Certificate in Jazz Studies

Immerse yourself in the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity.  Offerings of this program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects. We strongly encourage students to pursue the Certificate Program in Jazz Studies to broaden their understanding of this music and its contribution to global culture. Students passionate about jazz performance are also welcome to pursue the Certificate in Music Performance in their major instrument, while engaging in the rich offerings of the Program in Jazz. 

To qualify for a Certificate in Jazz Studies, students are required to complete four related courses, participate in one of the Department’s faculty-led jazz ensembles, and perform a recital.

Required Courses
  • One course in Jazz History: MUS 262/AAS 262 |
  • One course in Jazz Theory/Composition: MUS 311/312. (Other courses with the program director‘s approval).
  • One course in Jazz Performance: MUS 215.
  • One course in Historical/Cultural Context: including non-music programs such as African American Studies, American Studies, English, History, and Sociology,  as permitted by the program director.
Jazz Ensemble

Participation is required in both junior and senior years through the Creative Large Ensemble, or one of the Small Groups and jazz vocal ensembles.

Studio Instruction

Private lessons in jazz performance are available from a superb performance faculty.

Jazz Recital

A recital must be performed in the senior year for completion of the Certificate in Jazz Studies.

Applying to the Certificate in Jazz Studies Program

The Program in Jazz Studies is open to juniors and seniors who have the appropriate background, and who are committed to studying the performance practices and rich cultural legacy of jazz. Admission to the program will be by application. The number of students in the program will be limited by available resources. Although enrollment is restricted to juniors and seniors, students may begin taking courses that count toward certificate requirements in their freshman year.

For further information, please contact the Program in Jazz Director