Music (Popular Music), BA

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The popular music concentration within the BA program in music at Arizona State University welcomes and accommodates 21st-century musicians interested in popular music, music industry studies and entrepreneurship. This includes but is not limited to singers and songwriters, laptop performers or composers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, and other instrumentalists and vocalists whose musical practices and playing styles are representative of varied popular music idioms.

Students in this concentration develop musicianship and expertise in songwriting and creating, performing and producing music. All students gain a working knowledge of the music industry and music business, and the entrepreneurial skills necessary to gain meaningful employment upon graduation. Students participate in individual applied study in a chosen specialization, as well as a variety of group performances and production opportunities. Internships associated with specialization courses provide opportunities for students to apply their learning in a real-life context. A capstone course allows students to develop original work in their chosen area of emphasis.

Some classes for this program are offered on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

Program Offered

Music (Popular Music), BA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Major Map

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Application Requirements

Application Procedures + Requirements

Application Deadlines
Spring 2020: Not available
Fall 2020: January 5, 2020

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

Affording College

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Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Career Outlook

The bachelor's degree in music with a concentration in popular music prepares students for potential careers in the popular music industry that involve creativity and creating new work, being a flexible musician, collaborating with others in the community and having knowledge of music business and music marketing. Possible jobs include:

  • concert management and promotion
  • entrepreneurship
  • music marketing
  • music performance in the popular music sector
  • music publishing
  • nonprofit arts related work
  • teaching a private studio
  • work in music related fields

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Career*growth*median salary
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary 12%$66,930
Talent Directors 12.2%$71,620
Music Composers and Arrangers5.7%$50,590
Music Directors5.7%$50,590
Musicians, Instrumental6%*
Sound Engineering Technicians6.3%$55,810
Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes4.7%$64,940

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation