Berklee Launches Online Bachelor's Degree for Guitar

Nick Balkin
March 21, 2016
Press release

Berklee’s award-winning online continuing education division, Berklee Online, announces the launch of a new Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program for guitar. It is the first program of its kind, and the only online degree program that offers private music lessons, enabling students from any location to receive weekly, hour-long, one-on-one instruction from Berklee’s renowned guitar faculty.

Berklee Online’s bachelor degree program offers students the most affordable and flexible option for earning a degree from Berklee. The $14,490 per year tuition for the online degree is 64 percent less than Berklee’s on-campus tuition.

The four-year program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and will require 120 credits for completion. For students with previous academic or professional experience, Berklee Online offers transfer and prior learning credit opportunities.

The application process is open now for the inaugural class, beginning in September 2016. For more information on the curriculum or admission requirements of Berklee Online’s degree program, visit or contact an academic advisor at 617-747-2146. Students are also encouraged to sign up for Berklee Online’s Guitar Degree Handbook to preview lesson content. 

Developed by Berklee’s Guitar Department, the program is designed to help guitarists hone a unique sound, improve their performance skills and technique, increase musicianship, and create professional recordings. Courses are written and taught by Berklee faculty, including Guitar Department Chair Larry Baione, Rick Peckham, Thaddeus Hogarth, Tim Miller, Abigail Aronson Zocher, Robin Stone, and Michael Williams. The curriculum covers a wide range of genres and styles, including blues, classic rock, jazz, country, and metal. Other courses within the program include Music Technology for Guitar, Arranging for Guitar, and Getting Your Guitar Sound.

Berklee’s reputation as a hotbed for guitar talent goes back to the early 1960s, when, as a response to the lack of opportunities for guitarists at most conservatories, it offered the first college-level program for guitarists to study jazz and contemporary music. Many of the world’s most successful and influential guitarists honed their skills at Berklee before starting their careers, including Steve Vai, John Scofield, Kevin Eubanks, John Mayer, Susan Tedeschi, Bill Frisell, Bruce Cockburn, Julian Lage, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), John Petrucci, and Lionel Loueke, among others.

Established in 2014, Berklee Online’s degree program gives students the freedom and flexibility to earn their degree and prepare for a career in music at their own pace and from anywhere in the world. In addition to guitar, Berklee Online offers bachelor degree majors in music production; music business; electronic music production and sound design; music composition for film, TV, and games; songwriting; and interdisciplinary music studies.