The jazz studies minor allows you to study music with a focus on jazz. You’ll study jazz performance practices, while receiving a contextual foundation in jazz history, precursors, repertoire, analysis, and style. The minor also incorporates the important element of African American culture, expanding your intercultural knowledge and understanding.

Jazz performance requires intense collaboration and communication—skills that are immediately transferable to any career you pursue. Course offerings include jazz and contemporary improvisation and theory, multi-lateral ear training and cross-instrumental instruction, jazz history and repertoire, and individual instruction in both advanced improvisation and modern music composition.

In addition to performance, the UMN Morris jazz studies program provides a deeper analytical and historical context of jazz through a variety of nonperformance-based courses:

  • Jazz Theory
  • West African Styles in African American Music
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Analysis of Popular Music
  • Jazz Styles and Repertoire
  • Music Technology

Degree Requirements

Graduate in Four Years

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing the jazz studies minor, you will be able to

  • perform a wide range of jazz repertoire in small and large ensembles;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context of jazz through written and oral mediums; and
  • improvise in a stylistically informed manner.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School

A jazz studies minor can help prepare you for a music-related career in teaching, performance, and composing.

Graduate School

Graduate school offers many options that can build upon the Morris experience. Areas of advanced study include:

  • Performance
  • Music education
  • Conducting
  • Composition

Cost of Attendance

The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.

Research & Engagement


You may be able to conduct research on your own or with a faculty member on jazz topics present and past by looking into its cultural significance and effects.


Wanting to engage more with jazz? Hone your performance skills in live performances both at UMN Morris and internationally. The Morris Jazz ensemble has previously performed in Chicago, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France, as well as at various music festivals and Carnegie Hall.

Quick Facts

Program Offerings
  • Minor


University of Minnesota Morris
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