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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music

Flexibility: the B.A. degree 

At UCM Music, we know that you bring a wide variety of musical experiences to our campus. Our B.A. degree encourages diverse musical traditions, allowing you to chart your own unique musical pathway here on campus.

When you pursue a B.A. in Music, you enter a program that can be tailored to your interests and strengths. Like other music majors, in the B.A. you will take private lessons and perform in ensembles, and will also take courses in introductory music theory. The flexibility of the B.A. degree allows you to specialize in areas like music composition, music history, songwriting, theory, music technology, or to double major or minor in another program on campus like psychology or anthropology. You also have the ability to construct special combinations of the above. We want you to connect your music study to the other things that interest you, whether that is business, biology, film, or language studies. The B.A. in Music has you in mind.

Diversity: all music-making welcome

Many of you will bring experience in notated musical traditions like band, choir, and orchestra. We also welcome you if you do not read musical notation yet, but want to make that a part of what you do. If you make music in your garage, in your church, or in the online world, there is a place for you at UCM. We offer a rigorous academic and musical experience that will encourage you to develop the musical skills you already have and learn new ones as well!

Our faculty offer lessons on traditional acoustic instruments as well as technology-based instruments; in improvisational music like jazz as well as notated classical music; from technology-based performance practices like DJ and experimental electronic music, to techniques that work in nightclubs, the concert hall, and the Broadway stage. Students have a variety of ensembles to choose from, and collaboration happens all the time with our music students. In addition to wind ensembles, orchestra, choirs, there are jazz/rock ensembles, new technology ensembles, and more!

Creativity: career opportunities

The flexibility of the B.A. degree can lead you to many different career paths. Some of our recent B.A. students have pursued graduate degrees in musicology and music therapy. Others have worked in non-profit arts administration.

There are many possibilities for you to find a fulfilling career in music, from creative and entrepreneurial paths, and even to other fields using the artistry, creativity, scholarship, problem solving and critical thinking skills that music develops.


The B.A. in music requires core coursework in music history, ethnomusicology, music theory and aural training, music technology, composition, improvisation, applied lessons, and ensembles. In addition, you must complete foreign language study, which is required of all B.A. degrees at the university.

Beyond these core classes, the B.A. in music is flexible, as you design the remainder of your degree with your interests in mind.

Common pathways through the degree include a focus on music composition, musicology, music technology, or the sonic arts, but other pathways are also possible. The B.A. degree culminates in a capstone project that you design, which might be a portfolio of compositions, an album of recorded tracks, an in-depth historical research project, or a lecture recital. 

Core Requirements: 15 semester hours
MUS 1000 - Recital Attendance (0) (5 semesters)
MUS 1111 - Theory I (3) 
MUS 1112 - Theory II (3)
MUS 1121 - Aural Training I (1)
MUS 1122 - Aural Training II (1)
MUS 1225 - Music of the World’s Cultures GE (3)
MUS 1410 - Fundamentals of Music Technology I: Hardware (0.5)
MUS 1420 - Fundamentals of Music Technology I: Software (0.5)
MUS 3212 - Music of the Common Practice Era GE (3)
MUS 3213 - Music Since 1900 (3)
Major instrument or voice, 1000 level (4)
Chamber or Large ensemble (4)

Performance Elective: 7 semester hours
Select an additional seven credits from the following:

  • Major instrument or voice, 3000 level
  • Chamber or Large Ensemble

Note: B.A. students are required to pass the Sophomore Exam on their primary instrument.

Composition Elective: 3 semester hours
Select ONE of the following:

  • MUS 2141 Composition I (3)
  • MUS 4190 Electronic Music Composition (3)

Improvisation Elective: 2-3 semester hours
Select ONE of the following:

  • MUS 2180 Jazz Improvisation I (2)
  • MUS 3211 Early Music (3)

Capstone Course: 2 semester hours
Select ONE of the following:

  • MUS 4000 - Special Projects in Music (2) 
  • MUS 4060 - Senior Recital (2)
  • MUS 4430 - Seminar in Music Technology (2)

Music Electives: 13-14 semester hours
Note: MUS 1100 - Fundamentals of Music can be counted as an elective in this degree program.

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.


Dr. Allison Robbins
Associate Professor
Utt 221
Tel: (660) 543-8348


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