Majoring in Music: Requirements

Required Courses

Music Majors must take the following courses:

1. MUS 105 and MUS 106 (the two prerequisite music theory courses)

2. MUS 205 and MUS 206 (a second complete year of music theory)

Students who place out of Music 105 and 106 begin their theory sequence with MUS 205 and 206 and take two additional theory electives.

3. Four 200-level courses in music history. 

4. Three electives at the 300- or 400-level. 

Music Majors who are also in the Program in Music Performance may use one performance course (e.g. MUS 213, MUS 214, MUS 219, MUS 298/299) as an elective.  

In rare cases and with permission from the instructor, students may count a 500-level graduate seminar towards this requirement. 

Cross-listed courses in which Music is not the sponsoring Department can be used as an elective only with the permission of the Departmental Representative.

In addition, in the junior year, Music Majors take a Junior Seminar with a final project, as designed by the Departmental Representative, which counts as the Fall Junior Paper*.  Independent work also includes a Spring Junior Paper and a Senior Thesis. The senior comprehensive exam, taken soon after Dean's Date, is the final requirement for the Major.

*Juniors who are participating in the Royal College of Music Program or spending the fall semester abroad submit a JP, either a paper or composition, at the end of the fall semester

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Junior & Senior Year Independent Work

Over the course of the junior and senior years, Majors will complete a series of independent projects. 


All majors must take the non-credit Junior Seminar in the Fall semester of their junior year. The goal of the seminar is to introduce students to the academic study of music from a variety of perspectives (with particular emphasis on the specialties of Music Department faculty); to familiarize students with basic research and compositional skills; and to explore topics and repertoire not considered in their course work. The final assignment for the Fall Junior Seminar is a research paper. 

In the Spring semester of the junior year, majors must complete a Junior Project, which will be either a research paper or composition.  


Seniors must complete a thesis (either a paper or a composition) as well as a comprehensive exam taken soon after Dean's Date in the senior year.

Performance for Music Majors

We urge our students to take an active part in performing music. Music Majors can involve themselves in performance study by taking vocal or instrumental lessons, the cost of which are completely covered by the Department of Music. It is recommended that prospective and current Majors without at least minimal keyboard skills study piano. Students can also gain exposure to performance by participating in one of the Departmental Ensembles