Music Schools in Virginia with Degree Program Overviews

Research music schools in Virginia, which currently has more than 30 schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of these schools and decide which program is right for you

View popular schools

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

Essential Information

The 10 largest music schools in Virginia are public colleges and universities offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Some programs focus on the liberal arts side of music, while others are designed to prepare graduates for work as professional musicians. Degree concentrations may be available in composition and theory, music performance, music business, music therapy, music education or musical theatre. Students interested in developing their musical skills can often practice in on-campus rehearsal rooms and studios or participate in college ensembles, orchestras or choirs. Students may have to complete a final recital prior to graduation. Read on to learn about several postsecondary schools in Virginia offering music degrees.


College of William and Mary

Located in Williamsburg, this college serves around 6,000 undergraduate students. The music department has more than 50 faculty members and offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Facilities include recital and rehearsal halls, a choir room and a music library. Students can participate in a variety of performance ensembles, including bands, choruses, orchestras and non-traditional ensembles, such as an Appalachian music ensemble and an Indonesian gamelan. Music majors study performance, theory and history and take academic electives. The program culminates in a faculty-supervised independent study, the results of which are presented in a research paper, recital or combined lecture and recital.

  • Program Offered: B.A. in Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $13,570 in-state, $37,344 out-of-state;* additional $400 per private lesson**
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; suburban

George Mason University

George Mason University in Fairfax offers music degree programs through its School of Music, a certified All-Steinway School with over 100 faculty members. Music students can perform in two large concert halls, practice in studios and participate in chamber ensembles, orchestras, bands and chorales. The B.A. in Music prepares students for graduate study in music literature and research, while the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) is a focused music degree with concentrations in jazz, composition, performance and music education with teacher certification. All undergraduate music students develop their aural skills and take courses in music theory, performance, pedagogy and history. Students in the Master of Music (M.M.) program study music literature, analysis, history and research through a concentration in one of numerous areas, including performance, composition and jazz. Students seeking a doctoral degree can earn a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Composition, Conducting or Performance or can participate in a research-intensive Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music Education, which requires a dissertation.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    B.M.,
    M.M.,
    D.M.A.,
    Ph.D. in Music Education
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,620 in-state, $27,764 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; suburban

James Madison University

Music students at JMU in Harrisonburg can earn bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees through the School of Music, which is fully equipped with practice rooms and studios, rehearsal halls, a music library, a listening room and a recording studio. Performances take place at the college's recital hall, concert hall and opera theatre. Students can earn a B.M. in performance, musical theatre, music industry, composition or vocal or instrumental music education with K-12 teacher certification. The curriculum focuses heavily on applied music study, including private lessons and participation in musical groups. Students can participate in classical, jazz, orchestra and chamber ensembles. Students seeking advanced professional training can earn an M.M. or D.M.A. or may pursue a joint M.M./D.M.A. The M.M. is offered in performance, composition, conducting and music education, while the D.M.A. is offered in conducting, brass, percussion, piano, strings and voice.

  • Programs Offered: B.M.,
    M.M.,
    D.M.A.,
    M.M./D.M.A.
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,808 in-state, $22,796 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University is located in Norfolk and grants bachelor's and master's degrees through its Department of Music, which has 18 faculty members. Norfolk music students have access to rehearsal and practice rooms, a music computer lab, an audio-visual library and a recording studio. Undergraduate students can earn a B.M. in Media or Music Education and have opportunities to perform in bands, choirs, orchestras and jazz ensembles. The media program prepares students for careers in music broadcasting or technology through coursework focused on mass communications and music performance, arranging and producing. Students in the music education program study instrumental, vocal or keyboard music and its pedagogy and meet requirements for state teacher certification. At the graduate level, students can pursue an M.M. in Music Education, Theory and Composition or Performance.

  • Programs Offered: B.M.,
    M.M.
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $6,860 in-state, $20,360 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Old Dominion University

Also located in Norfolk, Old Dominion University offers bachelor's degrees in music and a master's degree in music education through its Department of Music, which has over 30 faculty and staff. Music students can participate in the university's 14 student ensembles and have access to rehearsal rooms, a recital hall, computer labs and recording and electronic music facilities. Undergraduates can focus their studies on music performance, composition or education through the B.M. program. Music education students are prepared for K-12 teacher certification in vocal or instrumental music. Students can also learn about music in the context of the liberal arts through the B.A. in Music program or create their own program that combines music and other disciplines through the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. A Master of Music Education (M.M.Ed.) is also available, which culminates in research, a recital or a seminar.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies,
    B.M.,
    M.M.Ed.
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,190 in-state, $22,230 out-of-state;* additional $75 per group lesson, $175 for 1 credit private lesson, $250 for 2-3 credits of private lessons***
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Radford University

Located in the town of Radford, southwest of Roanoke, this university offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in music. Radford is also a certified All-Steinway School. The Department of Music has over 30 faculty and contains rehearsal and practice rooms, rehearsal halls for ensembles and a large performance hall. Students have access to a music library and a keyboard and computer lab, as well as the recording studio in the performance hall. On-campus music ensembles include chamber, jazz and instrumental ensembles, choruses, bands, opera productions and an orchestra. Undergraduates can earn a B.M. in Music Business, Music Education with certification or Music Therapy with certification; or they can pursue a liberal arts education through a B.A. or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Music with emphases in vocal or instrumental performance, piano accompaniment, composition, jazz or music technology. Radford offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Music Therapy with clinical and research options. Graduate students can also enroll in an M.A. in Music with emphasis on performance, piano accompaniment, electronic music, composition, conducting, music education or music history.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    B.S. in Music,
    B.M.,
    M.A. in Music,
    M.S. in Music Therapy
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,590 in-state, $20,160 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; rural

