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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 GraduatesOut of the 338 majors we analyze each year, music was ranked #34. In fact, 15,747 bachelor's degrees were handed out in 2018-2019. When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Highest Paid Music list to help you make the college 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.

Salaries of Music Majors After Graduation

After graduation, music majors from schools in the United States earn an average salary of $25,137 per year. That's not so great, since it is 37% less than the national average salary of a typical bachelor's degree holder. However, graduates from the schools in this list may make more.

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

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Highest Paid Music Grads in United States

The highest paid music majors graduate from the following colleges and universities.

Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Music Graduates

#1

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston comes in at #1 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Houston, U of H is a public college with a fairly large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in music from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $49,200.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from U of H carry an average student debtload of $25,424. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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

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#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.

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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. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors 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.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. Located in the 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.

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#3

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Boston College is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the small 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.

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#4

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public college 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.

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#4

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

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

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#5

Yale University

New Haven, CT

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

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#5

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University earned the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings. Texas State is a fairly 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.

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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.

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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 college with a large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in music from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $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.

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Texas A&M University - Commerce earned the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings. Texas A&M Commerce is a 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.

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#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.

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#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.

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Our rankings recognize West Texas A&M University as the #8 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Canyon, West Texas A&M University is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. Music majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school 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.

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Our rankings recognize Sam Houston State University as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Huntsville, SHSU is a public school with a very large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors 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.

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#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.

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#10

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

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

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University of Nevada - Las Vegas comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Las Vegas, UNLV is a public school 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.

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The #11 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of North Texas. UNT is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Denton. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors 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.

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#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 city of Providence.

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

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

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#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 small city of East Lansing. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, music majors 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.

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#13

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

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

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Highest Paid Music Graduates

#28

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
#30

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#31

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
#36

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#37

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA
#38

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#41

Whitman College

Walla Walla, WA
#44

Bates College

Lewiston, ME
#45

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#47

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ
#48

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA
#49

Fordham University

Bronx, NY
#50

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the schools awarded a Highest Paid Music Graduates badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 148 different United States music schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
60 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
61 Anderson University Indiana Anderson, IN
62 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
63 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
64 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
65 Lafayette College Easton, PA
66 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
67 Providence College Providence, RI
69 University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg, VA
72 College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
73 University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
75 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
76 Rice University Houston, TX
77 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
78 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
79 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
80 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
81 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
82 The College of Wooster Wooster, OH
83 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
84 American University Washington, DC
86 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
87 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
88 Lenoir - Rhyne University Hickory, NC
89 Colby College Waterville, ME
91 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
92 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
94 California State University - East Bay Hayward, CA
95 Kean University Union, NJ
96 Carleton College Northfield, MN
97 University of Denver Denver, CO

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
100 Barnard College New York, NY
101 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
103 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
104 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
106 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
107 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
108 Pomona College Claremont, CA
109 Emory University Atlanta, GA
110 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
111 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
113 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
114 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
115 Drake University Des Moines, IA
117 Trinity College Hartford, CT
118 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
119 Augustana University Sioux Falls, SD
122 Manchester University North Manchester, IN
123 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
124 Whittier College Whittier, CA
126 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
127 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
129 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
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
The 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.

Majors Similar to Music

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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to {}.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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