Undergraduate Program Music: Jazz Studies

PSU music students performing jazz

Music: Jazz Studies Bachelor's Degree Overview

For musicians with an unconventional mindset, you’re not alone in your desire to break the mold. A bachelor of music from The PSU School of Music & Theater’s rigorous jazz studies program will give you endless opportunities for bold imagination, as well as the support to advance your career.

The Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies provides a thorough music foundation with specialized coursework in jazz performance, improvisation, jazz history, and arranging. You’ll participate in immersive performance experiences in large ensembles, combos, and solo recital performances.

Completing this degree will give you the skills and confidence to pursue professional work as a jazz musician and/or private instructor, or go on to graduate school before entering into the profession. Our alumni are accepted into top jazz studies graduate programs and put their creative skills to use in a variety of careers. Join them in this dynamic field.

Prospective music majors must apply to PSU, submit a secondary application to the School of Music & Theater, and pass the entrance audition. Learn more about our application process.

Degree Details

Music: Jazz Studies Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

As a jazz studies major, you can gain real-world experience performing in local gigs in Portland or on-campus concerts where you’ll have the chance to hone your own creative style.

We are proud to be a national College of Distinction for our commitment to helping students to succeed. At PSU, you will gain the experience and knowledge you need to make a difference in your career and community.

What can I do with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies?

Most of our alumni go on to grad school or a career as a freelance jazz musician. Related careers include: music teacher, arts administrator, arranger, and composer.

Recent graduates have performed in venues ranging from the Tonight Show to Smalls Jazz Club in New York. Some stay in the region and perform regularly in jazz venues, restaurants, and theaters. Others have presented concerts nationally and internationally on tour.

Featured Courses

  • MUS 113 Music Theory III
  • MUS 116 Sight-Singing/Ear Training III
  • MUS 213 Music Theory VI
  • MUS 216 Sight Singing/ Ear Training VI
  • MUS 271 Jazz Improvisation
  • MUS 293 Advanced Class Piano III
  • MUS 305 Music History: 20th Century
  • MUS 355 Jazz History
  • MUS 394 Jazz Combo
  • MUS 398 Jazz Lab Band: Salsa
  • MUS 426 Instrumental Jazz Arranging III
  • MUS 473 Advanced Jazz Improvisation III


  • MUS 374 World Music: Africa & The Middle East
  • MUS 377 World Music: Latin America & the Caribbean
  • MUS 445 Business of Music


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

PSU's Music programs are fully accredited National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and holds the All-Steinway School designation.