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Welcome to The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Founded in 2007 as an adjunct to the School of the Arts and Architecture, the School aligns three outstanding departments: Ethnomusicology, Music, and Musicology, along with a Music Industry program. On January 21, 2016, the University of California Regents voted to formally establish the School as the first music school in the UC system (READ MORE). This milestone action formally separated the music school from the arts school, and paved the way for the UCLA Chancellor to name a Founding Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music.

The Department of Ethnomusicology is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and the most celebrated program in the world for the study of diverse musical cultures. In 2010 we celebrated 50 years of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, as the Institute of Ethnomusicology was formed in 1960.

The Department of Music boasts a roster of internationally acclaimed performers and composers from the Western classical tradition and the only accredited music education program in the University of California system. The department offers many degree tracks including a new M.M. degree  in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The Department of Musicology teaches and conducts research on jazz, heavy metal, techno, musical theater, and other forms of popular music as well as European classical music. The National Research Council recently recognized UCLA Musicology as the top ranked academic music doctoral program in the United States.

Our mission at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is to educate students through:

•  Collaborations between performance and scholarship

•  Cultural understandings of the art of music throughout the world

•  Curricula centered on what students need to succeed in music and in life

•  Cross disciplinary integration in the context of a great research university

•  Connections to the musical life of Los Angeles and Southern California

The School’s innovative programs are supported in part by a $30 million endowment from the Herb Alpert Foundation, made possible through the incredible generosity of the renowned performer, producer and philanthropist Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall Alpert.

No matter what area of music study interests you the most, you will find a home here at UCLA in a creative environment that brings out the best in each of our students.


Judith L. Smith
Founding Dean

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music