Young musicians come to Berklee from every corner of the earth to study music, and as a result, Berklee is a uniquely international college. Of all U.S. colleges and universities, Berklee has the largest percentage of undergraduate students from outside the U.S.: 28 percent, representing 96 countries.
But diversity is about more than background. Students at Berklee are exposed to a range of instruments, musical styles, and career options, so they can explore possibilities and find their own paths. Toward that end, Berklee offers student musicians courses of study toward a fully accredited four-year baccalaureate degree or professional diploma in the 12 majors below.
Explore your unique compositional voice through the techniques of 21st century composition, orchestration, and theory. Ground your skills in the practices and techniques of tonal and post-tonal music from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Learn advanced skills in conducting for orchestra, musical theater, choir, and recording sessions.
- Contemporary Writing and Production
The student majoring in contemporary writing and production will study composition, arranging, scoring, and production techniques and approaches—and will learn to apply these skills and concepts by writing for and overseeing the production of a wide variety of instrumental, vocal, acoustic, and electronic combinations, ranging from small workshop groups to a studio orchestra in live performance situations and recording studio environments.
- Electronic Production and Design
Master a wide range of contemporary synthesis and production tools and systems, while absorbing their theory and principles. This learning occurs in state-of-the-art labs with top industry professionals.
- Film Scoring
Develop a foundation of creative musical skills, including composition, counterpoint, orchestration, conducting, and computer/synthesis skills; learn the technical basis and mechanics of preparing synchronous music for use with visual media.
- Jazz Composition
Develop the creative application of the basic musical elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm in the contexts and practices associated with jazz music.
- Music Business/Management
Learn the skills, concepts, and methodologies necessary to manage the legal, financial, artistic, and ethical issues that face the contemporary music business professional.
- Music Education
Develop skills, concepts, and methodologies in the following areas: music theory and composition, musicianship, history, arranging, orchestration, improvisation, conducting, teaching with technology, solo performance techniques, vocal and instrumental techniques and pedagogy, and the relationship of music to other fields of knowledge.
- Music Production and Engineering
Learn about the creation and production of recordings of music, and how to successfully complete recording projects that are typical of those found in contemporary professional recording and production environments.
- Music Therapy
Learn skills necessary to practice as a professional music therapist. These include a foundation in music theory, history, composition, arranging, keyboard, guitar, voice, improvisation, and conducting, as well as clinical skills including principles of therapy, exceptionality, and the therapeutic relationship.
Learn skills, concepts, and methodology sufficient to demonstrate a level of proficiency on a principal instrument typical of that generally required in professional performance. This is achieved through private lessons, which include proficiency-based final exams, instrumental or vocal labs, and performance studies classes. Related departments: Bass, Brass, Ear Training, Ensembles, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Voice, and Woodwinds.
- Professional Music
Enter into an advising relationship with departmental staff resulting in the designation of an area of concentration for major study and an individual educational plan for course work leading to mastery in that area.
Develop skills in melody, harmony, and arranging as well as creative approaches to musical composition, lyric writing, and an individual writing style.
Students may combine many of Berklee's 12 majors, depending on the nature of the program. The dual major program requires a five-year course of study and is available to both degree and diploma candidates.