Apply Now APPLY

Understanding Different College Degrees in Music

There are many different college degrees in music offered by different schools, and the type of degree and program that will be right for you will likely depend a great deal upon what it is you wish to do within the music industry. If you are interested in working on the creative side of music, as a musician for example, then you will probably want to study music with a focus on performance and creation of music. You may want to understand some of the more technical aspects of music, especially if you are interested in recording and producing your own work, but this will not often be necessary. If you are interested in the more technical side of the industry, sound engineering and producing for example, then you will likely want to go for a degree that deals with this aspect of the industry.

Much like other educational programs, there are typically four basic levels of education offered by schools and educational institutions. An associate’s degree is the lowest level of completion and typically takes about two years, a bachelor’s degree takes around four years in total and is often considered a standard level of education for recording musicians and sound engineers, a master’s degree takes about two years beyond the bachelor’s degree and is usually quite specialized, and a doctorate or PhD often requires about four years after a bachelor’s degree and is the highest degree offered by most schools. These different college degrees in music are offered by many different schools, and you should consider what schools offer the program that will be right for you and your desired role within the music industry.

If you wish to be a recording musician or a sound engineer, you will likely only need a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. An associate’s degree or a similar type of certification is often offered by technical schools, and those schools that focus primarily on teaching you what you need for your chosen profession. A master’s degree is typically only pursued by someone interested in teaching music, or who wishes to study music in a very academic sense. Most musicians who pursue a PhD are looking to understand music in a highly specialized way, and will likely work as a teacher, researcher, or serious composer. This level of education is not often pursued by studio musicians and is typically for someone looking to research music and work in a more archival capacity. These different college degrees in music are offered by schools all across the country, so you should look for a program that is right for you, rather than just the type of degree you are interested in receiving.