Major Requirements

As a music major you will choose an emphasis in performance, theory and composition, conducting, church music, or music history. In addition to foundational courses, students choose further coursework appropriate to their area of emphasis and give evidence of their developing expertise through a senior project, presentation, or recital.

Entry into the Major

Students should apply for admission into the degree program at the end of their third semester. Acceptance into the music degree programs requires a minimum 2.8 GPA in the music coursework of the first two years, and three semesters of ensemble and applied music.

Core Requirements

Required lower division courses:

Required upper division courses:

Five of the following:

Additional core requirements:

  • Eight credits of applied music (private lessons)
  • Eight credits of ensemble music


Students must take one of the following:

Areas of Emphasis

Students who major in music will choose an emphasis which will guide and shape their course of study.

Church Music
Students will demonstrate an appreciation of the unique musical heritage of the Lutheran Church, and development of a sense of responsibility towards the further cultivation of that heritage through ongoing study, composition and performance.

Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate musical direction through the gestures and manners of the accepted conducting techniques. They will also exhibit a technical grasp of the various challenges unique to choral and instrumental conducting.

Music History
Students will demonstrate visual, aural and factual knowledge about the art music of the Western Civilization and the cultural heritage of music from around the world through identification of form, era, composer, and genre, and will be able to present written explorations of musical topics or live performances of musical creations. Students will acquire a competence in the use of analog as well as digital resources for research into musical history and literature.

Students will demonstrate the technique necessary to perform on their primary instrument; the ability to perform a representative repertoire of the major musical periods; develop fluency in their instrument with the ability to convey appropriate nuance, dynamic range, tempi, language and stylistic conventions; attain a working knowledge of the repertoire; give a convincing performance; display ability to work in small ensembles as well as solo performing; develop the ability to study a composition according to both theoretical and historical elements for performance; structure efficient practice/rehearsal time; display skills necessary to present themselves in various performance settings.

Students will present a junior recital and a senior capstone recital.

Students will successfully complete at least 13 credits of applied music in their primary performance medium (students will register for MUSC 290 in their second semester and continue with hour-long weekly lessons for the next six semesters).

Select one primary performance medium noted below and complete the defined coursework.
The following coursework is required:




Theory and Composition
Students will be able to analyze a given piece of music from any historical period in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, timbre, and notation, and explain how its characteristics are typical or atypical of the period in which it was composed. Students will be able to compose music that demonstrates their understanding of traditional approaches to music theory. Advanced student composers will also be able to use their own unique compositional style to create new, forward-looking works of art.