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UWF program paves a multitude of career paths for music majors

The University of West Florida has added the Bachelor of Arts in Music and an Outside Field program, which will allow students a unique opportunity to prepare for employment in a variety of disciplines including music, the humanities, education, health and STEM fields.

UWFAlumna_Dr. Patricia Izbicki plays piano

The program is designed for students interested in majoring in music while receiving a broad, liberal arts education. Additionally, the degree program addresses a growing interest among employers to hire professionals who are trained across multiple subject areas.

“Sometimes when students choose a degree to pursue, it might mean closing the door on a passion or an interest,” said Dr. Sheila Dunn, chair of the Department of Music. “We’re striving to prevent that closure with this new opportunity. Instead, students can incorporate these interests into their studies and, someday, their career expertise.”

Students from various disciplines such as biology, communications, history, mathematics, philosophy, pre-health, pre-law and psychology, among others, can benefit from the program. Alongside potentially earning a second bachelor’s degree, they will prepare for either graduate school or careers in various music fields with orchestral, chamber music, opera and choral organizations. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue careers in a variety of fields that may be interdisciplinary in nature.

Dr. Patricia Izbicki, a UWF alumna who was a piano music performance major, was fascinated in the interconnectivity of music and brain activity.

“The arts are enabling and empowering scientists to make that human connection,” Izbicki said. “Combining neuroscience and art in grad school has had several personal impacts on my early scientific career, among them helping me think about problems from a multitude of perspectives. I’ve found ways to make a difference in the world on a larger scale because everyone connects on some level to art. Even if federal funding isn’t available, there is always interest in the topic I study, one that every human being can relate to.”

Izbicki earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience at Iowa State University. She has been investigating ways to quantify music’s impact on emotions, as well as the cognitive benefits of music training. Her recent article, “Combining Neuroscience and the Arts,” discusses her perspective on combining the arts and science in her studies.

Students who are interested in the Bachelor of Arts in Music and an Outside Field program are required to complete an audition. Within the program, students must choose a music major and select an outside field of study to include 27 credit hours.

For more information about this new program visit