BA in Music

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music is for students who want to major in music while receiving a comprehensive, liberal arts education. Many undergraduate students combine musical study with another area of study through a double major or dual degree. The BA in Music offers excellent preparation for graduate work in music or for professional studies in other fields.

After completing the BA in Music, students are able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate technical and artistic proficiency on a primary performance medium (instrument or voice)
  • Contribute positively to musical ensembles of various sizes and types, and collaborate effectively with fellow ensemble members and ensemble directors
  • Demonstrate facility with the major concepts and techniques of tonal and post-tonal music theory and analysis
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major musicians, musical thinkers, musical styles, techniques, procedures, and cultural trends of all periods in the history of Western music
  • Draw on knowledge and skills in performance, music theory, music history, and/or music education to write a substantial critical assessment of musical works, concepts, and/or practices in the Western classical and/or popular traditions

Program Requirements

This program follows the arts and sciences general education requirements and university general education requirements

The Music BA requires that 43-51 of the total 120 credit units necessary for the degree be devoted to music study, with the remaining credits devoted to the SAGES and College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements, a possible minor program, and a liberal selection of elective courses. 

Music requirements include applied lessons, recital, and jury exams on a primary performance medium; participation in ensembles; courses in music theory, eurythmics, and music history; and upper-level elective in music history/analysis/education. 

Find detailed program requirements, course distribution, and a sample plan of study in the General Bulletin

SAGES Capstone for Music Majors and Departmental Honors

CWRU students participate in a SAGES Capstone project over one or two semesters, culminating in a final public presentation of their work in a university-wide celebration of scholarship and service. This is a self-designed project, which explores a subject of particular interest. It may take the form of a research paper, a presentation, a presentation with a performance component, a recording project, or any other format that demonstrates the student’s achievement.

Additional information about the SAGES Capstone for music majors and department honors can be found in the General Bulletin


The BA in Music requires submission of the Common Application with corresponding Music Arts Supplement (digital questionnaire and video audition) on an acceptable primary instrument or voice for entrance to the major. 

More information about the undergraduate admission and audition process is provided on the Undergraduate Application Procedures webpage.

Undergraduate Application Procedures

Music Handbook and Advising

Current undergraduate music majors should review departmental policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Music Handbook, and use the Advising Forms as a tool to track academic progress in all course requirements.

Additional resources and forms are available on the Resources for Current Undergraduate Music Majors webpage.