Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Music program develop excellence in music within the context of the liberal arts. Core courses in music are complemented by a range of electives outside music, including language study. BA students have a high degree of flexibility in choosing their electives, making this program perfect for students interested in a double major or careers in arts administration, music business, musicology, and music theory, among others. The BA is also suitable for students who wish to study music in college but learn a broad range of skills that can be transferred to careers or graduate study in other fields. For more information, read the BA in Music Student Guide or refer to the BA Music degree map.
In addition to applying for admission to the University, all candidates must audition to gain admission into the Department of Music. Audition requirements vary according to the student's primary instrument. Additional specific audition information, including this year’s audition dates, can be found on the Admissions & Auditions page.
One of the most exciting aspects of the BA in Music is the capstone project, typically undertaken in the final year of study. The only requirements for a capstone project are that it must be meaningfully related to your program of study (courses you have taken, activities you have been involved in), it must result in some kind of public “product” (typically a presentation, performance, or publication), and you must find an appropriate faculty member who is willing to mentor the project. Projects could include lecture-recitals, experimental or interdisciplinary performances, internships, analytical/historical/ethnomusicological studies, recording and producing an album, designing an arts business plan, and more.
BA students must submit a capstone project proposal by week 12 of their third-to-last semester of study, using the Capstone Proposal Form. It is strongly suggested that you begin discussions with an appropriate faculty mentor at the beginning of your junior year in order to be well-prepared for this proposal. In the second-to-last semester of study any changes to the proposal should again be submitted by week 12, using the same form. In the final semester of study, students should enroll in at least two credits of either MUSC 4920 (recital) or MUSC 4930 (other project). Capstone advisors will grade the project as appropriate.
BA vs BM
The primary difference between the BA and the BM is that the BM is a pre-professional degree, preparing students for careers in performance, education, or pedagogy, while the BA is a liberal arts degree, designed to develop broadly-educated musicians and citizens. In terms of course requirements, the most important differences are as follows:
- BA students must demonstrate competency in foreign language, typically by taking four semesters of a single foreign language (see other options).
- BA students have less requirements in private lessons, ensemble, music theory, aural skills, pedagogy, and literature, and more music electives and general electives.
- BA students must take at least one class in the department of Art and Design or the department of Theatre.
- BM students must do a senior recital; BA students may design their own capstone project.