Jackson defended his undergraduate thesis "Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers" on April 10, 2013.
Jackson received his Master of Music in Music History and Literature from the University of Louisville in May 2019 following the completion of his thesis, "Liminal Aesthetics: Perspectives on Harmony and Timbre in the Music of Olivier Messiaen, Tristan Murail, and Kaija Saariaho." His thesis advisor was Dr. Caroline Ehman with whom he had previously completed a directed study on spectral music; Drs. Devin Burke and Rebecca Jemian also served on his thesis committee. While in Louisville, he has been awarded the Gerhard Herz Music History Scholarship, presented his research at three musicology conferences, and worked in the Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library with the special collection items of the Grawemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music. Together with his continuing activities as Director of Scholarship of the Sugarmill Music Festival, these experiences at the University of Louisville have given Jackson an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge.
Previously Jackson studied music history at the Louisiana Scholars' College—Louisiana's designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. In May 2013, he graduated summa cum laude from the Scholars' College, receiving a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts with a dual concentration in Humanities & Social Thought and Fine & Performing Arts. The completion of Jackson's undergraduate thesis "Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers" marked a major highlight in Jackson's burgeoning academic career. With the guidance of thesis advisors Drs. Jay Means and Mary de Ville, Jackson completed and defended this 75-page study which considers how composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, and Sofia Gubaidulina utilized their devotion to the music of J. S. Bach to combat the oppressive policy of Socialist Realism.