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Contemporary Music, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #531 (QS) , NY,
Students from The New School can study Contemporary Music as a major (BA, Contemporary Music), as a minor, or as part of a self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts). Students can also study this subject as part of the Arts in Context concentration (BA, The Arts).


Contemporary Music at The New School is a liberal arts program that emphasizes the cultural and social significance of music in today’s world. You'll explore the global diversity of contemporary music, including popular music; traditional music history, theory, and criticism; and the evolving technologies used in composing, performing, and listening.

The curriculum highlights creative musical thinking and music making in the spirit of The New School’s tradition of progressive education and experimentation in the arts. Its three areas of focus are:

  • Popular and global music, both mainstream and alternative, including the musical life of diverse communities in New York City
  • Music technology and new media, including digital production and distribution of music and music’s significant role in other artistic media, such as film and video
  • Music theory, history, and criticism, including musical aesthetics, the poetics of song, and the study of music in its many social and cultural contexts

Did you know? For students who want both a liberal arts education and professional training in jazz and contemporary music, The New School offers a five-year dual-degree BA/BFA program.

While it offers the atmosphere and intimacy of a small college, Eugene Lang College is also part of The New School, a leading progressive university in New York City.

The university includes two professional music colleges, Mannes School of Music and the School of Jazz. There is a dedicated music library and an extensive program of public concerts and music-related lectures, seminars, and conferences.

New York City itself presents a wealth of opportunities to experience music of all styles and eras, including concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and experimental venues like the Kitchen, The Stone, and Issue Project Room.

Students have opportunities for internships with local music and arts institutions that draw on the city’s diverse cultural resources for professional development and practical experience in many fields of creative work.

Career Paths

Education at Eugene Lang College is designed to develop well-rounded and engaged citizens who are thoughtful, articulate, and creative. Contemporary music majors go on to pursue advanced studies in fields like musicology, anthropology, history, and media studies and careers as music producers and distributors, arts writers and critics, administrators, and educators.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Hip Hop, Punk and Noise, How Race Defines American Music, Music in Jewish Life, Music of Latin America, Music in the Islamic World
  • Introduction to Music Technology, Music and Digital Media, Prospects of Recording, Music in Film, Electronic Music, Intermedia
  • Poetics of Song, Visual Music, Musical Borrowing from Plainchant to Sampling, Improvisation, Composition and Analysis

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • 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 ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • 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.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

  • Complete the Common Application. All applicants are required to apply online.
  • A nonrefundable $50 application fee, payable as part of the online application.
  • Official Transcripts
  • Essays
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Test Scores
  • SAT, ACT and SAT Subjects

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1640 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1640 USD per credit and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    1640 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1640 USD per credit 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 New York City

  • 1819 - 3970 USD/month
    Living Costs

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


The New School maintains an extensive program of scholarships and grants-in-aid based on academic merit and demonstrated financial need. Awards are usually made as part of the admission process. Institutional scholarships may be combined with government supported grants and loans in a single financial aid package. Scholarships and grants are normally applied to tuition costs. They can range from several hundred dollars to full tuition and do not require repayment.

Scholarships may be reduced or canceled if requested applications and verification documents are not received by the stated deadlines. Need-based scholarships do not automatically renew for the same amount in subsequent years. Changes in need calculations, late FAFSA submission, or refusal of a subsidized student loan may result in a modified award.
Undergraduate Students
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for a financial aid package.
  • International students in the NSPE undergraduate program or a Parsons AAS program must file the Undergraduate International Student Scholarship Applications to be considered for financial aid.
  • There is no separate aid application for other international undergraduates.
All undergraduate students are considered for scholarships based on their academic merit. Availability of institutional merit-based scholarships varies according to academic program. Students who file FAFSA or the Undergraduate International Student Scholarship Application will be considered for institutional scholarships based on merit and demonstrated financial need. U.S. citizens and eligible residents may qualify for U.S. government and New York State fellowships and grants based on merit and financial need.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.