PROGRAM OVERVIEW Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree (Music) are prepared for graduate studies in music (particularly in musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, or music therapy) or interdisciplinary fields that emphasize musical knowledge or related skills (such as music criticism or library science). This degree is particularly well-suited for students wishing to pursue a double major in music and another field, for those interested in pursuing academic research in music, or for those looking for a wide-ranging liberal arts curriculum that emphasizes studies in music. The candidate must complete a minimum of 124 credit hours: 56 in music and 68 in the arts and sciences. The completion of a senior thesis on a topic in music of the candidate’s choice is required during the senior year.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music is not intended to be a substitute for any of the professional degrees offered by the Department of Music.

FACULTY The Music Department includes 17 full-time faculty, many with doctoral degrees. All full-time faculty are engaged in teaching classes from the introductory to advanced levels.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION Intensive experiences in music study and performance are required in order to be eligible for consideration. Students are selected for admission by the music faculty through an audition/interview process.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR 56 hours in music

  • An audition is required in the applied area.
  • The required two years of study in applied music must be in the same instrument/voice.
  • Eight semesters of Music 21 (recital attendance) are required in addition to all coursework.
  • Sixty-eight credit hours are to be taken in courses outside of music.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MINOR The minor in music is intended for students with musical skills who do not wish to pursue careers in music. This program does not satisfy the requirement for certification in a minor teaching area. The minimum requirement for the minor is 24 credit hours. Music history/ literature and music electives must be chosen in consultation with a designated music faculty advisor. An audition is required in the applied music area.

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES Because of the many electives available in this degree, the BA is ideal for students planning to pursue a second major in addition to music. BA students are also required to take a Junior Research Seminar (introducing them to basic issues in scholarly research and writing) and to complete a senior thesis on a subject of their choice.

CAREER OPTIONS Students intending to pursue musical academic fields in graduate school (e.g., musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory) would benefit from the BA’s emphasis on research and writing. In addition to careers in higher education, BA recipients are well-positioned for careers in music criticism and journalism, music librarianship, and other fields in the arts emphasizing research and writing skills.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES Bachelor of Arts students participate intensively in the opportunities provided by the Music Department, including professional music fraternities Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota.


  • Tarisa Matsumoto-Maxfield, FA'95 Instructor, Writing and Asian-American Studies, Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA.
  • Regan Kane, FA'97, violinist (Illuminati Quartet, Boulder and Greeley Philharmarnic Orchestras, Boulder Chamber Orchestra); co-founder, Flatirons Strings Academy, Boulder, CO.
  • Rebecca Cordes, FA'98, pianist, composer, and teacher, Carrollton, TX.


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