Bachelor of Music (B.M.)


Start your path to a rewarding career in music through the accredited bachelor’s degree from McNeese State University. You’ll have opportunities to improve your technique and style and gain professional experience through performances on campus and throughout the region.

Program Highlights

Why Become a Music Major at McNeese?

McNeese has a long-standing tradition of teaching musical excellence with a personal touch. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, McNeese’s Bachelor of Music degree program focuses on shaping you into a well-rounded musician by encouraging your talents and creativity while also developing your discipline and business skills.

From classic to popular music

Southwest Louisiana is the home of Zydeco, Cajun and Swamp Pop, music that McNeese proudly incorporates into the music major curriculum alongside conventional classics. To keep up with changes in the industry and ensure your bachelor’s degree is highly valuable and marketable, McNeese is modernizing its music program with digital technology and software, new course work in relevant topics such as commercial music and partnerships with casinos and other venues that produce musical performances. Guest artists are also invited to teach individual lessons and hold on-site and virtual clinics.

At a Glance

Degree Type: Bachelor of Music (B.M.)

Program Length: 4 years (120 credit hours)

Availability: in person

Program overview

Explore More for Music Majors

Led by internationally recognized and esteemed faculty with diverse expertise, the undergraduate music degree at McNeese provides a variety of opportunities for one-on-one training and personal attention through mentorships, small class sizes and world-class instruction. Through excellence with a personal touch, you’ll also have access to these additional features of the Bachelor of Music degree program:

Advanced Technology and Equipment:

Music majors have access to one of the most impressive and expansive collections of professional-quality band and orchestral instruments in Louisiana, as well as recording technology in the KBYS radio station.

Professional Networking:

Undergraduate student organizations such as the McNeese chapters of Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Kappa Psi or the Student Music Composition Society provide opportunities on and off campus to make connections with fellow artists and musicians.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:

With one of the lowest costs of attendance in Louisiana, Southeast Texas and the U.S., McNeese offers a high-value, affordable education. The W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts also offers Band and Choral Service Awards, departmental scholarships and the University Special Achievement Award in Music. Learn more from the Office of Financial Aid.

Modern Facilities:

The Shearman Fine Arts addition is home to McNeese’s music program, and is one of the newest buildings on campus. Alongside of practice and performance spaces, the addition features a computer lab and the Technology Advancement Student Committee, which funds the technological needs of music students. Other on-campus performance venues include Tritico Theatre, Bulber Auditorium and Squires Recital Hall, as well as the recently renovated Band Hall, home to the university bands program.

Take the Next Step!

Learn More

Music Bachelor’s Degree Program Concentrations

Instrumental Performance

The instrumental performance concentration offers a diverse array of performance opportunities that increase your marketability in an evolving job market. Instrumental performance is also available as a minor.

Instrumental Performance
Piano Performance

The concentration in piano performance, which is also available as a minor, prepares students for successful careers as professional musicians and piano pedagogues.

Piano Performance
Vocal Performance

The vocal performance concentration helps you become well versed in several performance styles, including opera, art song and contemporary commercial music. Vocal performance is also available as a minor.

Vocal Performance
Careers and Opportunities

What Can You Do with a Music Degree?

As a music major, you will graduate ready to perform with music companies, professional orchestras, chamber or popular music ensembles, service bands and touring productions. From music composition to production and retail, McNeese music majors are prepared for a diverse job market and are well-equipped for graduate programs in music.

Graduate Schools or Programs

  • Master of Music in Music Education
  • Master of Music in Music Performance
  • Master of Music in Musicology
  • Master of Music in Music Theory
  • Master of Music in Music Composition

Potential Job Titles or Employers

  • Musicians, Singers and Lyricists
  • Composers
  • Concertmasters and Section Leaders
  • Private Instructors and Applied Music Teachers
  • Audio and Video Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
  • Music Therapists
  • Talent Scout or Agent

Music Culture

Banner Series

As part of the Banners Cultural Season, McNeese showcases a variety of performances by popular and critically acclaimed musicians and performers. As a music major, you have the chance to collaborate with a number of these visiting artists.

Music Preservation

Performance Ensembles

Performance ensembles range from large to chamber and instrumental to vocal. Audition for one or several of the more than two dozen groups to practice and perform with, such as:

  • Pride of McNeese Marching Band
  • Zyde-Pokes (featured in video)
  • West African Drum and Dance Ensemble
  • Alpine Horn Ensemble
  • Steel Band
  • Concert Chorale
  • Opera Workshop
Pride of McNeese

Marching Band in London

Musicians have unique opportunities to travel and explore different cultures. The Pride of McNeese Marching Band performed in the London New Year’s Day Parade in January 2018 in front of millions of viewers.

We can help

Program Contact

Dr. Lonny Benoit, Department Head