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NU-NEC Joint Certificate

Northeastern University–New England Conservatory Joint Certificate Program

This new certificate program allows Northeastern University students to receive musical performance experience and credentials from New England Conservatory. It brings the assets of one of America's top conservatories to students at one of America's top schools for experiential learning.

As a Northeastern student who has made performance an important part of your life prior to entering college, you can now continue your development as a musician, even as you pursue a career path in your primary area of study. The individualized curriculum you will build as a participant in the Northeastern University/New England Conservatory program is an opportunity to express the entrepreneurial spirit common to both Northeastern and NEC students. As a musician, you already appreciate the known benefits of musical performance to brain development, critical thinking skills, innovation, teamwork, and confidence.

Rather than continuing to perform music as a "hobby," you can apply yourself to the tangible results that you expect from a coherent academic program, by supplementing your Northeastern degree with credentials from New England Conservatory. Like Northeastern, NEC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools.

NEC's studio teachers are artists who embody a rich musical tradition—classical, jazz, or world music—and provide one-on-one training in every detail of music making. They are members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, international touring soloists, headliners at top jazz clubs, and recording artists.

Faculty lists

BSO-NEC connection

Your curriculum will be a mix of private lessons and classes held at NEC on nights and weekends, as well as classes and ensembles held at Northeastern.

The proximity of the two campuses makes travel between Northeastern classes and NEC lessons and rehearsals effortless—you will build these components into your daily schedule just as if you were traveling between buildings at Northeastern, and time of NEC lessons and classes is designed not to interfere with normal times for Northeastern classes.

Who can participate?

  • This program is for candidates with strong academic preparation and dedication to the daily practice of their instrument who are enrolled Northeastern students, undergraduate/graduate, regardless of major, including undeclared students.
  • Enquiring students/applicants: if interested in this program as a first-year student, please indicate this interest to Northeastern's Music department.

How does it work?

  • There are two certificate levels available, Certificate of Merit (24 SH) and Professional Studies (48 SH).
  • Application to this program will include an interview at Northeastern, submission of a one-page statement describing your musical background and interest in pursuing the certificate, a placement exam, and an audition. We also recommend submitting either an mp3 or YouTube video of a recent performance (this can be recorded specifically for applying to the program).
  • Once accepted, enrolling in classes is easy. Certificate students work with Northeastern Music Department faculty to choose and sign up for courses.
  • Academic advising is provided by Northeastern as well as staff from NEC’s School of Continuing Education.
  • Graduation requirements include completion of required number of credits, minimum 2.5 GPA for all courses taken in the program, "pass" grade at jury exams given each semester, and completion of final performance recital.

How do I Apply?

Please contact Hubert Ho at for details!