This new certificate program allows Northeastern University students to receive musical performance experience and credentials from New England Conservatory, bringing the assets of one of America’s top conservatories to students at one of America’s top schools for experiential learning. The program is designed for students who wish to continue their development as a musician as they pursue a career path in their primary area of study. An individualized curriculum allows students to express the entrepreneurial spirit common to both Northeastern and NEC students.

Students of the certificate program can supplement their Northeastern degree with credentials from New England Conservatory.  Like Northeastern, NEC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and is a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the accrediting body for American music schools.

The two campuses lie within proximity of each other, and the timing of NEC lessons and classes have been designed not to interfere with normal times for Northeastern classes in order to fit into Northeastern students’ daily schedule.


Students pursuing a certificate study a curriculum featuring a mix of private lessons and classes held at NEC on nights and weekends, as well as classes and ensembles held at Northeastern.

The School of Continuing Education at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and the Department of Music at Northeastern University (NU) jointly offer a General Certificate of Merit in Music Performance (24 credits) and a Professional Studies Certificate in Music Performance (48 credits). These programs are geared toward NU undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in improving their abilities to perform on an instrument or voice in the classical or jazz styles.

The certificate in music performance stands in addition to the student’s NU undergraduate or graduate degree — it is an entirely separate and distinct credential. Credits for courses toward the music performance certificate are accumulated and billed separately from credits toward NU undergraduate or graduate degree programs and are not eligible for financial aid. However, NU courses taken for major, minor, or elective credit in undergraduate degree programs may also be applied toward the performance certificate.

Courses are offered at both NEC (predominantly related to music performance) and at NU (predominantly related to music history and music theory). NEC courses are scheduled during evenings and weekends.

Download the full curriculum from the Office of the Registrar →

NEC/NU General Certificate of Merit in Music Performance
24 credit hours
$29,496

NEC/NU Professional Studies Certificate in Music Performance


48 credit hours
$58,992

Northeastern University students:
Full-Time enrolled Northeastern students may double count their Northeastern University credits toward the certificate program for a significant discount.

For the General Certificate of Merit, this can result in a tuition savings of up to $13,519 (i.e., total cost of the General Certificate of Merit would be $15,977).

For the Professional Studies Certificate, this can result in a tuition savings of up to $27,038 (i.e., the total cost of the Professional Studies Certificate would be $31,954).