneonta, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): SUNY-Oneonta

Students enrolled in SUNY Oneonta’s top music school enjoy individualized attention from professors and national and international performance opportunities. Recently lauded by Billboard magazine as a top college for music business, the school offers an undergraduate degree in Music Industry and a more traditional BA in Music. In addition to various student clubs and organizations, music majors at SUNY Oneonta have the opportunity to join one (or more) of over a dozen ensembles on campus, including:

  • Big Band
  • String Ensemble
  • Zappa Band
  • Classical Percussion Ensemble
  • Concert Choir
  • Experimental Music Group

The university holds its institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It has also been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 2006.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,740

#44—Truman State University

Kirksville, Missouri

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Truman State University

A well-established top college for music majors, Truman State University has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1948. Today, students will find a variety of high-quality music degrees delivered by a respected faculty of scholars and practitioners, the vast majority of whom hold a terminal degree in their field. Options for undergraduate students include:

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

Undergrads may also elect to pursue a minor in music. For graduate students, two credentials are available:

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

Notably, the university boasts a 100% job placement rate for music education students. Truman State is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,120

#43—Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1

Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Boise State University

Housed within the nationally acclaimed Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, the music department at Boise State University is an instrumental powerhouse, offering music degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in music will find the following options:

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

A music minor is also offered to undergraduate students. For students pursuing advanced degrees in music, a Master of Music in Music Education and a Master of Music in Music Performance are available. Among the many ensembles at the university include the award-winning Symphonic Winds, the Keith Stein Blue Thunder Marching Band, and the prolific Jazz Orchestra. Boise State is institutionally accredited to offer degrees in music by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school also holds program accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,068

#42—California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Pomona, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 28:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Cal Poly Pomona

Newly accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), California State Polytechnic University- Pomona has quickly become one of America’s best music colleges for undergraduate credentials in music. The school offers the following four-year music degrees:

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

Students pursuing the BA in Music from Cal Poly Pomona can also elect a unique Music Industry Studies concentration. Several student organizations on campus are also devoted to music studies, including the Audio Engineering Society and a chapter of the National Association for Music Education. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the university to award these academic degrees in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,396

#41—California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Sacramento State University

The Sacramento State School of Music has held accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music since 1964. Today, it is a comprehensive, degree-granting music school offering both bachelor’s and master’s credentials. Undergraduate music students enrolled at the university can choose from the following degree plans:

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

Three distinct master’s degree programs in music are also available:

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

A post-graduate certificate in performance is also available. Cal State-Sacramento holds institutional accreditation to award these academic credentials in music from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,368

#40—East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): East Carolina University

Long recognized as one of the best colleges for music in the Southeast, the School of Music at East Carolina University rivals some of the larger (and more expensive) music schools nationwide. Enrolling approximately 250 undergraduate students, the school offers the following four-year degrees:

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

East Carolina is home to less than a hundred graduate music students who pursue credentials like those listed below:

  • Master of Music in Pedagogy
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
  • Master of Music in Sacred Music

All music students have the opportunity to join one of the many award-winning ensembles at ECU’s A.J. Fletcher Music Center, including bands, jazz combos, choirs, and a symphony orchestra.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,238

#39—California State University-Northridge

Northridge, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Northridge

The renowned music department at California State University-Northridge is housed within the university’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. For undergraduate students, the music program offers a unique Bachelor of Music in Commercial and Media writing as well as the following more traditional bachelor’s programs:

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

Graduate students will also find a standout degree plan in Music Industry Administration as well as other master’s degree offerings like:

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

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Cal State- Northridge to award these music credentials at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its music department is also separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,977

#38—University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UNC-Charlotte

One of the best music colleges in the nation for undergraduates, the University of North Carolina- Charlotte received programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music in 2014. Music majors enrolled at UNC-Charlotte can pursue one of the following credentials:

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

The school’s location in Charlotte’s metropolitan area affords students opportunities such as performances, masterclasses, internships, and even job opportunities. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the school to offer these academic credentials in music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,905

#37—California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Los Angeles

California State University-Los Angeles is home to dynamic undergraduate and graduate music programs that enable students to customize their degree plans around their individual interests and career goals. At the undergraduate level, the school offers the following credentials:

