A total of 120 credit hours is required and is designed to further the student's knowledge, practice, and experience in music theory or music composition. To graduate, a student must earn a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all major courses and a minimum average of 2.0 in all course work.

Students will be studying with faculty members who are nationally and internationally recognized.  Courses in music theory and musicology are part of the exploration of music as are private instruction, ensemble and chamber music opportunities.  All students pursuing the B.M. degree will perform a senior recital on their primary instrument/voice.

With this degree, students can go on to pursue graduate studies in music, or create their own paths in music or music-related endeavors.

Ensemble Policy

In order to remain enrolled in studio instruction (lessons), all undergraduate (B.A. & B.M.) and M.M. students who enroll in any level of studio instruction (including nonmajor levels) in band and orchestral instruments must audition for and perform as assigned in a major instrumental ensemble1 each semester in which they are enrolled. For music majors, 1 ensemble taken for credit each semester is required for graduation. Exceptions to this policy are allowed on a case-by-case basis and only by the ensemble conductor in consultation with the faculty member in the studio area or the faculty advisor in music therapy as appropriate.

1

KU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, or Jazz Ensemble I.

Undergraduate Admission to the School of Music

First-year students should enter the school directly. Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and are eligible to return to the college or university last attended in addition to completing a successful audition. Other students can be admitted only with the permission of the dean. Send applications to the Office of Admissions. Visit the Office of International Recruitment and Undergraduate Admissions for information about international admissions.

Students who wish to major in music must audition. All music students academically approved for admission to the School of Music are admitted contingent upon demonstration by audition of satisfactory level proficiency in their areas of applied music. Music audition information and application forms are available online.  There is a limit of two times a prospective student may request an audition for entrance into one of the School's undergraduate degree programs.  The second request must be within 12 months of the first and may be as early as 1 month following the first audition.  The limitation also applies to students within the School auditioning from one program into another.

Transfer Students

Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), are eligible to return to the college or university last attended, and complete a successful audition. Only grades of C or higher are accepted in transfer credit toward degrees offered by the School of Music. Students who wish to transfer performance credit from another institution toward any music degree at KU must validate this credit by audition. Music audition information and application forms are available online.  There is a limit of two times a prospective student may request an audition for entrance into one of the School's undergraduate degree programs.  The second request must be within 12 months of the first and may be as early as 1 month following the first audition.  The limitation also applies to students within the School auditioning from one program into another.

Music Theory Placement

The music theory placement examination is required of all undergraduate transfer students who have not completed a 4-semester theory sequence with an accredited NASM school. It is administered as announced on the School of Music website each semester.

Music Theory and Composition

To graduate, the student must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in music theory and composition courses on both the first- and second-year and the junior/senior levels.

Students majoring in music theory (B.A. or B.M.) or music composition (B.M.) must complete MTHC 105, MTHC 115, and MTHC 205 before preparing a portfolio of their work for application to the professional sequence. The earliest a student may submit a portfolio is the fourth semester. Transfer students must be in residence for at least 1 semester before they can submit a portfolio.

This portfolio must include recent work (scholarly papers for music theory and musical compositions for composers), 2 letters of recommendation (1 from the student’s major instrument instructor and 1 from a MTHC professor who has had the student in a class), and a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in MTHC courses. The student may be asked to provide a demonstration of musicality on his or her major instrument.

Portfolios are accepted once each semester for admission to the professional sequence the following semester. The portfolio is assessed by the MTHC faculty with one of 3 recommendations: admit, revise and resubmit next semester, or denied. Students in music theory are not allowed to enroll in MTHC 499 Senior Research Project. Students in composition are not allowed to enroll in MTHC 583 Composition and MTHC 498 Undergraduate Recital without a favorable recommendation from the faculty.

