Just when you thought two prestige colleges couldn’t get better they did. Berklee College of Music and Harvard University just got that much more impressive.
Harvard University and Berklee College of Music have joined forces to offer an educational experience unlike any other in the world. The partnership will offer a five-year dual degree that will allow students who are very driven to pursue music to earn a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) at Harvard and a Master of Music (M.M.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) at Berklee starting in fall 2017. Students may begin applying to the program beginning on July 5, 2016.
The program was designed for exceptional musicians interested in a wide range of a different variety of music careers as well as a liberal arts education. The dual degree will allow the two institutions to provide students with resources to allow them to strength multiple areas of interest.
The program was designed based off a collaboration between Harvard and the New England Conservatory (NEC). They have a similar program. Students complete their Harvard requirements during their first four years and then during their fourth year they start their NEC master’s requirements, and then finally completing their fifth year only at the NEC.
The Berklee and Harvard partnership will offer a differently verity of musical and liberal academics then the NEC program. Through Berklee, students will be able to focus on jazz and contemporary music whereas NEC is strictly classical. Berklee offers masters in film scoring for movies, video games, and television as well as masters in either performance, music business, music production/technology, and music therapy. These are areas of study that Harvard Univeristy’s music department doesn’t offer.
The music program at Harvard Univerity offers a solid foundation in theory, analysis, composition, and criticism. The students are also exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and musical sounds that Berklee students may not be exposed to. Harvard helps in developing a student’s critical understanding of music in diverse cultural and historical contexts. The program is a unique pairing that will give very ambitious students a well-rounded education in liberal arts and music.
“It would have been impossible for me to progress as a jazz musician while studying at Harvard had I not been able to take advantage of the wealth of talent and resources at Berklee” – Aaron Goldberg
During the first three years of the program, students will pursue the curriculum at Harvard and take private lessons and other preparatory courses at Berklee. Like any Berklee student, dual-degree students will also have to pass instrumental proficiency exams as well as participate in ensembles, which can be completed at either institution. Any other preparatory coursework at Berklee may also be completed during the summer sessions in Boston, Spain or at Berklee online.
During the student’s fourth year, they will complete all Harvard’s A.B. requirements, including a senior thesis. At the start of the fifth year, students complete their selected master’s program at Berklee.
The program may only see about five-ten students a year due to its complex admissions standards. Students may begin applying to the program beginning on July 5, 2016. Not only will students have to be accepted to both Harvard and Berklee independently, but students will also have to complete auditions and interviews that any undergraduate student would normally see. If you are a current freshman or sophomore you may be eligible to apply as a transfer student.
For more information on how to apply, check out the Harvard Department of Music or through the Berklee website.
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