Bachelor of Music

Bachelor of Music

Ian Butler (’19) and Samantha Schmitz (’19) in Orpheus in the Underworld

Where musicians come together and elevate one another

Students who want to grow as musicians, gain real-world professional experience for a career in music, and make lifelong friendships will fit right in at the Bachelor of Music program at Iowa State University. 

We’ve prepared a comprehensive program that lets you channel your passion for music into any career path you choose —whether it’s teaching, performing, or composing. Plus, our program sets you up for success if you’re considering graduate studies later on. 

Our welcoming faculty and staff are here to mentor you, cheer you on, and help you fine-tune your skills through high-level applied lessons and dynamic performance opportunities. By the time you graduate, you will have all the tools you need to make your mark in the exciting world of music! 

View the catalog to review degree requirements

Pathways for specialization 

This program allows for more specialized musical study. Students in the Bachelor of Music program will select either an education, performance, or composition track. 

Holly Kirchhoff, High School Band Director

“I chose the Department of Music and Theatre at ISU for many reasons. Not only were the faculty welcoming and kind, but the department as a whole radiated a sense of warmth and acceptance.” - Holly Kirchhoff, High School Band Director

Career-ready Cyclones

Our program has a success rate of nearly 100% job placement for music educators. Our performance majors regularly attend the graduate program of their choice upon graduating.


Recent graduates from our program went on to become a: 

Daniel Emilien (’17), Navy Band Member
Daniel Emilien (’17), Navy Band Member
  • Choral director 
  • Band director 
  • Orchestral musician
  • Military band musician
  • Orchestra director
  • University musicology professor
  • University applied performance professor
  • Instrument repair and sales representative 
  • General music teacher
  • Private studio teacher
  • Broadway music director
  • Recording engineer
  • Festival planner  

A place that’s built for belonging

Along with career-ready experiences, our program is known for its supportive atmosphere. Simon Estes Music Hall is where Cyclones converge to create, practice, and perform. It’s also where our music majors can often be found studying or hanging out with friends between classes. 

Our program is sized to create the perfect balance of individualized attention with world-class faculty mentors and a wide range of diverse musical opportunities. We have 11 bands, six choirs, two orchestras, opera studio, and numerous other chamber ensembles. Maybe you’ll join the Wind Ensemble, get involved with our Music Student Representative Council, or study music during a semester abroad. No matter what opportunities you choose to pursue, you’ll find a warm and supportive learning environment with a commitment to high-quality musicianship. 

High Impact Experiences 

With no graduate program, our undergraduate students are always first in line for mountain top moments. Opportunities include soloing with the Symphony Orchestra, playing the lead role in the opera, or conducting the concert band on the stage of Stephens Auditorium. 

You’ll also have chances to tour to local, national, and global destinations. Our ensembles regularly engage in community outreach and have recently performed at Bowl Games, the NCAAA Tournament, Carnegie Hall, the Iowa State Fair, and on ABC Television. We often perform abroad in countries such as France, Norway, England, and the Netherlands. Make memories that will last a lifetime!

Wind Ensemble in London, 2023
Wind Ensemble in London, 2023

Ready to join the Department of Music and Theatre?