Double Majoring/Dual Degree with Music at these schools?

Hey everyone. I’m trying to get a double major/dual degree with CS and Music. I’ve come across a few schools that have good music programs and good programs in other areas, but I’m not sure whether these colleges will allow double majors/dual degrees with music performance. The list is as follows:

  • UToronto - no idea if you’re allowed to double major/dual degree across several schools, although I know that you can apply to 3 different programs on the application.
  • Boston University - I know that dual degree/double major programs exist, but all of the info I can find on them concerns students who are already attending and have completed the freshman year, so do I have to complete a year in the school or is there a way to start in the dual degree program? If I have to complete a year, which school would be better to apply to? (I’m thinking CFA is probably better because I’m preparing for auditions now, but…?)
  • SUNY Potsdam
  • Ithaca College (I might take this one off the list if I feel like I have too many safeties)
  • Binghamton

Also, I know this isn’t the point of the post but if you know of any good schools that are in big cities in the northeast (or chicago, but not NYC) that I can apply to please let me know! So far my list looks like this: CMU, Northwestern, Tufts <-> NEC, MIT, Northeastern (non-music target), BU, UToronto, URochester <-> Eastman, DePaul, Binghamton, SUNY Potsdam, Ithaca College. I have a 94 GPA (unweighted, school doesn’t do rankings), 1590 SAT, average ECs, location NYC, white, non-binary, 9 APs.

Also, I play the flute

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CMU is a top school for both CS and music performance, but both programs are wickedly hard to get into. The university markets their BXA majors and makes them sound amazing, but a lot of the intense programs there are not really that enthused about having BXA majors taking up space in limited-capacity studios rather than fully-committed single majors. The stars would have to align in many many ways for music+CS to work out for you there.

Consider Ohio State. Great urban school, and its music school has two good options for you: the BA in music performance that’s designed to accommodate double majors, and the BS in Music which has a specific Computer Science + Music track.

Look into St. Olaf College. Both music and CS are excellent and they encourage dual majors. (Not urban though.) Lawrence U would be worth a look also - more urban than St Olaf but not quite as strong a CS reputation. DePaul could be a good possibility. If you’d look as far south as Richmond, VA, consider both URichmond and VCU. Consider Temple in Philly; strong music school, solid STEM, good merit potential.

USC is also very interdisciplinary-friendly if you’d consider west coast (it checks the urban box).

In addition to URochester, look into Case Western Reserve U (joint music program with Cleveland Institute of Music). Urban campus and open door policy re: majors

Everyone here will tell you to read the Double Degree Dilemma essay and see which profile fits your situation: Double Degree Dilemma essay (written by David Lane) - #4 by compmom

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BU has a BA in music and a BM in performance. The BA students may study with a grad student unless they audition well enough to get into a faculty studio. This is what I meant when I said that if you are not doing a BM, you might want to avoid certain schools with BM programs because the best teachers and resources for music go to the BM students.

Northwestern has Bienen’s BM program, Ithaca has a Conservatory BM and so on. So if you apply to Northwestern, BU, Ithaca, U of Rochester, any SUNY’s , U of Toronto, Lawrence, St. Olaf ALL have BM programs so you need to check out what teachers and performances you have access to if you major in CS, whether a double major is possible and whether it is supported and whether you are viewed as serious about music, ditto double degree,

Carnegie Mellon is a BFA for music and has info on a double major on the site, prominently Double Major Information - School of Music - Carnegie Mellon University (

My impression is that good places for double degree are Oberlin, Lawrence, Bard (conservatory students have to do a double degree), Ithaca, Tufts, Harvard, maybe Northwestern. There are many others but those come to mind. I would not suggest BU.

In your other thread some of us said that a double major in CS and music is difficult and as I remember you wanted to avoid stress, I strongly advise you, again, to either do a double degree or major in CS in a non-BM school where you can have a faculty or off campus teacher and adequate extracurricular performance.

From what you have written in other threads, the latter seems like the best path, but you are still asking about double majors and dual degrees so clearly you are not convinced :slight_smile:

If you want an immersive experience in music, go ahead and do a BM at any of the schools listed. Take CS classes when your schedule has room and maybe get a post bacc certificate in CS.

ps Tufts has a very nice music dept. (w/out the double degree). Here is MIT:
The music program welcomes all enrolled MIT students, regardless of major, who wish to take subjects in music history/culture, composition/theory, music technology, and performance in the areas of classical, jazz, popular, and world music. At MIT it is possible to major (full, joint, or double), minor, or concentrate in Music. Our curriculum is known for its fantastic variety of quality offerings to undergraduates at all levels of preparation and talent.


At Vanderbilt you could do a second major in CS with a BMA degree, or possibly with a BM degree if you come in with AP/IB/DE credit.

I’ve also heard of people doing double majors/dual degrees at IU. Again, coming in with credit would make it easier.


I would like to know about this earlier, it’s already late

It mght not be too late. If you have applied to a school for music (BM) that also has a BA or BS degree, you may still be able to apply for the latter. Or a school like Tufts where application to NEC and Tufts are separate but there is a double degree offered by the two together.

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