Bachelor of Arts - Music, American Music Studies Option

This degree is offered with a major in Music, and is intended for students who are intrigued by the regional, racial, ethnic, sacred, secular, communal and cultural diversities represented in the music of the Americas. Students are strongly encouraged to formulate individual programs of study under the guidance of faculty mentors in the program. Interdisciplinary approaches, both within music and between music and other areas of study, serve as primary focus of the program.


Admission to the American Music Studies Program is competitive. Students must have a minimum grade of 3.0 in two of the following courses: MUSIC 160, 161, 162, 216, 250, 252, 131, or MUHST 212, a minimum grade of 2.0 in each Music course taken, a minimum 2.5 GPA to apply.  Admissions will be based on student transcripts, musical Interests, and statement of purpose, which should explain the direction of study the student wishes to take and indicate the desired outcome(s) in terms of specialized knowledge and skills, and possible career direction(s). If approved for entry into the program, the student will be assigned a faculty mentor, who will work systematically with the student for the duration of the student’s presence in the program, designing a course of study to suit the student’s needs and interests in accordance with the following general outline.

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 SkillsReasoning and Writing in Context, and Areas of Knowledge requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences (see below).  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.


  • Pre-Core
    • MUSIC 113: Beginning Ear Training (Autumn) (1 credit)
    • MUSIC 119: Theory (Autumn) (3 credits)
    • MUSIC 120: Survey of Music History (Winter, Spring) (5 credits)
  • Music Theory Core
    • MUSIC 201, 202: First-Year Theory I, II (Winter, Spring) (3,3) (6 credits)
    • MUSIC 204, 205: First-Year Ear Training I, II (Winter, Spring) (1,1) (2 credits)
    • MUSIC 203: First-Year Theory III (Autumn) (3) (3 credits)
    • MUSIC 206: First-Year Ear Training III (Autumn) (1) (1 credits)
  • American Music Studies Core
    • MUSIC 131: History of Jazz (Autumn) (5 credits)
    • MUSIC 250: World Music (Autumn) (3 credits)
    • MUHST 212: Introduction to the History of Western Music III (Spring) (3 credits)
    • MUSIC 498: Senior Capstone Project (5 credits)
  • American Music Studies Electives
    • One approved upper-level Music Theory/History elective to be selected from MUSIC 410, 442, 485; MUHST 425, and 426 (3 credits)
    • One approved upper-level Music History elective to be selected from MUHST 421, 422, 423, and 424 (3 credits)
    • One approved upper-level World/American Music elective to be selected from MUSIC 414, 415, 416, 417, 433, 440, 443, and 446 (3 credits)
    • Fourteen additional credits from any other courses on the approved list (14 credits)
  • Interdisciplinaery Electives
    • Fifteen credits of 300 to 400-level courses selected with faculty mentor such as: Anthropology; Art; History; English; Comparative Literature; Comparative History of Ideas; Sociology; Dance; Drama; Philosophy; American Ethnic Studies; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. (15 credits)
  • Ensemble Requirements
    • Participation in at least one School of Music instrumental or vocal ensemble is required during each quarter that the student is enrolled as an American Music Studies major. (6-12 credits)


Non-Music Coursework

  • Language Skills = 5 cr. English Composition; 5 cr. Foreign Language (third quarter)
  • Reasoning and Writing in Context = 5 cr. Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning; 10 cr. Writing course
  • Areas of Knowledge - 75 credits total (of which 15 cr. of major dept. prefix can count but not toward 90 non-Music)
  • VLPA* - Visual Literary and Performing Arts = 20 cr.; I&S - Individuals and Societies = 20 cr.; NW - Natural World = 20 cr.


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

Bachelor of Arts - Music, American Music Studies Option Degree Program Sheet