RWU’s unique and intimate Music program layers the exploration of world cultures on top of a solid foundation in theory, history and composition. All Music students take private lessons, perform with an ensemble and specialize in either technology or culture. With opportunities to take additional coursework in professional fields like business, communication or computer science, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of music careers.

The Music major at Roger Williams University offers a solid foundation in music theory and the principle musical styles in western culture, as well as an introduction to the music of various world cultures. Students study the elements of music and explore their application in various compositional formats. They have the opportunity to study the evolution of popular music as well as the classical forms that have characterized and helped define western culture. A unique aspect of RWU’s Music major that reflects the mission of the University is the exploration of world cultures through music. These courses will focus not only on the music of various world cultures, but also on the ways in which music is a reflection of these cultures.

The Music Major offers two tracks for students to choose from. The “Music & Culture” track highlights performance and world culture through music, and the “Music & Technology” track explores 21st century developments in music, as influenced by new electronic and computer technologies.

Performing Ensembles

While enrolled at RWU, Music majors will study voice or instrument in private lessons and perform with one of the department’s ensembles. Both the Instrumental Ensemble and the Chorus are conducted by members of the Music faculty. The RWU Chorus performs a varied repertoire of classical choral works along with musical theater and popular styles. Both ensembles perform at the end of each semester in the RWU Performing Arts Center.

Preparing for a Career

Students in the Music major are encouraged to take advantage of other unique opportunities offered at Roger Williams University, with its strong professional schools that complement the liberal arts curriculum. By adding a minor in Business, Communication or Computer Science, students can prepare themselves for many new opportunities in the field of music beyond the traditional spheres of performance and composition.

Degree Requirements


To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to demonstrating the University-wide core values and achieving the University-wide learning outcomes, students in the Music Program at Roger Williams University will be able to:

  1. Employ well-developed fundamental skills including notation, aural skills, and basic keyboard skills.
  2. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of music theory in analyzing and creating music.
  3. Employ critical listening skills and knowledge of musical elements to identify and describe styles within their historical and cultural contexts.
  4. Function effectively in an ensemble context.
  5. Understand and appreciate the diversity and commonalities of musical styles worldwide, including the impact of technology and globalization.

A statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Roger Williams University Music program is dedicated to fostering an open environment where a multitude of experiences and voices are heard and respected. Our commitment is to ensure every student has the opportunity to access a comprehensive musical education, framed by rigor and practice and tailored to their individual needs and aspirations. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive learning space, allowing students from all backgrounds to share their unique musical expression and musical identity. Our aim is to cultivate a vibrant community where artistic exploration and risk taking are encouraged, the barriers to access and learning are removed, and every student who is driven and willing may reach their full potential through the medium of music.

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Juris Doctor/Bachelor's 3+3 Accelerated Program (J.D.)

Earn your bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees in six years through RWU’s Three-Plus-Three Law program. You’ll get a jump-start on your J.D. by integrating law courses into your undergraduate studies and completing undergraduate requirements in your first year of law school. Accepted students will take first-year courses in the School of Law along with legal electives to fulfill undergraduate fourth-year requirements. Interested students must indicate their intent to pursue a 3+3 pathway early in their undergraduate studies for curriculum planning and advising.

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