Music Studies

What is Music Studies?
UCSB’s Department of Music trains musicians and scholars of the highest caliber. Students develop their talents to the fullest, training to become performers, composers, music historians, music theorists or ethnomusicologists.
The Department of Music curriculum includes undergraduate courses which lead to completion of either of two degrees: the Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies, or the Bachelor of Music, which is a professional degree in performance or composition. The undergraduate major programs are designed to serve as background for professional careers in music, as preparation for graduate studies, or as an area of concentration for a liberal arts education.
The Department offers two undergraduate degree programs: the Bachelor of Music (BM) with various performance emphases, and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) Music Studies Major. When you submit an application for admission, you simply declare Music as your desired major: admission to the specific degree program (BA or BM) and emphasis will be determined later by the Department of Music. Applicants may audition simultaneously for both a BM emphasis and the same performance class within the BA Music Studies major, and will later be informed into which performance program (if either) they have been admitted. Transfer applicants should see the Guidance for Music Transfer Students, available from the department, for information concerning transferred credit and advanced placement. See the UCSB General Catalog Music pages online for full details of the major course requirements.


General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Music?

This major is a favorite of people who, obviously, have a love of music, performance, and composition. Music majors are often inquisitive, analytical, observant, able to think abstractly, able to draw, and enjoy coordinated activities and sports. Often artistic, this kind of person enjoys various kinds of art like theatre, types of artwork, and creative expression.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?

Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.

Aural Skills
Elements of Music
German Diction
Music History Abroad
Organ Repertoire
Special Topics
English Diction
Indonesian Music and Cultures
Introduction to Music
Music in World Cultures
Romanticism in Music

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Music majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields.  Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include:

Creative Director
Music Instruction
Music Therapist
Vocal Music Teacher
Instrumental Music
Music Royalty and Publishing
Videographer Editor
Vocal Coach
Music Critic
Song writer
Symphony Manager
Voice Over Work
To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
      O*Net Online
See what UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn
Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.


Graduate and Professional Schools

Colleges and Universities approved by the American Music Therapy Association

Online Music Certificate
Learn about the different certificates available online for music
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies

Music Academy of the West
The academy, located right here in Santa Barbara, offers an annual summer festival. Each June 140 gifted young classical singers and instrumentalists, selected entirely for their talent, gather for eight weeks in Santa Barbara to study and make music with illustrious guest artists, conductors, and faculty – all to the delight of participating audiences.
This jobsite dedicated to music related employment. Jobs and internships posted on this site cover a wide range of employment opportunities, from executive, media, sales and PR/promotion to studios, instruction, retail and more.
Job listing of careers in the entertainment industry.

NAFME Career Center
View a list of available positions in all levels of music education. NAFME members can create online job seeker profiles that are visible to employers.

Careers in Music
Music job listings.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section 
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.


Professional Associations

American Music Therapy Association
The mission of the association is to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.

National Association for Music Education
The mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
Has worked to interpret copyright law, educate the public about licensing, and safeguard the interests of its members. To insure a fair and orderly market for everyone involved in music publishing, NMPA is dedicated to the protection of music copyright across all media and across all national boundaries.

American Federation of Musicians
Everyday thousands of musicians are helped by this organization. They are the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

Los Angeles Music Network
LAMN promotes career advancement, education and good will among music industry professionals. LAMN sponsors industry gatherings, workshops, private dinners and seminars with top executives; publish bulletins which feature interviews and business coverage of the music industry; and provide professional development opportunities and career services, such as job listings and a Mentor Network, to our members.

UCSB Resources