Degrees and Majors

Piano LessonThe School of Music is recognized for its emphasis on solo and ensemble performance. Students study primary and secondary instruments with a faculty of gifted artists and teachers. At Illinois Wesleyan University, this relationship blends emerging and established talents in a unique environment.

From their first-year through their senior year, students are able to participate in a wide range of performing experiences seldom available in schools of comparable size.


Majors in Music

Bachelor of Music Education

The Bachelor of Music Education prepares students for careers through intensive coursework combined with field experiences in front of K-12 music students. Students learn how to incorporate both traditional and contemporary teaching techniques in order to adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape of 21st century education. Students are also encouraged to become involved with the IWU collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and to attend professional development conferences.


Bachelor of Music in Performance

The Bachelor of Music in Performance is designed for students committed to the achievement of excellence in the field of performance. Students pursue this program in one of the following performance areas: percussion, piano, strings, voice, or winds. This degree program also includes extensive studies in music literature, pedagogical techniques, and theory.


Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is for students who wish to complete a general study of music within a liberal arts curriculum. Coursework and experiences are designed to provide opportunities for students to develop basic musicianship skills, performance skills, and to engage in a broad study of musical repertoire. This is the program recommended for students who wish to double major.




Minors and Concentrations  in Music

Minor in Arts Management

The Minor in Arts Management is designed to help prepare students to manage performing and visual arts organizations such as orchestras, theatres, galleries, museums, and arts councils. Because it is intended to complement major study in one of the fine arts disciplines, this program is available only to students majoring in art, music, or theatre arts.

Minor in Music

The Minor in Music is designed for qualified students who have a background in music and who wish to complete a secondary concentration in this area to complement their studies in the liberal arts

Minor in Jazz Studies

The Minor in Jazz Studies is designed for music majors and non-music majors who wish to acquire a substantial understanding of jazz music, particularly in the areas of arranging, harmony, history, improvisation, performance, and theory.

Concentration in Composition

The Concentration in Composition is for music majors who have a strong interest in composition. Completion of the Concentration will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Additional Academic Options

Five-Year Dual Degrees

Many students also elect to pursue two degree programs. Depending on the combination of degrees, this requires a minimum of five years of study. When pursuing two degree programs, the names of the degrees are different; e.g. B.A. in Biology and the BM in Performance.”

Four-Year  Double Majors

Because of the distinctive combination of the liberal arts and a professional school of music, many students pursue two majors. There are numerous combinations that can be completed in four years, particularly if the music degree is the B.A. degree; e.g., music and business, music and psychology, or music and computer science, to name a few.