10 Best Colleges With Good Music Programs For Non Majors In USA

10 Best Colleges With Good Music Programs For Non Majors In USA

10 Best Colleges With Good Music Programs For Non Majors In USA

Music can be life-changing, and if you’re searching for schools with exceptional music programs, several colleges in the United States fit the bill.

There are hundreds of colleges and universities to choose from, so picking the right one can be difficult. Before you start your search, consider these ten best colleges with good music programs for nonmajors in the U.S.A.

1) Berklee College of Music

One of the best colleges to attend if you want to study music but aren’t a major is Berklee College of Music. They offer every type of degree you would like, including traditional four-year, two-year, and certificates.

The location is fantastic as well: Boston is a great place that offers tons of entertainment, sports, and nightlife opportunities. Plus, it’s straightforward to get around if you need a break from classes the city even has its subway system!

2) Boston Conservatory at Berklee

The Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a private music college with a diverse student body and faculty. Located on a campus just outside of Boston, students take classes from dedicated artists and professors who have experience working with professional ensembles.

As one of only five collegiate institutions in North America to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz studies, students have opportunities to participate in workshops and jams hosted by many of their favorite performers.

In addition to their prestigious academic program, B.C.B. offers an Artist Diploma program for students who want to focus on solo performance.

The combination gives students flexibility during their time at B.C.B. They can choose to get some teaching experience or go deep into composing/performing if they want to pursue it further after graduation.

3) College of Music at the University of North Carolina

Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an institution that draws students from all over.

And though it’s one of America’s top universities and boasts a diverse student body with both in-state and out-of-state attendees, the school also caters to any non-music major who wants to join a musical organization on campus.

Indeed, U.N.C.’s College of Music offers students opportunities they may not find elsewhere:

  • Extra degrees (such as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts) alongside traditional Bachelors or Associates degrees.
  • Enrollment in small classes.
  • Cutting-edge facilities for studying music, such as a recording studio that houses some rare equipment worth $7 million.

4) Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish College of Arts is one of my favorite schools. This liberal arts college in Seattle, Washington, is known for its unique art programs and fantastic location.

I enjoy how small it is because I feel like I can get to know every teacher I have while getting a top-notch education.

If you love art or want to gain a diverse background and knowledge of different types of art, Cornish is a great choice! 

5) Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music is one of four schools that make up The Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to a post-graduate degree program, Curtis provides undergraduate education and community outreach programs.

Admission to all three programs at Curtis is competitive and requires an audition. The school’s main facility is on Rittenhouse Square (pictured above), giving students access to internships and practice opportunities at various music venues in Philadelphia.

6) Hartt School at the University of Hartford

This Connecticut-based university offers a four-year degree that students can complete while immersed in one of several collegiate ensembles. It’s a reliable way to take your love of playing, singing, or composing and turn it into an actual career.

Music degrees also often come equipped with academic minors, allowing you to delve deeper into your passion. If you aren’t sure about attending college, you might want to check out Hartt School’s accelerated online option instead.

7) Mannes School of Music, The New School For Music

Located at 65 W. 12th St., New York, NY 10011, Mannes offers a wide range of musical experiences through class offerings, ensembles, and performances that reflect contemporary music trends.

Students who aren’t majoring in music will learn from talented professionals while also receiving a broad liberal arts education from other professors at The New School.

8) Manhattan School of Music All Majors

The Manhattan School of Music is one of New York City’s most respected conservatories.

It boasts an impressive roster of current and former students, as well as musicians from nearly every genre imaginable.

9) Mason Gross School Of The Arts – Rutgers University

Students at Rutgers University don’t have to major in music to enroll in Mason Gross. If you’re looking for an affordable and high-quality program, look no further. Located a hop, skip, and jump away from New York City, Mason Gross has provided students a top-notch education since 1966.

The curriculum is designed to meet performance and professional standards while offering an artistic and academic experience unique to Rutgers. More than 1,000 undergraduate students are enrolled here, so you’ll never be short on opportunities.

There are plenty of ways to flex your performing muscles outside of class with summer seminars, outreach concerts, and recitals.

10) Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University

The Peabody Institute’s conservatory, which opened in 1866, enrolls more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students. The high demand for spots at J.H.U.’s prestigious program is one reason it ranks highly on our list of best colleges for a music degree outside of a major.

Tuition for undergraduates is free. For those who aren’t accepted into JHU as a conservatory, there are plenty of other ways to get involved in campus life through performances and clubs.


You can find an affordable school that offers you a vital education with little effort. Start by asking your friends if they have any recommendations. If you need additional help, call your high school counselor and ask them about applying. They’ll be happy to help!

The key is knowing what you want from college and learning how to apply. Good luck! It’s an exciting time!