Music (B.A.)

Music (B.A.)
Students performing on stage at the Hanaway Theatre.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music provides you with a liberal arts education with heavy emphasis on musical study and performance.

Degree candidates choose an Option: Contract or Music Technology. Students in the Music Technology Option present a Music Technology Junior Project and a Music Technology Senior Project. Students in the Contract Option work with the Music faculty to tailor a course of study suited to your individual interests.

The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers the BS degree in Music Education and BA degrees in Music and Theatre Arts (for information on the options offered under each degree, please see the individual listings below). The Department also offers minors in Music and Theatre as well as coursework in these three areas that can be applied toward Interdisciplinary Studies majors.

Applicants to all Departmental majors or minors must meet the regular requirements for admission to the University and must also pass an audition/interview with Departmental faculty in their area. Prospective students should contact the Department Chair for audition/interview guidelines and scheduling. Students interested in auditioning for Departmental Talent Grants must do so on specific dates, as outlined in the audition/interview guidelines.

Several specific policies concerning academic work and degree requirements for Music, Music Education, and Theatre Arts majors are contained in the Music Student Handbook and Theatre Student Handbook, available online at the Department’s Web page. Students should carefully consult the handbook for their major area.

In addition to its academic degrees, the Department sponsors several groups that provide students from across campus with opportunities to perform. These include: Chamber Ensemble, Chamber Singers, University Chorale, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop (combos), The Music Theatre Company, Percussion Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, PSU Theatre, and Symphonic Band. Please contact the Department Office for information about audition requirements and credit-earning opportunities with these organizations.

Degree candidates are required to choose from one of the two options: Contract or Music Technology. The Contract Option allows students to design an individualized program of study based on their musical interests and instrument(s) of choice. Students in the Music Technology Option present a Music Technology Junior Project and a Music Technology Senior Project.


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Curriculum & Requirements

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives).

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
MU 1210Musicianship I4
MU 1220Musicianship II 14
MU 2105Introduction to Music Technology (TECO)4
MU 2210Musicianship III 23
MU 2225Arranging and Composition3
MU 3460Music In Context I - Music and Identity in the Americas (DICO)3
MU 3470Music In Context II - Philosophy and Music (GACO,WRCO)3
Quantitative Reasoning in the Discipline Connection
Complete one course from the following:3
MA 1500
Mathematics and the Humanities (QRCO)
MA 2300
Statistics I (QRCO)
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
MAMathematics Foundations3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 44-8
GACOForeign Language 56-8
INCPIntegrative Capstone4
Option Requirements
Complete one from the following required options:55-58
Music Technology
Total Credits120

Musicianship II (MU 1220) requires a minimum grade of C in Musicianship I (MU 1210).


Musicianship III (MU 2210) requires a minimum grade of C in Musicianship II (MU 1220).


Musicianship IV (MU 2220) requires a minimum grade of C in Musicianship III (MU 2210).


Directions should total 16-17 credits because CTDI is waived for BA Music, Contract Option and BA Music, Music Technology Option.


The foreign language requirement for all BA degrees calls for 0-8 credits: one year of one language (6-8 credits); or one 3000/4000 level world language course (3 credits); or being a native speaker of a language other than English (zero credit). American Sign Language I and II fulfill this requirement; however, American Sign Language does not satisfy the Global Awareness Connection.

Contract Option of BA Music

The Contract Option allows students to design an individualized program of study. A full-time member of the Music faculty and the Department Chair must approve the program of study in the Contract option.

Course Title Credits
ME/MUContract courses (not MEDI/MUDI) 16
ME/MU3000/4000 level Contract courses (not MEDI/MUDI) 16
MU 1150Piano Class I1
MU 1160Piano Class II 21
MUEnsembles (not MUDI)5
MUPerformance Studies (two enrollments each at the 1000, 2000, 3000 levels; not MUDI) 16
General Education
WECOWellness Connection3-4
Electives 27-28
Total Credits55-57

At least six credits of Contract courses must be 3000/4000 level and no more than four credits beyond those already required may be in Performance Studies.


Piano Class II (MU 1160) requires a minimum grade of C in Piano Class I (MU 1150).

Music Technology Option of BA Music

It is suggested that students enrolled in this Option include among their electives, computer and basic programming courses offered by the Computer Science and Technology Department.

Course Title Credits
Option Requirements
MU 1150Piano Class I1
MU 1160Piano Class II 11
MU 3105Recording and Mixing4
MU 3410Seminar in the Music Business3
MU 3990Music Technology Junior Project0.5
MU 4115Creating Music for Video4
MU 4215Advanced Studies in Music Production and Entrepreneurship4
MU 4270Composition (two enrollments)2
MU 4990Music Technology Senior Project1
MUEnsembles (not MUDI)6
MUPerformance Studies (two enrollments each at the 1000, 2000, 3000 levels; not MUDI)6
TH 3310Theatre Technology: Topics3
General Education
WECOWellness Connection3-4
Total Credits55-57

Piano Class II (MU 1160) requires a minimum grade of C in Piano Class I (MU 1150).

  1. Musical artistry in a variety of stylistic periods.  
  2. Competence in music theory, aural skills, technology, and formal structures of diverse styles.   
  3. Understanding of music history and an in-depth understanding of repertory for one’s own performing/creative area.  
  4. Ability to produce, and respond effectively to, constructive critiques on musical matters.  
  5. Competence to write well and speak articulately on music in individual or group situations.  
  6. Ability to find and make connections from musical concepts, ideas, and thought to a broad range of other intellectual and professional contexts 
  7. Ability to collaborate effectively and professionally in musical contexts

  • Arts administrator
  • Conductor/music director
  • Agent
  • Music teacher (classroom or private studio at a variety of levels; additional certification required for K-12 public school teaching)
  • Composer/creator
  • Performer
  • Producer
  • Promoter
  • Music scholar
  • Music therapist (with additional graduate training/certification)
  • Sound engineer

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