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2021 Highest Paid Music Graduates

15,747 Bachelor's Degrees
$25,137 Avg Salary
$24,580 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Music School for You

Highest Paid Music GraduatesMusic is the #34 most popular major in the country with 15,747 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019. Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Highest Paid Music Graduates ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

This year's Highest Paid Music Graduates ranking looked at 148 colleges that offer a bachelor's in music.

The numbers used in this ranking are early career salaries, which we define to be 10 years after a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.

How Much Do Music Majors Make After Graduation?

After graduating, music majors that go to school in the United States go on to jobs making an average of $25,137 per year. Unfortunately, that is 37% less than the average salary of a typical college graduate. However, graduates from the schools below may make more than this.

Average Salary for Music Graduates from Schools Nationwide  25,137
0K
50,200
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major)  39,802
0K
50,200

College Combat

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Featured Music Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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2021 Highest Paid Music Grads in the United States

The following colleges produce the highest paid music graduates.

Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Music Graduates

University of Houston comes in at #1 in this year's ranking. UH is a very large public school located in the city of Houston. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in music from the school is $49,200.

On average, music graduates from UH take out $25,424 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

Read full report on Music at University of Houston

Southern Methodist University earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large suburb of Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at SMU accumulate an average of around $22,067 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $240.

Full Music at Southern Methodist University Report

#2

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University comes in at #2 in this year's ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Full Music at Harvard University Report

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public school with a very large student population. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $49,100.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from UT Rio Grande Valley carry an average student debtload of $15,804. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $163.

Read More…

The University of Texas at San Antonio comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of San Antonio, UTSA is a public college with a very large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors make an average salary of $42,300.

On average, music graduates from UTSA take out $30,487 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $322.

Full Music at The University of Texas at San Antonio Report

#3

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill.

Music majors at Boston College take out an average of $12,859 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree.

Read full report on Music at Boston College

Texas Tech University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $41,400.

On average, music graduates from Texas Tech take out $26,580 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

Full Music at Texas Tech University Report

#4

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Princeton.

Full Music at Princeton University Report

#5

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

Full Music at Yale University Report

#5

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University earned the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings. Texas State is a very large public school located in the city of San Marcos. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $41,300.

On average, music graduates from Texas State take out $26,732 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $295.

Read More…

St Lawrence University landed the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid music school. Located in the remote town of Canton, St. Lawrence is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Read full report on Music at St Lawrence University

Stephen F Austin State University landed the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid music school. Located in the remote town of Nacogdoches, SFASU is a public school with a large student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in music from the school is $40,600.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at SFASU take out while working on their bachelor's is $24,790. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $252.

Read full report on Music at Stephen F Austin State University

Texas A&M University - Commerce earned the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings. Texas A&M Commerce is a fairly large public school located in the distant town of Commerce. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $40,200.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at Texas A&M Commerce accumulate an average of around $21,165 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $242.

Full Music at Texas A&M University - Commerce Report

#7

Kenyon College

Gambier, OH

Kenyon College comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. Kenyon is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Gambier.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from Kenyon carry an average student debtload of $15,475.

Full Music at Kenyon College Report

#8

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

The #8 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Pennsylvania. Located in the city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

Read More…

Our rankings recognize West Texas A&M University as the #8 school in this year's rankings. Located in the fringe town of Canyon, West Texas A&M University is a public college with a medium-sized student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors make an average salary of $39,600.

On average, music graduates from West Texas A&M University take out $24,177 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $263.

Full Music at West Texas A&M University Report

Our rankings recognize Sam Houston State University as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Located in the distant town of Huntsville, SHSU is a public school with a very large student population. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $38,800.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at SHSU take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,311. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $220.

Read full report on Music at Sam Houston State University

#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University comes in at #9 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

Read full report on Music at Cornell University

#10

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Our rankings recognize Stanford University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Stanford.

Read full report on Music at Stanford University

University of Nevada - Las Vegas comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Las Vegas, UNLV is a public college with a fairly large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors make an average salary of $38,700.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at UNLV accumulate an average of around $29,293 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $295.

Read More…

The #11 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of North Texas. UNT is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Denton. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $38,100.

Music majors at UNT take out an average of $23,581 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

Full Music at University of North Texas Report

#11

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown University earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. Brown is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Providence.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at Brown accumulate an average of around $11,778 in student debt.

Read More…

Columbia University in the City of New York comes in at #12 in this year's ranking. Columbia is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

Read More…

#12

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Our rankings recognize Michigan State University as the #12 school in this year's rankings. Michigan State is a very large public school located in the city of East Lansing. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $38,100.

Music majors at Michigan State take out an average of $24,220 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $284.

Read full report on Music at Michigan State University

#13

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Dartmouth College. Located in the remote town of Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

Read full report on Music at Dartmouth College

Rest of the Top Schools for Highest Paid Music Graduates

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Music students seeking high pay that almost earned our Highest Paid Music Graduates award.

Rank College Location
26 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
27 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
28 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
29 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
24 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
25 Tufts University Medford, MA
25 Luther College Decorah, IA

Music by Region

View the Highest Paid Music Graduates for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 9 majors within the Visual & Performing Arts area of study, Music has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 25,815
Design & Applied Arts 19,137
Drama & Theater Arts 12,791
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 11,308
General Visual & Performing Arts 3,315

View All Music Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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