BA or BS in Music with a Popular Music Concentration

This degree concentration provides students with a comprehensive course of study focused on songwriting, music production, performance, music theory, and popular music history and culture. It can also include preparation for music entrepreneurship through coursework in marketing, accounting, and law. Students choose from a variety of performance ensembles, including gospel choirs, jazz combos, hip hop ensemble, and electronic device ensemble, among others. They can use elective requirements to deepen their engagement with a variety of subjects, including audio engineering, recording techniques, electronic music, and history and culture courses focused on rock and roll, electronic music, hip hop, and other forms of popular music.





The flexibility of the Popular Music Studies concentration allows it to meet the needs of different kinds of students, each with unique goals and areas of focus. It is for those seeking to be artists in the genre of popular music. It is for those seeking to be professionals in the popular music industry, either as musicians or business people. And it is for those seeking a strong liberal education focused on music, art, and culture. Several advising tracks are suggested for students considering how to satisfy degree requirements.

Artist Track

The Artist Track is for aspiring performers and songwriters wishing to pursue careers as popular music artists, focused on creating and releasing original material. (A sample schedule for the BA Popular Music – Artist Track can be found here.)

Industry Track

The Industry Track is for students seeking to be professionals in the music industry. It provides a comprehensive, well-rounded course of study focused on the development of professional skill sets. (A sample schedule for the BS Popular Music – Industry Track can be found here.)

Essentials Track

The Essentials Track allows students to complete degree requirements with the broadest possible range of course options and fewest number of credits. This track can work well for students who are double-majoring.

Music Business Track

For students seeking careers as business people in the music industry, combining one of the above tracks, most likely the Essentials Track, with a second major in Business or Journalism is a recommended course of study.

Hybrid Track

Tracks may be hybridized, for specialized student goals and areas of focus.

The School of Music and Dance is available to help each student choose or construct an appropriate advising track. For questions about this, students may contact either the Music Undergraduate Advisor or Associate Professor Toby Koenigsberg.


Helpful information about the Popular Music Studies concentration, can be found on this page. This includes:

Checklist for the Bachelor of Arts in Music, Popular Music Studies concentration

Checklist for the Bachelor of Science in Music, Popular Music Studies concentration

A list of pre-approved interdisciplinary courses


To apply for admission to the School of Music and Dance as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science major with a concentration in Popular Music Studies, follow the instructions on this page.