Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

577

Graduates Per Year

$53K

Average Salary

#262

Most Popular Major

Degree Stats

Popular

577

13% NATIONAL AVG

Diplomas Received Last Year

172

5% NATIONAL AVG

Colleges Offering this Degree

Most Popular Degrees

261

Business Statistics

581

262

Music Theory and Composition

577

263

History Teacher Education

574

Most Widely Offered Degrees

35

/

1.852

Worse

Better

offeringnot offering17%17%

Top 100 Colleges offering this degree

publicnon public32%32%

Degree Granting Schools that are Public

Most Graduates

By Region

New England

Western Connecticut State University

By State

Massachusetts

Berklee College of Music

By Conference

Little East Conference

Western Connecticut State University

By School

University of California-Santa Cruz

INTRODUCTION

If you think life as a songwriter, composer, or music arranger sounds interesting, then a degree in music theory and composition may just be for you. You could even become a Professor of music theory at Berklee!

DEGREE STATS

Music theory and composition is the 262nd most popular degree in America, with 577 students receiving their bachelors degree last year. It just beat out #263 History Teacher Education, and narrowly lost to #261 Business Statistics

The degree is offered at a total of 172 colleges across the nation, and is the 114th most widely offered degree. It is only offered at 17% of the Top 100 Best Collegesin America.

It is also worth noting that 32% of colleges offering music theory and composition are public making it a relatively inaccessible field.

The new england produces the most music theory and composition graduates, largely led by Western Connecticut State University, while it’s the Little East Conference that leads conference totals. As far as states, Massachusetts ranks highest, with particular help from Berklee College of Musicand Boston University.

All that being said, no individual school produces more music theory and composition graduates than University of California-Santa Cruz, which graduated 135 students last year alone. Although size is critical, another important factor to consider is the program’s density (the percent of all students that study music theory and composition). More students studied music theory and composition as a percentage of total students at Musicians Institutethan any other college.

Good luck on your college search and we hope you enjoy Authority's 2022 official Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition list. Some of our picks may surprise you!

We wish you luck on your college search. We hope you enjoy Authority's 2022 official Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition list. Some of our picks may surprise you!

Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

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YEARS

TYPE

ONLINE/CAMPUS

CAMPUS SETTING

STUDENT BODY

SELECTIVITY

COST

$0 -

$60000

MAJOR

ADMISSIONS

LOCATION

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION

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Berklee College of Music

#1 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Berklee College of Music is a mid-sized private art school located in Boston, MA ranked 36thin Massachusetts. It has a total of 7,389 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 51.44% of applicants. Berklee College of Music offers 32 different majors and is best known for its music performance, music theory and composition, and music therapy programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $44,360 per year, Berklee College of Music is rather costly. 44.37% of students graduate starting the next stage of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $30,300 per year, which is 27% below the national median.

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Boston, MA

www.berklee.edu

B

Rating

51%

Acceptance

8,031

Students

# 305

Ranking

$44,360

Tuition

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New York University

#2 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

New York University is a very large private university located in New York, NY ranked 25thin the nation. It has a total of 29,902 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting more or less 1 in 6 applicants. New York University offers 564 different majors and is best known for its drama, radio television and digital communication, and management information systems programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $50,684 per year, New York University is very pricey. 73.93% of students graduate ready to the next phase of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $61,900 per year, which is 49% greater than the national median.

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New York, NY

www.nyu.edu

A+

Rating

16%

Acceptance

58,091

Students

# 25

Ranking

$50,684

Tuition

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The New England Conservatory of Music

#3 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

The New England Conservatory of Music is a very small private art school located in Boston, MA ranked 179thin America. It has a total of 479 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, accepting 36.94% of applicants. The New England Conservatory of Music offers 36 different majors and is best known for its music, stringed instruments, and jazz programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $49,580 per year, The New England Conservatory of Music is extremely pricey. 69.81% of students graduate ready to the next phase of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $32,100 per year, which is 23% below the national median.

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Boston, MA

https://necmusic.edu

A

Rating

37%

Acceptance

876

Students

# 132

Ranking

$49,580

Tuition

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University of Southern California

#4 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Southern California is a very large private university located in Los Angeles, CA ranked 24thin the nation. It has a total of 21,909 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, with a 11.42% acceptance rate. University of Southern California offers 527 different majors and is best known for its communication and media studies, film, and gerontology programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $57,256 per year, University of Southern California is extremely costly. 87.78% of students graduate beginning the next chapter of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $74,000 per year, which is 78% over the national median.

