Harvard and Berklee Are Teaming Up for a Dual Degree Program

The partnership was officially announced on Tuesday.


How do you like dem apples? Berklee’s 160 Mass. Ave. (left) and Harvard’s Sanders Theatre Photo Provided

Harvard College and Berklee College of Music officially announced on Tuesday that the institutions are teaming up to offer students a five-year dual degree program.

The new partnership will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Arts at Harvard while also earning a Master of Music or a Master of Arts at Berklee. The application process is currently open and the program will roll out starting in the 2017 fall semester.

According to a press release, the program will allow accepted undergraduates to finish their liberal arts curriculum at Harvard while simultaneously earning an advanced degree in music.

“Berklee’s programs have steadily gained prestige and power, turning the school into a formidable cutting-edge incubator for the newest waves of performance and composition,” Harvard’s music department chair Carol J. Oja said in a statement. “Institutionally, the partnership represents an understanding of the arts and art-making in the 21st century.”

There’s a pretty high bar set for hopefuls who want to enroll in the program, which is modeled after a similar joint degree that Harvard and the New England Conservatory partner on.

Students must be accepted by both schools independently as well as complete an audition and interview with Berklee. Harvard undergraduates, however, will be allowed to apply to the program as transfer students during their freshman or sophomore years.

During the first three years of the program, students will take A.B. curriculum classes at Harvard while taking private lessons and other prep courses at Berklee. Students must also participate in ensembles at either college and are required to pass instrumental proficiency exams at Berklee.

Harvard’s A.B. requirements will then be fulfilled during the fourth year, while the fifth year will have students finishing their master’s program at Berklee.

“Joshua Redman, Yo-Yo Ma, Aaron Goldberg, Tom Morello, and a number of other highly accomplished musicians have studied at Harvard,” Berklee president Roger Brown said in a statement. “Imagine the possibilities when a world-leading Harvard undergraduate education can be augmented by private lessons, ensembles, and music classes in jazz, production, film scoring and more at Berklee.”

An open house for the new dual degree program will be held on Thursday, October 13 at Harvard.