University of Virginia

At University of Virginia in Charlottesville, over 1,000 students per semester take courses through the McIntyre Department of Music, which has 50 faculty. Facilities include individual and ensemble practice spaces, a digital music studio and the largest music library in Virginia. Music students can perform in a variety of student and resident ensembles and attend performances by affiliated ensembles and organizations in the university's historic auditorium. Through the B.A. in Music program, students receive an overview of music topics and the liberal arts. Students who are approved to complete an advanced project, such as a recital, thesis or composition, are eligible for the Distinguished Major program and may receive High Distinction if their project is of exceptional quality. At the graduate level, students can earn an M.A. and Ph.D. in Music, which focuses on either comparative studies or electronic composition.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    M.A. in Music,
    Ph.D. in Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $12,216 in-state, $38,228 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth is located in Virginia's capital city of Richmond and enrolls nearly 32,000 students. Its Department of Music, with more than 300 students, offers bachelor's and master's degrees. Music students have the opportunity to perform with bands, ensembles and symphony, jazz and opera orchestras. They also have access to over 200 concerts offered each year at the university's recital and concert halls. Practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and an organ suite are available for student use. Students in the B.A. program gain a liberal arts education, a core music education and a deeper understanding in an area of emphasis, such as music business, performance, history or composition. Students in the B.M. program concentrate in instrumental performance, jazz studies or music education and are prepared for professional careers in music. The master's program prepares students for careers in music education. It includes coursework covering research, music psychology and music pedagogy and culminates in a master's thesis or project.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    B.M.,
    M.M.
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,886 in-state, $23,913 out-of-state;* additional $1,850 annually for School of the Arts and $307 per private lesson****
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Usually referred to as Virginia Tech, this university is located in the small city of Blacksburg. Its Department of Music has 30 faculty and provides performance opportunities through bands, choirs, jazz ensembles, orchestras and a percussion and marimba ensemble. Rehearsal and practice rooms, teaching studios and electronic and recording labs are available for student use. Performances occur in the Recital Salon. Students can earn a B.A. in Music with options in music technology, composition, performance and music education. The music technology program combines a traditional music education with training in music and multimedia technology, including recording and acoustics, culminating in a recital and capstone project. Performance, composition and education students are prepared to pursue graduate study or professional careers in music. Though it does not include teacher certification, all music education students complete two semesters of teaching.

  • Program Offered: B.A. in Music
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,923 in-state, $25,915 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; urban

Virginia State University

Located in the Richmond suburb of Petersburg, Virginia State University offers music degrees at the baccalaureate level. The Music Unit of the School of Liberal Arts and Education has 19 faculty members. Music students have the opportunity to perform with a variety of ensembles, including concert, pep and marching bands, choirs and a gospel chorale. Students can earn a B.M. in Performance or Music Education, both of which prepare them for graduate study. The music education program also prepares students for teacher certification. Students can also pursue a liberal arts B.A. in Music, which includes music lessons in the students' instrument of choice.

  • Programs Offered: B.A. in Music,
    B.M. with Pre K-12 Endorsement,
    B.M. in Music Performance
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $7,420 in-state, $16,388 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; suburban

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Music Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
College of William and Mary 4-year, public; suburban B.A. in Music $13,570 in-state, $37,344 out-of-state;* additional $400 per private lesson**
George Mason University 4-year, public; suburban B.A. in Music,
B.M.,
M.M.,
D.M.A.,
Ph.D. in Music Education
$9,620 in-state, $27,764 out-of-state*
James Madison University 4-year, public; urban B.M.,
M.M.,
D.M.A.,
M.M./D.M.A.
$8,808 in-state, $22,796 out-of-state*
Norfolk State University 4-year, public; urban B.M.,
M.M.
$6,860 in-state, $20,360 out-of-state*
Old Dominion University 4-year, public; urban B.A. in Music,
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies,
B.M.,
M.M.Ed.
$8,190 in-state, $22,230 out-of-state;* additional $75 per group lesson, $175 for 1 credit private lesson, $250 for 2-3 credits of private lessons***
Radford University 4-year, public; rural B.A. in Music,
B.S. in Music,
B.M.,
M.A. in Music,
M.S. in Music Therapy
$8,590 in-state, $20,160 out-of-state*
University of Virginia 4-year, public; urban B.A. in Music,
M.A. in Music,
Ph.D. in Music
$12,216 in-state, $38,228 out-of-state*
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, public; urban B.A. in Music,
B.M.,
M.M.
$9,886 in-state, $23,913 out-of-state;* additional $1,850 annually for School of the Arts and $307 per private lesson****
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 4-year, public; urban B.A. in Music $10,923 in-state, $25,915 out-of-state*
Virginia State University 4-year, public; suburban B.A. in Music,
B.M. with Pre K-12 Endorsement,
B.M. in Music Performance
$7,420 in-state, $16,388 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics - College Navigator, **College of William and Mary, ***Old Dominion University, ****Virginia Commonwealth University

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?