B.M. Degree Requirements for the Music Theory Major

A minimum of 120 hours is required for the degree in Music Theory, distributed as follows:

Music Theory (39-40)
MTHC 105Theory I4
MTHC 115Theory II4
MTHC 205Theory III4
MTHC 410Tonal Forms3
MTHC 541Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint3
MTHC 542Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint3
MTHC 432Introduction to the Analysis Contemporary Music3
MTHC 433Advanced Analysis of Contemporary Music3
MTHC 499Senior Research Project3-4
MTHC 674Orchestration I3
MTHC 676Orchestration II3
MTHC 678Electro-Acoustic Composition I3
Music Composition (4)
MTHC 253 Composition: 2 semesters each for 2 credits4
Musicology (12)
MUSC 320Music History I3
MUSC 340Music History II3
MUSC 440Music History III3
MUSC 480Music History IV3
Music Courses (34)
Applied music lessons: 8 semesters for 2 credits each semester, plus senior recital16
Piano, organ, and/or harpsichord (proficiency level of PIAN 288 and lessons)8
COND 245Conducting I2
REC 100Laboratory in Music Performance (4 semesters)0
Ensemble: 8 semesters for credit each semester8
Basic Courses (31)
ENGL 101Composition (or any course that fulfills GE21)3
ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing (or any course that fulfills GE21)3
COMS 130Speaker-Audience Communication (or any course that fulfills GE22)3
MATH 101College Algebra (or any course that fulfills GE12)3
FREN, GERM or ITAL: 2 semesters of same language10
Natual Science: any course that fulfills GE3N3
Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S3
Social/Ethics: any course that fulfills AE51 or AE523
Total Hours120-121

B.M. Degree Requirements for the Composition Major

A total of 120 hours is required for the degree. Courses should be distributed as described for the major in music theory with the following exceptions:

  • Students with a major in composition must offer in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements a recital of approximately 45 minutes duration consisting of original works in various media. This is MTHC 498, listed below.
  • Pianists and organists take 16 credits of lessons and do not take the additional 8 credits of piano, organ and/or harpsichord lessons while all other instrumentalists or vocalists take only 8 credits of lessons and the additional 8 credits of piano, organ and/or harpsichord lessons.
  • MTHC 499 is not required.
Music Composition (12)
MTHC 583 Composition: 3 semesters each for 2 credits6
MTHC 498Undergraduate Recital1
MTHC 680Electro-Acoustic Composition II3
MTHC or MUSC elective2
Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 1013ENGL 1023
MTHC 1054MTHC 1154
PIAN 144 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)1MTHC 253 (Comp majors only)2
REC 1000PIAN 148 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)1
121 Studio lessons 1-2REC 1000
Ensemble1121 Studio lessons1-2
FREN, GERM or ITAL (2 semesters same language)5Ensemble1
 FREN, GERM or ITAL (continue the same language)5
 15-16 17-18
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
COMS 1303MTHC 5423
MTHC 2054MUSC 3403
MUSC 3203MTHC 253 (If Comp PS, then swap into 583)2
MTHC 2532PIAN 288 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)2
PIAN 284 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)2REC 1000
REC 1000221 Studio lessons1-2
221 Studio lessons1-2Ensemble1
Ensemble1MATH 1013
 16-17 15-16
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
MTHC 4103MTHC 4333
MTHC 4323MUSC 4803
MUSC 4403MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)2
MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)2321 Studio lessons1-2
321 Studio lessons1-2Ensemble1
Ensemble1PIAN/ORGN/HPCD lessons2
COND 2452Natural Science: any course that fulfills GE3N3
 15-16 15-16
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
MTHC 5413MTHC 6763
MTHC 6743MTHC 680 (Comp majors only)3
MTHC 6783MTHC 583 (Optional for comp majors only)2
MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)2MTHC 498 (Comp majors only)1
MTHC 499 (Theory majors only)2MTHC 499 (Theory majors only)2
422 Studio lessons1-2422 Studio lessons/senior recital1-2
Ensemble1Ensemble1
Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S (Comp majors only)3Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S (Theory majors only)3
 Social/Ethics: any course that fulfills AE51 or AE523
 18-19 19-20
Total Hours: 130-138