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2022 Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools

643 Colleges in the United States
15,839 Bachelor's Degrees
If you plan on getting your bachelor's degree in music, you won't be alone since the degree program is ranked #34 in the country in terms of popularity. So, you have a fair amount of options to choose from when looking for a school.

College Factual looked at 643 colleges and universities when compiling its 2022 Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools ranking. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 15,839 bachelor's degrees in music during the 2019-2020 academic year.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Music School for Your Bachelor's Degree

Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools The music bachelor's degree program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Overall Quality Is a Must

The overall quality of a bachelor's degree school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 16% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 6%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 89 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

The average early-career salary of those graduating with their bachelor's degree in music is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. Recent students who earned their bachelor's degree in the United States entered the job market making an average of $25,137 while those in the top 25 schools on our list made an average of $25,360.

Starting Salary  ( 16465 to 28334 )
$0
$33,400

Other Factors We Consider

The metrics below are just some of the other metrics that we use to determine our rankings.

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on music students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand - The number of music students who choose to seek a bachelor's degree at the school.
  • Educational Resources - How many resources are allocated to students. These resources may include educational expenditures per student, number of students per instructor, and graduation rate among other things.
  • Student Debt - How much debt music students go into to obtain their bachelor's degree and how well they are able to pay back that debt.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized music related body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for music students working on their bachelor's degree.

More Ways to Rank Music Schools

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Best Schools for Bachelor’s Students to Study Music in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities for pursuing a bachelor's degree in music. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools for a Bachelor's in Music

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
8 Annual Graduates

Stanford University is a good option for students pursuing a bachelor's degree in music. Located in the large suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #3 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

A popular choice for music students, there were about 8 students who graduated from this program at Stanford in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Stanford University

#2

Duke University

Durham, NC
8 Annual Graduates

Every student who is interested in a bachelor's degree in music needs to look into Duke University. Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Durham. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #7 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

Duke University is a fairly popular university to study music in the United States with approximately 8 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Duke University

#3

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
17 Annual Graduates

It's difficult to beat University of Notre Dame if you want to pursue a bachelor's degree in music. Notre Dame is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Notre Dame. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #14 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

There were approximately 17 music students who graduated with this degree at Notre Dame in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from University of Notre Dame

#4

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
98 Annual Graduates
$16,787 Median Student Debt

Northwestern University is a great decision for individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree in music. Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #16 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were approximately 97.99999999999999 music individuals who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent year we have data available. After graduation, music bachelor's recipients generally make around $22,400 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Northwestern University

#5

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
10 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #15 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

A favorite major for music students, there were about 10 students who graduated from this program at Cornell in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Cornell University

#6

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
6 Annual Graduates

Located in the town of Hamilton, Colgate is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #29 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Colgate is a great university overall.

With 6 students who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, Colgate University is one of the most popular universities to study music in the United States.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Colgate University

#7

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
10 Annual Graduates

Located in the town of Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #6 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There were about 10 music students who graduated with this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Dartmouth College

59 Annual Graduates
$26,495 Median Student Debt

UT Austin is a fairly large public university located in the city of Austin. This university ranks 2nd out of 84 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Texas.

There were about 59 music individuals who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent data year. Music bachelor's degree recipients from The University of Texas at Austin receive an earnings boost of around $4,663 above the typical earnings of music graduates.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from The University of Texas at Austin

#9

Lafayette College

Easton, PA
4 Annual Graduates

Located in the large suburb of Easton, Lafayette is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 7th out of 100 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

Lafayette College is a fairly popular college to study music in the United States with about 4 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Lafayette College

#10

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
50 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Nashville, Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #26 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Vanderbilt is a great university overall.

There were approximately 50 music students who graduated with this degree at Vanderbilt in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Vanderbilt University

#11

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
31 Annual Graduates

Located in the small suburb of Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 48 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Virginia.

There were approximately 31 music individuals who graduated with this degree at University of Virginia in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from University of Virginia - Main Campus

8 Annual Graduates

WUSTL is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #21 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great university overall.

Washington University in St Louis is a fairly popular university to study music in the United States with approximately 8 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Washington University in St Louis

#13

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
4 Annual Graduates

Located in the medium-sized city of Worcester, Holy Cross is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 6th out of 56 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 4 music individuals who graduated with this degree at Holy Cross in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from College of the Holy Cross

11 Annual Graduates

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a very large public university located in the small suburb of San Luis Obispo. This university ranks 11th out of 113 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of California.

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is one of the most popular universities to study music in the United States with about 11 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

#15

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY
9 Annual Graduates

Located in the medium-sized suburb of Clinton, Hamilton is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 5th out of 124 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of New York.

