*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Music Directors and Composers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/music-directors-and-composers.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
What you need to understand about online or campus learning is that the amount of time it takes to complete courses entirely depends on your commitment to studying.
A typical bachelor's degree requires 120 to 129 credits to complete the course, which can take around 4 years for full-time students. Students that already have an associates degree, could complete this within 2 years depending on the amount of courses and classes they take each semester. Online training usually takes 4 years but can take up to 7 years since most students only study part-time. In fact, most online schools have a time limit to complete programs, where they give you 7 years to complete the program and if you don't finish in that time you will lose credits earned toward your degree.
Another example is studying for a master's degree full-time on campus can take 2 years to complete, where studying online for the same course can take 3 to 4 years depending on how many courses you complete each semester. However, you should also be aware that, if you devote more time to studying than most on-campus students; if you complete courses during the summer and maintain a full course load each year, you will be able to finish your degree in less than 4 years.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
When you know that you want to major in Music Theory, you should find out if the colleges and universities you're most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry an Music Theory major and verify with your state's department of education that the colleges you're considering offer the appropriate Music Theory education program you need for your field.
If a university you're considering doesn't carry a Music Theory major, then it's time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have an Music Theory major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.
The two most prominent types of bachelor levels in Music Theory are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Music Theory. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Music Theory, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Bachelor of Music in Theory below:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Music Theory, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the Music Theory degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.
The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it's hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.
A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.
Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student's education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.
The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your Music Theory degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your Music Theory education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each Bachelor’s Degree in Music in Theory program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.
If your university offers career and/or placement services, you'll be able to take advantage of both as a student or graduate. You can receive career counseling, career assessments, and resume reviews, where you'll learn how to spruce your resume up. It is important to research if your potential college has post career placement assistance. This demonstrates that the college or university Music Theory program is with you from start to finish.