About Us

Located on the campus of one of the world's leading research universities, the University of Illinois School of Music is a center for creativity and collaboration through performance, research, and education. Historically rich in tradition, the School of Music is a resource for music research of all kinds in many different fields of study. At the same time, the School of Music embraces cutting-edge innovation and discovery while providing an array of musical and engagement opportunities within the artistic and educational communities of Urbana and Champaign. 

Smith Memorial Hall

In view of the rapidly changing world for 21st-century musicians, we aspire to produce creative, versatile students who excel in their disciplines while embracing arts advocacy, technological literacy, entrepreneurial thinking, social justice, and engaged citizenship as integral to their work as artists, scholars, and teachers. We expect our faculty to serve as models of creative excellence and leadership in performance, composition, scholarship, teaching, and community and global citizenship to better imbue students with the highest standards of artistry, scholarship, and pedagogy.

Such goals are vital if we are to embrace the implications of the traditional term comprehensive school of music within an institution that aspires to be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact.  This institutional context marks the School of Music as distinct from freestanding conservatories, from exclusively or chiefly undergraduate colleges with robust music schools, from music departments, and even from music schools in large private universities.

Consistently rated as one of the top ten schools of music by US College Rankings, the School of Music includes approximately 100 faculty and staff and more than 700 students housed in five buildings on the Urbana campus. The School's musicians and scholars offer hundreds of concerts and presentations on campus and beyond throughout the year. The School's undergraduate and graduate programs provide comprehensive resources to develop students and their careers. Its excellent faculty, diverse courses, world-class library, state-of-the-art facilities, and exciting musical life offer every advantage students need for serious musical studies. One of the most respected universities in the world, the University of Illinois prides itself on making the arts an integral part of campus life. Situated in the country's heartland, the School is close to major cities but in a smaller community where it is easy to get around, live on a budget, and focus on studies and performance. A broadly international student body complements the many students from Illinois and the Midwest, adding a cosmopolitan sophistication that goes beyond books and studios and creating opportunities for meeting people from many cultures.

The University of Illinois School of Music regards diversity, equity, and access as core values integral to guiding our progress toward excellence. We embrace a broad and comprehensive concept of diversity that serves as a springboard toward mutual understanding. We appreciate diversity as a strength and intentionally cultivate an inclusive climate in our daily endeavors as faculty, staff, and students. We are committed to respecting differences; accepting multiple perspectives; and striving to identify, disrupt, and rectify bias, prejudice, and oppression in our classrooms and community.

Through the office of Career Services in the College of Fine and Applied Arts and entreprenuerial programs within the School, students can get practical advice to help gain a professional foothold. The concert calendar is full, and the School's performances are supplemented by the best among international visiting artists, many of whom give master classes while on campus. In short, at the University of Illinois you will find a balance fine-tuned to create an ideal learning environment.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

NASM is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities that establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. The School of Music at the University of Illinois has been accredited by NASM since 1933.