Undergraduate Double Degree Program


All Conservatory undergraduates pursue a five-year program leading to two degrees: the bachelor of music and the bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The pursuit of these two degrees at Bard is thoroughly integrated. Conservatory students live, eat, and attend most classes with non-Conservatory students, and are fully part of the academic and social life of the College. Each Conservatory student has two academic advisers, one from the Conservatory and one from a field that the student is considering as a major for the B.A. degree.

The bachelor of music program contains many innovative components: all performance majors study composition, and the Conservatory Seminar integrates music theory and music history with special emphasis on their relation to performance.

The curricula of the Conservatory and the College are flexible, allowing participants to create the sequence of music and other courses that best suits each student. The aim of the Conservatory and the College is to foster a unified learning environment where the serious study of music goes hand in hand with the education of the whole person.

Bachelor of Music Degree

The requirements (by semester) of the bachelor of music degree in the Conservatory are:
  • Studio Instruction (all)
  • Aural Skills (two)
  • Conservatory Seminar (four)
  • Music History (two)
  • Chamber Music (all)*
  • Orchestra (all)*
  • Graduation Recital
*performance majors only

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete details about the bachelor of arts degree at Bard College, as well as a complete summary of the requirements for the double-degree, can be found at the links below.

Music Electives

Additional music electives are available in a broad range of topics, including classes in music history, advanced analysis, and courses studying music beyond the Western classical tradition. All courses in the Bard College B.A. Music Program—including those in electronic music, jazz, and world music—are open to students in the Conservatory.

Course Work

Studio Instruction
Chamber Music

Conservatory Core Sequence in Theory, Analysis and Composition

Aural Skills
Music History
Orchestra Repertoire Class

Graduation Recital


In order to be awarded the Bachelor of Music degree, a student must complete all requirements for Bard’s Bachelor of Arts degree in a field other than music, in addition to Conservatory requirements. Five years of study will normally be required to complete all requirements for the two degrees. Expand to see detailed requirements and withdrawl policies.

Sample 5-year Plans

The sample 5-year plans below are modeled after actual course schedules of some recent graduates from the Conservatory. These show just a few of the many possible combinations of instruments and academic majors:

Majors Offered

Bass Composition Oboe Trumpet
Bassoon Flute Percussion Tuba
Cello Harp Piano Viola
Clarinet Horn Trombone Violin
Erhu Pipa Guzheng

(Note that degrees in Conducting and Voice are offered only at the graduate level.)

A Week in the Life

How does a typical conservatory double-degree student balance their academic, musical and personal lives? What does the typical week of a conservatory student look like?Here is how some Conservatory students answered these questions: