College of Fine & Performing Arts

Academics

Programs of Study

The Music Department at Western is proud to offer an individualized education which is centered on a community of collaboration and support where all are welcome and encouraged to learn, explore and create in a positive nurturing environment. See below for frequently asked questions, and contact our Program Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor with any questions or concerns.

Degrees

We offer one general and four professional undergraduate programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in music. We also offer two minors that focus on general music and jazz studies. Students interested in the Jazz Studies minor must concurrently complete a major in music. The Arts Enterprise & Cultural Innovation minor is available to all students within the College of Fine and Performing Arts.  Please visit the University Catalog for more information.

Program Level Type of Degree Concentration/Focus
Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Music, General
Undergraduate Bachelor of Music Performance
Undergraduate Bachelor of Music Composition
Undergraduate Bachelor of Music Music Education P-12
Undergraduate Bachelor of Music History & Literature
Undergraduate Minor Music, General
Undergraduate Minor Jazz Studies
Graduate Master of Music Various Concentrations

General Information

Prerequisites

Unlike most programs at Western, there are no course prerequisites needed to begin a major or minor in music. Instead, students must complete an entrance audition on their primary instrument or voice as a prerequisite to all coursework and declaration. Students cannot enroll in core music courses without first being accepted to the program through an entrance audition. Please visit our University Catalog for more information regarding core music coursework and requirements. 

Auditions and Scholarships

Major and Minor

Entrance Auditions for music major and minor consideration are held each year on primary audition dates in January, February, and March. Students who complete an audition during our primary audition dates are automatically eligible for music scholarships. Students who request an audition after our primary audition dates are no longer eligible for scholarships and are considered on a space-available basis. Please visit our auditions page for further information regarding requirements and audition dates.

Non-Music Major/Minor

Non-Music Major/Minors are eligible for scholarships through the completion of an Entrance Audition during primary audition dates. Auditions requested after primary audition dates are for major and minor consideration only. A student who has missed our primary audition dates may complete an audition the following year for scholarship consideration. 

Waitlist Policy

The Department of Music reserved the right to prioritize students on any class waitlist based on graduation date or program. 

FAQ's

When should I request an audition?

Students may request a music audition regardless if they have completed a WWU application, or received their admissions decision by the WWU Admissions Office. Acceptance to the Music Department does not guarantee admission to the general university. Decisions related to general admissions are completed independently by the University and contingent on the completion of a WWU Application. 

Can I graduate faster with an AA/DTA?

Due to the sequential nature of the music curriculum, completing an AA or DTA will not accelerate your graduation timeline. An AA or DTA is beneficial to a music student by reducing quarterly course loads and general undergraduate university requirements. Students who complete the AP theory exam and/or complete courses in music theory, aural skills and class piano at another college or university are eligible for placement exams which may reduce core degree requirements, but does not guarantee accelerated degree completion. Students in BMus degree programs must meet benchmarks in private lessons that cannot be determined through previous coursework or placement exams. Please visit see the University Catalog for more information regarding each degree and its requirements. 

How do music credits transfer?

The Department of Music will accept credits for courses in music theory, aural skills, class piano, as well as ensembles, private lessons, general music survey courses. These courses will be transferred according to the admissions office guidelines and at the level in which it was earned. Courses in music theory, aural skills, and class piano will be initially accepted as a general XX equivalency until a placement exam has determined the correct course equivalency. Please visit see the placement exam information located under each music major in the University Catalog. 

Can I double major?

Students can double major with any music degree program. Students who are considering a double major should be aware that this can lead to large quarterly course loads, and a possible extension in the graduation timeline. We recommend the Bachelor of Arts in Music for those who wish to double major. This degree is structured around a core curriculum that takes approximately three years to complete. Along with half the credits required in comparison to the BMus, there are fewer quarterly requirements during the third year of the sequence and electives that can be completed online or during summer quarter. Students within the Department of Music have completed a double major in many STEM fields as well as Languages, Business, English, Theatre, Dance, and Design.

Can I study music theatre?

Musical theater falls under the Department of Theatre & Dance. Please visit their website for more information

Can I study production or audio technology?

Students interested in these subjects are encouraged to look at the Audio Technology, Music and Society Minor in the Fairhaven College. While BMus Composition students may elect to take a course in computer or electroacoustic music, this is not the primary focus of the degree program. 

 

two students playing music, viewed from behind, seated. One holds a flute.