A University of Manitoba Jazz performance.

Our Bachelor of Jazz Studies program has raised Winnipeg's profile on the international jazz scene, creating regular opportunities for students to perform and collaborate with accomplished artists. This gives our students a chance to experience the creative partnerships and dynamic interplays that are the foundation of jazz music.

  • icon house

    Faculty

    • Desautels Faculty of Music

  • icon award

    Degree

    • Bachelor of Jazz Studies

  • icon graduate

    Expected duration

    • 4 years

  • 20+

    Student ensembles

  • 40

    Spacious, light-filled practice rooms

  • 1:5

    Ratio of faculty members to students

  • $600,000+

    Value of scholarships, bursaries and prizes awarded annually

Program details

The broad and comprehensive program of study focuses on the four disciplines jazz musicians must cultivate to achieve professional success: performance, composition, arranging and pedagogy. Graduates are ready to pursue a career in any of these areas.

Expected duration: 4 years

In your first year, you will gain knowledge of the history of music, key aspects of theory and music acoustics, learn jazz rhythm performance techniques, and you will cultivate critical aural perception abilities—specifically your sight-singing, transcription and keyboard skills. 

Second year core courses focus on jazz history and theory and the continued development of aural perception skills and jazz improvisation. 

In years three and four you will also study jazz composition and arranging, jazz pedagogy – where you will teach and perform with young music students – and prepare and perform a public recital each year. 

Throughout the duration of the program, all students can explore a wide range of elective courses; will receive individual lessons through Major Practical Study; and will participate in one or more jazz ensembles each year. 

Sample course offerings

  • MUSC 1004: Introduction to Music in History 1 (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 1182: Jazz Ensemble 1 (2 credit hours)
  • MUSC 2072: Jazz History 1 (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 2112: Jazz Theory 1 (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 3112: Jazz Composition and Arranging 1 (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 3180: Ensemble (2 credit hours)
  • MUSC 3084: Romantic Music History (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 4140: History of Canadian Music (3 credit hours)
  • MUSC 4192: Jazz Improvisation 3 (2 credit hours)

For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar

Admission requirements

The following are minimum academic requirements for entry into the BMus program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Direct entry applicants are those who have not attended a post-secondary institution or have completed fewer than 24 credit hours at a recognized university or college. Direct entry applicants require the following:

  • Manitoba high school graduation including 5 full credits at the Grade 12 level in courses designated S, G, or U
  • A minimum 70% average over the following, with no less than 60% in each course:
    • English 40S
    • Mathematics 40S
    • Two academic 40S courses

Advanced entry applicants are those who have completed one year (24 credit hours) or more of studies in another faculty at the University of Manitoba or another recognized post-secondary institution.

Non-academic requirements

All applicants (Direct or Advanced Entry) must successfully pass the following non-academic requirements, in addition to the applicable academic requirements:

  • Audition
  • Theory entrance exam

Level of Musicianship

Prospective students should have achieved a minimum level of musicianship and theory comparable to the Royal Conservatory of Music or Conservatory of Canada:

  • Grade 9 for strings
  • Grade 8 for piano
  • Grade 7 for voice, woodwinds and brass
  • Grade 6 for organ

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program

If you do not meet the requirements for Direct entry into the BJazz program, your application will be automatically considered for admission to University 1. You do not have to reapply or pay a second application fee. 

How to apply

Domestic student application fee: $100
International student application fee: $120

Step 1: Apply online

Applications to the University of Manitoba are completed online. To begin your application, select the "Start or continue your application" button. The online application includes several parts: 

  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • Two letters of recommendation from a music/band teacher, and/or a private lesson instructor
  • A personal essay of 250-300 words which outlines your musical aspiration and plans to achieve them.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Transcripts

To be considered for Desautels Faculty of Music scholarships, applicants must meet the application deadline and audition during the advertised audition dates. Applicants will be notified 2-3 weeks after the application deadline to arrange their audition and interview.

    Step 2: Audition

    The audition may take up to 30 minutes. Whether you are auditioning in-person or by video recordings, the audition will involve:

    • performing up to 10-12 minutes of prepared music that fulfill the audition requirements specified by area;
    • a brief interview covering a range of areas including your background and experience in jazz performance; 
    • assessing aural and technical skills.

    Jazz audition fee: Jazz students auditioning in-person must pay a $25 fee. This fee covers the expense of a rhythm section, which will be provided by the faculty. Payments must be made before the audition at the Music General office.

    For Fall 2022 entry, video recordings will replace in-person auditions and interviews will be held over Zoom. Video recording links must be uploaded to the application portal by February 9, 2022.

