Dual Degree and Clarinet Performance?

I’m a rising senior that’s trying to get into a very good school for clarinet but that is also academically competitive because I want to dual degree in perhaps engineering. I did quite well at my school (4.6 GPA weighted) but I’m also unsure if I can handle the toll of double major from which I’ve heard about earlier. I’m currently looking into Northwestern and Umich but I’m just in general unsure what’s the best school for my interests. Any advice?

You may want to check out the music forum on this site. There is a thread specifically about dual degrees as well. One of my son’s best friends did a dual degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western.


Moving to Music Forum

@genghispekhan - I have a clarinetist who wanted a school with a strong clarinet program. She is not pursuing a double degree, but these are some of the schools she visited/applied to where that would have been possible… UMich (a personal fav!), Eastman School of Music (U Rochester), Oberlin, CIM (Case Western), Northwestern, NYU. School choice will also depend heavily on your level of play, test scores, etc. Maybe check out some schools to see what size, setting (rural / urban) feels right to you. Talk to other students if you can. Learn more about clarinet profs. by watching their YouTube videos. Get a feel for level of play by listening to concerts or master classes online. Check for test score/ GPA requirements. That may rule some places out. It’s a big choice, good luck!

I suggest, first off, that you read the essay entitled “Double Degree Dilemma” posted closer to the top of this forum. I really details the different ways to study music, and ways to combine with other areas of study.

Engineering and music are both intensive majors with a sequential curriculum, meaning you take courses in a certain order with foundational classes first. This means a little less flexibility in course planning, at times.

Basically your choices are a BM for clarinet, a BS in engineering with music as an extracurricular (lessons, performance), a double major (tough with these majors), a major in engineering and minor in music, or a double degree, either BA or BS combined with either a BM or in some cases, MM.

A BS generally means no audition for admission, but you can submit a music supplement with recording, music resume and letter(s) of recommendation related to music.

Most BM’s require audition and often prescreen.

Here is an example of a program that might meet your needs: https://www.oberlin.edu/engineering Oberlin has enhanced their musical offerings for students who are not enrolled in the Conservatory so that the presence of the Conservatory benefits them https://www.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/departments/musical-studies

Oberlin is very supportive of double degrees as well, and music students are well-integrated with other students on campus, housing, other courses etc.

You will really have to look deeply into each schools. I just gave Oberlin as an example.

I think when you read David Lane’s essay (Double Degree Dilemma) it will be very helpful for you.