Music at NIU
Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts in Music

Discover the universal language of music with our talented community.

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

I chose music education because of my past experiences in music classes. I love to teach people in addition to music, so music education seemed like the obvious choice.
Kaylin Lee of South Elgin, Illinois
Music education major

ApplyFind Music Scholarships

What Can I Do With a Music Degree From NIU?

You'll be ready to excel in music performance, education or composition, as well as a range of other career paths that make use of your creativity and communication skills.

Top skills reported by alumni:

  • Event management
  • Teaching
  • Public speaking
  • Music theory
  • Musical composition

Top fields alumni work in:

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Information technology
  • Nonprofit

Career Potential for NIU Music Majors

Average mid-career salary:


Top employers include:

  • Aphorism Studios
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Chicago Sinfonietta
  • Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • DeKalb CUSD 428

Job titles include:

  • Band director
  • Music director
  • Music teacher
  • Musician
  • Piano instructor

Source: Steppingblocks, 2023

What to Expect as a Music Major at NIU

You can get a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree. The B.A. allows you to study music in a broader academic context and complements a range of other majors and minors.

The B.M. degree has three emphases to choose from:

  • Composition
  • Music education
  • Performance

Explore music courses.

How We’ll Help You Succeed

Apply for free and we’ll automatically consider you for a renewable merit scholarship.

Earn your bachelor’s degree fast with our affordable tuition and fees. Any credit hours you take over 12 are free (per semester).

Prepare to thrive after graduation with personalized support from Career Services.

With our truth-in-tuition policy, you’ll get the same fixed tuition rate for four continuous years, whether you live in Illinois or another state.

Apply to NIU

First-year Students

High School GPA

3.0 or higher?

You're guaranteed general NIU admission.


Not considered.

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

First-Year Application

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First-Year Application

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Transfer Students


2.0 or higher?

You're guaranteed general NIU admission.


3.0 or higher?

You're guaranteed a
renewable merit scholarship

See how your credits transfer

Apply to NIU as a Transfer Student

See how your credits transfer

Apply to NIU as a Transfer Student

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