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Concordia University Irvine's Music Department Earns National Accreditation for First Time

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) today announced that its Music Department has received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), a nonprofit organization that establishes standards for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at conservatories, colleges, universities and schools nationwide. This marks the first time that the School of Music has earned national accreditation.

The accreditation process by the National Association of Schools of Music, which included a multi-year comprehensive self-study and campus visits by NASM Board members, found that Concordia’s Music Department is a valued member of a group of institutions nationwide dedicated to the highest standards of student education and artistic values.

“The NASM accreditation underscores our continual commitment to teach students exceptionally well in the context of Christian faith,” said Concordia University Irvine Provost Peter Senkbeil. “It also affirms that our faculty are at the forefront of higher education as teachers who empower students for lives of learning, service, and leadership.”

Academically, NASM-accredited institutions must offer classes in theory, history, leadership, collaboration, and musicianship. Faculty must be qualified by educational background and/or professional experience, and facilities and equipment must meet adequate standards for educational programs. According to the NASM visiting team, the Concordia’s Music Department exhibited strong leadership, while faculty, staff and students alike were dedicated to the mission of the university. Other NASM-accredited universities include Baylor University, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. NASM accreditation is valid for five years.

“Receiving NASM accreditation is a validation that students who study at Concordia are attending an institution that is committed to providing the best learning experience possible, one that will position them for success after graduation,” said Music Department Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Jeff Held, who led the accreditation effort with Music Department Chair Dr. Marin Jacobson. The Music Department, which serves about 250 students annually, offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with concentrations in church music, music education (pre-teacher certification), commercial music, composition, and performance. Performance ensembles include orchestras, jazz, choirs, worship, commercial music, handbell, and chamber music. Ensembles are open to students studying to be music professionals, as well as non-music majors who desire to perform for the joy of music. To learn about Concordia’s Music Department, visit

Accreditation comes on the heels of the opening of the Music Department’s new building, the Borland-Manske Center. Characterized by two connected wings—one housing the Music Department, and one housing the School of Theology and Philosophy, Christ College—the Borland-Manske Center is set to open this fall. The naming of the nearly 38,000 square foot building honors the contributions of Concordia’s first President Charles Manske, and the generous donation of alumna and Orange resident Caryn Borland ‘85 and her husband Michael Borland. The building will feature modernized classrooms, lecture halls, rehearsal halls, and recording facilities.


Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Lutheran Christian liberal arts four-year university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The university is part of the Concordia University System, the second largest education ministry system in the United States just behind the Catholic Church. The NCAA DII private university enrolls over 4,000 students annually.

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