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

Graduate students seeking a master’s in music have as many options, including:

  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Afro-Latin Music
  • Master of Music in Commercial Music
  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Master of Music in Composition

Cal State-Northridge is institutionally accredited to award these music credentials by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The school’s music department is also programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,768

#36—University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is not only one of the most affordable universities in our ranking, but it is also one of the best colleges for music majors nationwide. The school offers three different credentials for undergraduate students interested in studying music:

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

Two master’s degree options are also available:

  • Master of Music Education
  • Master of Music in Performance

The scholarly community within the music department at the University of Wyoming is tight-knit while also being large enough to support students’ performance and career goals. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to award these academic degrees in music. The department itself also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,581

#35—Clayton State University

Morrow, Georgia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Clayton State University

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 2005, Clayton State University is now one of the best colleges for music in the nation for undergraduate students. Home to the internationally acclaimed Spivey Hall, the school offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. The latter degree prepares students for state certification as a K-12 music teacher. A minor in music is also available. Undergraduate students are afforded numerous performance opportunities through the following available ensembles:

  • Opera and Musical Theatre
  • Jazz Band
  • Orchestra
  • Choral Ensembles

Clayton State is institutionally accredited to award these music degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,538

#34—Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 10

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Florida Atlantic University

One of the most affordable top colleges for music in the United States, Florida Atlantic University offers its music degrees through the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters. Undergraduate students can pursue a unique Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music or one of the following more traditional degree programs:

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

For graduate students, there are two credentialing options:

  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Commercial Music

A variety of scholarships are awarded to music majors at FAU based on talent and academic achievement. The university is institutionally accredited to award music degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It also holds programmatic accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $4,879

#33—Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University’s low student to faculty ratio is even lower within its School of Music, meaning music majors receive highly individualized instruction and mentorship from its distinguished faculty. The school prides itself on providing students with an affordable music education that parallels more expensive conservatories. Undergraduate students have a variety of options when it comes to specific degree plans, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Musical Arts

For graduate students, numerous master’s degree programs are also available such as:

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

Music students at WMU have the opportunity to participate in the School of Music’s 800+ performances each year. The school is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, and it holds institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked the school among the 75 best colleges for music in the U.S.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,017

#32—University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Universitsy of Alabama in Huntsville

A top college for music with an impressive return on investment, the University of Alabama in Huntsville offers instructional and performance opportunities for majors and non-majors alike. Degree-seeking undergraduate students can pursue one of two available credentials:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education

New and returning music students may participate in scholarship competitions, which could potentially make their music education even more affordable. UAH is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its school of music is separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,122

#31—University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is not only one of the best schools for music majors in America; it is also home to the largest music program you’ll find at a public university. The school has received international recognition for both its faculty and the quality of its degree programs. Niche has ranked it one of the top 100 music colleges in America. UNT offers a wide range of academic degrees in music, from the bachelor’s to the doctoral level. Standout options include:

  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Master of Arts in Musicology
  • Master of Arts in Theory
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Ethnomusicology

The University of North Texas has held programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music since 1939. The school is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,044

#30—University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Northern Colorado

One of the larger music schools in our ranking, the University of Northern Colorado, enrolls over 450 undergraduate and graduate music students. The school offers half a dozen bachelor’s degree programs in this creative academic discipline, including:

  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music: Business

For graduate students, there are even more options such as:

  • Master of Music in Music Theory
  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Composition

A Doctor of Arts in Music is also available through the university. The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to the University of Northern Colorado to award these music credentials. The music department itself is also NASM-accredited.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,987

#29—California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

One of the best colleges for music in terms of return on investment, California Polytechnic State University boasts a robust undergraduate music program through its College of Liberal Arts.  The school’s Bachelor of Arts in Music program features six different focus areas, including:

  • Music History
  • Sound Design
  • Composition
  • Jazz
  • Performance
  • Music Education

A minor in music is also available. While completing their degrees, students have the opportunity to join various ensembles and participate in over 50 on and off-campus performances and events annually. Cal Polytechnic State is fully accredited to confer the bachelor’s degree in music by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The BA in Music program is also separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,943

#28—University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Memphis

The internationally renowned Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis offers students a culturally rich environment to learn and grow as musicians from a distinguished faculty of performers and scholars. Its wide array of academic offerings for music majors include over a half dozen bachelor’s degree programs, including standout options such as:

