Coursework in the Musical Studies Program provides College of Arts and Sciences students with an opportunity to study music from a critical and intellectual perspective. Students take courses from the college and the conservatory to gain artistic, historical, and cultural perspective while they develop their skills as musicians.



A committee comprised of faculty from the college and conservatory oversees the Musical Studies Program. These teacher-scholars are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

View Faculty

Students in this course of study are required to participate in at least two approved Oberlin ensembles. These groups include the Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra, Musical Union, Oberlin College Choir, Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Gospel Choir, Oberlin Sinfionietta, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Collegium Musicum, Javanese Gamelan, Performance and Improvisation Ensembles, Oberlin Jazz Ensemble, Oberlin Opera Theater, and other ensembles directed by conservatory faculty members.

Discover Performance Groups

Program Overview

The Musical Studies Program targets arts and sciences students with serious preparation for and interest in the study of music within a liberal arts context. Coursework emphasizes critical thinking, writing, communications skills, and a solid grounding in  practical musical experience.

Students will build musical foundations in applied study, musicianship skills, and music history, and will select more advanced coursework in the major according to their specific goals and interests.  

Musical studies is a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music, offering students an interdivisional approach to musical study. Majors take courses in both divisions and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on music. Many of our graduates have careers in music education, conducting, ethnomusicology, music theory, performance, and other related disciplines.

Our courses permit interested students to double major and, with careful planning, many pair musical studies with other majors in the arts and sciences division—politics, cinema studies, or theater and dance, for example. You will design a concentration within the major that allows in-depth study of a specific musical topic.

We advise students wishing to pursue graduate study in music to plan carefully so that enough advanced coursework is possible.

Learn more about music in the College of Arts and Sciences

Musical Studies News

Musical Studies Facilities

exterior image and sign for the Kohl Building

Bertram and Judith Kohl Building

The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building is the home for the conservatory’s jazz studies division and programs in composition, musicology, and music theory, as well as the Clonick Hall recording studio.