For More Information

Senior Project Guidelines

Undergraduate Advising Head:

• May - August
Cheryl Nalbach

• September - April
Sarah Mead

Music Major Track Advisers:

History Track Adviser
Karen Desmond

Composition Track Adviser
Erin Gee

Cultural Studies Adviser
Judith Eissenberg

Performance Track Adviser (Instrumental)
Joshua Gordon

Performance Track Adviser (Vocal)
Robert Duff

Musical Theater Performance Track Adviser
Robert Duff

Major & Minor


For undergraduates, we offer a Bachelor of Arts degree with a broad-based major or minor in music that combines the study of history, theory, composition and performance. The undergraduate major provides a comprehensive music program that does not limit the student's career choice and options.

 The core program consists of the study of the theory (with associated labs that provide further training in the musicianship skills necessary for all musical endeavors) and history of Western music. Students may, if they wish, opt for additional study in one of the following 5 specialized areas (tracks) within the music major, or work with a faculty advisor to propose an alternate program in accordance with their own interests. Faculty advisors, including the Undergraduate Advising Head and individual track advisors, are listed on the right side bar. 

  • Composition: The track in composition develops skills in composition and analysis through courses in composition selected in consultation with the faculty advisor.
  • Cultural Studies: The track in cultural studies encourages students to develop an understanding of music of various traditions in their cultural and social contexts. Students in this interdisciplinary track select courses in cultural studies from offerings in the schools of creative arts, social sciences and humanities.
  • History: The track in history allows students to focus on the place of music in history through elective courses on historical topics chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to select these courses from related disciplines to focus on a particular time or place.
  • Performance: The track in performance, open to highly qualified students by audition, develops skill in performance through private study as well as through elective courses selected in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students also present junior and senior recitals.
  •  Musical Theater Performance: The track in musical theater performance, open to qualified students by audition, allows students with an interest in musical theater to pursue that dream. In addition to taking courses in the music department, musical theater students are encouraged to participate in musicals produced by the Theater Arts Department and to enroll in a mix of music and theater electives. Students also present junior and senior recitals. 

To be eligible for Honors in music, B.A. Music candidates must demonstrate superior ability through their overall record and a capacity for independent thought beyond the course requirements in the form of a Senior Project, such as a written thesis, original composition, or senior recital. Senior Project Guidelines are outlined here

How to Become a Major: Students wishing to major in music should arrange to meet with the undergraduate advising head, who will discuss the various options for majoring in music and assign them to a faculty advisor. Students who opt to focus their study by choosing a specific track within the major will be given information on how to apply. For certain tracks a writing sample, original composition, or audition is required. Before admission to the major, candidates will normally pass MUS 101a and b, with accompanying labs MUS 102a and b, preferably during the first year. 

The minor in music consists of six semester courses: one year of theory (with associated musicianship lab), two courses in music history and any additional upper-level departmental course.

To view the courses required for the B.A. and the individual tracks, see the Undergraduate Music Major Advising Sheet. For more information on the goals of the major, click here