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Los Angeles, CA

www.usc.edu/

A+

Rating

11%

Acceptance

53,186

Students

# 24

Ranking

$57,256

Tuition

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Vanderbilt University

#5 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Vanderbilt University is a large private university located in Nashville, TN ranked 17thin the US. It has a total of 6,974 full-time undergraduate students and is highly competitive, accepting 9.12% of applicants. Vanderbilt University offers 245 different majors and is best known for its teacher education and professional development, secondary education and teaching, and social sciences programs (nationally ranked 1st, 1st, and 2nd respectively). With a tuition cost of $50,800 per year, Vanderbilt University is exceptionally pricey. 86.73% of students graduate ready to the next chapter of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $69,000 per year, which is 66% over the national median.

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Nashville, TN

www.vanderbilt.edu

A+

Rating

9%

Acceptance

13,634

Students

# 17

Ranking

$50,800

Tuition

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University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

#6 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a very large public university located in Ann Arbor, MI ranked 37thin the US. It has a total of 31,206 full-time undergraduate students and is relatively competitive, accepting 22.91% of applicants. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers 433 different majors and is best known for its experimental psychology, data modeling and database administration, and german language and literature programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $15,230 for students from Michigan and $50,872 for those from out-of-state, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is extremely expensive. 86.28% of students graduate ready to the next stage of their lives, joining the labor force. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $63,400 per year, which is 53% above the national median.

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Ann Arbor, MI

https://umich.edu/

A+

Rating

23%

Acceptance

48,218

Students

# 2

Ranking

$50,872

Tuition

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California Institute of the Arts

#7 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

California Institute of the Arts is a small private art school located in Valencia, CA ranked 181stin the nation. It has a total of 1,111 full-time undergraduate students and is relatively competitive, accepting 25.28% of applicants. California Institute of the Arts offers 39 different majors and is best known for its acting, theatre design and technology, and photography programs (nationally ranked 3rd, 3rd, and 6th respectively). With a tuition cost of $50,850 per year, California Institute of the Arts is extremely pricey. 63.73% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $37,900 per year, which is 9% less than the national median.

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Valencia, CA

www.calarts.edu

A

Rating

25%

Acceptance

1,618

Students

# 134

Ranking

$50,850

Tuition

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University of Washington-Seattle Campus

#8 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a very large public university located in Seattle, WA ranked 110thin the United States. It has a total of 39,443 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 51.76% of applicants. University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers 687 different majors and is best known for its informatics, environmental science, and physician assistant studies programs, which are all nationally ranked 2nd. With a tuition cost of $10,370 for in-state students and $37,071 for those from out-of-state, University of Washington-Seattle Campus is rather high-priced. 77.21% of students graduate moving on to the next phase of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $57,700 per year, which is 39% greater than the national median.

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Seattle, WA

www.washington.edu

A

Rating

52%

Acceptance

56,315

Students

# 15

Ranking

$37,071

Tuition

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University of Georgia

#9 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Georgia is a very large public university located in Athens, GA ranked 127thin the nation. It has a total of 32,548 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting in the neighborhood of 4 out of every 9 applicants. University of Georgia offers 419 different majors and is best known for its insurance, landscape architecture, and mathematics teacher education programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With a tuition cost of $9,790 for students from Georgia and $28,830 for those from out-of-state, University of Georgia is somewhat moderately pricey. 74.72% of students graduate starting the next chapter of their lives, entering the workforce. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $50,500 per year, which is 22% above the national median.

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Athens, GA

www.uga.edu

A

Rating

45%

Acceptance

42,708

Students

# 24

Ranking

$28,830

Tuition

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University of Missouri-Kansas City

#10 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large public university located in Kansas City, MO ranked 13thin Missouri. It has a total of 13,235 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 61.3% acceptance rate. University of Missouri-Kansas City offers 146 different majors and is best known for its music theory and composition, jazz, and dental hygiene programs (nationally ranked 10th, 15th, and 22nd respectively). With a tuition cost of $8,392 for students from Missouri and $23,080 for those from out-of-state, University of Missouri-Kansas City is reasonably expensive. 46.73% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $45,700 per year, which is 10% greater than the national median.

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Kansas City, MO

https://www.umkc.edu/

C+

Rating

61%

Acceptance

19,166

Students

# 222

Ranking

$23,080

Tuition

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DigiPen Institute of Technology

#11 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

DigiPen Institute of Technology is a small for-profit university located in Redmond, WA ranked 279thin America. It has a total of 1,084 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, accepting 33.5% of applicants. DigiPen Institute of Technology offers 9 different majors and is best known for its computer programming, animation interactive technology video graphics and special effects, and music theory and composition programs (nationally ranked 1st, 2nd, and 11th respectively). With a tuition cost of $32,400 per year, DigiPen Institute of Technology is somewhat moderately costly. 38.01% of students graduate beginning the next chapter of their lives, joining the labor force. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $80,200 per year, which is 93% greater than the national median.

