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Majors and Minors


Life is full of wonderful things that go together: song and dance, popcorn and movies, Berklee and music, and majors and minors. For 65 years, Berklee has offered a variety of majors that enable students to select from a rich menu of academic and artistic programs within the discipline of music. Starting in the fall 2010 semester, we began complementing our music offerings with six exciting options for students to pursue as minors in liberal-arts disciplines.

Our liberal-arts minors were designed so that students can select an area of academic interest and study it in some depth. Each minor consists of four classes (for a total of 10 to 12 credits depending on the topic), which may also be applied toward degree requirements where appropriate. Students complete a foundational course in the selected minor and then choose classes from a list of options to fulfill the requirements. Completion of both a major and minor will be noted on the student's Berklee transcript.

Identifying the specific areas for our liberal arts minors was a lengthy process that required us to think about the unique and specialized aspects of a Berklee education. We sought to create a curriculum that truly partners liberal arts with a world-class music education. All minors were designed to provide a concentrated academic study that relates to artistic expression. Dr. Camille Colatosti and Mike Mason, the chair and assistant chair of the Liberal Arts Department, respectively, led the work. As part of their process, they engaged students, researched offerings at other institutions, and involved several faculty members in committee work and course design.

This effort led to the creation of minors in Berklee's six liberal arts disciplines.

  1. The minor in acoustics and electronics provides an opportunity for students interested in mathematics and science to explore theories, principles, and practices related to the study of sound.

  2. The minor in drama allows students to study the history and literature of theater arts, develop skills in writing dramatic works, and explore dramatic performance though stage workshops and acting classes.

  3. An English minor offers three track options: literature, creative writing, and poetry/spoken word/slam. Students study language as a means of personal and artistic expression.

  4. The minor in music and socety also offers three track options: Africana studies, gender studies, and global studies. Students explore how music relates to culture, history, politics, and other fields by focusing on context and specific people, places, and times.

  5. The minor in psychology is a study of the mind and human perception, cognition, emotion, individual and social behavior, personality, and interpersonal relationships. Students also investigate mental-health treatments and physiological and neurological processes.

  6. The minor in visual culture and interactive media combines visual-art studies with various visual and multimedia forms. Students examine how these tools make art and culture, form identity, and create a digital narrative.

The addition of these liberal arts minors to the curriculum enhances the education we offer students and exemplifies Berklee's commitment to being an institution where musicians advance their art and study the interplay between music and other disciplines.

Life is full of wonderful things that go together, such as intellectual and artistic curiosity, creative and critical thinking, distinguished faculty and outstanding students, and majors and minors.