As you’re researching your options for studying music, you may want to devote some time to finding music school rankings for the programs you are considering. Music school rankings aren’t as widely publicized as rankings for programs in areas such as MBA rankings, but there are ways to find out if a program is known for providing quality instruction in music theory and performance.
US News & World Report rankings are a good resource for rating the overall quality of a particular college or university. You can review rankings on a national basis or search for highly ranked schools within a particular region. Once you’ve compiled a list of schools with strong overall academic programs, you can research their music departments individually. It should come as no surprise that prestigious colleges such as
Yale, Harvard, and Princeton are known for having excellent music programs. However, lesser-known schools, such as the University of Florida, University of Kentucky, University of Houston, University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Alabama all have highly ranked music departments as well.
If you’re interested in attending a specialized performing arts school, you will find it difficult to obtain formal rankings of these institutions simply because they exist in small numbers compared to traditional colleges and universities. However, Julliard is widely accepted as the most prestigious institution of its type in the United States. The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music are also considered to be respected music schools.
Although music university rankings are certainly important, they are not the only factor you should consider when you are choosing a program to attend. You will want to consider the availability of financial aid, as well as whether or not the campus and student body make you feel comfortable. Attending a highly ranked school will offer minimal benefit if you are unhappy for four years and graduate with unmanageable student loan debt.