Explore the universal language of music with our talented community.

Whether you're performing, composing, analyzing or simply experiencing it, music is a powerful force. Rhythm, melody and harmony can convey ideas and feelings that can't be expressed in words. Music's complex history and traditions across cultures and time periods make it a rich and rewarding area of study. Join us to add your unique voice to the global chorus.


What Can I Do With a Music Degree?

You’ll be ready to excel in music performance, education and/or composition. Possible job titles include:

  • Composer, director or arranger
  • Performing artist
  • Multimedia engineer
  • Music producer
  • Music teacher

Other Programs to Consider

Career Potential for Music


Job stability after five years


Job openings as of 2020


Higher earnings than graduates of other public universities

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois College 2 Career

Program Overview

You can get a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The B.M. degree has three emphases to choose from:

  • Performance: if you want to be a professional musician or vocalist.
  • Composition: if you want to write music and/or study music theory.
  • Music education: if you want to teach music.

The B.A. degree allows you to study music, including theory and performance, in a broader academic context. This flexible program lets you explore your interests and complements a range of other majors and minors.

What degree will I earn?

You'll earn a Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.

How do I get in?

Majoring in music is a two-step admissions process. You must apply to the university for general admission, selecting music as your intended major. Then you must complete a supplemental application and audition or interview for admission to the School of Music. Learn more about music admissions.

What will it cost?

Tuition as a full-time student is $4,803.79 per term. More information about tuition and fees can be found on the bursar's website.

How long will it take to graduate?

You can finish the degree in four years.

NIU Admission Requirements


3.0 or higher?

You're guaranteed general NIU admission.



We think your high school GPA is a better predictor of your success.

Find out more about NIU's test-free admissions

How to Apply

NIU is a supportive, exciting place to start your college career, as well as a flexible and rewarding next step for transfer students. If you'll be a first-year college student, you can apply using our application or by adding us to your Common App list. Transfer students, we have an application process just for you.

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