Composite Major

Department Chair: Christopher Redfearn,, (701) 845-7377
Faculty Contact: Christopher Redfearn,, (701) 845-7377
Department Office: 113 Foss Hall, (701) 845-7272
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101

Music Major

The BA/BS major in music is designed to give students a flexible approach to their undergraduate study. In addition to the core classes required of all music majors, students use electives to craft a degree program to suit their interests. Students may elect to focus on performance, musicology, theory/composition, recording and production, or other areas. Each student will end their music studies with a capstone experience of their choice, such as a recital, thesis, composition, or production. Many music graduates work as professional performers, artists, and teachers. The BA/BS in music is also an effective pre-professional degree, serving as a gateway to graduate studies, law school, or medical school.

Practical Experience

There are many venues for students to share their performance abilities: Concert Choir, Concert Band, Orchestra, Athletic Band, Jazz Ensemble, University Singers, Quantum Brass, Woodwind Ensemble, and Opera Ensemble.

“My VCSU music degree has given me an excellent foundation for graduate school and the next step toward my professional career.” —Bridget Ertlet ’05, Oriska, N.D.

General Education Requirements 

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
Introductory College Physics I
Introductory College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Introduction to Psychology Lab (Corequisite: PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology) 1
Technology, Engineering, and Design
HPER 100Concepts of Fitness and Wellness2
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology 1
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Application required for entry into program: application form, audition, program plan. The student must achieve a grade of C or better in each of the specified courses.
Core Courses
MUS 109Music Theory I3
MUS 110Music Theory II3
MUS 121Aural Skills I1
MUS 122Aural Skills II1
MUS 200Music Convocation 10
MUS 201Music Theory III3
MUS 202Music Theory IV3
MUS 203Aural Skills III1
MUS 204Aural Skills IV1
MUS 205Basic Conducting2
MUS 301Scoring and Arranging2
MUS 331Music History & Literature I3
MUS 332Music History & Literature II3
MUS 491Music Recital Capstone0-1
or MUS 492 Music Academic Capstone
Music Ensembles
Select 4 credits from the following:4
Concert Choir
University Singers
Opera Ensemble
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Jazz Ensemble
Garage Band
Percussion Ensemble
Brass Ensemble
Woodwind Ensemble
100 Level Applied Music (2 semesters) 24
200 Level Applied Music (2 semesters) 24
MUS 111Class Piano I 31
MUS 112Class Piano II 31
Any MUS courses 412
Total Credits52-53

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 53 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs


For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.


Plan of Study

First Year
Applied Music2Applied Music2
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 120 (Gen Ed)3
MUS 1093Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3
MUS 1111MUS 1103
MUS 1211MUS 1121
Technology (Gen Ed)3MUS 1221
UNIV 1501 
 15 14
Second Year
Applied Music2Applied Music2
Ensemble1HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2
MUS 2013MUS 2023
MUS 2031MUS 2041
MUS 2111MUS 2052
MUS 3313MUS 2121
 MUS 3323
 14 15
Third Year
Applied Music2Applied Music2
Ensemble1Ensemble (Gen Ed)1
Mathematics (Gen Ed)3Lab Science (Gen Ed)4
Literacies (Gen Ed)3MUS 3012
 15 15
Fourth Year
Electives8Art and Music (Gen Ed)3
Ensemble (Gen Ed)1Electives9
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4Ensemble1
Social Science (Gen Ed)3Social Science (Gen Ed)3
 16 16
Total Credits 120

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.


Music Learning Outcomes

VCSU Music Majors will:

  1. Demonstrate competence in basic musicianship skills. (Musicianship)
  2. Develop requisite performance skills as a soloist and ensemble member, consistent with the objectives of their degree plan. (Performance)
  3. Interpret and analyze music from a variety of cultures and time periods. (Analysis)
  4. Demonstrate teaching skills consistent with the objectives of their degree plan. (Pedagogy)