B.M. in Jazz Studies

The bachelor of music in jazz studies degree offers a wealth of instructional resources, including coursework in improvisation, jazz history and theory; applied jazz lessons; and an abundance of performing experience, both in small combos and in large ensembles.

With an extensive roster of performer/teachers, a wealth of Chicago-area cultural opportunities, and a nationally recognized jazz band and Jazz Festival, we have an established reputation in America’s signature art form. Our degree program strives to prepare musicians for a variety of performance and composing careers in jazz and commercial music.

Required Courses

Music Core Courses

  • Concert Attendance: MUS 100 each term, with or without credit
  • Music Theory: MUS 135, 136, 235, 236
  • Music History: MUS 343, 344
  • Music Business: MUS 330
  • Music Education: MUS 369

Jazz Studies Courses

  • MUS 120 Jazz Fundamentals I
  • MUS 121 Jazz Fundamentals II
  • MUS 223 Jazz Keyboard Fundamentals
  • MUS 290 Digital Music I
  • MUS 318 Jazz: A History and Analysis
  • MUS 325 Rhythm Section Fundamentals
  • MUS 350 Jazz Arranging I
  • MUS 430 Jazz Improvisation I
  • MUS 431 Jazz Improvisation II

Applied Music

  • Classical study for credit: two terms on major instrument or voice
  • Applied Jazz Study for credit: six terms on major instrument or voice
  • Applied Jazz Piano: two terms (noncredit to 1.0 credit)
  • Band, Choir or Orchestra: four terms on major instrument or voice
  • Large Jazz Ensemble: each term enrolled, up to six (large ensemble defined as Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble)

For jazz studies majors, Jazz Band II, Vocal Jazz I, Vocal Jazz II and Gretsch Guitar Ensemble may count as a major performing ensemble after four terms of Choir, Concert Band or Orchestra have been fulfilled. Guitar majors may select classical guitar ensemble to fulfill this requirement. See specific degree programs for ensemble requirements.

  • Jazz Combo: minimum of four terms
  • Senior Recital (Junior Recital optional)

Guitarists may choose to take Classical Guitar Ensemble for four terms.

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