Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Best Music Schools

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Music Schools

451 Colleges
$25,639 Avg Salary
$28,653 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Music School for You

Music is the #47 most popular major in the country with 26,968 degrees and certificates awarded in 2018-2019.

With all the programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. Also, there are a number of trade schools with offerings that you might find attractive.

The Best Music Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. This report analyzed 451 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best programs for students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school us, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Music Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for music majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Top Schools in Music

#1

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Our analysis found University of Notre Dame to be the best school for music students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

Full Music at University of Notre Dame Report

Request Information
#2

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Out of the 451 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Cornell University landed the # 2 spot on the list. Located in the small city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Full Music at Cornell University Report

Request Information
#3

Duke University

Durham, NC

The excellent programs at Duke University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best music schools in the United States. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

Read More…

Request Information

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Virginia - Main Campus. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Music Schools list. University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville.

Read More…

Request Information
#5

Brown University

Providence, RI

A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Brown University is a great place for music students. Brown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Providence.

Read full report on Music at Brown University

Request Information

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for music students. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the suburb of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public college with a very large student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#7

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Williams College ranked #7 on this year’s Best Music Schools list. Williams is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Williamstown.

Read More…

Request Information

The College of New Jersey did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for music students. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the suburb of Ewing, TCNJ is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

Full Music at The College of New Jersey Report

Request Information

University of Delaware did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for music students. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Newark, U of Delaware is a public college with a very large student population.

On average, music graduates from U of Delaware take out $27,000 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $280.

Read full report on Music at University of Delaware

Request Information

University of Wisconsin - Platteville came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Schools ranking. Located in the town of Platteville, UW - Platteville is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#11

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

Vassar College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for music students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Poughkeepsie, Vassar is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#12

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Music Schools list. Located in the suburb of Fairfield, Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

Read full report on Music at Fairfield University

Request Information
#13

American University

Washington, DC

American University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Washington, The American University is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

Full Music at American University Report

Request Information

Concordia College at Moorhead came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Schools ranking. Located in the midsize suburb of Moorhead, Concordia College Moorhead is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

While working on their degree, music majors at Concordia College Moorhead accumulate an average of around $27,000 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $280.

Full Music at Concordia College at Moorhead Report

Request Information
#15

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best music programs. Located in the large city of Houston, U of H is a public school with a very large student population.

Read More…

Request Information

University of North Carolina School of the Arts did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for music students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the medium-sized city of Winston-Salem, UNCSA is a public school with a small student population.

After completing their degree, music graduates from UNCSA carry an average student debtload of $32,237. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $358, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Music at University of North Carolina School of the Arts Report

Request Information
#17

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Schools ranking. Virginia Tech is a very large public school located in the small city of Blacksburg.

Full Music at Virginia Tech Report

Request Information
#18

Taylor University

Upland, IN

Taylor University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best music programs. Taylor U is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Upland.

Full Music at Taylor University Report

Request Information
#19

Luther College

Decorah, IA

With a ranking of #19, Luther College did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students. Located in the town of Decorah, Luther is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Luther take out is $27,000. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $280.

Full Music at Luther College Report

Request Information

University of Nebraska at Kearney ranked #20 on this year’s Best Music Schools list. UNK is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Kearney.

While working on their degree, music majors at UNK accumulate an average of around $26,342 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $273.

Read More…

Request Information
#21

Valencia College

Orlando, FL

Valencia College landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best music programs. Valencia College is a very large public school located in the city of Orlando.

On average, music graduates from Valencia College take out $10,625 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $110.

Full Music at Valencia College Report

Request Information
#22

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

With a ranking of #22, Carnegie Mellon University did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students. Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Pittsburgh.

After completing their degree, music graduates from Carnegie Mellon carry an average student debtload of $33,856. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $377, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Request Information
#23

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University ranked #23 on this year’s Best Music Schools list. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public college with a very large student population.

Read full report on Music at Texas Tech University

Request Information

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Schools ranking. Located in the small city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Full Music at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Report

Request Information

With a ranking of #25, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students. Located in the city of Eau Claire, UW - Eau Claire is a public school with a large student population.

Full Music at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Report

Request Information

Rest of the Top Schools for Best Music Schools

#26

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#27

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#28

Lebanon Valley College

Annville, PA
#30

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
#32

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA
#33

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#37

Rice University

Houston, TX
#38

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, MO
#40

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX
#47

Truman State University

Kirksville, MO
#48

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
#50

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the rest of the schools awarded a Best Music Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 451 different United States music schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
52 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
53 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
54 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
55 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
56 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
57 Iowa State University Ames, IA
58 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
59 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
60 Boston University Boston, MA
61 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
62 Yale University New Haven, CT
63 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX
64 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
65 Texas A&M University - Commerce Commerce, TX
66 Emerson College Boston, MA
67 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Music students that almost earned our Best Music Schools award.

Rank College Location
68 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
69 Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
70 Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA
71 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
72 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
73 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
74 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
75 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
76 Tufts University Medford, MA
77 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
78 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
79 Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, PA
80 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
81 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
82 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
83 University of Missouri - St Louis Saint Louis, MO
84 Lawrence University Appleton, WI
85 University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI
86 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
87 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
88 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
89 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
90 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI

Music by Region

View the Best Music Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 9 majors within the area of study, music has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 40,751
Design & Applied Arts 36,179
Drama & Theater Arts 17,726
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,756
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,720

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.