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Bachelor of Arts - Ethnomusicology

This degree is offered with a major in Music, and is intended for students who wish to emphasize general competence in music within the framework of a liberal arts education. Students must complete a minimum of 180 credits, of which 90 must be taken in departments other than the School of Music, including the Language Skills, Reasoning and Writing in Context, and Areas of Inquiry requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. Music majors are required to earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in each music course (core and elective) that is to count toward music degree requirements. A GPA of 2.5 in music is required for graduation. Learn More 

Admission to the Ethnomusicology Program requires an application, in part because it includes a capstone project with one-on-one faculty supervision. Applications are reviewed when received, and may be submitted at any time during Autumn, Winter, or Spring quarter.

Students interested in applying to the Ethnomusicology BA should send an email to the current chair of the Ethnomusicology Program with the following information:

  1. UW Transcript (may be unofficial) that demonstrates the following:

    • The student will have a minimum grade of 3.0 in either Music 251, 252, or another approved course in Ethnomusicology,
    • A minimum grade of 2.0 in each MUSIC course taken,
    • A minimum 2.5 GPA
  2. Statement of Purpose
    • The student will submit a statement of purpose (250-500 words in length) explaining their interest in Ethnomusicology and why the Ethnomusicology BA is a good major in which to pursue that interest. 
    • If a student has already developed a capstone project topic and/or faculty advisor, they may discuss that in the statement of purpose. This step is not required for a successful application.
  • Pre-Core
    • MUSIC 113 & 119: Beginning Ear Training (1), Theory (3) Autumn (9 credits)
  • Ethnomusicology Core
    • MUSIC 201, 204: First-Year Theory and Ear Training (3, 1) Winter (4 credits)
    • MUSIC 202, 205: First-Year Theory and Ear Training (3, 1) Spring (4 credits)
    • MUSIC 203, 206: First-Year Theory and Ear Training (3, 1) Autumn (4 credits)
    • MUSIC 251: Music Cultures of the World: The Americas (5 credits)
    • MUSIC 252: Music Cultures of the World (Near East, Central Asia, Far East, South and Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines) (5 credits)
    • MUSAP/MUEN 389: World Music (6-12 credits)
    • MUSIC 499: Independent Study (5 credits)
      • The capstone project will be planned in consultation with a faculty supervisor the student chooses to work with, pending that faculty member’s availability, and may take a variety of forms, including a research paper, a performance-oriented project, or other form.  


    • Ethnomusicology Electives
      • Three 400-level courses selected from: MUSIC 439, 440, 442, 428, 433, 445, 446, 480, or MUSED 452 (9-15 credits)
    • Sociocultural Anthropology Electives
      • One course selected from: ANTH 204, 208, 228 (3 credits)
    • Interdisciplinary Electives
      • Two 300- or 400-level courses selected from: Music (History, Theory, Education); Anthropology; History; Area Studies; English; Comparative Literature; Sociology; Dance; Drama; Philosophy; American Ethnic Studies; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (6-10 credits)


    Non-Music Coursework

    • Language Skills = 5 cr. English Composition; 5 cr. Foreign Language (third quarter)
    • Reasoning and Writing in Context = 5 cr. Reasoning; 10 cr. Writing course
    • Areas of Inquiry - 75 credits total (of which 15 cr. of major dept. prefix can count but not toward 90 non-Music)
    • A&H - Arts and Humanities = 20 cr.; SSc- Social Sciences = 20 cr.; NSc - Natural Sciences= 20 cr.


    See the Degree Program Sheet below for a checklist of course requirements.

    Bachelor of Arts - Ethnomusicology Degree Program Sheet (PDF) 

    See the Sample Course Sequence Sheets below for possible degree course plans

    Bachelor of Arts Ethnomusicology Sample 2 Year Course Sequence

    Bachelor of Arts Ethnomusicology Sample 4 Year Course Sequence