If you’re interested in either musical performance or music theory, chances are you’ve thought about applying to a music school or becoming a music major/minor. Here’s the list of Best Colleges for Music in America according to niche.com!
|1||*The Curtis Institute of Music||Philadelphia, PA||4%|
|2||*Berklee College of Music||Boston, MA||34%|
|3||*The Juilliard School||New York, NY||6%|
|4||*The New England Conservatory of Music||Boston, MA||35%|
|5||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||17%|
|6||Vanderbilt University||Nashville, TN||11%|
|7||*San Francisco Conservatory of Music||San Francisco, CA||42%|
|8||Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||11%|
|9||Rice University||Houston, TX||15%|
|10||Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||13%|
|11||*Cleveland Institute of Music||Cleveland, OH||48%|
|12||University of Rochester||Rochester, NY||36%|
|13||University of Michigan—Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||29%|
|14||Oberlin College||Oberlin, OH||28%|
|15||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||22%|
|16||*Manhattan School of Music||New York, NY||46%|
|17||University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL||38%|
|18||Lawrence University||Appleton, WI||63%|
|19||*California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||24%|
|20||New York University||New York, NY||32%|
|21||Belmont University||Nashville, TN||81%|
|22||Boston University||Boston, MA||29%|
|23||Loyola University New Orleans||New Orleans, LA||68%|
|24||Brigham Young University||Provo, UT||51%|
|25||Southern Methodist University||Dallas, TX||49%|
Is the Acceptance Rate Accurate?
Keep in mind that for music schools, some tend to accept more students (e.g. Berklee) while some like Curtis and Juilliard are extremely competitive with an acceptance rate of around 5%. Also, some schools in the list are not “music schools” by definition but rather have a decent music program. Northwestern, for instance, has an acceptance rate of 11% not only because its music program is great, but because its a school with many great programs. That being said, acceptance rate alone doesn’t tell the whole story.
How Are Schools Ranked?
Visit https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-music/ if you want to know how these schools are ranked. Notice there’s a big difference between schools that are good at, say, performing, versus those that are more theoretical. So if you are interested in a particular area, look into the school websites too!
Also, even though schools like Northwestern and Rice are ranked below Berklee, you should NOT consider them safety schools. As mentioned previously, these schools are not music schools but rather colleges with hundreds of undergraduate programs. They attract tens of thousands of applicants around the world every year, unlike Berklee where only those who are set on studying music apply.