Music | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of Music & Theatre


Close up of sheet music
Department of Music & Theatre


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

The Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in Music is designed for the musically talented student interested in studying music within the context of Scripture and the liberal arts.


Entrance auditions are required for this major. Auditions are held during the spring semester. You must be admitted to both Northwestern and the Department of Music & Theatre in order to major in music. Please refer to the Music Admissions & Scholarships for audition requirements and dates.

Why study music at Northwestern?

Learn from highly credentialed music faculty, seasoned performers, noted educators, sought-after conductors, and acclaimed composers who are dedicated to your musical excellence.

You can participate in competitions and perform on regional, national, and international tours while building your education on Northwestern’s 115+ year history as a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. Christian faculty will help you to grow in your faith and your music.

All Northwestern music degrees hold accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, the principal U.S. accreditor for higher education in music. With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving music industries.

If you enjoy vocal or instrumental music, are passionate about serving, and are interested in a career in music, this might be the right degree for you.

What will I learn?

You will learn to analyze, think critically, and perform music in an ensemble environment.

Professor Sawyer’s ability to bring deep theological understanding to the texts we sang will be with me for the rest of my life.
Luke Erickson
Department of Music & Theatre - Class of 2006

Careers in music

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in music.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Freelance or contracted performer
  • Private instructor
  • Church worship leader
  • Audio technician
  • Concert promotion
  • Concert hall management or administration
  • Music program coordination
  • Artist representation
  • Arts administration or management
  • Promotion/media relations
  • Music librarian

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Music industry
  • Private and community music centers (teaching)
  • Churches, orchestras, choral groups
  • Opera and theatre companies
  • Military ensembles
  • Recording studios
  • Dance companies and teaching studios
  • Parks and recreation programs
  • Nursing homes and hospitals
  • Concert venues and performance halls
  • Music-related publishers
  • Entertainment law firms and businesses
  • Music shops
  • Theme parks and cruise ships
View Career Guide

of seniors feel well prepared for a first job in their field


of alumni agree that faculty were genuinely interested in their welfare


a double major or a minor with another discipline

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • As an undergraduate, gain as much experience as possible, paid or unpaid, through college and local organizations. Seek internships or volunteer positions with relevant organizations.
  • Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success in many areas of music. Learn basic tools of self-promotion.
  • Some jobs may require you to join unions or guilds. Research the industry to learn which ones are appropriate.
  • Performers often travel frequently and must be flexible regarding their work schedules.
  • Majoring in music provides students with a sense of aesthetics and an understanding of human expression valuable to many employers.
  • Develop competencies in business management, computers, marketing, or other areas to broaden range of employment possibilities.
  • Learn to articulate the transferrable skills provided by your liberal arts education: organization, written and oral communication, problem solving, leadership, and so on.
  • Obtaining relevant experience through internships or volunteer experiences is critical to finding employment opportunities.

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