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5 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
New York City
Application deadline: Early Applications Due: November 1, Regular Applications Due: January 1

Program description


Performance, creativity, and historical study in the areas of classical music (including new music), jazz, world music, and electronic music, among others, are the primary focuses of the Bard Music Program. Students may take private lessons in voice, composition, and on many instruments, in a range of styles. Performance opportunities are frequent, and include Moderation and senior recitals; chamber music and ensemble concerts; Indonesian gamelan and other world-music ensembles; and, for composers, a concert of student works by a professional ensemble every semester. All senior musicians are eligible to perform with or have their work played by The Orchestra Now, the College’s in-house graduate orchestra, at the annual Commencement concert. Bard offers a state-of-the-art electronic music studio with a wide range of software and analogue instruments and a variety of performance spaces across campus, including installation rooms, a recital hall, a converted garage, and the acoustically magnificent Sosnoff Theater at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Performances at other venues in the Hudson Valley are common. Some students pursue Senior Projects in music history, theory, or ethnomusicology, and in hybrid areas, combining performance with research or with other disciplines..

In addition to the BA program in music, the Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a simultaneous double degree: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. Music Program courses are open to Conservatory students, and the two programs share some courses, workshops, faculty, and performance facilities.

Areas of Study

Bard’s Music Program is equipped for specialization in four major areas: jazz (and related African American traditions), European classical music (including its younger, American parallel), electronic music (starting with its early 20th-century experimental roots), and ethnomusicology. The music major explores the history and theory of one of these four areas through coursework and is free to take music courses in areas outside his or her specialization. The Music Program encourages diversity, provided the musician becomes sufficiently immersed in one tradition to experience the richness and complexity of a musical culture.

Admission requirements

International Students:

Required materials:

  • Apply using the Common Application.
  • High School transcript (Include mid-year senior grades if available at the time you apply.)
  • School Report (Form is generally completed by a high school counselor and includes a school profile.)
  • Teacher recommendations (Two are required: We prefer that one recommendation come from an English or humanities instructor and one from a math or science instructor.)
  • TOEFL exam or IELTS exam or Duolingo English Test. All international applicants who speak a foreign language other than English as their primary language must submit a completed TOEFL exam or IELTS exam or Duolingo English Test.
  • Students who attend High Schools with full English instruction may request to be considered for a TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo waiver, Subject: International Applicant - TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo waiver

Optional materials:

  • In addition to the TOEFL or IELTS or Duolingo requirement, we recommend participating in the optional English Proficiency supplements with one of our two service partners: IntialView or Vericant.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

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Program content

By the time of graduation, all music majors are expected to have successfully completed between eight and 10 specific requirements, depending on their area of study. The requirements include courses in both music theory and history; one class in composition or, with the approval of the adviser, 4 credits in an equivalent course involving personal musical creativity; and a performance class, accompanied by two semesters’ worth of private lessons (performance class may be replaced by some other class involving public performance). Generally, half of these requirements should be completed by the time of Moderation. For their Moderation project, most students give a 25- to 40-minute concert of their own music and/or music by other composers; a substantial music history or theory paper written for a class serves for students pursuing those fields. The Senior Project consists of two concerts of approximately 45 to 60 minutes each. Composers may replace one concert with an orchestral work written for performance during the Commencement concert. In certain cases involving expertise in music technology, a student may submit produced recordings of music rather than give a live performance. An advanced research project in music history or theory can also be considered as a Senior Project.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.

Tuition fees

First-Year Students

  • Tuition: $57,498
  • Room and board: $16,760
  • Campus facilities fee: $0
  • Campus health services fee: $470
  • Security Deposit: $225

Returning Resident

  • Tuition: $57,498
  • Room and board: $16,760
  • Campus facilities fee: $0
  • Campus health services fee: $470
  • Security Deposit: $0

Returning Off-Campus

  • Tuition: $57,498
  • Room and board: $0
  • Campus facilities fee: $352
  • Campus health services fee: $470
  • Security Deposit: $0

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About this institute

Bard College

Bard is a liberal arts college of 1900 undergraduates. Our largest campus is located 90 miles north of New York City and situated on the Hudson River near the Catskill Mountains. Bard also has a growing network of campuses and...

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Contact info

Bard College

30 Campus Road
12504 Annandale-on-Hudson New York
United States of America

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