Music (B.A. or B.M.)

Why Study Music at NIU?

Our School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts offers a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree with emphases in music education, performance, or composition, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, where you’ll acquire a broader liberal education.

Please contact Brigid Crawford at for more information about the audition.

Bachelor of Music

Emphasis 1: Music Education – You’ll select either instrumental or vocal music as an area, and concurrently seek Illinois public school educator licensure, leading to a career as a school music teacher.

Emphasis 2: Performance – If you intend to pursue a professional career as a performing musician, select an area of study in keyboard studies, vocal studies, instrumental music or jazz studies.

Emphasis 3: Composition – Select this area of study if you wish to develop a professional career in composition, or intend to pursue graduate study in composition/theory after completion of your bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor of Arts

You’ll study music in the context of a comprehensive liberal arts experience, immersing yourself in both the practice and theory. Our B.A.'s flexibility allows you to pursue a related minor or second major to augment your interests, as well as broaden your postgraduate career paths

Music Minor

The Music Minor is a great opportunity for students to be actively involved in the School of Music, taking a total of 20 credit hours composed of secondary lessons, theory/aural skills and history courses along with participating in ensembles. An audition is required to assess proficiency and studio placement.

Careers with a Music Degree

You’ll be well-prepared to pursue a wide variety of careers in music performance, education and composition, such as:

  • Acoustics career
  • Composer, director and arranger
  • DJ, VJ and radio host
  • Entertainment law* - additional education required
  • Musical instrument repair and tuning
  • Multimedia engineer
  • Music producer
  • Music teacher
  • Musical director
  • Performing arts careers
  • Stage manager

Music Faculty

View our Faculty Directory to learn more about the professionals who make up the School of Music.

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

We offer a variety of performance opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Visit our concert schedule for performance dates, and you can even check out performances live online, as we webcast all of them.

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