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.
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.
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.
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 105||Theory I||4|
|MTHC 115||Theory II||4|
|MTHC 205||Theory III||4|
|MTHC 410||Tonal Forms||3|
|MTHC 541||Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint||3|
|MTHC 542||Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint||3|
|MTHC 432||Introduction to the Analysis Contemporary Music||3|
|MTHC 433||Advanced Analysis of Contemporary Music||3|
|MTHC 499||Senior Research Project||3-4|
|MTHC 674||Orchestration I||3|
|MTHC 676||Orchestration II||3|
|MTHC 678||Electro-Acoustic Composition I||3|
|Music Composition (4)|
|MTHC 253 Composition: 2 semesters each for 2 credits||4|
|MUSC 320||Music History I||3|
|MUSC 340||Music History II||3|
|MUSC 440||Music History III||3|
|MUSC 480||Music History IV||3|
|Music Courses (34)|
|Applied music lessons: 8 semesters for 2 credits each semester, plus senior recital||16|
|Piano, organ, and/or harpsichord (proficiency level of PIAN 288 and lessons)||8|
|COND 245||Conducting I||2|
|REC 100||Laboratory in Music Performance (4 semesters)||0|
|Ensemble: 8 semesters for credit each semester||8|
|Basic Courses (31)|
|ENGL 101||Composition (or any course that fulfills GE21)||3|
|ENGL 102||Critical Reading and Writing (or any course that fulfills GE21)||3|
|COMS 130||Speaker-Audience Communication (or any course that fulfills GE22)||3|
|MATH 101||College Algebra (or any course that fulfills GE12)||3|
|FREN, GERM or ITAL: 2 semesters of same language||10|
|Natual Science: any course that fulfills GE3N||3|
|Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S||3|
|Social/Ethics: any course that fulfills AE51 or AE52||3|
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 credits||6|
|MTHC 498||Undergraduate Recital||1|
|MTHC 680||Electro-Acoustic Composition II||3|
|MTHC or MUSC elective||2|
|ENGL 101||3||ENGL 102||3|
|MTHC 105||4||MTHC 115||4|
|PIAN 144 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)||1||MTHC 253 (Comp majors only)||2|
|REC 100||0||PIAN 148 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)||1|
|121 Studio lessons||1-2||REC 100||0|
|Ensemble||1||121 Studio lessons||1-2|
|FREN, GERM or ITAL (2 semesters same language)||5||Ensemble||1|
|FREN, GERM or ITAL (continue the same language)||5|
|COMS 130||3||MTHC 542||3|
|MTHC 205||4||MUSC 340||3|
|MUSC 320||3||MTHC 253 (If Comp PS, then swap into 583)||2|
|MTHC 253||2||PIAN 288 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)||2|
|PIAN 284 (Not required for pianists and organists in Comp)||2||REC 100||0|
|REC 100||0||221 Studio lessons||1-2|
|221 Studio lessons||1-2||Ensemble||1|
|MTHC 410||3||MTHC 433||3|
|MTHC 432||3||MUSC 480||3|
|MUSC 440||3||MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)||2|
|MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)||2||321 Studio lessons||1-2|
|321 Studio lessons||1-2||Ensemble||1|
|COND 245||2||Natural Science: any course that fulfills GE3N||3|
|MTHC 541||3||MTHC 676||3|
|MTHC 674||3||MTHC 680 (Comp majors only)||3|
|MTHC 678||3||MTHC 583 (Optional for comp majors only)||2|
|MTHC 583 (Comp majors only)||2||MTHC 498 (Comp majors only)||1|
|MTHC 499 (Theory majors only)||2||MTHC 499 (Theory majors only)||2|
|422 Studio lessons||1-2||422 Studio lessons/senior recital||1-2|
|Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S (Comp majors only)||3||Social Science: any course that fulfills GE3S (Theory majors only)||3|
|Social/Ethics: any course that fulfills AE51 or AE52||3|
|Total Hours: 130-138|