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List of Top Singing and Voice Colleges

Learn about your choices for studying singing and voice at a top college. Discover the degree options, the school rankings, and the locations to make an informed education decision. View article »

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  • 0:00 School Overviews
  • 0:41 University of Southern…
  • 1:55 Temple University in…
  • 3:16 Boston University in…
  • 4:13 Top Singing and Voice Programs

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School Overviews

A number of colleges and universities offer programs in singing and voice. The ones listed are distinguished in various ways and are considered some of the best. The following schools have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report and offer outstanding programs in voice and singing.

While a degree in singing and voice is not required for a singing career, students in a degree program can learn the technical skills needed by most professional singers. These programs include coursework in music theory, history, conducting, and performance. Most programs encourage students to learn a musical instrument in addition to voice, and vocal recitals are usually required to graduate.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California features expert faculty, not only in voice training, but in a range of closely-related disciplines, including musical composition, music performance, and collaborative arts. Students at this school have opportunities to work with organizations like the Los Angeles Opera, the GRAMMY Foundation, and the Recording Academy. U.S. News & World Report ranked USC the 23rd-best national university for 2017, and tied for the 69th-best graduate fine arts program in 2016.

USC features undergraduate and graduate programs in classical voice and opera. The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Vocal Arts program stresses strong technique and offers classes in diction, music theory, and conducting. A Master of Music (M.M.) in Vocal Arts program focuses on ensemble, cantata and oratorio, vocal literature, music history, and pedagogy. Earning the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Vocal Arts requires performing four recitals. Rock, pop, R&B and folk, Latin, and country performance are featured in the B.M. in Popular Music program. Coursework includes songwriting, keyboard, and harmony. A Bachelor of Arts in Choral and Sacred Music is also available.

Temple University in Pennsylvania

Temple University is located in downtown Philadelphia and houses the Temple Performing Arts Center. Temple was ranked 15th among the graduate fine arts programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report, and 118th among national universities overall in 2017. Temple is accredited by the NASAM. The university hosts seven official student choirs, and each choir is defined by a unique history and performance style.

The Boyer College of Music and Dance offers the B.M. in Voice Performance, which focuses on choral music and opera, while the B.M. in Jazz Voice Performance focuses on jazz studies. Both degree programs prepare students for careers in performance and vocal education. Classes include ensemble, piano, music theory, and conducting.

Earning an M.M. in Voice prepares students for professional performance or further doctoral study. Specializations are available in musical style and performance, vocal literature, language and diction skills, acting technique, and music theory. The D.M.A. in Voice program is ideal for those who want to further specialize and attain the highest level of skill in vocal performance. Classes include chamber music, music history, and pedagogy. Students must perform with an orchestra or perform a major role in an opera to graduate. An M.M. and D.M.A. in Opera are also available.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Jazz
  • Music Composition and Theory
  • Music History and Literature
  • Music Merchandising and Management
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Music Performing
  • Musical Conducting
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Piano and Organ
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Voice and Opera

Boston University in Massachusetts

Located in the urban setting of Boston, MA, Boston University is one of the largest independent nonprofit universities in the United States. It tied for 39th on the list of national universities, per U.S. News & World Report in 2017, and tied for 23rd among the best colleges for veterans. Some of the most distinguished musicians, including 30 members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, are part of the music faculty at Boston University.

Students here can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in music performance with a concentration in voice. Coursework prepares students for careers as composers, performers, and teachers. Undergraduate students can take part in a study abroad program with the Royal College of Music in London. Boston University has a special five-year program whereby students can couple a bachelor's degree in music performance with a master's degree in music education, thus taking a year off the total time needed to earn both degrees.

Top Singing and Voice Programs

The following schools also offer top programs in singing and voice.

College/University Name Location Distinction
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA Students in the vocal performance program are taught the classical bel canto technique; acting, dance, and language training along with full productions each year supplement the voice training
The Juilliard School New York, NY Enrolls fewer than 1,000 students, and offers undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as artist diplomas
Northwestern University Evanston, IL Offers performance and dual degrees, double majors, and ad hoc options as well as on-campus auditions for opera companies; all doctoral students receive a full-tuition stipend
Portland State University Portland, OR Students participating in the PSU Opera Workshop perform opera scenes on campus and off campus
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL Voice students put on three fully-staged performances along with recitals, opera scenes, and choral works
University of Washington Seattle, WA Offers seven choirs, four different degrees, and a full-scale opera production through its School of Music

Students interested in studying singing and voice can find programs at universities and colleges throughout the country. When picking a program, students should weigh their specific interests against the unique features of schools' programs, which may include study abroad options, internship opportunities, and the chance to study with world-renowned music faculty.

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