Berklee Online Offers Three New Bachelor's Degree Programs

Berklee Online
November 24, 2014
Press release

Continuing its commitment to providing high-caliber online education and forward-thinking training for adult learners, Berklee Online has launched its second round of bachelor of professional studies degree majors, including two in music creation (electronic music production and sound design and composition for visual media) and one interdisciplinary degree (music studies). The online school now offers five different bachelor's degree majors.

Berklee Online has evolved quickly since its inception in 2002, moving from single courses to certificate programs to full online degrees this year. Now it’s the world’s first accredited non-profit music institution to offer bachelor’s degrees online. The new degree program will support students from around the globe, from a wide variety of backgrounds, as they seek new opportunities as music supervisors, composers, producers, or music business professionals.

More than simply a rough online equivalent of brick-and-mortar courses, Berklee Online utilizes state-of-the-art technology to bring the best of Berklee to students around the world. Courses are written and taught by Berklee faculty members, and through the integration of audio and video feedback and weekly live chats, online students can build a personal relationship with their instructors and fellow students.   

It’s this atmosphere of human interaction that sets the online school’s experience apart. “Connections between students and collaborative projects are key to the way we envision courses,” explained Carin Nuernberg, Berklee’s dean of online and continuing education. “Students start connecting via social media, even before the academic semester starts. You’ll see folks getting to know one another, sharing their music, and even beginning to collaborate on projects. Berklee is all about making lifelong connections with people, and we’re seeing this play out online.” The spirit of openness and mutual support, Nuernberg said, is further encouraged by the instructors, who foster a strong sense of shared purpose among students, and an environment that encourages better academic outcomes.

In launching these three new degree majors, Berklee Online looked to students and their needs. “We were looking at music industry trends and aligned them with what we heard from students,” said Nuernberg. “We do a lot of surveying, of current, past, and prospective students, of people who take our massive open online courses. And we listen carefully to the results.”

Degree completion program sees first graduate

Though the inaugural degree class at Berklee Online started in September of this year, the degree-granting program can already boast its first graduate: veteran sound designer Larry the O, who worked with LucasArts, and composed music for video games. Though he attended Berklee in the 1970s, he never completed his degree, a fact that nagged at him. Now, as a seasoned music professional, he hopes to teach a new generation of sound designers and composers. His degree, completed via Berklee Online by earning prior learning credit, will allow him to do that.

“Forty-one years for an undergrad degree start to finish is a little extreme, but better late than never. At the moment, it tastes pretty sweet,” he said. “I really appreciate the people at Berklee Online for showing me the way home.”

Larry the O, as well as several other students poised to graduate in May 2015, will be walking at the Berklee commencement this spring.

“Supporting students throughout the experience is at the heart of what we do,” said Nuernberg. “It runs through everything we do, from advisors and course developers, to support staff.”

Fall semester begins September 28, 2015. Applications are being accepted online now through May 15, 2015.