Cornell offers two majors leading to the degree of Bachelor of Music: a major in Performance and a major in Music Education. The first is designed to emphasize the study of music performance within the framework of the liberal arts and is the first step in the extensive professional preparation in performance that leads to a concert career or to teaching applied music in a college, university, conservatory, or private studio. The second generally leads to the profession of pre-collegiate school music teaching. For students interested in fields such as music therapy, music ministry, or community music, a major in Music Education is strongly recommended by some graduate schools and required by others.

General Requirements for the B.Mus. Degree

  1. A minimum of 31 course credits. No more than two 100-level courses may be taken in the senior year without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee. No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits (280/380, 289/389, 290/390, 297/397, 299/399) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. No more than two full credit in 500-level adjunct courses may be counted toward satisfying the minimum 31 credits.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  3. A minimum of eight course credits numbered in the 300s or 400s. No more than two All-College Independent Study course credits (380, 389, 390, 397, 399) may be counted toward satisfying this requirement. After a student has earned more than one course credit in the continuing study of the same instrument, he or she may count the additional credits toward the fulfillment of this requirement.
  4. A minimum of 10 courses from outside the music department, to include a writing-designated course (W) and three humanities courses (not counting the W course) from at least two of the following groupings: (1) English and Foreign Language; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Religion; (5) Art or Theatre; and (6) Education.
  5. Music Theory: MUS 110210310343, and 346.
  6. Music History: MUS 321322, and 323.
  7. One elective course credit in music history or theory, selected from MUS 213-275315, or 348-366.
  8. Receive a passing grade (P) in MUS 701 for a minimum of five semesters (see "Music Performance Seminar").
  9. A grade of "Pass" on all parts of the Piano Proficiency Requirement.
  10. At least one music ensemble each semester for eight semesters, as arranged by the student, the faculty advisor, and the ensemble conductor (see "Ensemble Participation").
  11. Completion of a senior capstone experience. There are three categories from which to choose: recital (MUS 798 or 799); student teaching; and paper/project (MUS 485). Students may choose more than one of these options. Students who plan to complete MUS 485 as their capstone must submit a description of the proposed project for departmental approval by October 1 of their senior year.
  12. One of the following majors:

    Major in Music Performance Students who intend to major in performance must audition before the Department of Music by the second semester of their sophomore year.

    1. Four course credits in a primary performance medium, either voice or a keyboard, string, percussion, or wind instrument.
    2. One course credit in piano, or another secondary performance medium selected in consultation with the department.
    3. MUS 302 or 304; and 306207 and 308 for voice majors; 303 for organ majors; or 307 for piano majors.
    4. MUS 798 (junior year) and 799 (senior year).
    5. ARA, FRE, GER, GRE, JPN, LAT, RUS, SPA 205 or equivalent.

    Major in Music Education (MUE)

    1. Three course credits in a primary performance medium, either voice or a keyboard, string, percussion, or wind instrument.
    2. One-and-one-half course credits in secondary performance media, to include MUS 703704705,706, and 708 or 774. The remaining 1/4 credit may be fulfilled by repeating one of these courses, or (with the approval of the department) by taking MUS 761.
    3. The following courses, according to emphasis within the major:
      1. General Music Education: MUS 207 and 308.
      2. Instrumental Music Education: at least one semester of MUS 712.
      3. Vocal Music Education: MUS 207 and 308.
    4. MUS 306331, and 431.
    5. In addition to the foregoing requirements, prospective teachers must also apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (preferably at the start of their sophomore year) and complete coursework for elementary certification and /or secondary certification as described under Education. Prospective teachers should request a current list of the specific course requirements from the Education Office.