BA in Music

Students who enter the BA in Music track come from diverse musical backgrounds, but along the way they developed an interest in, and passion for, composition, theory or the history of music. The first year of study primarily focuses on elevating a student's existing knowledge of music fundamentals (history and theory), which provides a strong foundation for all 300- and 400-level courses, independent study projects and one-on-one mentoring with faculty advisors. Our undergraduate majors regularly go on to graduate school at other prestigious universities, later building careers as leading researchers, scholars and educators in their disciplines. 

Most undergraduate students eventually choose to specialize in one of the following areas of study:

Composition: BA Students may participate in composition seminars in their first year, provided they demonstrate an acceptable level of music theory knowledge and have already begun to build a portfolio. (Participation is granted on a case-by-case basis.) Once a student has completed a composition seminar, they may submit a portfolio of work for approval for individual composition lessons. Students may submit works they developed in the seminar or independently. 

Music Theory: In the first two years of study, all music students complete a four-semester music theory sequence. During this time, students make the decision about whether or not to specialize in music theory. Students who choose to specialize will work with a dedicated cohort of distinguished theory faculty who are committed to sharing their knowledge and experience. 

Music History: In the second, third and fourth years of study, all music students complete a two-semester music history survey sequence and three 300-400 upper division music history courses. During this time, students make the decision about whether or not to specialize in music history. The music history faculty represent dynamic, active researchers and writers committed to sharing their knowledge and experience. 

BA students who wish to continue applied music study on their instrument may audition for non-major or fee-based lessons.

Jump To:

Application Requirements

Applicants for the BA in Music must first submit an application, solicit two Letters of Recommendation and audition (if instrument or voice lessons will be a part of the degree program).

The following is the approved normal course of study for students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. In all cases a student's particular program should be determined in consultation with his or her academic advisor. There are 52-58 total required credit hours in music for this degree.

Course Requirements

  • MUS 105 Elementary Harmony and Counterpoint I
  • MUS 106 Elementary Harmony and Counterpoint II
  • MUS 211 Intermediate Harmony and Counterpoint I
  • MUS 212 Intermediate Harmony and Counterpoint II
  • MUS 213 Music History Survey I
  • MUS 214 Music History Survey II
  • Two upper-level courses in music history chosen from MUS 341, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, or 414
  • Minimum of two semesters of any ensemble (300-400 level)

Music Electives

Four courses chosen from:

  • MUS 220 On the Edge Performance (Up to 2 semesters)
  • MUS 305 Counterpoint 16th Century
  • MUS 341 History of Jazz I
  • MUS 401 Intro to Electronic Mus 1
  • MUS 402 Intro to Electronic Mus 2
  • MUS 407 SEM Composition Seminar
  • MUS 407 TUT Applied Composition Lessons
  • MUS 408 The Principal Genres of Music
  • MUS 409 Music of the Middle Ages
  • MUS 410 Music of the Renaissance
  • MUS 411 Music of the Baroque Era
  • MUS 412 Music of the Classical Period
  • MUS 413 Music of the Romantic Period
  • MUS 414 Music of the 20th Century
  • MUS 416 Counterpoint 18th Century
  • MUS 437 Analysis of Tonal Music
  • MUS 438 Analysis of 20th-Century Music
  • MUS 459-498 Applied Music (Up to 2 semesters of instrumental or vocal study)

Foreign Language Requirement (16 credits)

  • Proficiency in a foreign language through the second semester of the second year or its equivalent, to be demonstrated through classroom courses or through alternatives outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog. S/U grading may not be selected for courses taken to fulfill this requirement.