The Bachelor of Music (BM) degree is a program of 123-143 hours that may be earned with a major in Performance (brass, classical guitar, percussion, piano, strings, voice, or woodwinds), Music History, Music Theory, or Composition. It is designed for the student who intends to pursue a career as a composer, performer, or college teacher, as well as the student who plans to enter graduate school to pursue further study in one of these areas.
Non-Music Course Requirements: 36-50 credit hours, including Arts & Science Foundation Requirements, which fulfill MU General Education requirements.
It may be possible to test out of certain non-music requirements or be excused on the basis of Advance Placement or Dual Enrollment credit (see “Advance Standing Options” in the Undergraduate Catalog). All non-music transfer credit is approved and evaluated by the Office of Admissions.
English 1000 (prerequisite to all Writing Intensive Courses).
2 MU “Writing Intensive” (WI) courses with a grade of C or higher; at least one must be in music.
Foreign Language (varies according to degree track):
For piano, music theory, composition, and brass: 12-13 hours of French, Italian, or German
For strings: 12-13 hours of French, Italian, German, or Spanish.
For music history: 10 hours of German and 5-6 hours of a second language, approved by the advisor (15-16 hours total).
For vocal performance: Elementary German I (5 hours), Elementary French I (5 hours), and Elementary Italian I (6 hours); and one additional course in German (5 hours), French (5 hours), or Italian (6 hours) (21-22 hours total). In addition, one hour each in Italian, French, and German diction (music courses; 3 hours total).
For woodwinds and percussion, 12-13 hours in any foreign language.
Completion through level IV of a single language in high school fulfills this requirement if the language is correct for the degree track.
Breadth of Study
Physical and Biological Sciences, and Math: 9 hours, including one course with a laboratory, distributed between at least two subjects
Social/Behavioral Sciences: 9 hours distributed between at least two subjects (and at least one course each in both Social and Behavioral). The State of Missouri requirement for one course in American History or Government may be counted toward this 9-hour requirement.
Fine Arts/Humanities: 0 required for BM students.
For list of specific departments and courses that fulfill Breadth of Study requirements, click here.
Depth of Study
Students must complete three credits numbered 2000 or higher in the breadth of study.
“3000-level” Requirement (for all Arts & Science degrees): A minimum of 30 hours of courses numbered 3000 or higher must be taken, including courses in the major area. This requirement may be fulfilled by music courses with careful planning. Some students may need to take an additional upper-level course in another subject area.
The different Bachelor of Music degree programs have varying numbers of elective hours (see the Sample Degree Plans below). Electives are to be academic courses except that up to half the elective credits may be earned in chamber music or ensemble participation outside the principal performance area (e.g., a woodwind major singing in a choir or a vocal major playing in a band). Students may enroll in courses taught in other divisions of the University, provided that they have the approval of their advisor.
Students pursuing the BM in music history must include, among their eleven elective credits, six credits of art or literature: either History of Western Art I and II (6 credits), or two courses (6 credits) from the following list: Introduction to Art, Appreciation of Art, Introduction to Film (1945-present), an introductory course in literature, or an introductory course in creative arts. See the Music History Area Coordinator for more information.
Music Requirements (73-90 credit-hours)
Detailed information on the music requirements for each BM degree program offered through the School of Music can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
A Graduation Plan must be submitted to College of Arts & Science during the semester in which the student passes the 60-credit-hour threshold (normally during the sophomore year) in order to register for subsequent semesters. The Plan must be signed by the student’s advisor and the Associate Director, and then presented, along with two photocopies, to the Arts & Science Advising Office (107 Lowry Hall). Completion of this form is intended to insure that the student has a clear plan of study, including all college and school requirements, before the beginning of the junior year.
APPLIED STUDY (Studio Instruction). All BM students are required to take both lower-level (2455) and upper-level (3455 or 4455) Studio Instruction (see the Sample Degree Plans). Students must pass an upper-level barrier exam before being allowed to enroll in 3455 or 4455. This exam is administered by the applied faculty, normally at the end of the Sophomore Year.
REQUIRED DEGREE RECITALS: All degree recitals must receive approval by a Recital Hearing Committee consisting of all faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor or above in that particular applied area, plus one other applied faculty member from each of the other performance areas. The hearing should take place no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the performance. A form entitled “Authorization to Present Required Degree Recital” must be completed and signed at the end of the hearing by a majority of all faculty members comprising the Hearing Committee. Copies of this completed form, serving as notice that the student has fulfilled this requirement, will be placed in the student’s files in (1) the Office of the Dean of Arts and Science, (2) the School of Music Office, and (3) the office of the coordinator of the student’s applied area. Students giving degree recitals must be enrolled in Music 3455 or 4455 (applied music) as well as the appropriate recital course (Music 3970: Junior Recital or Music 4970: Senior Recital) during the semester in which the recital is presented.
