Music Department Undergraduate Program

Wesleyan undergraduate and graduate students enjoy the benefits of a rigorous and creative liberal arts university experience, marked by intimate individual and small group study, along with diverse offerings in musics from around the world found in very few of even the largest universities in the country. Numerous centers and programs at Wesleyan enrich the university's intellectual and cultural experience. Undergraduate and graduate alumni have attained international recognition as recording and concert artists, television film music producers, print and radio journalists, and music scholars and composers.

Bachelor of Arts in Music

Degree Requirements

In the Spring of their sophomore year, most Wesleyan undergraduates declare their majors. Candidates for the music major design their own program in consultation with an advisor on the Music faculty. In their senior year all music majors complete a Senior Project; some elect to do an Honors Thesis of larger scope. A total of 32 credits (most courses equal one credit) are required for the Bachelor's degree. Majors may count 16 Music credits towards the 32 credits required for a Wesleyan degree.

Music majors take four courses in each of three capabilities: Theory/Composition, History/Culture, and Performance. Two additional courses taken in the 300-level, Seminar for Music Majors, bring the total number of music credits to 14. The required Senior Project or Senior Honor's Project (Thesis) increases the music department credits applied toward graduation to 15 or 16, respectively. Majors who have completed a 1 credit senior project may count 1 additional Music credit to reach the maximum 16 Music credits towards graduation.  Music Prerequisites to the major are one year of music theory (MUSC 103, MUSC 201) or passing the equivalent by exam, one course in the History/Culture capability and one performance course (excluding private lessons) (Occasional courses taught by visiting faculty need to be approved by a department advising expert.). Diversity of musical experience is a core value of the Music Department and is expected of all music majors. To move toward this goal, at least two of the 14 music credits must be outside the student's main area of interest.

I. Credits by Capabilities Distribution

    4 credits in Theory/Composition: 103, 201, plus 2 electives (2 numbered 202-240)

       Only an AP theory credit on the Wesleyan Transcript reduces this number to 3.

    4 credits in History/Culture: 4 electives (2 or 3 numbered 241-299)

    4 credits in Performance: 4 electives (numbered 406-499). 

       At least 2 semesters of performance credits should be in performance ensembles

    2 credits of Seminar for Music Majors (numbered 300-310)

       14 TOTAL plus 1 credit Senior Project or 2 credit Honor's Project   

II. Credits by Prerequisites and Electives Distribution

   Prerequisites: 3
  • Theory/Composition: 103, 201
  • History/Culture: 1 elective (numbered 105-199)
   Major required courses: 2
  • Seminar for majors: 2 (numbered 300-310)
   Major electives: 9
  • Theory/Composition: 2 (numbered 202-240)
  • History/Culture: 3 (at least 2 numbered 241-299)
  • Performance: 4 (numbered 406-499) At least 2 semesters of performance credits should be in performance ensembles
   Senior Project (1 or 2 semesters)  or  Honors Project (2 semesters)