A Great Day For Math Rock: Berklee and Harvard team up for new dual degree program


A few months after announcing a merger with the Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music is again teaming up with another higher learning institution in town. And this time, it’s Harvard College, the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University.

Get ready for a lot more math rock.

The two schools announced on Tuesday morning a new a five-year dual degree program, which begins at the start of the 2017 fall semester and will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) at Harvard and a Master of Music (M.M.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) at Berklee. In recent years, Vanyaland has served as Berklee’s media partner for events at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, and New York City’s CMJ Music Marathon.


An open house for the new degree program will be held October 13 at Harvard.

“Berklee’s programs have steadily gained prestige and power, turning the school into a formidable cutting-edge incubator for the newest waves of performance and composition,” writes Carol J. Oja, chair of Harvard’s Music Department, in the press release. “Institutionally, the partnership represents an understanding of the arts and art-making in the 21st century, especially the growing impact of technology and the realities of a globalizing arts landscape.”

Students interested in the cross-education must be accepted by both schools independently, and finish an audition and interview process with Berklee. Harvard undergrads, as Boston Magazine notes, can apply to the program as transfer students during their freshman or sophomore years. Some other info from the press release:


“Students will pursue the A.B. curriculum at Harvard and take private lessons and other preparatory courses at Berklee during the first three years of the program. Students are also required to participate in ensembles at either institution, and pass instrumental proficiency exams at Berklee. Preparatory course work at Berklee may be completed during fall and spring semesters, as well as during summer sessions in Boston, Spain, or at Berklee Online. In the fourth year, students will complete all Harvard’s A.B. requirements, including a senior thesis if desired. In year five, students complete their selected master’s program at Berklee.”

Berklee, naturally, is excited about the possibilities.

“Joshua Redman, Yo-Yo Ma, Aaron Goldberg, Tom Morello, and a number of other highly accomplished musicians have studied at Harvard,” writes Berklee president Roger Brown in a statement. “Imagine the possibilities when a world-leading Harvard undergraduate education can be augmented by private lessons, ensembles, and music classes in jazz, production, film scoring and more at Berklee.”

Read Berklee’s full press release here.