Combined BA-BFA

  • The U.S. higher education system presents young people interested in both musical performance and the liberal arts with a difficult choice. They can either develop their musical abilities in a conservatory-type college, where professional study inevitably takes precedence over liberal arts education, or they can attend a traditional liberal arts college, where course offerings in music fall far short of the requirements for a career in music.

    The School for Jazz at The New School and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts have created a five-year curriculum in which students simultaneously complete two degrees: the professional BFA and the liberal arts BA. The BA/BFA program also draws upon the resources of the Schools of Public Engagement. The double-degree program requires 90 credits of liberal arts education and 90 credits of professional music study. Students in this five-year program complete both a full music and a full liberal arts curriculum, preparing for direct entry into the music field or for graduate study in areas such as law, business, and the humanities. Students interested in pursuing the double-degree option should request applications for both Eugene Lang College and the School of Jazz.

    BA/BFA Requirements

    To complete the combined five-year BA/BFA program, a student must earn a total of 180 credits: 90 credits of studio work and 90 liberal arts credits.

    New School Jazz courses: To fulfill the BFA component, students must complete or test out of requirements in the following areas: theory, theory and performance, ear training, piano, rhythmic analysis, sight-reading, arranging, and instrumental proficiency. Along with the necessary 90 studio credits, passing of the sophomore jury and performance of a senior recital are also required.

    Lang College courses: To fulfill the BA component, students must take at least one Lang course each semester, completing a minimum of 44 credits (or 11 courses). The remaining liberal arts credits may be taken at Lang, at Jazz (in music history), or in other colleges of The New School. In addition, students must fulfill all requirements for a path of study and a Senior Experience at Lang.

    Transfer credit: Transferability of credits from other colleges toward the BA degree is determined by the Lang Office of Admission and toward the BFA degree by the New School Jazz Office of Admission.