Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz & Contemplative Studies

Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation

Designed for students who want to combine a solid grounding in jazz and improvised music with courses involving meditative practices and other areas related to creative development. Applicants should have an extensive background on an instrument and demonstrated improvisational skills.


The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz & Contemplative Studies requires a minimum of 120 credits: coursework is 75% within SMTD and 25% within the liberal arts. SMTD coursework to include:

  • Private lessons
  • Jazz studies
  • Music Theory
  • Musicology
  • Ensemble participation
  • Piano

Degree requirements and term-by-term layout for current students.

Audition Dates

How To Apply

Applicants must:

  • Apply to U-M via the Common Application or Coalition Application (current U-M students should use the Cross-Campus Transfer Application) by December 1
  • Submit an SMTD Artistic Profile by December 1 for a live audition
  • Have all supplemental materials sent to the U-M Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Click the button below to read more detailed information about the application requirements and procedures.

Apply Now

Please send inquiries regarding the SMTD application process to To learn more about SMTD, sign up for an Information Session.


Andrew Bishop Chair, saxophone
Michael Gould drums
Robert Hurst bass
Andy Milne piano
Ellen Rowe piano
Edward W. Sarath
Dennis Wilson trombone

Associated Faculty
Marion Hayden bass
Mark Kirschenmann Creative Arts Orchestra
William Lucas trumpet
Miles Okazaki guitar
Brad Phillips
Martha Travers