jazz trio performing on stage at the School of Music Recital Hall

Jazz Studies

Jazz studies fuses performance, composition and arranging into a program that lets you express yourself musically. We emphasize the practical skills that enable you to appreciate and play the wide variety of music demanded of professional musicians today.

What to Expect

The jazz studies program fuses performance, composition and arranging into a study plan that prepares you for the professional performance world. 

Our goal is not just to help you master your primary instrument, but also to help you use new and improved skills to hear and bring out the music inside you. We help you become solid in the fundamental skills of ear training, keyboard technique, music theory and arranging.

In addition to our world-class faculty, our state-of-the-art facilities and performance venues give students all the experience you need to enter the world of professional music with the confidence of a seasoned musician.

An audition is required to be considered for admission to all music degree programs.


Undergraduate Degree

B  Bachelor of Music (B.M.) — Jazz Studies Emphasis

Offered by the School of Music, this degree provides excellent general education combined with rigorous training in an area of emphasis (composition, jazz studies, music education, music theory or performance).

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in jazz studies:

  • Music Theory I-IV
  • Aural Skills I-IV
  • History of Western Music I - III
  • Recital Class (and laboratory)
  • Music Advocacy I: Understanding the Power of Your Music
  • Jazz Improvisation I-IV
  • Jazz Theory
  • Jazz Literature
  • Studio Arranging and Composition
  • Ensemble

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

Our Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the most current information on the application process so you can check the requirements based on your current status and find university scholarships.

The jazz faculty here is the reason why I fell in love with jazz. Their passion for the music and their desire for students to succeed provide such a great environment in the jazz studies department. All of the students and staff members are here to support each other and to grow together.

Kris Phelps
Photo of Kris Phelps

Graduate Degrees

The School of Music offers a Master of Music in performance or composition, with a jazz studies concentration.

M  Master of Music — Jazz Studies Concentration (M.M.)

Graduate Director: Clifford Leaman, 803-576-5893, cleaman@mozart.sc.edu
Program Contact: Traci Hair, 803-777-4106, thair@mozart.sc.edu

Application information for this degree is available through The Graduate School. 

Apply to Graduate School 

Learn more about The Graduate School, degree options and how to apply for admission to doctoral, master’s, certificate and combination degree programs at South Carolina.