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Redmond, WA

www.digipen.edu

A-

Rating

34%

Acceptance

1,190

Students

# 3

Ranking

$32,400

Tuition

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University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

#12 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus is a very large public university located in Cincinnati, OH ranked 25thin Ohio. It has a total of 30,173 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 76.67% of applicants. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus offers 459 different majors and is best known for its respiratory care therapy, clinical laboratory science, and commercial and advertising art programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd respectively). With a tuition cost of $9,982 for in-state students and $25,316 for those from out-of-state, University of Cincinnati-Main Campus is reasonably high-priced. 48.08% of students graduate beginning the next chapter of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $42,300 per year, which is 2% greater than the national median.

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Cincinnati, OH

www.uc.edu

C+

Rating

77%

Acceptance

43,692

Students

# 199

Ranking

$25,316

Tuition

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Lewis & Clark College

#13 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Lewis & Clark College is a small private liberal arts college located in Portland, OR ranked 256thin the US. It has a total of 2,107 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 72.16% acceptance rate. Lewis & Clark College offers 78 different majors and is best known for its music theory and composition, mathematics and computer science, and german language and literature programs (nationally ranked 13th, 14th, and 26th respectively). With a tuition cost of $52,346 per year, Lewis & Clark College is very costly. 76.66% of students graduate ready to the next chapter of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $46,200 per year, which is 11% greater than the national median.

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Portland, OR

www.lclark.edu/

A-

Rating

72%

Acceptance

3,682

Students

# 187

Ranking

$52,346

Tuition

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SUNY at Purchase College

#14 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

SUNY at Purchase College is a small public college located in Purchase, NY ranked 66thin New York. It has a total of 4,647 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 51.51% acceptance rate. SUNY at Purchase College offers 62 different majors and is best known for its fine and studio arts management, playwriting and screenwriting, and literature programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 4th, and 7th respectively). With a tuition cost of $7,070 for in-state students and $16,980 for those from out-of-state, SUNY at Purchase College is moderately priced. 67.84% of students graduate ready to the next phase of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $35,200 per year, which is 15% less than the national median.

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Purchase, NY

www.purchase.edu

B

Rating

52%

Acceptance

4,753

Students

# 134

Ranking

$16,980

Tuition

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Biola University

#15 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Biola University is a mid-sized private university located in La Mirada, CA ranked 298thin the United States. It has a total of 4,159 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 69.85% of applicants. Biola University offers 86 different majors and is best known for its multicultural and diversity studies, religious education, and bible studies programs (nationally ranked 1st, 1st, and 3rd respectively). With a tuition cost of $41,976 per year, Biola University is rather pricey. 67.55% of students graduate beginning the next stage of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $44,500 per year, which is 7% over the national median.

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La Mirada, CA

https://www.biola.edu

A-

Rating

70%

Acceptance

6,522

Students

# 213

Ranking

$41,976

Tuition

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Western Connecticut State University

#16 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Western Connecticut State University is a mid-sized public institution located in Danbury, CT ranked 19thin Connecticut. It has a total of 5,808 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 75.8% acceptance rate. Western Connecticut State University offers 64 different majors and is best known for its community health services, music theory and composition, and writing programs (nationally ranked 4th, 16th, and 19th respectively). With a tuition cost of $5,924 for students from Connecticut and $17,726 for those from out-of-state, Western Connecticut State University is moderately priced. 48.68% of students graduate ready to the next chapter of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $45,200 per year, which is 9% over the national median.

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Danbury, CT

www.wcsu.edu

C+

Rating

76%

Acceptance

6,535

Students

# 235

Ranking

$17,726

Tuition

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Baldwin Wallace University

#17 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Baldwin Wallace University is a small private college located in Berea, OH ranked 21stin Ohio. It has a total of 3,370 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 72.69% of applicants. Baldwin Wallace University offers 100 different majors and is best known for its computer systems networking and telecommunications, fine and studio arts management, and voice and opera programs (nationally ranked 8th, 11th, and 16th respectively). With a tuition cost of $33,530 per year, Baldwin Wallace University is somewhat moderately expensive. 67.79% of students graduate ready to the next stage of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $44,400 per year, which is 7% above the national median.

