UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to offer bachelor of music


Sophia Su

Nick Lie/UCLA

Student Sophia Su performs as a soloist with UCLA Philharmonia at the 14th Annual All-Star Concert in Royce Hall.

Undergraduate music performance students at UCLA will now have the opportunity to receive a bachelor of music degree, replacing a concentration in performance that was offered under the previous bachelor of arts degree in music.

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music implemented the change, which is effective immediately, to align the degree type with the professional-level training music performance majors receive through their intensive individual studio lessons, chamber music and large ensemble experiences, combined with their coursework in music theory, music history and musicianship. Current students may choose to receive the new bachelor of music degree or a bachelor of arts with a concentration in music performance. All incoming students will receive bachelor of music degrees.

“I’m thrilled that our degree offerings now reflect the comprehensive professional training our students receive,” said Eileen Strempel, inaugural dean of the school of music. “We’re proud to offer a degree that captures the broad-based learning of our school. It’s designed for exceptional emerging-artist students who think, create and experience music within the inspirational cauldrons of Los Angeles and UCLA.”

Currently the school has nearly 150 music performance students. Each student studies individually with world-class performers and artist-teachers in one of six broad areas: brass, keyboard, percussion, strings, voice and woodwinds. Graduates pursue career and academic opportunities as professional performers, conductors, teachers and authors. Many go on to earn advanced degrees in performance and to teach in college and university settings.

The change also brings the school’s undergraduate performance degree offerings into alignment with the existing master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees offered at the graduate level, similar to how the school’s bachelor of arts degree in music composition lines up with the master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees in that discipline.

“The bachelor of music degree in music performance has been long sought by students and faculty in the music department,” said Travis Cross, chair of the department. “The updated degree will make our program more competitive to future students by accurately reflecting the depth, variety and academic rigor of our performance curriculum.”

UCLA has been offering certificates and degrees in music since its founding in 1919. Today, in addition to the bachelor of music in music performance degree, the school of music offers bachelor of arts degrees in music composition, music education, ethnomusicology, global jazz studies and musicology. See the school of music website for a full list of undergraduate and graduate degrees.