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Music, BA

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music

Would you like to earn a Music degree that’s tailored to your passions and strengths? The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Arts in Music allows you to compose your own pathway to a music career no matter what your background is. We take an interdisciplinary approach to our Music major, so you can specialize in an area that interests you.

Curiosity and creativity define this Music degree

UCM Music faculty work closely with all students majoring in Music and can help you design a customized undergraduate course of study in the Music BA program. This flexible approach means you can choose the courses that are most appropriate for your future career field, whether you want to be an ethnomusicologist, anthropologist, music therapist, historian, music producer, arts administrator or something entirely different.


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Allison Robbins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Music
Grinstead 126A
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-8348

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Visual and Performing Arts


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Diverse student ensembles and bands

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Interdisciplinary studies encouraged

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NASM-accredited program since 1947

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Internationally renowned faculty

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Self-designed capstone projects

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Close to exciting Kansas City arts scene

What you will study

When you major in Music at the University of Central Missouri, you’ll study music history, music theory and aural training, music technology, composition and improvisation. In addition to these core curriculum classes, students majoring in Music take private lessons and enjoy many opportunities to perform in our ensembles.

Depending on your interests and career goals, you can focus on study areas such as music composition, music history or theory or music technology. Some of the undergraduate courses you could take while you major in Music at UCM include:

  • Music of the World’s Cultures
  • Fundamentals of Music Technology (Hardware, Software)
  • Jazz Improvisation
  • Early Music

Since all undergraduate students complete at least two semesters in a foreign language of their choice, your BA in Music degree can open doors to a more global approach to a career in music.


Excellence in Music

  • The University of Central Missouri has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1947.
  • UCM is one of the largest music schools in the state of Missouri, with 19 full-time and 12 adjunct faculty and about 200 Music majors.
  • UCM owns the Essig Instrument Collection, one of the country’s larger collections of historical instruments. Artifacts are displayed in the Utt Music Building. 
  • UCM was one of the first universities in Missouri to be designated an All-Steinway School. It is also a Conn-Selmer school, with a large collection of high-quality instruments from the premier company.
  • Top 15%: Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • One of the Most Focused Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 8%: Most Popular Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Popular Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Music (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in music

One-on-one advising sessions with your faculty advisor and real-world experiences will help you forge a clear career pathway with your undergraduate Music degree:

  • Flexible electives: Students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Music benefit from a liberal arts approach to their college education. The flexibility of pursuing a BA in Music degree allows you to connect a broad range of fields while majoring in Music. You may, for example, add a minor or double-major in Anthropology, Business, Psychology or Biology, among others. 
  • Capstone project: Design your own capstone project with faculty guidance. Past special projects have included creating a portfolio of compositions, recording an album of music tracks, conducting an in-depth historical research study, performing a lecture recital and creating advanced work in music technology and audio production.
  • UCM ensembles and student organizations: A wide range of music ensembles is available to students who major in Music. You can also join UCM student chapters of music sororities and fraternities, nationally recognized music associations for educators, the international Audio Engineering Society and other vibrant on-campus organizations. You’ll gain real-world experience in composing, recording and performing music, and join music-oriented professional networks.


What can you do with a Music degree from UCM?

The advantage of UCM’s Bachelor of Arts in Music degree is its flexibility, which lays a broad creative foundation for pursuing a music career.

Students majoring in Music may choose to become researchers who study cultures around the world and use technology tools to record musical instruments and customs. If you want to be a songwriter, a Music major coupled with courses in creative writing or theatre could lead to a career as a lyricist or music director. If you take electives in business or sound design, you might work for a company that creates commercial advertising or tours with Broadway plays. You could combine your love of music with a career in video game development or film production as a music soundtrack composer or producer. The career possibilities after majoring in Music are seemingly endless.

Wide-ranging career paths for BA degrees in Music

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about the potential salaries and career pathways available when you earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from UCM.




Financial assistance options for your undergraduate Music degree

The University of Central Missouri has a variety of resources to help finance your college education and keep your college costs and student debt low.

Beyond general university awards and scholarships, UCM offers numerous scholarships for students earning degrees in Music, including:

  • Music Merit scholarships
  • More than 50 endowed scholarships managed by the UCM Foundation
  • Music Service awards

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships using the UCM Scholarship Finder.

UCM Service awards

Students earning degrees in Music may also qualify for UCM Service awards. These awards recognize students playing in the Service Jazz Combo, the String Quartet or the Marching Mules, as well as those who tutor other music students or provide other music services to the university.


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Take your degree further.

Continue your studies at UCM with a master’s program in Music, teaching certification or another related field:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Adding a minor to your major in Music can expand your creative career possibilities:

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Explore programs related to music.

Consider these other undergraduate programs at UCM if you’re not certain what you’d like to major in — or if you plan to combine musical studies with another field: 


How to Get Started

If you are interested in pursuing a B.A. in music you will need to complete the following three items.

1) After you have completed your application to UCM, then apply to UCM Music.

2) Fundamentals of Music Examination

  • This online multiple-choice test will help us at UCM Music to find the best place for you to start your music theory studies, from beginner to advanced.

3) Your Audition

  • If you are interested in music scholarship opportunities, it is recommended that you audition on or before the UCM Music Scholarship Audition days held each year in February.
  • You are encouraged to audition in advance, but arrangements can be made to have the audition take place after you start your studies here and have worked with your applied lesson instructor. If you choose this option, the audition must happen before the end of your second year, or before you have completed 50 percent of the degree requirements.
  • For the audition, we ask that you prepare a piece that best demonstrates your own musical ability and interests.
  • We are open to a wide variety of musical styles. (We really mean this!)
  • Possibilities include (but are not limited to) music played from memory, from written notation, improvisations, or your own composition in a style or genre of your choosing.
  • You can audition with a traditional instrument, your voice, or music that you produce and perform using technology such as laptop computer, keyboard, DJ style grid controller, modular synthesizer, electric guitar with effects, and more.
  • The audition will also include a conversation about your musical background, experience, and interests.
  • If needed, an accompanist can be made available for your audition, provided you request one well in advance and bring clear printed music to the audition.


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