School of Music

Undergraduate Bulletin

School of Music




The School of Music of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts prepares students for professional careers. Our goal is twofold: to enable students to attain their highest musical aspirations and to meet the challenge of succeeding in a highly competitive profession. With this in mind, we have designed rigorous programs of study.

In its conservatory setting, UNCSA provides an artistic environment in which each student pursues personal musical development. But the School of Music is also a professional training ground in which the student actively and realistically prepares for the practical aspects of making a living as a musician.

Each student pursues a course of musical study with an outstanding artist-faculty. As professionals in their own areas, faculty members are committed to continuing their own careers while sharing a wealth of experience and knowledge with their students.

The School of Music offers two different programs of study: a four-year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Music degree and a two-year curriculum leading to the Undergraduate Arts Certificate in Music. Both the degree and the certificate are offered with concentrations in the following areas:

  • Brass (trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, and euphonium)
  • Composition
  • Guitar
  • Harp
  • Organ
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Strings (violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass)
  • Voice
  • Woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone)

Bachelor of Music (Four-year program) 
The Bachelor of Music program offers a student a thorough musical foundation coupled with the perspective of a liberal arts education. This mixture of music and liberal arts classes creates a well-rounded musician as well as one prepared for the demands of living in today's world. A student who may eventually choose to pursue graduate work in music should complete this course of study.

Undergraduate Arts Certificate in Music (Two-year program)
The Undergraduate Arts Certificate permits a student to concentrate entirely on musical studies in a rigorous yet flexible curriculum. The core of the certificate curriculum consists of applied work with an artist-faculty in the area of concentration, augmented by participation in ensembles as appropriate. The balance of the curriculum is flexible, reflecting the particular development and interests of the individual student, and draws from the music classroom courses offered in the degree program. These courses are chosen in consultation with the student's arts advisor and with the approval of the Associate Dean of the School of Music.

Career Development and Music Entrepreneurship Courses
To provide a student with entrepreneurial knowledge needed by a musician, all degree- seeking undergraduates take two semesters of Career Development Seminar. In addition to this required class, a student may choose from other courses to further enhance entrepreneurial skills and career preparedness, such as Digital Audio and Recording, Instrumental Conducting, Choral Conducting, Public Speaking, Writing for Your Profession, and Foundations of Finance. In addition, a percussion student has the opportunity to participate in a variety of internships specifically designed to provide hands-on experiences in areas of potential employment for freelance musicians. These include writing and arranging for college and public school marching bands, dance accompaniment, coordinating percussion activities in the public schools, and hand drumming in education, healthcare, and community settings.

Bachelor of Music

Undergraduate Arts Certificate



A. Admissions Requirements

Admission to all undergraduate programs in the School of Music is by application and audition. Specific information about application and audition requirements is available on the UNCSA website.

Applicants for the Bachelor of Music degree or the Undergraduate Arts Certificate must hold a high school diploma or GED. In addition, degree-seeking applicants must meet the Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) and Minimum Admission Requirements (MARs) of the University of North Carolina system. Specific information about MCRs and MARs, as well as TOEFL scores for international students, is available in the Office of Admissions section of the Bulletin.

To be admissible to any undergraduate program in the School of Music, applicants must possess the following essential qualifications:

  • Aural ability to discriminate discrete pitches;
  • Visual ability sufficient to read standard notated music;
  • Visual ability sufficient to recognize and interpret gestures of a conductor for concentrations requiring ensemble participation;
  • Fine motor skills sufficient to play a keyboard instrument regardless of area of concentration;
  • Ability to participate in group instruction.

B. Transfer Information

The School of Music accepts transfer credit for Music curriculum requirements from accredited undergraduate programs on a case-by-case basis. Only courses that have received a grade of ā€œCā€ or better will be considered, and transfer credit may not account for more than 50 percent of the degree. Transfer credit will be determined by the Associate Dean of the School of Music, be based upon evaluation of the student's transcript and/or UNCSA School of Music placement assessments in consultation with the appropriate faculty, and be approved by the Dean of the School of Music. To receive consideration for transfer credit, a student must make a formal request in writing to the Associate Dean of the School of Music.



A. Undergraduate Jury Requirements

Undergraduate students are expected to participate in all departmental juries.

B. Undergraduate Recital Requirements

Undergraduate students concentrating in performance are required to perform a full recital during the senior year. This capstone requirement is satisfied upon successful completion of both a juried recital hearing and the public performance of the same recital program. The recital hearing is the mechanism through which a student receives faculty approval to proceed with the public performance. This approval includes both the contents of the program as well as the student's preparation. The hearing is at least twenty minutes in length and occurs no less than three weeks before the public performance, with a minimum of two faculty members (recital hearing jury) present, including the major teacher. The hearing may include any portions of the recital program selected by the faculty in attendance. At the hearing, the student must provide a printed copy of the recital program containing titles, composers, and timings of pieces.

Written comments and a pass/fail grade for the recital hearing are given by each faculty member. A majority of the recital hearing jury must approve the recital hearing. In cases in which a majority of the faculty do not assign a passing grade, remediation for successful completion of the recital hearing is recommended and an appropriate timeline for a second hearing is established.

Undergraduate composition students are required to produce one recital of their works under the guidance of faculty in the composition department.

C. Minimum Grade Point Averages, Probation, and Non-Continuation

Students in the School of Music are expected to achieve and maintain certain minimum Grade Point Averages (GPAs). Failure to achieve and/or maintain these minimum GPAs results in placement on probation and ultimately in non-continuation in the program. Specific information about minimum GPA requirements, probation and non-continuation is available in the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin.