Graduate Program Music: Jazz Studies

PSU music professor and two students performing jazz

Jazz Studies Master's Degree Overview

For musicians with an unconventional mindset, you’re not alone in your desire to break the mold. A master’s degree in Jazz Studies will give you endless opportunities to deepen your knowledge and advance as a leader in your musical career.

Our program offers rigorous instruction in music theory, music history, improvisation techniques, jazz arranging, music literature, research methods, and pedagogy. Students have the opportunity for hands-on experience through participation in ensembles and combos. We also offer individualized applied lessons on your instrument of choice to deepen your knowledge.

Throughout the program, you will receive mentorship and career advice from renowned faculty, as well as opportunities for leadership within your cohort. Our alumni’s skills are in-demand as professional musicians and teachers.

Degree Details

Jazz Studies Master's Degree: Why PSU?

You’ll graduate from one of the nation’s top 10 “most innovative” universities with a master of music from one of the most reputable jazz studies universities in Oregon.

Our diverse campus is located in the center of downtown Portland, right in the heart of the city’s vibrant performing arts district. Our deep community connections give you unmatched opportunities for hands-on learning.

As a graduate student in jazz studies, you can gain real-world experience performing on campus where you’ll have the chance to not only hone your own creative style, but your leadership abilities. We also connect you to professional gig opportunities in Portland.

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 Master's degree in Jazz Studies?

Most of our alumni go on to pursue a doctorate or a career as a professional performer or educator at a K-12 school, college, or university. Our graduates have also pursued related careers as arrangers, composers, and arts administrators.

Recent graduates hold faculty positions at Portland State University, Clackamas College, and Washington State University, serve on the board of the Portland Jazz Festival, and perform regularly at jazz venues throughout the region.

Featured Courses

  • MUP 490Z Applied Music: Saxophone
  • MUP 590P Applied Music: Piano
  • MUP 590J Applied Music: Jazz Studies
  • MUP 590M Applied Music: Composition
  • MUP 471 Advanced Jazz Improvisation I
  • MUP 506 Graduate Project or Recital


  • MUS 524 Instrumental Jazz Arranging I
  • MUS 540 Jazz Literature
  • MUS 567 Jazz History
  • MUS 598 Jazz Lab Band


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