If you’re interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music to break into the music industry, but you’re a working professional, have a family, or there simply isn’t a program in your area, then earning an online music degree may be a great option.
Colleges and universities are quickly adapting to the needs of working adults by providing online degrees in even the most practical and specialized areas, including music.
Reputable and accredited Bachelor’s Degree in Music programs in a variety of specializations are offered online, providing a convenient option for those who want to explore their passion for music through an online degree.
Best Online Music Degrees
There are many options to consider when choosing your online music degree. Each choice has its own merits and specializations, so there may be a degree that favors your vision of your educational experience and career path.
Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:
Regardless of the specialty you select, you will still receive a strong foundation in music and related courses.
Bachelor’s in Music Business Online
If you are looking to start a career in the music industry, an online music business degree may be a great option for you. With this degree, you will learn the ins and outs of the business of music, preparing you for a variety of careers including artist management, publishing, booking, concert and artist promotion, and label supervising.
You will take courses on several facets of the music industry, including licensing, concert touring, finance, legal issues, and entrepreneurship. You will also take courses on music theory, keyboard, harmony, and ear training.
Overall, this degree will not only give you the credential needed to succeed in the industry, but also the knowledge of how this industry operates and the skills needed to succeed in this complex, evolving, and unique field.
Bachelor’s in Music Composition Online
In a Bachelor’s in Music Composition online program, you will learn about the music composition process, but some programs also focus on how to mix audio for media like film, TV, and video games.
As you might expect, the curriculum for a Bachelor’s in Music Composition involves taking many courses on music theory, but you will also take classes focused on technology and its relationship to music.
This will leave you well prepared to compose, orchestrate, record, and mix audio for a variety of media. Some programs offer such hands-on experience that you will have a substantial portfolio of work to take with you into the job market.
Bachelor’s in Music Production Online
In an online music production degree program, you will gain skills in recording, editing, and mixing music. In addition to more traditional music courses, you will take courses like audio fundamentals, critical listening, music production analysis, and microphone techniques.
You can pursue a variety of music styles, and your program may allow you to take more specialized courses depending on your career goals.
Speaking of careers, a Bachelor’s in Music Production will prepare you for a career as a music producer or sound technician, in addition to the many engineering roles in music, such as a recording engineer, live sound engineer, or mix engineer.
Bachelor’s in Music Studies Online
Among the online music degrees, this is the most generalized option, giving you flexibility to explore your passions and career interests. You will take music courses such as composition, theory, and harmony, along with courses in music production, technology, and business.
This type of program will allow you to build your skills as a musician in a multitude of areas, and will challenge you to think creatively about your educational experience and career path.
Bachelor’s in Songwriting Online
An online Bachelor’s Degree in Songwriting program will give you the opportunity to develop and hone your craft as a songwriter. This type of program will allow you to spend time developing your skills in each aspect of the songwriting process, from harmony and melody to song structure and lyrics.
You will take many courses that will be invaluable to developing your writing process, including courses on harmony, melody, lyric writing, songwriting, and collaborative songwriting.
In a great Bachelor’s in Songwriting program, you will graduate not only with the knowledge and skill of a professional songwriter, but with a highly polished portfolio to back it up.
Bachelor’s in Worship Studies Online
An online Bachelor’s Degree in Worship Studies will teach you how to enhance worship through music. The courses in this type of program will focus on the different approaches to worship and best practices for using music to bring a community together for a higher purpose.
Courses focus on leadership and the principles, history, and philosophy surrounding worship. With this degree, you may pursue a career as a church music director, pastor, music minister, or worship leader.
Bachelors in Music Careers & Salaries
While any Bachelor’s Degree will open doors to interesting and fulfilling careers, there are many opportunities for those who specifically want to work with music.
You might choose to pass on your love for and knowledge of music as an educator, or you could work more directly in the music industry as a musician, songwriter, music director, music producer, or audio engineer.
A degree in music could also lead to such a career as a Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will have a 9% change in growth (much faster than average) through 2029.
There are many careers for professionals holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Here are some of the most common careers and their average salaries:
|Careers||Average Annual Salary|
|Engineer, Music Recording||$59,000|
|Musician or Singer||$48,000|
|Music Ministry Director||$43,000|
There are many fulfilling careers available to those who hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Your career will benefit from a Bachelor’s Degree in any field, but a specialized program in which you can pursue your passions and hone your skills is a special opportunity that may benefit you both personally and professionally.
Online Bachelor of Music Curriculum & Courses
Even though there are a wide range of specializations you could pursue while in a Bachelor’s Degree in Music program, there are many courses that most students will take.
Here are some examples of courses you may take while enrolled at an online music college:
- Music Business: In an introductory Music Business course, you will take a broad look at the music industry as a whole, examining how the different facets of the industry operate.
- Music Foundations: This course focuses on the essential aspects of music, regardless of your instrument, particularly harmony and ear training.
