Explore Beethoven to Bieber, solos to software

Study music in a program that offers you the flexibility to pursue your passions. At Waterloo, we offer instruction in more than 20 instruments, as well as vocal lessons. But that’s just the beginning.

Balance your study of performance, music theory, and music history with classes on the relationship between music and technology, gender, and peace. Unpack the psychology of music, or delve into pop, jazz, opera, film scores, and more.

Whether you’re aiming for a career as a performer, composer, teacher, recording technician, or music software developer, this program gives you the building blocks you need, and you can even orchestrate some experience before you graduate by enrolling in the co-op stream.

Create friendships for life

Join the Living-Learning Community at Conrad Grebel where you’ll live with other Music students, make lasting friendships, and get support from upper-year peer leaders. A residence application is required. 

Study in Bali and beyond

Grab your passport! Experience concerts, festivals, and the rich cultural life of countries from Bali to the Baltics with a music & culture travel course.


icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



Apply via Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business choose Music as your major at the end of first year.

Auditions are required if you would like to choose Music as your major, take studio courses, or apply for specific music entrance scholarships. Entrance scholarship auditions take place in February and March.

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First-year courses

Listed below are required first-year courses. You'll choose additional classes so that you have a total of five courses per term (or six if you include an music ensemble). 

September to December (fall term)

  • Choose two of:
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Two elective courses

January to April (winter term)

  • Choose two of:
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Two elective courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

About 40% of the classes you’ll take will be Music courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses 

MUSIC 232 – Music as a Global Phenomenon
MUSIC 246 – Soundtracks: Music in Film
MUSIC 275 – Music and Technology
MUSIC 332 – Aesthetics of Music


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Music


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Music instructor
  • Business improvement analyst
  • Teaching assistant
  • Guidance / at-risk support assistant
  • Senior business systems analyst

Sample co-op employers

  • Toronto District School Board
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • CIBC
  • BMW Group Canada
  • Ontario Ministry of Government Services

Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Honours Music degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the areas of focus in Music.

  • Music and Peace
  • Music in a Global Context
  • Church Music and Worship

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Music students include Church and Worship Music and Intensive Music Specialization.

What can you do with a music degree?

Waterloo Music graduates often pursue careers in music, teaching, and marketing. They often work in arts schools, entertainment companies, and theatres.

Recent graduates

  • Teacher – Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Assistant Concert Manager – Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir
  • Community Manager – Treehaus Collaborative Workspace
  • Manager, Client Success – Smile.io
  • Manager of Artistic Operations - Living Arts Centre
  • Music Therapist - St. Mary’s Hospital

Learn about the future of careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

Ready to learn more?