Dual Degrees / Double Majors

Dual Degrees

Students with exceptionally strong interests in music and another field have the opportunity to earn two separate bachelors degrees (music plus one in an outside field) in five years. Many students enter Northwestern directly into a dual degree program, after having applied to and subsequently admitted to both programs during the application process prior to matriculation. Students interested in adding a dual degree program after matriculation use the online application form on the Registrar’s Office website. Students should always check with the financial aid office when adding any dual degree program.


Double Majors and Special Programs

Double Majors within the Bienen School of Music

Students may complete any two majors within the Bienen School of Music, with the exception of two performance majors. Double majors in a performance area and composition must be approved by the applied lesson teacher in both areas, the program coordinator in both areas, and the assistant dean for student affairs. Students pursuing two music fields must satisfy the requirements of both majors; a single degree is awarded, with two majors, upon completion of the requirements in both areas. For most students, this can be accomplished within the four-year time span.

Double Majors Between Two Schools

Students in any bachelor’s degree program in the Bienen School may also have a second major from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The bachelor’s degree is awarded from the Bienen School, and both majors are listed on the transcript. For most students, this can be accomplished within the normal four-year time span. Double major students also have the option of earning their bachelor’s degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, with the second major in music, by following the Weinberg College’s bachelor of arts degree requirements.

Students interested in a second major in a school other than the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences inter-school transfer into the non-music school as their primary school, and complete their music major as a second major. The bachelor’s degree is awarded from the non-music school, and both majors are listed on the transcript. For most students, this can be accomplished within the normal four-year time span, depending on which music major is chosen.

Ad Hoc Majors

The purpose of Ad Hoc major programs in the Bienen School of Music is to give students the opportunity to design individualized curricula beyond those programs normally offered by the school. Upon approval by the Curriculum Conference Committee, the student may pursue the individualized program as if it were one of the standard curricula listed in the catalog. The provisions of the approved program become the student's contract with the school, specifying exactly what must be accomplished in order to receive the major. Ad Hoc programs are not intended to avoid or to alter the requirements of existing curricula, but rather to provide an opportunity to design major fields of study that the school does not offer regularly, such as certain interdisciplinary studies.

For further information on establishing an Ad Hoc major program, students should contact the assistant dean for student affairs or the department chair most appropriate for the  program design. The Ad Hoc major proposal form includes procedures for establishing an Ad Hoc major (download form below). Ad hoc majors are available for all three music degree programs (BM, BAMus, and BSMus), but for BM degrees the ad hoc major is only allowed as a second major, to be completed in addition to one of the school’s existing majors.

Ad Hoc major proposal form