As the premier destination for the study of contemporary music and the performing arts, Berklee stands as the culmination of two pioneering institutions, each recognized for its global reach and cultural impact. Founded in 1867, Boston Conservatory is the oldest and one of the most prestigious conservatories in the U.S. for dance, music, and theater. Berklee College of Music opened its doors in 1945 and was founded on jazz and popular music rooted in the African cultural diaspora. In 2016, the two schools joined forces, establishing a diverse and comprehensive performing arts powerhouse unparalleled in its breadth and depth.
This shared history makes for an institution that blazes trails in music and performing arts education. Boston Conservatory was the first school of its kind to grant undergraduate degrees in all three major performing arts disciplines: music, dance, and theater. The College became the first to offer courses and/or degrees in rock, pop, and hip-hop; songwriting; film and video game scoring; music synthesis; and electronic digital instruments.
Berklee continues to integrate and find connections between its historical roots and the contemporary worlds of music, dance, and theater. With a mission to educate, train, and develop students to excel in the performing arts as a career, Berklee is a place where artists come together to innovate, and where artistic and cultural diversity is embraced and celebrated. This ethos permeates all aspects of Berklee—from teaching and learning to administration and governance—and is fundamental to the Berklee experience.
With an eye on sustainable growth in a global context, Berklee cultivates its own promise by expanding and reinventing itself in a rapidly changing world. In recent years, Berklee has opened new campuses in New York City and Valencia, Spain, and grown Berklee Online into the world’s largest online music school.
Berklee aspires to transform contemporary music and performing arts education and empower artists to better our world. Building an inclusive culture that promotes diversity in all its forms, Berklee forges new connections among art forms, musical traditions, technologies, and institutions, creating a dynamic global network that fosters innovation, collaboration, and community.
The Hollywood Reporter ranked Berklee as one of the top five best music schools (2022 and 2023) and among the top 20 music schools for composing for film and TV (2021 and 2020). Billboard featured Berklee on its list of “Top Music Business Schools” in six of the past seven years, highlighting Berklee Valencia in 2022 and 2023. Newsweek ranked Berklee College of Music as third among all U.S. colleges that “offer an exceptional artistic atmosphere,” and The Luxonomist ranked Berklee’s campuses in Boston and Valencia as the top two music colleges in the world.
Boston Conservatory at Berklee has also earned dozens of accolades in recent years, including "Best College Dance Programs in the U.S.” (DanceUS, 2019–2023); “10 College Dance Programs You Should Know” (Backstage, 2023); “Five of the Best Music Education Schools in the U.S.” (Careers in Music, 2019); and the “Top 10 Most-Represented Colleges on Broadway” (Playbill, 2023, 2022, 2019, 2018, and 2017).
Berklee’s YouTube channel is the most viewed college/university channel in the world, with more than 400 million views and over 1.6 million subscribers.
An Unparalleled Institution
Each learning environment at Berklee brings distinctiveness to the whole and creates a portfolio of opportunities to deepen and broaden the Berklee experience of every student and all members of the faculty and staff.
- Berklee College of Music is the world's singular learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. It is a microcosm of the music world, reflecting the interplay between music and culture, and an environment where aspiring music professionals learn how to integrate new ideas, adapt to changing musical genres, and showcase their skills in an evolving community.
- Boston Conservatory at Berklee is internationally recognized as an innovative leader among conservatory programs, focused on elevating and celebrating every aspect of the performing arts. The school continues to distinguish itself with a vision of music, dance, and theater that encompasses a multidisciplinary learning environment, creative programming, and deep community engagement.
- Berklee Online is the world’s largest online music education system, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs that serve musicians from more than 150 countries. Because Berklee Online isn’t tethered to a physical campus, anyone in the world can get a Berklee education at their own pace for 60 percent less than the cost of on-campus tuition.
- Berklee Valencia, founded in 2012, is Berklee's first international campus, offering four master's degree programs, study abroad, and summer programs. Leveraging its presence in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as its connection with Latin America, the campus helps students develop a global mindset while expanding their professional opportunities on a global scale.
- Berklee NYC, created in 2017, is Berklee's campus in New York City, offering a one-year master’s degree program with three distinct specializations, along with world-class musical programming, and visual capture in 360-degree cinematic virtual reality. The campus is located at the historic Power Station recording studio on West 53rd Street, which was renamed Power Station at Berklee NYC.
- Berklee City Music has provided educational opportunities for talented youth in underserved communities for over 30 years, with partners in cities across America and abroad, reaching more than 53,000 students each year. Through a long-standing partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Berklee City Music brings music programs to more than 1,800 public schools.
- Berklee Global infuses a global perspective into the institution's overall strategy and creates new ways to collaborate and form partnerships through artistic and educational exchanges. The Berklee Global network encompasses the Berklee Abu Dhabi Center, over 20 partner schools, and programs in Europe and Latin America.
Berklee’s different learning environments serve the wide range of interests and aptitudes of its artistic student body.
Berklee's leadership—comprising executive officers, the Board of Trustees, and Presidential Advisory Council—is committed to creating an inclusive community and a dynamic learning environment.
The mission of Berklee is to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career. Cultivating the musicianship of all our students is the foundation of our curriculum.
As the times change, Berklee perpetually reinvents itself. With input from across the Berklee community, the college has released a vision statement for 2025, to be followed by a series of three-year strategic plans.
Berklee is more than a collection of numbers, but sometimes numbers can be very illuminating. Find out about the ever-changing composition of Berklee.
Berklee College of Music is a nonprofit, coeducational institution of higher learning incorporated under the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Berklee (inclusive of Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Berklee Online, Berklee Valencia, and Berklee NYC) is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.). and authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students and to train veterans under the G.I. Bill of Rights.