Degrees and Advising
All students interested in becoming a music major or minor must complete an Entrance & Scholarship Audition.
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.
Why Study Music?
- is a great way to expand your mind and develop skills that can transfer into other areas of your life.
- can lead to a fulfilling career in music or music-related field.
- can lead to a bachelor’s degree or music minor.
- can prepare you for graduate study inside or outside of music.
Unlike some degree programs at WWU we require an entrance audition as the prerequisite to enroll in major or minor coursework. Incoming freshman and transfer students who wish to major in music should plan to complete an audition before attending WWU. Please see the graduation timeline information below. Please visit the University Catalog for more information regarding core sequences and requirements.
The music minor is designed to take one year to complete. This will include sequential core coursework that must be completed within one full academic year. Incoming students can audition for the minor after their first year and still be on track for graduation.
Our general music degree, the Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A), is structured around sequential core coursework that takes approximately three years to complete. Incoming students can audition for entrance their second year at WWU and graduate within four years contingent on academic progress along with fulfilling total general graduation requirements.
The Bachelor of Music in Performance, Composition, and History & Literature degrees (BMus) are structured around sequential core coursework and upper-division requirements that takes approximately four years to complete. The BMus Education P-12 core coursework takes approximately four years to complete with the final quarter of student teaching and graduation between year four and year five. Incoming students interested in BMus degrees are strongly encouraged to begin their major coursework their first year at WWU. These students should plan to audition before enrolling at WWU and within the same academic year they complete their WWU admissions application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Earning an AA/DTA does not guarantee a student may graduate faster from any degree program. Students must complete all major and general graduation requirements to earn a degree from WWU which may not include courses previously completed at another institution. In addition, music majors meet technical and music benchmarks in private lessons that cannot be determined through previous academic coursework. Students who are eligible for course equivalency assessments offered to accepted music majors and minors may be able to graduate faster depending on the results.
Yes! The music department does not restrict students to solely major in music. Students majoring in music may complete another major in a different field, as well as complete multiple minors if they choose to do so. Students should be aware that scheduling conflicts are common when completing a double major. Students who decide to double major should plan to meet with each department advisor at least once a year to go over academic planning and coursework.
Within the music department students can complete multiple Bachelor of Music (BMus) concentrations, but these are not considered “double majors” as the degrees overlap by more than 50%. Students who complete multiple concentrations will be awarded one Bachelor of Music degree with multiple concentrations outlined in degree notes. Students cannot complete the Bachelor of Arts in Music along with a Bachelor of Music concentration.
We offer many music general university requirements (GURs) during summer sessions each year. We do not currently offer core music classes or ensembles during summer sessions.
Musical theater falls under the Department of Theatre & Dance. Please visit their website for more information.
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.
We directly accept transfer credits from ensembles, lessons, survey classes, and general music courses. A course equivalency assessment is required to determine the equivalency for music theory, aural skills (ear training), and keyboarding skills (class piano) courses. These assessments determine where a student places into our core sequences and may accelerate the graduation timelines listed above. Students eligible for assessments will have completed college courses in music theory, aural skills, keyboarding skills, and/or earned a 3 or higher on the AP Music Theory Exam. Assessments are given to students after being accepted via an Entrance & Scholarship Audition. Most incoming students will complete these assessments before their summer orientation sessions. Students who join mid-year will schedule assessments on an individual basis.
Eligible students can take course equivalency assessments to “test out” of core classes based on curriculum learned in college courses and AP Exams. Eligible students will have completed college courses in music theory, aural skills, keyboarding skills, and/or earned a 3 or higher on the AP Music Theory Exam. Assessments are given to students after being accepted via an Entrance & Scholarship Audition. Most incoming students will complete these assessments before their summer orientation sessions. Students who join mid-year will schedule assessments on an individual basis.
The Department of Music reserves the right to prioritize students on any class waitlist based on graduate date or program.