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The Music Major

The Department of Music offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in music. Students may emphasize either Western art music or jazz. The music major prepares students for graduate work in music, or for a lifetime of musical participation, usually while pursuing a career in another field. Students planning on a career in music education must take two years beyond the BA at another institution in order to receive certification.

Students take classes in music theory, musicianship, music history, world music, and performance, in addition to the University's general education requirements in other fields. They participate in performance through private lessons, and in ensembles where they learn while making music with others in both formal and informal situations.

Students are taught by a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and composers, and by a distinguished performance faculty devoted to the students' growth as musicians.

The requirements for the major may be seen under the Required Course Checklist (PDF).

Students contemplating a music major or minor should meet with the director of undergraduate studies and take the Theory Placement Exam in their freshman year. Ideally, they will do this in time to take Preparation for Music Theory in the fall of their freshman year if necessary. The Theory Placement Exam is given in the School of Arts and Sciences Advising Center, Thackeray Hall.

The Music Minor

For students whose main educational goals lie outside of music but who want to continue their musical education, we offer a minor in music. The requirements for the music minor may be seen at the Required Course Checklist (PDF).

Double Majors

A large percentage of our music majors are double majors, majoring in both music and another subject. Recent double majors have included music and mathematics, physics, business, philosophy, microbiology, history, English literature, and computer engineering. There have even been occasional triple majors in the department. Successfully completing a double major requires careful planning by the student and the student's advisors in both departments. Potential double majors are urged to meet with the director of undergraduate studies as soon as possible in order to map out a program that will meet the requirements of both fields.

More Information


Course descriptions for the School of Arts and Sciences are now available online.

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