2022 Best US Colleges for Music

As the time to finish high school and take your SATs is approaching, many prospective students are bothered by the question of which college or university to attend after school. The few students that have made their decision seem to be well on their way to writing their cover letters and joining their dream colleges, but you seem to be stuck. Sure, a career in music seems lucrative, but is it really all there is to this vast field of job opportunities? 

Deciding on your Degree 

Deciding on your degree is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life. Being able to choose wisely will ensure that you do not end up in an office, working 9-5 while bored out of your mind. So, you should take time and make a wise decision on your degree. 

Explore your interests. Maybe you like studying with music. Maybe you also like to make music yourself. Finding a balance between what the market is looking for and what you would really love to do is probably the best thing to do. 

Is Music Still a Prospective Business? 

Once you have decided that you would like to study arts (and music), you should ask yourself what kind of job would this be for you. The reality of an average musician is far from the flashy images we get on TV and online: no fast cars, no millions made in a year (unless you’re Rihanna or Jay-Z), and no absolute freedom that we all dream of. Furthermore, as many artists say, it took them years of hard work and dedication to reach their ‘overnight success’. 

Deciding on a Music Degree 

If you are comfortable with fighting your way through an oversaturated field and think that you have both the voice and the talent that people would pay to hear, you are on the right track. Being in the music and entertainment field is not easy, but the reward of doing the job you love is there to push you further on your path to reaching your dreams. 

However, even before you can start studying music, you should decide on where you want to study it. Research the university and the staff of the Uni or College you would like to join and write an impressive cover letter. Believe it or not, many take a business essay example to get them in the mood for technical writing and then start with their cover letter. Do not write it as if a robot did it. Rather try to sound serious and professional while at the same time maintaining a personal voice that only you have. 

Best US Colleges for Music 

As there are hundreds of US colleges where you can study music, it is no wonder that many future music students have difficulties choosing the best college for them. Many also feel discouraged by their inability to face the option paradox and make a straight decision. For that reason, we did a bit of research for you, and we’ve come up with a list of the best US colleges where you can study music: 

  1. Cornell University, 
  2. Dartmouth College, 
  3. Duke University, 
  4. Lafayette College, 
  5. NorthWester University, 
  6. Stanford University, 
  7. Vanderbilt University, and 
  8. Yale University. 

Cornell University

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, is one of the best schools to pursue your music degree in. The highest degree they offer is a Doctor’s Degree (Ph.D.), which is more than enough to fine-tune your ear and your voice. It is a not-for-profit university, which means that they offer plenty of scholarships and grant programs that you can use to fund your studies here. 

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College offers MA as the highest degree you can get in music at this college. It is also a not-for-profit college and is situated in Hanover, New Hampshire. As the College experiences a slow but steady expansion, the number of students they accept grows as well. So far, Dartmouth College has produced hundreds of music graduates, and as the popularity of the program rises, the number of Dartmouth music alumni will as well. 

Duke University

Duke University is one of the best schools in the country. Located in Durham, North Carolina, it offers degrees on all levels, including the Ph.D. A not-for-profit university, they offer plenty of grants, scholarship programs, and other forms of financial aid to their students. Last year alone, 19 people got a music degree from this University. 

Lafayette College

Lafayette College is a small college offering BA in music sciences as their top degree. This is enough for most students, as music theory is not a very popular topic to study. Still, if you would like to do this exactly, you could finish your BA in this college and go elsewhere for MA and Ph.D. Lafayette College is located in Easton, Pennsylvania. 

Northwestern University

Northwestern University in Evanson, Illinois, is one of the best schools in the country. With a Ph.D. degree as their highest degree in the field of music, it has plenty to offer to all their prospective students. A private University, it offers plenty of grants and scholarships for those who could benefit from financial aid. 

Stanford University

Stanford University is one of the most popular in the USA. It offers a Ph.D. degree as its highest degree. This is a great choice for those looking for a career in music. This is a great University overall, as they have produced hundreds of music graduates and rank one of the best in the country. Stanford University is located in Stanford, California. 

Photo by Elijah M. Henderson on Unsplash

Final Considerations 

Once you’ve decided on your dream music college or music university, there is nothing stopping you from submitting your application. Although at first you may get discouraged by thoughts of not getting accepted, always remember that doubters and naysayers barely do anything in their life. So, follow your dreams and aim for the stars: even if you miss, you’ll end up much further than most. 

Carl Hill

Carl Hill is a language enthusiast who also loves traveling. According to him, traveling is the best way to practice your second or foreign language. He loves exploring small tourist attractions and roaming the less-known streets of old city centers. 



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