  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Studio Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Music History
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Industry: Recording Technology
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Industry: Music Business

The school is also home to numerous graduate degree options in music, including both master’s and doctoral programs. Examples include:

  • Master of Music in Orff/Schulwerk
  • Master of Music in Musicology
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology

The University of Memphis has long enjoyed accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music. It holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,912

#27—Wright State University

Dayton, Ohio

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Wright State University

Wright State University’s prestigious School of Music is housed within its College of Liberal Arts. A long-standing National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited university, and the school offers three distinct degree choices for its undergraduate students:

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

Graduate students have as many options:

  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Humanities in Music

Students enrolled in Wright State’s School of Music have access to modern facilities, including a large music library, recital halls, practice rooms, and teaching studios. The university holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,578

#26—University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): UW-Milwaukee

A comprehensive top college for music majors, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee offers undergraduate and graduate music degree programs through its Peck School of the Arts. Bachelor’s degree students can choose from seven available credentials, including:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition and Technology
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music History/Literature
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music

There are also numerous degree options for graduate students such as:

  • Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Music Theory and Composition

The university also offers a unique dual master’s degree in music and library science with a specialization in Music History and Library Science and Literature. UW- Milwaukee is fully accredited to offer these academic credentials in music by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s music department is also separately accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,526

#25—Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Kingsville, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): TAMU-Kingsville

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)
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,136

#24—Utah State University

Logan, Utah

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Utah State University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,402

#23—Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Western Washington University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,343

#22—University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Nevada-Las Vegas

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,291

#21—Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Central Washington University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,273

#20—University of Nevada-Reno

Reno, Nevada

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Nevada: Reno

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,034

#19—Morgan State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Morgan State University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,008

#18—Texas Woman’s University

Denton, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1

Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Texas Woman's University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,926

#17—Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Idaho State University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,872

#16—San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): San Francisco State University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,266

#15—California State University-East Bay

Hayward, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1

Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Cal State East Bay

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,000

#14—California State University-Fresno

Fresno, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Points: 11

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Fresno State University

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)
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,589

#13—William Paterson University

Wayne, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): William Patterson University

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:

  • 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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,370

#12—Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Western Connecticut State University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,344

#11—University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of North Dakota

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,736

#10—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Texas Tech University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,300

#9—Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Lamar University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,494

#8—Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Wichita State University

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,298

#7—California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): CSU-Long Beach

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,834

#6—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 12

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): Florida State University

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,656

#5—University of Missouri-Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 13

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Missouri-Kansas City

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,915

#4—North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 13

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): North Dakota State University Main Campus

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,754

#3—University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Points: 14

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): University of Houston

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,221

#2—Brigham Young University-Provo

Provo, Utah

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 14

100 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate): BYU-Provo

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.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,790

#1—San Jose State University

San Jose, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Points: 16

best music schools in the united states

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).
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,852

About Undergraduate Degrees in Music

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

  • 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.

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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

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

Frequently-Searched Schools for an Undergraduate Degree in Music

Washington State University- First accredited by The National Association of Schools of Music in 1951, Washington State University currently offers several top undergraduate music degrees, including those in Composition, Music Education, and Performance. A Master of Arts in Music is also available and can be completed via distance education.

University of Denver- The University of Denver’s School of Music offers several bachelor’s degree programs for music majors, including a standout option in Jazz Studies and Commercial Music. Undergraduate certificates in Orchestral Studies and Suzuki Teaching are also available.

Purdue University- Fort Wayne- Purdue UniversityFort Wayne’s School of Music offers several in-demand bachelor’s degree plans in music, including Music Therapy, Popular Music, and Music Industry. These various credentials are offered through the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

York College of Pennsylvania- York College of PA offers its undergraduate degrees in music from its prestigious School of the Arts, Communication, and Global Studies. A BA and a BS in Music are available, as is a Bachelor of Science in Music Education.

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: How much does a bachelor of music degree program cost?

A: As is the case for all academic degree programs, tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you attend. While you can very well spend over $50,000 per year on a conservatory education, there are also affordable music programs such as those highlighted in this ranking that provides high-quality instruction and performance opportunities in music for as low as $5,000 a year.

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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