Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies major trains the student in the craft and art of contemporary jazz and commercial music styles. It is intended for students who want to compose, arrange, teach and perform.  This degree provides a rigorous preparation for life as a professional jazz and/or commercial musician.

Bachelor of Music Jazz Studies


Degree Requirements Units
General education (50 units, 12 in major) 38
Major requirements 78
Electives or Preparatory 4-11
Total units needed for graduation 120-127

Director of Jazz Studies
Dr. Douglas Leibinger sends e-mail)

Core Classes

Jazz Performance Majors complete a thorough battery of core classes to complete their degree:

  • Improvisation - Four levels concentrating on voice-leading, chord-scale applications and advanced rhythmic techniques for improvising on standards, modal and free-form jazz compositions.

  • Arranging - Techniques for small-group and large ensemble arranging.

  • Composition - Writing in a wide variety of styles.

  • Jazz Piano - Techniques for solo and ensemble piano performance – required of all majors.

  • Jazz History - Study of jazz from its origins to the present, and its relationship to social and cultural movements.