Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2-3 years
Credit Hours:

Cultivate your knowledge and appreciation of the jazz tradition.
The Jazz Studies program at the University of North Texas provides you with an intense musical experience. It's large enough to constitute its own scene while enabling you to receive individual attention from faculty members.

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Why earn a degree in Jazz Studies?

You can pursue a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies in one of three tracks: performance, composition and pedagogy. At the doctoral level, we offer a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance with a concentration in Jazz Studies.

Students participate in the region's musical life while at UNT and later join a large community of successful jazz alumni.

We currently have 60 to 70 master's students and nine doctoral students and graduate about 17 graduate students each year. Our primary goals are to:

  • Prepare you for a successful career as a jazz performer, composer, arranger or educator.
  • Cultivate your knowledge of and appreciation for the jazz tradition and the broader musical traditions from which it's grown.
  • Encourage your creative efforts and share your results on university, local, regional, national and international levels in performances and recordings.
  • Help you enter the profession through interactions with guest artists and learning about music industry entrepreneurship.
Marketable Skills
  • Perform and improvise jazz music
  • Compose jazz music
  • Analyze and research jazz music
  • Direct a jazz ensemble
  • Advanced oral and written communication

Jazz Studies Master's Highlights

In lessons, small and large ensembles, classes, concerts, recitals and independent projects, our students develop as performers, composers and teachers, earning a wide range of recognitions over the years.
You'll have many performance opportunities to choose from, including nine jazz lab bands (among them the six-time Grammy nominated One O'Clock Lab Band®), three Jazz Singers groups, L-5 and Super 400 Electric Guitar Ensembles, Latin Jazz Lab, Jazz Chamber Music (approximately 25 small groups), Jazz Repertory Ensemble, Zebras (a contemporary music ensemble) and U-Tubes Jazz Trombone Ensemble.
The UNT Music Library is one of the nation's best music libraries for jazz research, featuring an extensive collection of books, periodicals, scores and special collections, and a recorded sound collection of more than 1 million items.
Our Jazz Lecture Series and Gomez Artist Residency have featured Ravi Coltrane, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Darcy James Argue, Nasheet Waits, Greg Osby, Peter Erskine, Christian McBride, John Clayton and Peter Eldridge.
The college is a vital component of the region's arts community, presenting more than 1,000 concerts annually.
The College of Music is one of the nation's most comprehensive music schools and is recognized internationally for its artistic and academic excellence.

What Can You Do With A Degree in Jazz Studies?

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Jazz Studies Master's Courses You Could Take

Conducting College Jazz Ensembles (3 hrs)
Score study and rehearsal preparation; methods of conducting jazz ensembles at all levels; supervised conducting.
Jazz Styles and Analysis (3 hrs)
Stylistic elements of the various eras of jazz history; theoretical analysis of significant musical qualities of influential musicians of the different periods of jazz.
Advanced Jazz Improvisation (3 hrs)
Advanced techniques and practices of jazz improvisation.
Composition for the Media (3 hrs)
Composition and production of music for various media. Realization of projects in a studio environment using MIDI sequencing and live instruments.
Psychology of Music (3 hrs)
Physical factors that constitute musical sound and how these factors are perceived; methods and techniques for measuring musicality in individuals; psychology of learning as applied to music and musical behavior.
Introduction to Research in Jazz Studies (3 hrs)
Bibliography, discography, interviewing; sociocultural aspects of research on jazz; scholarly writing; connections between jazz studies and musicology, ethnomusicology, and other related disciplines.

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Jazz Studies D.M.A. (link to D.M.A. page)

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