Major Requirements

A core curriculum is common for the first two years, with students pursuing a more focused course of study in the junior and senior years. For the senior capstone experience, all students complete a senior project in one of three formats: recital performance, composition, and/or music research. Declaring a music major by the sophomore year is strongly advised.

All majors and prospective majors are reviewed by the music faculty at the end of the fall semester of the sophomore year. Most students should be near the completion of core requirements at this time. Transfer students and those who decide to declare a music major after the sophomore year must consult the department chair.

The review involves a short performance in the student’s primary area of studio instruction, work samples in his or her primary area of interest (for students interested in composition, musicology, or ethnomusicology), and an interview about intended areas of focus in the junior and senior years. In this formal advising opportunity, the entire music faculty is available to help each student plan to fulfill upper-division degree requirements and complete the senior project.

A satisfactory sophomore review results in faculty approval of upper-division status as a music major and is a prerequisite for MUS 490 Senior Project.

Junior music majors must schedule a junior meeting with their advisor to complete the Junior Music Advising Form detailing their plans for and progress toward their senior project. Further advising for a student’s senior project is done individually to match students’ aims with departmental and national standards.

Enrollment in MUS 490 Senior Project requires completion of at least one semester of 300-level study in the chosen area of study. Majors are also required to complete the piano proficiency sequence before enrolling in MUS 490.

Credit Requirements

Prerequisites (may be waived by examination):

MUS 100    Music Theory Fundamentals  
MUS 150    Music Theory I

A minimum of 45 semester credits, distributed as follows:

  • Music Theory and Composition

MUS  200     Music Theory II
MUS  250     Music Theory III

  • Music History and Literature

MUS  162     History of Western Music  I
MUS  163     History of Western Music  II

  • Ethnomusicology/World Music

MUS  106     Workshops in World Music

  • Four semester credits of a single instrument or voice lessons.  Declared majors must enroll in studio instruction every semester on campus.
  • Six semester credits of ensemble participation chosen from the following list.  At least four of the six credits must be from Orchestra, Wind Symphony, or Choirs. 

MUP  111     Orchestra
MUP  112     Wind Symphony
MUP  113     Jazz Combos
MUP  115     Voces Auream Treble Chorus
MUP  116     Community Chorale
MUP  117     Cappella Nova
MUP  118     Vocal Performance Workshop                                                                                                MUP  121     Gamelan Ensemble
MUP  125     African Mbira Class
MUP  135     Percussion Ensemble
MUP  136     Ghanaian Drumming Ensemble
MUP  138     Beginning Africa Marimba Ensemble                                                                                    MUP  214     Guitar Ensemble                                                                                                                      MUP  215     Chamber Music Ensembles                                                                                                    MUP  293     Accompanying Class                                                                                                              

  • Eight semester credits of upper-division theory or composition chosen from: 

MUS  300     Music Theory IV: Contemporary
MUS  316     Jazz Theory
MUS  333     Seminar in Electronic Music
MUS  341     Orchestration
MUS  342     Counterpoint
MUS  346     Conducting
MUS  347     Advanced Conducting

  • Four semester credits of upper-division music history or ethnomusicology from:

MUS  301     Portland Music Scenes
MUS  307     Topics in Music
MUS  308     Topics in Music, Comparative and North American
MUS  361     Writing About Music

  • Four semester credits of Piano Proficiency (or exemption by placement exam). 
  • Satisfactory Sophomore Review.
  • Two semester credits in MUS 490 Senior Project.  Requirements by area of focus:

Composition: Preparation of professional-quality manuscripts. Recital of original musical works; graded by jury.

Ethnomusicology: Thesis in ethnomusicology; graded by committee.

Musicology: Thesis in musicology; graded by committee.

Performance: Recital on the major instrument; graded by jury.

Self-Designed Senior Project: Lecture/recital or other proposed project; graded by jury.