Earn your BA in Music

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in music is designed for students who have strong abilities and interest in music but are not planning on careers as musicians, or for those who wish to pursue a double major or earn more than one bachelor's degree. Students must audition and be accepted into a performance area. They develop musicianship, performance skills, and select from a wide variety of music electives.

Students in many areas, from engineering and physics to history, art, and English, find that a BA in music is a good addition to their studies. Other students choose the BA to complement course work in business (especially the minor in business administration), foreign language and literature, or interdisciplinary fields such as American studies. Some students combine a BA in music with undergraduate preparation to study law or medicine.

Requirements and program planning

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The Bachelor of Arts with a major in music requires a minimum of 120 semster hours, including 42 to 47 semester hours of work for the major. Students must maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major.

BA students majoring in music may count a maximum of 56 semester hours earned in music courses toward their degree and they must earn at least 64 semester hours in course work outside of the School of Music in order to graduate. They also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program. Students must satisfy all requirements for graduation with a bachelor's degree.

Course Offerings

  • Musicianship & Theory I (MUS:1201)*, 4 semester hours
  • Musicianship & Theory II (MUS:1202), 4 semester hours
  • Group Instruction in Piano I (MUS:1211)**, 1 semester hour
  • Group Instruction in Piano II (MUS:1212)**, 1 semester hour
  • Recital Attendance (MUS:1210), 2 semester hours
  • Two of the following (6 semester hours):
    • History of Western Music I (MUS:2301), 3 semester hours
      • Also meets General Education Requirement: LVPA and HP
    • History of Western Music II (MUS:2302), 3 semester hours
      • Also meets General Education Requirement: LVPA and HP
    • Advanced Jazz History (MUS:4350), 3 semester hours

*Entering students who do not have Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credit should enroll in MUS:1201:0002, and take Placement Exam A, administered online in the summer before the start of the fall semester, to determine readiness for the sequence. Learn more about this process.

**Students will take a piano placement exam and may place out of one or both group piano classes based on their proficiency.

  • Musicianship & Theory III (MUS:2203), 4 semester hours
  • Musicianship & Theory IV (MUS:2204), 4 semester hours
  • History of Western Music I (MUS:2301), 3 semester hours
  • History of Western Music II (MUS:2302), 3 semester hours
  • World Music (MUS:1310), 3 semester hours
  • Music of Latin America and the Caribbean (MUS:2311), 3 semester hours
  • Techniques of Conducting (MUS:3625), 2 semester hours
  • Arranging for Band (MUS:3665), 2 semester hours
  • Counterpoint Before 1600 (MUS:4200), 3 semester hours
  • Jazz Theory (MUS:3750), 2 semester hours
  • Advanced Jazz History (MUS:4350), 3 semester hours
  • Jazz Composition and Arranging (MUS:4760), 2 semester hours
  • Transcription (MUS:4750), 2 semester hours

  • Lower level applied lessons (MUS:20--), 4 semester hours
  • Major ensemble (MUS:----), 4 semester hours
    • 4 semesters, may be substituted with approval
  • Performance electives, 6 semester hours
    • Lower or upper level applied music*, ensembles, or improvisation)

*A maximum of 6 semesters (12 semester hours) in lower-level applied instruction is allowed.

Choose from any music (MUS) courses, except those closed to music majors.

Note: These are the current requirements for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please consult the your advisor for the requirements you will be held to based on your entry year.
  • Communication and literacy
    • Rhetoric, 4 semester hours
    • Interpretation of Literature, 3 semester hours
    • World Language, 0 to 16 semester hours
  • Natural, qualitative, and social sciences
    • Natural Sciences, 7 semester hours
    • Quantitative or Formal Reasoning, 3 semester hours
    • Social Sciences, 3 semester hours
  • Culture, society, and the arts*
    • Diversity and Inclusion, 3 semester hours
    • Historical Perspectives, 3 semester hours
    • International and Global Issues, 3 semester hours
    • Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts, 3 semester hours
    • Values and Culture, 3 semester hours

*Music majors may use up to three music courses (MUS) toward completing the General Education Requirements.


Students may also choose to pursue a track within the Bachelor of Arts degree, to pursue particular interests or receive focused training.

Tracks are offered in the following areas:

All undergraduate enrollments require School of Music approval. Entering first-year and transfer students who plan to major in music must be accepted into a performance area through audition either in person or by recording before they register. All entering students, including transfer students, must complete a theory placement examination and a piano proficiency exam to determine appropriate placement in related courses.

Create your academic path

You'll find degree overviews, requirements, course lists, academic plans, and more to help you plan your education and explore your possibilities.

View General Catalog

Current course list

The MyUI Schedule displays registered courses for a particular session and is available to enrolled students. The list view includes course instructors, time and location, and features to drop courses or change sections.

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Practice and perform

Need to book a music room, request an accompanist, check out audition information, rent a locker, or use a recording studio? Visit the Music Callboard for all scheduling and policy information.