RECITAL SPECIFICATIONS: The Junior recital will range from 45 to 60 minutes in length, and the Senior recital will range from 50 to no more than 65 minutes. The program material for each recital should consist of selections from the following three groups of historical periods:
Renaissance, Baroque, and/or Classic
In vocal recitals, literature in the Italian, French, German and English languages should be presented. Any deviation from the above guidelines must be approved by the Recital Hearing Committee.
GROUP PIANO REQUIREMENT: Four semesters of group piano are required for all BM students, except piano majors, and these courses are normally taken in the freshman and sophomore years. Non-piano majors with piano skills may audition for advanced standing in this sequence of classes
CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: Students must, within the last 45 hours of credit, take a course or be involved in a project that qualifies as a Capstone Experience; that is, an academic activity that integrates general knowledge with the specialized knowledge each student has developed in the major area.
Music performance majors must enroll in Music 4970, Senior Recital, and present a recital with program notes and an oral presentation in performance class of the works to be performed. The recital will be supervised by the student's applied music teacher.
Music composition students must enroll in Music 4216, Composition VI, and complete a special project that integrates previous studies in music theory, composition, and music history. A written report including the methodology, rationale for the media, and stylistic aspects of this work must be presented during the winter semester of the senior year.
Music theory students must enroll in Music 3085, Problems in Music, and prepare a research paper based on individual projects. Some of the content would include research about historical information, bibliographic listings, and analysis or application of theoretical studies.
Students majoring in music history must enroll in Music 3085, Problems in Music, and prepare a research paper and various other projects concerning the methods and materials of music history under the guidance of a music history professor.
GRADES: Grades of D may not be used to fulfill music requirements without the approval of the advisor, Associate Director or Director, and the Dean; and the student must achieve an overall average of 2.0 in all of these courses taken for the baccalaureate degree.
ENSEMBLES: All BM candidates are required to participate in one major ensemble each semester. Brass, percussion, string, voice, and woodwind performance majors must perform on their principal instrument.
Special Stipulations for the Bachelor of Music in Composition and the Bachelor of Music in Theory Programs
Incoming freshmen accepted to the University of Missouri may be admitted to the BM composition major after a review of sample compositions and an interview with the composition faculty (normally on one of the Mizzou Music Days).
Music majors pursuing a program for the Bachelor of Music degree in Composition, who were not previously admitted to composition as freshmen, must submit an application for official admission to the program, typically toward the end of the sophomore year of study; these procedures for admission are outlined below.
Music majors pursuing a program for the Bachelor of Music in Theory must submit an application for official admission to the program, typically toward the end of the sophomore year of study.
Procedures for Admission to Composition or Theory
File an application with the coordinator of the Composition and Theory Area no later than April 1 of the sophomore year.
Take an examination in: stylistic writing and analysis, dictation, sight-singing, and keyboard.
Students currently enrolled as undergraduates at the University of Missouri may be exempt from the above exam providing that (1) the application has been approved by the composition and theory faculty and (2) a grade of B or better has been earned in all composition and theory courses taken in the School of Music.
In addition to completing the course requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree in Composition or Theory, majors in these areas are required to maintain a grade of B in all composition or theory courses. Students failing to meet these standards may continue on a probationary basis only. Reinstatement as a composition or theory major can be accomplished only by approval of the composition and theory faculty.
Special Emphasis on Secondary Applied Study
The composition and theory faculty requires majors in these areas to earn 4 hours of credit in the study of secondary instruments (or voice) in addition to the major performance area. This requirement shall be specifically 4 separate 1-hour courses of instruction in different media at an appropriate level (generally Music 1435) and not the parallel Instrumental or Vocal Techniques classes. The applied music courses will be chosen in consultation with the composition and theory faculty.
Sample Four-Year Plans for the Bachelor of Music Degree
The following plans present suggested sequences. In some cases it may not be possible or advisable to follow the exact sequence as given, especially during the junior and senior years. The student should meet with his or her adviser early in the freshman year and consult periodically with them during their time at MU in order to plan carefully and avoid scheduling problems.