California State University, Fullerton

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welcome to the department of music

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What undergraduate degree programs are offered?

The Music Department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. Within one of these degrees, you will pursue a concentration in Liberal Arts, Music History and Theory, Music Education, Performance, Composition, Accompanying, or Jazz and Commercial Music.

B.A. Liberal Arts – This concentration is particularly appropriate for a student who wishes to obtain a solid liberal arts education with a specialization in music, as well as for students who wish to pursue careers in the music industry other than performance and teaching.

B.A. History and Literature – This concentration allows students to delve deeply into music history and theory, providing excellent preparation for those considering advanced degrees in musicology or music theory.

B.A. Music Education – Emphases in instrumental, choral, and general/elementary music are designed to provide comprehensive, rigorous preparation for Fullerton’s highly regarded credential program and ultimately for teaching in the California public schools. A separate emphasis in piano pedagogy provides thorough preparation for students intending to provide individual and group piano instruction.

B.M. – The Bachelor of Music degree program provides training for highly gifted students who show promise and capability of becoming professional performers and composers. Concentrations in this degree program include Composition, Orchestral Instruments, Classical Guitar, Keyboard, Accompanying, Voice, and Jazz and Commercial Music.

What are the degree program requirements?

The Cal State Fullerton Music Department offers an exceptionally well-developed, focused curriculum. Faculty and students take both musical performance and academic music study very seriously, with impressive results. All undergraduate students take a common core curriculum, with additional requirements and electives in each separate concentration and emphasis. A typical semester for a Fullerton undergraduate in music looks something like this:

Music theory (3 units)
Music history and literature (2-3 units)
Class piano (except keyboard majors) (I unit)
Applied (private) lesson (1-2 units)
Major performance ensemble (1 unit)
General education coursework (3-6 units)

More Information in the University Catalog

What advanced degrees are available?

The Music Department offers Master of Music and Master of Arts degrees at the graduate level. For those who intend to pursue advanced degrees beyond the master’s level, the Master of Music normally leads to the D.M.A, and the Master of Arts normally leads to the Ph.D.

The Master of Music degree provides an avenue of graduate study for the superior performer or highly creative composer in a program custom tailored to each student’s demonstrated talent professional goals.

The Master of Arts in Music degree offers three options: music history and literature; music education; and piano pedagogy. All three degree options provide for breadth and flexibility of advanced study as well as concentrated work in the area of specialization. This degree is for students preparing for college teaching or for teachers and supervisors of music at the elementary or secondary level, or for teachers of private piano studios. More Information on both in the University Catalog.

Can I minor in music?

Students whose majors are in other fields can pursue a minor in music. The minor consists of 20 units of music coursework, divided into three categories: Theory of Music, Music History and Literature, and Applied Techniques. A full-time faculty member is assigned to advise Music Minors.
More Information in the University Catalog.

What performance ensembles are offered?

The Cal State Fullerton Music Department provides many outstanding ensemble opportunities. Performance ensembles are open to all music majors, minors, and non-majors based on audition or permission of instructor. Here's a partial list of the many performance opportunities.

What other groups are there for music students?

Music majors can join the Music Department’s local chapters of national music fraternities, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, or Sigma Alpha Iota. The Department also sponsors a chapter of the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda. Other student organizations related to music or affiliated with musical organizations outside the Music Department include:

• American Choral Directors Association
• Arts Inter-Club Council
• California Music Educators Association
• Composers Forum
• International Association of Jazz Education
• Music Educators National Conference
• National Band Association
• Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association
• Symphony Orchestra Student Association

Whether you live on, near, or away from campus, there are many other student clubs, activities, and organizations on campus in which to become involved.

What should I do to prepare to be a music major?

In addition to being admitted to the University, all Music majors must be accepted on the basis of an audition. Generally music students have studied their major instrument with a private teacher for some time prior to the audition. Read More about auditions, including repertoire requirements and dates.

Are scholarships available for music majors?

Scholarships are awarded to music students based on the audition that you will play or sing for admission to the Music Department. More Information.

Who provides advisement for me?

For each music major, academic advisement is provided every semester by a full-time music faculty member who is very familiar with your field of study. Additional advising is available in the Academic Advisement Center. New students register for their first semester of classes during their New Student Orientation event on campus.