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The Music Major

Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Music offers comprehensive training in performance, theory, and history.  This core curriculum is intended to prepare all students for careers in professional music, teaching, or related fields. There are many opportunities for students to perform as soloists or in ensembles during their residency at CSUB.

Program Goals
  • Artistry in Performance: Develop student ability to work individually and collaboratively toward effective public performance.
  • Critical Thinking, Speaking, and Writing: Develop student ability to think, speak, and write critically about music.
  • Career-Oriented Knowledge: Prepare students to succeed in the varied field of music an din a professional environment broadly.

The requirements are flexible enough to allow each student to specialize or generalize as appropriate in two emphases: General Music and Music Education.

Semester System Requirements (Students beginning ON/AFTER Fall 2016)

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music

Students majoring in Music must complete the Core Curriculum and choose one of two Emphases (I: General Music or II: Music Education). Note: No course grade below a “C” in the major will be applicable or acceptable for fulfilling degree requirements.

Core Curriculum

1.   Music Theory (MUS 1410, 1411, 1420, 1421, 2410, 2411, 3410)

2.   Music Technology (MUS 1110)

3.   Music History and Literature (MUS 3500, 3510, 3520)

4.   Ensemble Performance

Participation in one of the following performing organizations during every term of residence after formal registration as a Music major: MUS 1200 or 3200, 1220 or 3220, 1230 or 3230, 1240 or 3240, 1250 or 3250, 2220 or 4220, 2230 or 4230.

Note: Other music ensembles may be substituted for the required ensembles above with the permission of the music faculty. Music majors are expected to attend three music program concerts each semester.

5.   Studio Instruction (Private Lessons)(MUS 1300, 2300, 3300, or 4300)

Students are required to enroll in studio instruction in voice or another instrument approved by the Music faculty during each semester of residence as a Music major, up to eight semesters. Students enrolled in culminating activities that do not involve music performance are exempt from the studio instruction requirement during the culminating activity year. Additional studio instruction in music composition is available but may not substitute for instruction in performance.

Note: All students enrolled in studio instruction must be concurrently enrolled in the appropriate major ensemble.

6.   Piano Proficiency

      Completion of MUS 2130 or examination performed before the faculty.

7.   Culminating Activity

      MUS 4908 and one of the following options: MUS 4910 or 4920 or 4930. 

Emphasis I: General Music

a.   Career Orientation

      MUS 2160

b.   Upper-Division Electives

Three courses selected from the following: MUS 3400, 3420, 3600, 4410, 4500, 4510, 4520, or 4770* (6 units total). *Only certain 4770 offerings are appropriate; students should consult their advisors for appropriate substitutions.


Emphasis II: Music Education

a.   Music Education—Breadth and Perspective

      MUS 2600, 3600, 4600, 4610, 4620, 4630, 4640

b.   Vocal Techniques and Instrumental Pedagogy

      MUS 1140, 1150, 2610, 2620, 2630, 2640. (Voice students only take all four instrumental pedagogy courses. Instrumentalists must take those instrumental courses outside their specialty, plus two voice classes.)

Requirements Under the Quarter System (Students Beginning PRIOR to Fall 2016)

Core Classes (65 Quarter Units)

All Music Majors (General emphasis and Education emphasis) must take the following core areas of study:

  • Theory (MUS 122, 152, 222)
  • Theory Skills (MUS 124, 154, 224)
  • Analysis (MUS 370)
  • History (MUS 341, 342, 343)
  • Performance Ensembles (Choir 251/451, Band 253/453, Orchestra 254/454, Jazz 256/456) 
  • Individual Instruction (MUS 123, 223, 323, 423)
  • Piano (MUS 132, 133, 134, 232, 233, 234)
  • Senior Project (490, 491, 492-494)

General Music Emphasis (38 Quarter Units)

Declared Music Majors choosing an emphasis in General Music, in addition to the core classes above, are required to take:

  • Music Technology (MUS 111)
  • Upper Division Electives*
  • Declare a Minor in an area outside of Music

* Upper Division students must take two (2) upper division courses in the areas of history and literature, conducting, and/or advanced theory.

Music Education Emphasis (59 Quarter Units)

Declared Music Majors who choose to go into the field of Music Education, in addition to the core classes above, must take:

  • Music Technology (MUS 211)
  • Conducting (MUS 325, 425)
  • Pedagogy
  • Singing Techniques (MUS 227, 228, 229)
  • Vocal and Instrumental Methods (MUS 405, 406, 410, 411)
  • Early Field Experiences in Music (MUS 257)
  • Music in the Elementary Schools (MUS 403 or 404)