Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music

The Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music degree is a music degree with special emphasis on elements needed to succeed in a variety of careers in the music industry. Students may have an instrumental or vocal performance concentration, or may have an arranging / composition concentration. Special courses in improvisation, commercial arranging and composition, music technology, recording, audio production and music business prepare the student to be competitive in the music industry in the twenty-first century.

Career outlook:

Musicians interested in popular musical idioms as performers, managers, promoters, arrangers or composers will have interest in this degree, as will student musicians interested in a career in radio/television/film music, music publishing, contemporary church music, or music business. Many other careers depend on knowledge of music as well as technology, including recording engineers and producers, music supervisors in film and television, and live-sound engineers and managers for touring productions.

Candidates for this program will show aptitude as a performer, arranger or composer. Since there is a major emphasis on music theory in the program, some prior training in music theory and piano will be helpful. Graduates holding his degree will be favorably competitive in seeking employment in the music industry.


The UTEP Department of Music maintains two top-tier recording studios utilizing the same equipment, software and methodology used in professional recording studios. These studios are exclusively for the benefit of UTEP’s instructional focus. Further, a complete music technology lab is available for students of music technology, recording and commercial arranging and composition. This lab contains both Windows and Macintosh computers, MIDI input devices and industry standard software for music production, notation, composition and recording.

Extracurricular Dates: Lectures, Concerts, Special Events

In November of 2010 the UTEP Symphonic Winds produced its fifth CD of music of important wind composers with Mark Custom Records. This recording will be in commercial release, and will be recorded and produced on the UTEP campus utilizing UTEP’s recording facilities, with the composer in attendance. This is an invaluable opportunity to see how recordings of this type are made. Each semester the Commercial Music division will have guest lecturers and clinicians in important areas of music business and music technology.

If you feel that this degree might be right for you, take the following steps:

  • Apply for admission to UTEP. You can do this online at
  • Apply for a scholarship online at
  • Make plans to audition. Call (915) 747-5605 for audition dates and times.
  • Contact area coordinator Steve Haddad at (915) 747-7818 or for an interview.
  • Jobs in the music industry:
    (Jobs in the industry are not limited to those listed below)

    • Professional Songwriter
    • Lyricist
    • Composer of Show Music
    • Composer of Dramatic Music
    • Composer of Educational Materials
    • Composers of Children’s Music
    • Composer of Church Music
    • Composer of Classical Music
    • Arranger-Orchestrator
    • Music Editor
    • Music Copyist – Notation Software
    • Music Director – Conductor
    • Record Producer
    • Theatrical Music Supervisor
    • Video / Film Music Supervisor
    • Singer
    • Instrumentalist
    • Critic / Journalist / Editor
    • Music Librarian
    • Radio Station Music Director
    • Sound Engineer / Technician
    • Manager / Executive
    • Disc Jockey
    • Music Publishing
    • Music Retailing
    • Manager / Agent
    • Manufacturer’s Representative
    • Musical Instrument Manufacturer