The NEC MM program requires 42-44 credits, depending on a student's major. These credits are fulfilled over a five-year period through taking courses at NEC and transferring courses completed at Harvard into the NEC MM. Careful course management for the five years is critical for the successful completion of both degrees. This outline is a guide; students in the joint program must work closely with their advisors at both institutions to design a course of study that will fulfill both sets of requirements.

Year 1 - 3

  • Regular Freshman curriculum in Harvard College
  • Introductory classes in musicology and music theory at Harvard or NEC if possible
  • Studio instruction (one hour per week) at NEC
  • Ensemble participation by advisement, appropriate to the area of music specialization, at either institution (encouraged but not required
  • Coursework at Harvard to be later transferred to NEC by advisement
  • Spring semester promotional at NEC required of all majors

At the end of the freshman year, students will choose a field of concentration in accordance with Harvard’s academic requirements. Those students enrolled in the joint program may choose to concentrate in music, any other subject, or a joint concentration of music and another discipline. Certain courses taken at Harvard in Years 1-3 may satisfy NEC MM elective credits.

End of Year 3 - Moving to MM status: Students enrolled in the NEC/Harvard program are required to perform a promotional at the end of Year 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, the promotional at the conclusion of Year 3 is meant to confirm the students' level of preparedness to start the Master's degree in the following year. The promotional is reviewed and confirmed by a faculty jury at NEC, and the result will be communicated to the student prior to the end of Harvard's academic year.

Year 4

The fourth year should be the concluding year of the AB degree at Harvard and the official start of the MM degree at NEC. Students should take the NEC Master's Music Theory Competency Exam and the Master's Music History Exam. Successful completion of these exams is a degree requirement of the MM at NEC. Students must pass the MM Theory exam prior to enrolling in any NEC theory course. Students who do not pass the exam may elect to retake the exam in the fifth year or enroll in graduate remedial courses at NEC.

  • Concluding curricular requirements for AB degree at Harvard
  • Studio instruction at NEC
  • Chamber Music (string majors only) for one semester at NEC or by substitution. Music 180 is approved for this requirement for 1 credit. Students wishing to take Music 189 (previously 187) at Harvard must have prior approval from NEC to receive 1 credit toward the chamber music requirement.
  • Ensemble participation by advisement
  • Promotional evaluation at NEC in spring semester (all majors except music theory)
  • MM coursework at NEC by advisement

Year 5

If students have not yet passed the Master's Music Theory and History Competency Exams, they must take the exam during the Orientation week of the start of the fifth year. Successful completion of these exams is a degree requirement. Students who do not pass the exams will enroll in graduate remedial courses at NEC.

  • Studio instruction at NEC
  • Ensemble participation as required for MM to be fulfilled at NEC
  • Chamber music for two semesters required for Brass, Guitar, Strings, and Woodwinds majors
  • MM coursework by advisement
  • Graduation recital required for most majors