An ensemble of woodwind students playing on stage

There's a Lot to Like at University of Nevada, Reno

Apply Now:

The Department of Music has 16 full-time and 30 part-time faculty, and approximately 200 music majors. The department offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts, and Master of Music degrees, and is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music. In addition, the Music Education program is a member of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The University of Nevada, Reno has approximately 17,000 students, and is a land-grant institution of Nevada. The Reno-Tahoe area, with a population in excess of 300,000, supports the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Reno chamber Orchestra, the Reno Jazz Orchestra, and many other arts-oriented events throughout the year, including Reno's immensely popular month long Artown celebration. And of course, Reno is renowned for its wonderfully varied climate and extensive outdoor recreation opportunities.

Each year, the Department of Music hosts the Reno Jazz Festival, bringing together many of the finest jazz students, musicians and musicologists in the United States and beyond. The Festival attracts thousands of jazz enthusiasts and is considered to be one of the largest, most prestigious jazz music events in the nation.

To our students:

We in the Department of Music at the University of Nevada, Reno unequivocally reject white supremacy and racism and reaffirm our commitment to equality, justice, and democracy in society, on campus, and in our classrooms. No matter the name or label, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and racist thought and action are antithetical to our values. The Department of Music condemns the terrorizing and intimidating tactics of bullies and bigots. We will uphold the University's mission, which states that the University of Nevada, Reno "recognizes and embraces the critical importance of diversity" and "is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion, and accessibility." As people who are dedicated to understanding musical life, we are all too aware of how some voices have been silenced while others privileged. We recognize that racism is endemic to our society and institutions, and we pledge to understand and combat it, including through our collective teaching, performance, scholarship, and service.

We want you, our students, to know that we are committed to creating a campus where all can learn. We welcome all members of our extended community regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic background, political or institutional affiliation, and ability, and we are fully dedicated to promoting a diversity of voices and views as an academic and artistic department. We recognize that there is still work to be done to make the spaces of the university safe and hospitable to all, and we are committed to continuing to do that work. Our doors are open to any students seeking support or guidance.

Adapted from an open letter by University of Nevada, Reno faculty of August 2017, and the Society for American Music's Statement in Solidarity with Anti-Racism and Anti-White Supremacy.

Programs of Study

With small class sizes and an engaged, accessible faculty, students find a productive environment for developing their musical talents. Programs of study represent a wide spectrum of goals and interests, from music appreciation to professional music careers in music education, instrument or voice performance. For undergraduates interested in a music major or minor, the Department offers the Bachelor of Art degree with a Music Major, the Bachelor of Music with various concentrations, including majors in Applied Instrument, Applied Jazz, and Applied Voice. A Minor in Music with either a Music Interest or Music Industry track is also available. For students planning on becoming teachers, the Department offers Master of Music, Music Education degrees with concentrations in General Music Education, Instrumental Music Education, and Voice and Vocal Studies. The Department also offers Master of Music degrees with concentrations in Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, Orchestral Career Studies, Jazz & Improvisational Music, Composition, General Music Education, Choral Music Education, and Instrumental Music Education. For more information:


The Department of Music offers opportunities to any University student demonstrating sufficient musical ability to participate in performing ensembles. But for music majors, ensemble playing is a requirement of the degree. The music faculty considers ensemble playing an immensely important learning tool for music students. Ensemble work helps developing musicians learn from their personal experience the social and technological dynamics of musical performance. The department maintains approximately twenty different types of ensemble groups, both large and small. From jazz to classical and modern symphonic and vocal traditions, there are ensemble groups to engage every type of interest, with new ensembles emerging according to student and faculty interest. Live ensemble performances have the added advantage of offering the University and greater Reno arts community a chance to enjoy good music throughout the year. For more information:

Music Facilities

The Department's facilities include the 615-seat Nightingale Concert Hall, housed in the Church Fine Arts building. Completed in 1987, the Hall is renowned for its excellent acoustics. Throughout the year, it is home to a broad range of concerts featuring students and faculty, as well as local and international artists. The Harrah Music Wing and the Clarence and Martha Jones Music Studio Center include classrooms, practice rooms, a recording studio, and several instrumental rehearsal facilities. For more information:

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Each year the Department of Music grants a limited number of scholarships for the study of music to our students, including graduate teaching assistantships. Application forms are available at the Department Office and are usually due by the end of January of the prior year. The Department encourages its students to apply. For more information on Scholarships:

Music Faculty

The Department of Music boasts a faculty of world-class performers and scholars committed to providing a creative, vibrant and challenging center for artistic development. With experience and acumen in performance, contemporary composition, history, and theory, the Music Faculty at UNR provides their students an exciting, integrated approach to the the study of the world's musical traditions.

Information For Non-Music Majors

Non-music majors are encouraged to join the music and arts community at UNR. Students can audition for ensembles, solicit private instruction, and take music classes to fulfill elective requirements in their majors.

  • Ensembles -- Many of the ensemble groups, such as the University Symphony Orchestra and the Nevada Chamber Opera are comprised of both music majors and non-music majors. Concerts and productions are presented to a live audience in Nightingale Concert Hall.
  • Music Classes -- The Department of Music offers over eighty different music courses, many of which are available for credit to non-music majors. Admission to qualifying courses may be gained through the instructor's permission.

Music Clubs & Organizations

There are several ways to connect with fellow music lovers at UNR. There are local student chapters of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national music fraternity for men, Sigma Alpha Iota, the national music fraternity for women, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the national professional organization which focuses especially on the choral arts, and the National Association for Music Education(NAfME), with its focus on Music Education. And, there's Facebook. Find out more information with the link below: