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Bachelor of Music in Music Theory

This degree is appropriate for those who wish to balance theoretical and applied approaches to the study of music. Elected courses range from developing musical craft, such as counterpoint, improvisation, and music composition, to aesthetics, music cognition, and music technology.

Pre-college Music Preparation

Extensive background in performance or composition, work in basic theory, and background in a keyboard instrument.

Admissions and Audition Requirements

Students must complete these requirements in addition to an audition on a principle instrument or voice following the guidelines listed elsewhere.

Applicants should have an extensive background in performance or composition, college coursework in music theory with no grades less than a "B," and a background in a keyboard instrument. Freshman applicants without college credits in music theory should not apply as a Music Theory major. School of Music, Theatre & Dance students should apply after completing the music theory core curriculum for their particular degrees.

All applicants should submit two or three examples of English writing and one of either of the following: an original composition or a musical analysis. Send these written materials to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Office of Admissions at least six (6) weeks before the desired audition date.

The audition day will include individual appointments for a keyboard harmony exam, a theory exam on part-writing and analysis, and an audition on your principal instrument or voice.


  • One semester of creative composition
  • Sixteen additional hours of music theory including Basic Theory at the Keyboard, Instrumentation and Orchestration, Analysis of 20th-Century Music, 18th-Century and/or Species Counterpoint
  • Completion of three years of piano or the equivalent by proficiency examination, when piano is other than the principal instrument
  • Music electives totaling eight hours taken in music theory, jazz, composition, musicology, or media and music technology
  • Thirty-two hours of non-music courses, including the University's two-semester English writing requirement, two terms in one foreign language, and electives involving at least two sequences of two courses each in a department or area
  • Electives to complete a total of 120 hours

Information on Dual Degree Programs

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