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Degree Options

You get to decide. The major in music offers six options to tailor your degree to your future goals:


  • Creative Technologies
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education
  • Music General - Liberal Arts
  • Music Performance
  • Music Technology

Creative Technologies Option

The creative technologies in music degree option offers two tracks: one with an emphasis on Electroacoustic Composition and one focusing on Electroacoustic Research. These tracks complement the strong core curricula in traditional music with interdisciplinary exploration of the technologies and approaches to composition and research in the areas of computer music, sound, and multimedia. Students in the program are given an opportunity to build a professional portfolio of music compositions and research projects, as well as to engage in and collaborate with a number of other disciplines.

Music Composition Option

The music composition option provides students with opportunities to compose and arrange in a variety of styles. Students develop a strong foundation of different techniques so that they can learn to express themselves as individual artists.

Music Education Option

The music education option is a pre-certification program for students interested in becoming music educators in public or private elementary and secondary schools. Students may complete their certification to teach music while pursuing the Master of Arts in Education at Virginia Tech. Our graduates participate in field study and student teaching along with laboratory ensembles making them attractive candidates for teaching positions.  

Music General Option - Liberal Arts

The general option provides high-quality training along with an excellent liberal arts education. Students often pursue a second or dual degree while taking weekly lessons, studying in-depth topics such as music literature and pedagogy to advanced theory, and participating in a variety of music ensembles. 

Music Performance Option

The music performance option is designed for students who aspire to careers as professional singers, pianists, orchestral players, studio teachers, and university professors. The program combines private applied work and classroom instruction to encourage creativity and individuality in a conservatory setting. Students explore music theory, ear training, music history, computer applications, orchestration, and pedagogy. 

Music Technology Option

The music technology program combines a traditional approach to the study of music with a concentration in the theories, techniques, and technologies used for artistic expression in many forms. Our students study the basics of acoustics, recording, and mixed-media production through the use of both conventional and emerging technologies. Choose from a 54- or 74-hour degree option focusing on music recording and production, creative technologies in composition, and multimedia art design, and a ‘designed’ option allowing students to create individualized curricula for specialized areas of interest.