Music Major and Minor

The Seaver College music department prepares students for musical careers. Our students develop knowledge of the music industry, demonstrate understanding in music technology, apply theoretical and historical theories to music, and develop their own musical skills, techniques, and abilities.

Students who have not auditioned and received prior acceptance into the University's music programs as music majors must audition during the first week of the semester in which they enter the school. Those accepted as music majors will be notified in writing by the music department.

Music Degree

Many factors contribute to our reputation as a top music program. In the past decade, Pepperdine University has emerged as one of the nation's leading private universities. Our music department is personal and unique, offering high-quality instruction and an exceptional learning experience for each individual. This nurturing environment allows our students to refine their talents and skills for a successful career in music.

Designed to enhance and strengthen students' innate musical abilities, our program offers music majors one or more areas of emphasis study in order to prepare them for meaningful lives as performers, composers, educators, and innovators in one of many music-related professions.

Your experience at Pepperdine University will include:

  • A liberal arts education, with a conservatory atmosphere
  • Emphases in performance (applied), composition, and music education
  • Renowned faculty
  • Access to Los Angeles and all of its cultural resources
  • A unique international program tailored for musicians - the Heidelberg Music Program.

Music Minor

Music Minor

Our music minor introduces students to music theory through core music classes, private lessons, and ensemble courses. The minor allows students to have a meaningful and structured life in music while at Pepperdine.

Student Opportunities

Our students study with distinguished faculty, leading soloists, and top studio professionals, including members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, and the region's other top professional musical ensembles. Our University Choirs, University Orchestra, Flora Thornton Opera Program, Collegium Musicum, Jazz Ensemble, Collaborative Arts, and Chamber Music groups are open to all students by audition, and provide stimulating ensemble experiences. Annual opera and musical theater productions, recitals, concerts, and master classes provide additional performance opportunities. We believe that students are the heart of our program. They are active participants in their own aesthetic growth and creative enrichment.

Music Composition

Fostering unique creative musical talent, the music composition program provides student composers with opportunities to learn techniques and current trends associated with the creation of new music.

Explore the Music Composition program

Choral Activities

Under the direction of Dr. Ryan Board, our choral program offers a choice of three outstanding ensembles in which to participate: Concert Choir, Collegium Musicum, and Chamber Singers.

Learn more about Seaver's Choral Activities

Performing Ensembles: Instrumental

Under the direction of Tony Cason, our Instrumental Ensembles offer a choice of these outstanding ensembles in which to participate: the University Orchestra, Pepperdine Wind Ensemble, Pepperdine Jazz Ensemble, Collegium Musicum, Chamber Music, Percussion Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and the Pickford Ensemble.

Learn more about Seaver's Ensembles

Classical Guitar with Christopher Parkening

Our students can study classical guitar with America's reigning guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening. We offer a BA in Music with an emphasis in classical guitar. The music program, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), also includes a rigorous core curriculum comprised of theory, history, private lessons, ensemble participation, and numerous performance opportunities.

Explore our Classical Guitar Program


The Flora L. Thornton Opera Program at Pepperdine offers a multi-faceted approach to the development of the undergraduate singing. Performance opportunities in fully-staged productions of opera, summer study abroad, and master classes with top professionals in the field are hallmarks of our program.

Learn more about the Flora L. Thornton Opera Program

Heidelberg Summer Music Program

Our music students have the opportunity to study abroad at the University's campus in Heidelberg, Germany. The Heidelberg Summer Music Program provides opportunities for intensive training for singers and instrumentalists. Studies include chamber music, acting techniques for singers, German, and general education courses. Students receive expert input from distinguished guest faculty.

Learn more about the Heidelberg Summer Music Program

Our Facilities

Each year the Pepperdine University Center for the Arts hosts over 250 public events, including performances by international touring stars and visual artists, student productions, and exhibitions. Learn more about our venues and facilities

Youth Music Summer Programs

As a prospective music major or minor, you need to follow the steps below to be considered for admittance into the department. Please read all information regarding the application and audition process prior to submitting materials.

All students who audition for the music program should take the Music Fundamentals & Skills Assessment (MFSA) on the day of their live audition. If the student does not audition in person and is accepted to the university and music program, then the assessment must be taken in the fall during New Student Orientation before the semester begins. More information

For more information, please review the Music Student Handbook

Student Testimonials