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.

To enter the Music major, a student must have taken one semester of Music Theory (one of MUSC 103, 201, 202, or 210), one semester of historical or cultural study of Music (one of MUSC102, 106, 109, 110, 111 or 115), and one semester of music performance.  Music majors complete a total of three music courses in each of these three capabilities: Theory/Composition, History/Culture and Performance.  One additional music course or interdisciplinary elective in each capability is required. Two additional seminars (numbered 300 or above) bring the total number of course credits required for the major to 16.  The required Senior Project or Honors Thesis bring the total credit count for the major to 15 or 16.

Diversity of musical experience is a core value of the Music Department and is expected of all music majors.  Towards that goal, each major’s program of study must include at least two Music credits out of the major’s main area of interest. In addition, interdisciplinary electives may be drawn from any department or program in the University (including Music).  For an elective to be approved, it must clearly serve to develop the capability to which it is assigned. 

4 credits in Theory/Composition: 1 of MUSC 103, 201, 202,  and 210, plus 3 electives.
An AP theory credit on a student’s transcript reduces this requirement to 3 credits.

Credit distribution of a Majors' program of study

A Major’s program of study consists of four courses in each of the three capabilities (Theory/Composition, History/Culture, and Performance), two seminars for majors, and a capstone project taking the form of a senior project or honors thesis.  

   Prerequisites: 3 (These courses are required to be accepted into the major)
• Theory/Composition: one of MUSC 103, 201, 202, 210
   (MUSC 103 or passing the equivalent by exam is required of all majors.)
• History/Culture: one of MUSC102, 106, 109, 110, 111, 115
• Performance: any course in the performance of music with the exception of private lessons

   Major electives: 9
• Theory/Composition: 3 courses (numbered 201 - 240) One course may be an interdisiplinary elective.
• History/Culture: 3 (at least 2 courses numbered 241-299, and the last elective may be an FYS, another 100 or 200 numbered course, or one interdisciplinary elective.
• Performance: 3 courses (numbered 406 - 499) One course may be an interdisciplinary elective. At least 2 of these must be in an ensemble performance course and only 2 of the same course number may count.

   Major Seminars
• Seminar for Majors: 2 courses (numbered 300 or above)

• Senior Project (1 or 2 semesters) or Honors Thesis ( 2 semesters)