Combine an unparalleled history and influence in the realms of popular and jazz music with world-class faculty and incredible facilities, and you may begin to understand the magic that is the Berklee College of Music.
Berklee is perhaps the world’s most recognized institution when it comes to popular and contemporary music styles.
The curriculum at Berklee is exceptionally friendly towards those who are looking to learn about popular music styles.
While classical academics sometimes scoff when talking about the Berklee College of Music, the resume of this historic school can easily silence the critics – many of the world’s most famous and well-known musicians have graduated from the halls of this musical institution.
Some courses at Berklee include those in rock, flamenco, hip-hop, jazz, salsa, reggae, classical, bluegrass, and electronic music production.
If you don’t believe me when I say that Berklee’s alumni are among the most celebrated musicians in the entire world, let me tell you this one simple fact…
Nearly 100 of the most prominent Berklee alumni have won a combined 229 Grammy awards.
Musicians in many of the most famous bands of the last 50 years, including Passion Pit, NoFX, Dream Theater, the Wandas, Train, the Cars, Tower of Power, the Black Eyed Peas, Weezer, the Dixie Chicks, Imagine Dragons, and more went to school at the Berklee College of Music.
The school is truly second-to-none in terms of its production of famous popular musicians.
The entire student body totals 4,270, which is very large for a music school.
Berklee’s student body is about 2.5x the size of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music student body, which is one of the other largest music schools in the country.
As a former Berklee staff member best said to me, Berklee is a microcosm of the real world of music; “if it’s happening somewhere in the music world, it’s also happening at Berklee.”
If you are into jazz, popular music, music production, music education, music business, film scoring or simply want to be in a school and city in which contemporary music thrives, Berklee is perhaps the college best for you.
Berklee, like most major music schools, has become more selective than it once was.
According to Berklee’s website, the acceptance rate is 35%, making it one of the more selective music schools in the country.
To give you some context, the acceptance rate at Juilliard is around 5% The acceptance rate at New England Conservatory in Boston is around 28%, and the acceptance rate at McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN is around 60%.
Approximately one in three students who apply and audition for this school ultimately get accepted.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition at the Berklee College of Music for the 2015-2016 school year is $38,940 for a degree, and $33,566 for a diploma.
If you are living on campus, you can expect to pay around an extra $17,000 for room and board expenses. Even off campus, the city of Boston can be expensive.
If you are looking for a less expensive place to live in the city, you can try finding an apartment with roommates in Allston, a social and lively college-oriented neighborhood of Boston that is less expensive than downtown and Back Bay areas. You could also look into Dorchester, a once less-safe neighborhood that is progressing towards gentrification.
Additionally, you will probably be using the city’s public transportation quite often – I would recommend you budget at least $1,000 for your inner city transportation needs.
For a breakdown of the cost of attendance, here is Berklee’s own chart: https://www.berklee.edu/paying-for-your-education/cost-attendance.
On the next page, find out more about notable alumni from Berklee as well as the school’s requirements.