2021 Best Music Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

125 Colleges
15,747 Bachelor's Degrees
$29,731 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Music Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Music Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsIn 2018-2019, 15,747 people earned their bachelor's in music, making the major the #34 most popular in the United States.

For this year's Best Music Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking, we looked at 125 colleges that offer a bachelor's in music. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent music programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

Some of the factors we look at when determining these rankings are overall quality of the music program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

One Size Does Not Fit All

As a non-traditional student, you have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an education. That's why we've developed rankings specifically for you. Check out more major-related rankings here..

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 Best Music Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

Check out the music programs at these schools if you want to see which ones are the best for non-traditional students.

Top 15% Best Music Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston tops the 2021 list of our schools in the United States that are best for non-traditional music students. UH is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Houston. UH not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #1 on our Best Colleges for Music list.

The student loan default rate at UH is lower than is typical, just 3.1% of students default in three years. There are approximately 16,613 students at UH that take at least one class online. 12,716 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize University of North Texas as the #2 school in this year's rankings. UNT is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Denton. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UNT also did well on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 7.4% of UNT students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 13,820 students at UNT that take at least one class online. About 9,800 of the students at UNT are attending part time. UNT does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#3

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University landed the #3 spot in our 2021 best music schools for non-traditional students. Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the city of East Lansing. Michigan State did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #2 on our Best Colleges for Music list.

The student loan default rate at Michigan State is lower than is typical, just 3.4% of students default in three years. Approximately 9,273 students take at least one class online at Michigan State. There are roughly 6,488 part time students in attendance at Michigan State.

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#4

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

The #4 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Texas Tech University. Located in the city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. Texas Tech also made our Best Colleges for Music list, coming in at #6.

The student loan default rate at Texas Tech is lower than is typical, just 6.0% of students default in three years. There are approximately 15,508 students at Texas Tech that take at least one class online. About 6,714 of the students at Texas Tech are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#5

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. GMU is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Fairfax. GMU also took the #9 spot in our Best Colleges for Music rankings.

The student loan default rate at GMU is lower than is typical, just 2.1% of students default in three years. Approximately 10,589 students take at least one class online at GMU. 11,606 of GMU students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#6

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

University of Utah earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. U of U is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Salt Lake City. U of U did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges for Music list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.7%. Approximately 9,847 students take at least one class online at U of U. About 8,158 of the students at U of U are attending part time. U of U does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public school with a very large student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 8.4%. Approximately 11,935 students take at least one class online at UT Rio Grande Valley. About 8,272 of the students at UT Rio Grande Valley are attending part time. UT Rio Grande Valley does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Rutgers University - New Brunswick landed the #8 spot in our 2021 best music schools for non-traditional students. Rutgers New Brunswick is a very large public school located in the city of New Brunswick. Rutgers New Brunswick also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 3.8%. There are approximately 10,368 students at Rutgers New Brunswick that take at least one class online. There are roughly 7,501 part time students in attendance at Rutgers New Brunswick. Rutgers New Brunswick does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 fairly large student population.

The student loan default rate at SHSU is lower than is typical, just 5.8% of students default in three years. There are approximately 7,776 students at SHSU that take at least one class online. About 5,468 of the students at SHSU are attending part time. SHSU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize West Chester University of Pennsylvania as the #10 school in this year's rankings. WCUPA is a large public school located in the suburb of West Chester. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, WCUPA also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Music ranking.

The student loan default rate at WCUPA is lower than is typical, just 4.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 2,140 students at WCUPA that take at least one class online. There are roughly 3,448 part time students in attendance at WCUPA. WCUPA does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize University of South Carolina - Columbia as the #11 school in this year's rankings. UofSC is a very large public school located in the city of Columbia. UofSC did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #7 on our Best Colleges for Music list.

About 3.3% of UofSC students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 8,099 students take at least one class online at UofSC. 3,525 of UofSC students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#12

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

James Madison University earned the #12 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Harrisonburg, JMU is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, JMU also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Music ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.3%. Approximately 1,087 students take at least one class online at JMU. There are roughly 1,837 part time students in attendance at JMU. JMU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of Nevada - Las Vegas comes in at #13 in this year's ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Las Vegas, UNLV is a public school with a very large student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 6.5%. There are approximately 11,188 students at UNLV that take at least one class online. 8,916 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize The University of Texas at Austin as the #14 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public college with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at UT Austin, the school also landed the #5 rank in our Best Colleges for Music ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.6%. Approximately 12,546 students take at least one class online at UT Austin. 3,290 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize Stephen F Austin State University as the #15 school in this year's rankings. Located in the remote town of Nacogdoches, SFASU is a public college with a fairly large student population.

The student loan default rate at SFASU is lower than is typical, just 8.2% of students default in three years. There are approximately 3,450 students at SFASU that take at least one class online. About 3,230 of the students at SFASU are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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University of North Carolina at Greensboro landed the #16 spot in our 2021 best music schools for non-traditional students. UNC Greensboro is a very large public school located in the large city of Greensboro.

About 6.4% of UNC Greensboro students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 6,278 students take at least one class online at UNC Greensboro. 4,267 of UNC Greensboro students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Illinois State University comes in at #17 in this year's ranking. Illinois State is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Normal. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, Illinois State also did well on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at Illinois State is lower than is typical, just 3.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 3,895 students at Illinois State that take at least one class online. 2,428 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#18

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University landed the #18 spot in our 2021 best music schools for non-traditional students. Florida State is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Tallahassee. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Florida State is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Music list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.4%. Approximately 14,515 students take at least one class online at Florida State. About 6,270 of the students at Florida State are attending part time. Florida State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Music Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
19 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
20 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
21 Boston University Boston, MA
22 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
23 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
24 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
25 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN

Music by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Music colleges in 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 33,643
Design & Applied Arts 29,541
Drama & Theater Arts 16,329
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 14,870
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,265

View All Music Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

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).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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