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2021 Best Music Master's Degree Schools

237 Colleges
$25,197 Avg Salary
$39,345 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Music Master's Degree 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.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Course Advisor has created its Best Music Master's Degree Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 237 schools in the United States to see which master's degree programs offered the best educational experiences for students. Factors related to overall quality of the school, post-graduation earnings, average student debt, and more accumulated were considered when coming up with this list.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Music Master’s Degree Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for music majors pursuing a master's degree.

Top 25 Top Schools for a Master's in Music

#1

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Our analysis found Cornell University to be the best school for music students who want to pursue a master’s degree in the United States. Located in the small city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

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#2

Duke University

Durham, NC

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Duke University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

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Out of the 237 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Virginia - Main Campus landed the # 3 spot on the list. University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the midsize city of Winston-Salem, UNCSA is a public school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at UNCSA take out while working on their Master's Degree is $40,043. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $437, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of Delaware. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Newark, U of Delaware is a public school with a very large student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, music majors at U of Delaware accumulate an average of around $32,462 in student debt.

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Sam Houston State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for music students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the distant town of Huntsville, SHSU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Music majors at SHSU take out an average of $24,444 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $303.

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University of Nebraska at Kearney ranked #7 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. UNK is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Kearney.

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#8

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

With a ranking of #8, Texas Tech University did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students working on their master’s degree. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public college with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Texas Tech take out while working on their Master's Degree is $39,018.

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Southern Methodist University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for music students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the suburb of Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

After completing their Master's Degree, music graduates from SMU carry an average student debtload of $33,089. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $402, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#10

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Northeastern University landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree music programs. Northeastern is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston.

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#11

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston ranked #11 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large city of Houston, U of H is a public school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at U of H take out while working on their Master's Degree is $24,708. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $245, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

Music majors at Rice take out an average of $26,799 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $313, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#13

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

James Madison University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Harrisonburg, JMU is a public college with a very large student population.

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University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus ranked #14 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Pitt is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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With a ranking of #15, University of North Carolina at Greensboro did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students working on their master’s degree. UNC Greensboro is a fairly large public school located in the city of Greensboro.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at UNC Greensboro take out while working on their Master's Degree is $26,746. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $308, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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North Dakota State University - Main Campus landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree music programs. North Dakota State University is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Fargo.

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#17

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for music students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #17 on the list. Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Pittsburgh.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Carnegie Mellon take out while working on their Master's Degree is $37,419. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $474, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #18, West Chester University of Pennsylvania did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students working on their master’s degree. WCUPA is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of West Chester.

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Colorado State University - Fort Collins landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree music programs. Located in the city of Fort Collins, Colorado State is a public school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Colorado State take out while working on their Master's Degree is $34,728. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $379, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ranked #20 on this year’s Best Music Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the small city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#21

Tufts University

Medford, MA

With a ranking of #21, Tufts University did quite well on this year’s best schools for music students working on their master’s degree. Tufts is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Medford.

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University of Missouri - Columbia came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the midsize city of Columbia, Mizzou is a public school with a very large student population.

Music majors at Mizzou take out an average of $32,511 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree.

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Illinois State University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Illinois State is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Normal.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Illinois State take out while working on their Master's Degree is $26,096. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $284, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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University of California - Santa Barbara came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Music Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#25

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree music programs. Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing.

While working on their Master's Degree, music majors at Michigan State accumulate an average of around $30,488 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $317, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Rest of the Top Best Music Master's Degree Schools

#26

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#28

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY
#29

Yale University

New Haven, CT
#30

Truman State University

Kirksville, MO
#33

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Music Master's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
36 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
37 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
38 Boston University Boston, MA
39 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
40 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
41 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
42 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
43 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
44 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
45 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
46 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
47 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL

Music by Region

View the Best Music Master's Degree 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.

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