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Berea, OH

https://www.bw.edu

B-

Rating

73%

Acceptance

4,390

Students

# 418

Ranking

$33,530

Tuition

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University of North Texas

#18 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

University of North Texas is a very large public university located in Denton, TX ranked 24thin Texas. It has a total of 35,111 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting just about 3 out of every 4 applicants. University of North Texas offers 243 different majors and is best known for its general studies, jazz, and fashion merchandising programs (nationally ranked 1st, 6th, and 7th respectively). With a tuition cost of $8,295 for in-state students and $18,423 for those from out-of-state, University of North Texas is reasonably priced. 55.16% of students graduate starting the next phase of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $45,000 per year, which is 8% above the national median.

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Denton, TX

www.unt.edu

C+

Rating

74%

Acceptance

43,963

Students

# 200

Ranking

$18,423

Tuition

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Musicians Institute

#19 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Musicians Institute is a small for-profit art school located in Hollywood, CA ranked 88thin California. It has a total of 1,468 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 68.71% acceptance rate. Musicians Institute offers 12 different majors and is best known for its music theory and composition program, which is ranked 19th in the United States. With a tuition cost of $24,525 per year, Musicians Institute is reasonably expensive. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $30,100 per year, which is 28% less than the national median.

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Hollywood, CA

www.mi.edu

C+

Rating

69%

Acceptance

1,468

Students

# 68

Ranking

$24,525

Tuition

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Academy of Art University

#20 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Academy of Art University is a mid-sized for-profit art school located in San Francisco, CA with a student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1. It has a total of 9,267 full-time undergraduate students. Academy of Art University offers 107 different majors and is best known for its metal and jewelry arts, playwriting and screenwriting, and web design programs (nationally ranked 6th, 9th, and 10th respectively). With a tuition cost of $23,112 per year, Academy of Art University is somewhat moderately high-priced. 19.66% of students graduate beginning the next phase of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $38,600 per year, which is 7% less than the national median.

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San Francisco, CA

www.academyart.edu

C+

Rating

100%

Acceptance

13,615

Students

# 128

Ranking

$23,112

Tuition

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Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico

#21 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico is a very small public art school located in San Juan, PR ranked 14thin Puerto Rico. It has a total of 393 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 65.43% of applicants. Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico offers 24 different majors and is best known for its stringed instruments, jazz, and voice and opera programs (nationally ranked 9th, 16th, and 17th respectively). With a tuition cost of $2,520 for students from Puerto Rico and $3,000 for those from out-of-state, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico is very cheap. 41.93% of students graduate moving on to the next chapter of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $15,100 per year, which is 64% below the national median.

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San Juan, PR

cmpr.edu/

C

Rating

65%

Acceptance

423

Students

# 463

Ranking

$3,000

Tuition

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Liberty University

#22 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Liberty University is a very large private college located in Lynchburg, VA ranked 32ndin Virginia. It has a total of 60,751 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 51.06% of applicants. Liberty University offers 229 different majors and is best known for its music pedagogy, religious music, and music history literature and theory programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 4th, and 7th respectively). With a tuition cost of $21,361 per year, Liberty University is somewhat moderately expensive. 29.77% of students graduate starting the next stage of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $36,700 per year, which is 12% below the national median.

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Lynchburg, VA

www.liberty.edu

C+

Rating

51%

Acceptance

111,084

Students

# 618

Ranking

$21,361

Tuition

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Columbia College Chicago

#23 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Columbia College Chicago is a mid-sized private institution located in Chicago, IL ranked 63rdin Illinois. It has a total of 7,195 full-time undergraduate students and is not competitive, with a 90.22% acceptance rate. Columbia College Chicago offers 74 different majors and is best known for its theatre management, photojournalism, and recording arts technology programs (nationally ranked 8th, 8th, and 12th respectively). With a tuition cost of $26,610 per year, Columbia College Chicago is reasonably expensive. 46.92% of students graduate beginning the next phase of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $34,400 per year, which is 17% below the national median.

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Chicago, IL

www.colum.edu

C

Rating

90%

Acceptance

7,505

Students

# 865

Ranking

$26,610

Tuition

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Full Sail University

#24 Best Colleges for Music Theory and Composition

Full Sail University is a very large for-profit associates college located in Winter Park, FL ranked 95thin Florida. It has a total of 25,521 full-time undergraduate students. Full Sail University offers 96 different majors and is best known for its sports communication, music technology, and multimedia art programs (nationally ranked 8th, 9th, and 9th respectively). With a tuition cost of $20,667 per year, Full Sail University is somewhat moderately high-priced. 28.69% of students graduate starting the next stage of their lives, employment. After graduation, alumni go on to earn about $39,300 per year, which is 5% below the national median.

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Winter Park, FL

www.fullsail.edu

C-

Rating

100%

Acceptance

27,834

Students

# 329

Ranking

$20,667

Tuition