Popular Music Studies Program


A Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with a popular music studies concentration provides students with a comprehensive course of study focused on songwriting, music production, performance, music theory, and popular music history and culture. It can also include preparation for music entrepreneurship through coursework in marketing, accounting, and law. Students choose from a variety of performance ensembles, including gospel choirs, jazz combos, hip hop ensemble, and electronic device ensemble, among others. They can use elective requirements to deepen their engagement with a variety of subjects, including audio engineering, recording techniques, electronic music, and history and culture courses focused on rock and roll, electronic music, hip hop, and other forms of popular music. 

  • The Artist Track is for aspiring performers and songwriters wishing to pursue careers as popular music artists, focused on creating and releasing original material.
  • The Industry Track is for students seeking to be professionals in the music industry. It provides a comprehensive, well-rounded course of study focused on the development of professional skill sets.
  • The Essentials Track allows students to complete degree requirements with the broadest possible range of course options and fewest number of credits. This track can work well for students who are double-majoring.
  • The Music Business Track is for students seeking careers as business people in the music industry, combining one of the above tracks, most likely the Essentials Track, with a second major in Business or Journalism is a recommended course of study.
  • In the Hybrick Track, the path may be hybridized for specialized student goals and areas of focus.

A degree concentration in Popular Music Studies requires approximately two years of music coursework with no audition or portfolio needed. The School of Music and Dance is available to help each student choose or construct an appropriate advising track. For questions about this, students may contact either the Music Undergraduate Advisor or Associate Professor Toby Koenigsberg

All other music degree programs require four years of coursework. The courses for the BA or BS in Music with a Popular Music Studies Concentration require approximately two years of music coursework; no audition/portfolio required. 

Degree Programs

What can I do with a degree in Popular Music Studies?

Our faculty produce well-rounded, skilled scholars and performers who are flexible leaders with global perspectives and great people skills who become cultural influencers and entrepreneurs. Specific skills you will have gained from your degree in music or dance include:

Concert Manager and Promotor
Music Arranger
Music Criticism
Music Instructor*
Music Director
Music Librarian
Music Curator
Arts Administrator
Arts Manager
Music Assistant
Music Preparation/Supervisor
 *with additional certification or degree

Performance Opportunities 



School of Music and Dance scholarships and financial aid are available. For complete information about financial aid, including loans, see the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships section of the UO catalog. 

Take the Next Step

Call us, email us, visit us or apply to the program. We’re here to answer your questions about how a degree in music composition can shape your future and positively impact your community.