- Basic Ear Training: This course will help you as a musician and performer, taking a deep dive into notes, harmonies, and rhythms.
- Legal Aspects of the Music Industry: This course examines the legalities surrounding music and will be invaluable to anyone attempting to break into the industry.
- Artist Management: This course explores the various roles of an artist manager, the manager-artist relationship, the challenges a manager may encounter, and the leadership qualities that constitute an excellent manager.
- Art of Mixing: This course explores all of the facets and steps to the audio mixing process, and the impact that a quality audio mix will have on a piece of music.
- Vocal Production: This course focuses on every aspect of producing the vocals for a song, from pre-production to recording to post-production, along with examining the importance and impact of vocals to a song.
- Lyric Writing: Courses in lyric writing will help you hone your craft as a songwriter by focusing on techniques to generate lyrical ideas, express them effectively, and generate them into a captivating piece of music.
- Harmony: In this course, you will learn how harmony works and how to recognize and use effective chord progressions in your music.
- Music Theory and Composition: A basic music theory course focuses on music fundamentals and will dive into scales, chords, and major and minor keys.
Courses like these are fascinating and will help you develop invaluable skills and knowledge about the music industry and the art of music.
All colleges and universities will have an application that you must complete to be considered for admission, which may include a statement on your educational and career goals and how your chosen program will allow you to reach your objective.
Often, letters of recommendation (either academic, professional, or personal) and SAT or ACT scores may be required, along with your official transcripts from high school (or equivalent credential) or any colleges or universities you may have attended previously.
Finally, your program of choice may also ask you to demonstrate your skills in music, either through an audition or a portfolio of work.
Accreditation is an incredibly important component of evaluating the strength of an online music program.
Accrediting agencies evaluate the academic quality and rigor of institutions of higher education and ensure that they are constantly engaged in improving their programs and services to meet the needs of their students.
Not only does accreditation from a regional accrediting body qualify the institution to distribute federal financial aid to its students, it also serves as a barometer for other institutions of higher education or employers when evaluating the validity of your degree.
Look for the accreditation status by a regional accrediting organization on your chosen college or university’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
How you will fund your education is important to consider when planning your educational path. Fortunately, there are many sources of aid for students, including financial aid through your state or the federal government.
Depending on your income and other factors, financial aid may include student loans (which need to be paid back) or grants and scholarships (which do not need to be paid back). Federal grants include PELL or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Scholarships are a source of aid that many students overlook. Your college and university may have scholarships available, so it’s a good idea to inquire about their scholarship application.
Scholarships are awarded based on a wide range of criteria, so don’t exclude yourself because of your own perception of your abilities or financial need. You might be surprised and earn yourself a scholarship!
What Can You Do With a Music Degree?
There are myriads of careers you may pursue with a degree in music. From music producer to educator, from artist manager to band director, there are a multitude of options to suit the skills and passions of someone holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Music.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job outlook varies in this field. While a Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician will enjoy a 9% job growth through 2029, the job growth for musicians and singers is only 1% (slower than average).
How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Music Degree?
How long it takes to complete your degree is based on your college or university’s academic calendar, along with how many courses you are prepared to take each semester.
If you follow a traditional, 16-week semester attending full-time, it will take four years. However, if you follow an 8-week semester and take courses continuously year-round, it’s possible to finish in less time.
Are There Any Affordable Online Music Degrees?
Although tuition rates vary, you can expect to pay approximately $390-$499 per credit in addition to fees.
As mentioned above, there are many financial aid opportunities available that may make pursuing an online degree in music a possibility for you.
Is a Music Degree Worth It?
Yes, a Music Degree is worth it. With an average salary of $56,567 and varying rates in job growth, a degree in music can help you launch a career in this cutting-edge industry. Common music careers include music producer, artist manager, music teacher, music therapist, and sound designer.
While every job has its challenges, a career in the music industry has many benefits. Honing your craft and exploring your passions within your career may be a rewarding experience, and jobs are likely to be exciting rather than monotonous.
Universities Offering Online Bachelor’s in Music Degree Program
Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer music bachelor’s degree online.
Academy of Art University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
The Baptist College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Berklee Online is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Cedarville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Judson College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Juilliard School is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Shorter University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
SUNY Empire State College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Texas State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
University of Michigan-Flint is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of New England is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
The University of Rochester is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
UWG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Valley City State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Music Degree Online
If you’re interested in breaking into the music industry, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music is an excellent way to learn about the music business, develop your music skills, and discover the direction you want your career to take.
If you work full time or there isn’t a college or university offering this degree near you, online music programs offer a convenient solution. Accredited universities with this online degree can be your jumping off point into a fulfilling educational experience and an invigorating career.
The courses you will take and the people you will meet will be fascinating, but not nearly as captivating as your own personal journey and discovery process.