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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.

School Overview

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. A program in singing and voice includes 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. Read on to find out more about the possibilities for studying voice at good colleges.

Best Colleges for Singing and Voice

1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

University of Southern California (USC) is located in the center of Los Angeles, where students 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 2011 and the 37th best graduate fine arts program in 2008. USC is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASAM).

USC features undergraduate and graduate-level 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.

2. Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Temple University is located in downtown Philadelphia and houses the Temple Performing Arts Center. Temple was ranked 14th among graduate fine arts programs in 2008 by U.S. News & World Report and 132nd among national universities for 2011. Temple is accredited by the NASAM.

The Boyer College of Music and Dance offers the B.M. in Voice Performance and the B.M. in Jazz Voice Performance. The former program focuses on choral music and opera, while the latter centers 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.

Good Schools with Singing and Voice Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Boston University Master's degree music performance students at BU are each assigned to a single faculty member Boston, MA
Carnegie Mellon University 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 Pittsburgh, PA
The Juilliard School This exclusive school enrolls fewer than 1,000 students, and offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees as well as artist diplomas New York, NY
Northwestern University The Bienen School of Music 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 Evanston, IL
Portland State University Students participating in the PSU Opera Workshop perform opera scenes on-campus and off-campus Portland, OR
Temple University U.S. News & World Report ranks the Boyer School of Music in the top 30 music schools Philadelphia, PA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Voice students at the U of I put on three fully-staged performances along with recitals, opera scenes and choral works Champaign, IL
University of Southern California USC has ten different performance halls, theaters and venues, ranging from a coffee house to a 1,200-seat performance hall Los Angeles, CA
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seven choirs, four different degrees and a full-scale opera production are offered by the School of Music Seattle, WA

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