Student at the piano


Training performers, teachers, and innovators.

Valparaiso University has been training musicians for more than a century. With accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, all Valpo music major programs balance practical training and experiences in music with academic foundations in music and in general education.

Targeted Plans of Study

Bachelor of Arts in Music provides students with a liberal arts education and the ability to concentrate in a music area of their choice. All of the B.A. options include 40 credit hours of coursework in music with a common 31-credit music core and allow students the flexibility to major or minor in another field.

  • Standard Option: For students who seek a full music major curriculum, this degree option offers full performance opportunities and plenty of flexibility for an additional major or minor.
  • Church Music Option: This option is designed for students with an interest in church music or related fields. The degree’s 40 credit hours of music coursework include a practical internship and selected studies in church music and liturgy.
  • Music Industry Option:  Students with an interest in the music industry take courses in music careers and entrepreneurship, arts administration, and an internship in a music field of their interest. Because this music major is 40 credit hours, there is an opportunity to take a minor or a second major in a complementary field.

Bachelor of Music Education: This degree prepares students for certification as music educators and leads to pre-K through12 licensure in vocal, instrumental, and general music. The curriculum includes 65 credit hours in music as well as 35 credit hours in professional education, including supervised teaching.

Bachelor of Music in Church Music: This degree program is designed to prepare students for full-time professional work in church music or for successful graduate study in music. The curriculum includes a total of 85 credit hours in music.

Bachelor of Music in Composition: This degree program is designed to prepare students for professional employment or graduate study in music. The curriculum includes 75 credit hours in music.

Bachelor of Music in Performance: This degree program is designed to prepare students for professional employment or graduate study in music. The curriculum includes 74-79 credit hours in music.

Bachelor of Music Therapy: This degree program prepares students for national board certification (MT-BC) as music therapists. The curriculum includes 64 credits in music therapy and 31 credits in music, including supervised field training and internship.

Balanced Approach

Music majors at Valpo engage in an intellectually and musically challenging course of study that combines the best of liberal and professional education. All music major options offer comprehensive preparation in musicianship, history, theory, and performance skills, provided by dedicated musician-professors.

Professional Preparation

All of the music degree programs at Valparaiso University are designed to prepare students to meet the demands of musical life. Students develop skills particular to their interests as well as those that are needed for many music-related professions:

  • Mastery of performance, verbal, and critical-thinking skills
  • Development of a broad musical repertoire
  • Skills to conduct, improvise, compose, and arrange music

Some fields, such as music education, church music, and music business, require specialized training and internship experiences. The many tracks in Valpo’s music department ensure that music students cultivate their own talents and interests.

Off-Campus Programs

In addition to extensive performance opportunities with selective ensembles, music majors in many of the degree programs can participate in off-campus study. Valpo students have access to several programs with a specific focus on music or the arts.

The Chicago Arts Program is a 15-week semester of immersion in the Chicago art world. Students live and study in Chicago, work at a part-time internship, meet and interview artists and arts professionals, and write about and discuss practical and theoretical issues.

Learn More »

Students enroll at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where the medium of instruction in all classes is French. Students have the opportunity to take courses at La Schola Cantorum and receive three credits for each, upon approval from the music department.

Learn More »

Juniors and seniors may enroll in courses at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, all of which are related directly to music, and for studio lessons in organ. The school is located in Rottenburg am Neckar, southwest Germany, and all courses are conducted in German.

Learn More »

Many of Valpo’s 25 Study Abroad programs include focused experiential learning opportunities, which can often be tailored to focus on music:

  • Internships are included in 12 of the semester and year-long programs
  • Most programs include a service learning component

Learn More »


The Handbook for Music Students details requirements for all music students, including keyboard proficiency, ensemble participationstudio instruction, and concert attendance.