A popular choice for music students, there were about 9 individuals who graduated from this program at Hamilton in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Hamilton College

47 Annual Graduates
$18,250 Median Student Debt

Located in the small city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 53 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were about 47 music individuals who graduated with this degree at UNC Chapel Hill in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

#17

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
60 Annual Graduates
$23,250 Median Student Debt

Located in the city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #31 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were approximately 60 music students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year. Soon after graduation, music bachelor's recipients typically earn about $19,500 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Johns Hopkins University

81 Annual Graduates
$18,500 Median Student Debt

Located in the midsize city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 40 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Michigan.

There were approximately 81 music students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent data year. After graduation, music bachelor's recipients typically make about $21,700 in their early careers.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

#19

Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA
5 Annual Graduates

Dickinson is a small private not-for-profit college located in the city of Carlisle. This college ranks 10th out of 100 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A popular major for music students, there were approximately 5 students who completed this degree at Dickinson in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Dickinson College

#20

Colorado College

Colorado Springs, CO
3 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado College is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 2nd out of 26 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Colorado.

With 3 individuals who graduated from this program in the most recent data year, Colorado College is one of the most popular colleges to study music in the United States.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Colorado College

17 Annual Graduates

TCNJ is a moderately-sized public college located in the large suburb of Ewing. This college ranks 3rd out of 30 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of New Jersey.

With 17 students who graduated from this program in the most recent data year, The College of New Jersey is one of the most popular colleges to study music in the United States.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from The College of New Jersey

#22

Luther College

Decorah, IA
52 Annual Graduates
$27,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the town of Decorah, Luther is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 6th out of 28 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Iowa.

There were roughly 52 music students who graduated with this degree at Luther in the most recent data year. Music bachelor's degree recipients from Luther College earn a boost of about $8,263 above the average earnings of music majors.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Luther College

#23

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
16 Annual Graduates

Virginia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the city of Blacksburg. This school ranks 3rd out of 48 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Virginia.

There were approximately 16 music individuals who graduated with this degree at Virginia Tech in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Virginia Tech

#24

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
6 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #33 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Boston College is a great college overall.

A popular major for music students, there were approximately 6 students who graduated from this program at Boston College in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Boston College

#25

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
19 Annual Graduates
$27,000 Median Student Debt

Carnegie Mellon is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Pittsburgh. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #18 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were roughly 19 music individuals who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in music from Carnegie Mellon University

Rest of the Top 50 Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools

#25

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
#26

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#27

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
#28

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN
#31

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

#32

Yale University

New Haven, CT

#33

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#34

Barnard College

New York, NY
#35

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#36

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY
#38

Tufts University

Medford, MA
#40

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

#42

University of Houston

Houston, TX
#44

Oberlin College

Oberlin, OH
#45

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
#46

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#47

Rice University

Houston, TX
#49

Rhodes College

Memphis, TN

Additional Award Winners

This list represents the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 643 different United States music schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX
51 University of Delaware Newark, DE
52 Boston University Boston, MA
53 Wheaton College Illinois Wheaton, IL
54 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
55 Moravian College Bethlehem, PA
56 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
57 Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
58 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
59 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
60 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
61 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
62 Lebanon Valley College Annville, PA
63 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
64 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
65 Messiah University Mechanicsburg, PA
66 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
67 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
68 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
69 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
70 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
71 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
72 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
73 New York University New York, NY
74 Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
75 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
76 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
77 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
78 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
79 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
80 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
81 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
82 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
83 University of North Texas Denton, TX
84 Lawrence University Appleton, WI
85 Belmont University Nashville, TN
86 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
87 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
88 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
89 Brown University Providence, RI
90 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
91 Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
92 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
93 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
94 Winona State University Winona, MN
95 Furman University Greenville, SC
96 University of Wisconsin - Platteville Platteville, WI

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Music students that almost earned our Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
97 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, PA
98 Drake University Des Moines, IA
99 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
100 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
101 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
102 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
103 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
104 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
105 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
106 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
107 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
108 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
109 George Washington University Washington, DC
110 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
111 Illinois State University Normal, IL
112 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
113 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX
114 Chapman University Orange, CA
115 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
116 University of Georgia Athens, GA
117 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
118 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
119 Montclair State University Montclair, NJ
120 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
121 Wheaton College Massachusetts Norton, MA
122 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
123 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
124 American University Washington, DC
125 Carleton College Northfield, MN
126 University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI
127 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
128 Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA

Music by Region

View the Best Music Bachelor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

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

View All Rankings >

One of 10 majors within the Visual & Performing Arts area of study, Music has other similar majors worth exploring.

Music Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Music 7,886
Music Performance 4,318
Other Music 886
Music Technology 656
Music Theory & Composition 595
Voice Performance 364
Jazz Studies 347
Stringed Instruments 209
Keyboard Instruments 174
Music History 141

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 25,775
Design & Applied Arts 19,683
Drama & Theater Arts 13,307
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 11,965
General Visual & Performing Arts 3,699
Arts & Media Management 3,298
Dance 2,817
Other Visual Art 529
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry 76
Community/Environmental/Socially-Engaged Art 3

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • 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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