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Music, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #51 (BCR) Boston, MA, United States
The Music program offered by Boston University prepares students for graduate work and academic careers in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and composition, and through a choice of electives provides a base to pursue professional careers in music journalism, music librarianship, music publishing, arts management/leadership, and other wide-ranging areas of the music and arts industry.
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The Bachelor of Arts in Music at Boston University is for students to who desire a liberal arts education in music without a strict focus in performance. Students in the BA can pursue a general route as well as pivot toward two concentrations, as follows:

  • BA in Music (General): Offers breadth and depth in a liberal arts music degree and provides students with a large selection of courses within the major and the most flexibility of all the routes in choosing music electives. The General BA route contains sufficient elective credits to be used for those students seeking Music Education licensure.
  • BA in Music with concentration in Musicology and Ethnomusicology: Provides students the opportunity to explore the large-scale relationships between culture, politics, and musical repertories of the Western and non-Western world, from the past to the present. Faculty expertise runs the gamut from the Middle Ages to popular music, from Indonesia to Japan, Africa, and the Americas, and from manuscript studies to oral traditions and technology.
  • BA in Music with concentration in Music Theory: Provides students the opportunity to explore the inner workings of music from all styles and periods in depth, utilizing theoretical, analytical, historical, and cultural perspectives.
Unique Opportunities
  • Students may take up to 6 credits of private instrumental or vocal instruction and/or participate in music ensembles toward the degree. Eligibility is determined by audition and faculty availability. BA students who choose private instrumental and vocal instruction will be charged an Applied Music Fee.
  • Cross-curricular experiences in the College of Fine Arts, including the popular Art Leadership Minor.
  • Flexibility through electives to customize the degree toward making interdisciplinary connections between music and related fields, and toward academic or professional outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a BA in Music are expected to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of music history, theory, and analysis, including formal and compositional idioms from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with world music and culture and systems of non-western music making, including popular music.
  • Understand the relationship between music and social justice, race and politics, gender, cultural contexts, and analogous artistic movements.
  • Be able to connect music in a relevant, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary fashion to the effects of shifting practices of listening (societal, personal, digital) and the new modes of transmission.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Music Theory 
  • Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 
  • History & Literature of Music
  • Music History
  • Aural Skills

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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General Requirements

  • Common Application or Coalition Application     
  • High School Transcript
  • Senior Year Grades
  • Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form   
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Standardized Tests
  • Secondary School Records
  • Documentation of Financial Support
  • Copy of Data Page of Passport

Tuition Fee

  • International

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Boston

  • 1560 - 3240 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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