    Jazz Studies audition requirements

    Audition pieces

    1. A medium tempo blues selection:
      • Play melody and a minimum of two improvised choruses
      • Rhythm section players must comp for a soloist
    2. A jazz standard of your choice:
      • Play melody and a minimum of two improvised choruses
      • Rhythm section players must comp for a soloist. Drummers must trade fours with the rhythm section.

    Sight Reading

    A short sight-reading passage.

    Interview

    There will be a brief interview covering a range of areas, including your background and experience in jazz performance.

    Technical Requirement

    Play a major scale, one octave ascending and descending, in any key. Drummers and singers must perform this on piano.

    Additional Information

    You must provide three copies of charts for the music you perform (in your key).

     

    Step 3: Write the Theory Entrance exam

    The Theory Entrance exam assesses competency in music rudiments and is usually written on the day of the audition. A grade of 70% or higher is required for admission to the Desautels Faculty of Music. Royal Conservatory Advanced Rudiments or equivalent is generally adequate preparation.

    If you have successfully completed MUSC 1930 – Rudiments of Music at the University of Manitoba or the Theory Entrance Exam Preparation (TEEP) class through Prep Studies, you are exempted from writing theory exam on the day of your audition. TEEP exam results are only valid for a single admission year.

    Notification of Decision

    Decisions will be posted to the applicant's portal. Applicants must log in to their application portal to view the decision and to accept or decline their offer by the deadline date indicated in the letter. It is imperative that email accounts remain current and that emails and application portals are regularly checked.

    Apply now

    Includes the Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geological Sciences and Physical Geography programs.

    Includes Bachelor of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Health Studies programs.

    Includes Bachelor of Science degrees in Agribusiness, Agriculture, Agroecology, Food Science and Human Nutritional Sciences.

    Annual application deadlines

    Term Type of entry Application opens Application deadline
    Fall (September) Direct entry Early October August 1
    Winter (January) Direct entry Early May December 1
    Summer (May) Direct entry Early October April 1

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    Bachelor of Fine Art application deadlines

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    Diploma in Fine Art application deadlines

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    Annual application deadlines

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    To apply to the Inner City Social Work program, attend an information session at the William Norrie Centre. You will receive an application form at the information session. All information sessions are held in Room 126, William Norrie Centre.

    Room 126 William Norrie Centre
    485 Selkirk Ave.
    Winnipeg, MB R2W 2M6 Canada
    204-668-8160
    Fax: 204-663-8857

    All applicants need approval from the Faculty of Social Work – Inner City Selection Coordinator, Carla Kirkpatrick who can be reached at carla.kirkpatrick@umanitoba.ca or 204-474-7364.

    Annual application deadlines

    Term Type of entry Application deadline
    Summer (May, part-time) Direct entry Please contact the Inner City Social Work program to determine the next available session and any applicable deadline dates.
    Fall (September) Direct entry Please contact the Inner City Social Work program to determine the next available session and any applicable deadline dates.

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    Students who wish to enrol in Summer courses that start in May should apply by April 1.

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    This program is no longer available. Please contact the Faculty representative Jennifer Mitchell or Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba for more information.

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    Applicants are encouraged to apply early and check their course availability prior to applying.

    Applicants applying to the Summer term are recommended to apply a minimum of one month prior to the start of their classes. Summer session offers a number of different start dates based on course offerings.

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    The BPRN program has been placed on a temporary suspension starting for the Fall 2019 intake.

    Access students

    Annual application deadline
    Term Type of entry Application deadline
    Fall (September) Advanced entry March 31 (extended)

    Application form for Access students (PDF)

    External students

    Annual application deadline
    Term Type of entry Application opens Application deadline
    Fall (September) Advanced entry Early November March 1 (Extended to March 31)

    Start or continue your external student application

    Audition and Theory Entrance exam dates

      Date
    Interview February 14 - 25, 2022
    Theory Entrance exam February 14 - 25, 2022

    Learn more

    Contact us

    Admission and application inquiries

    Mailing address
    Attn: Undergraduate Admissions
    University of Manitoba
    66 Chancellors Circle
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

    Office location
    Room 424 UMSU University Centre
    65 Chancellors Circle
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)

    admissions@umanitoba.ca
    Phone: 204-474-8808
    Toll-free: 1-800-224-7713 ext. 8808

    Program inquiries

    Desautels Faculty of Music
    Room T319 
    150 Dafoe Road West
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

    music@umanitoba.ca
    204-474-9310