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Degree Requirements

Core B.Mus. Requirements in Music History, Musicianship, Music Theory, and Music Technology

All B.Mus. students complete 34 credits in core course sequences in these four areas. These requirements should normally be completed within the first 4 to 6 terms of study in the program.

Music History Core Requirement (12 credits)

All B.Mus. students are required to complete a 4-course sequence in music history: MUSC 120 (3), MUSC 121 (3), MUSC 220 (3), and MUSC 221 (3). These courses should normally be completed in the first four terms of study.

All B.Mus. students are expected to maintain continuous Winter term enrolment in the music history core sequence until they have completed MUSC 221. Students who fail a required music history core course twice must withdraw from the B.Mus. program.

Musicianship Core Requirement (4 credits)

All B.Mus. students are required to complete a 4-course sequence in musicianship to develop their aural skills: MUSC 105 (1), MUSC 106 (1), MUSC 205 (1), and MUSC 206 (1). Challenge exams are offered periodically to allow students with strong previous training to bypass the initial course(s) in the sequence. All B.Mus. students are expected to begin the musicianship core in their first term, and maintain continuous Winter term enrolment in the musicianship sequence until they have completed MUSC 206. See also the section below entitled “Continuation Requirements,” regarding progress through the musicianship sequence. Students who fail a required musicianship core course twice must withdraw from the B.Mus. program.

Music Theory Core Requirement (15 credits)

All B.Mus. students are required to complete a 15-credit core course sequence in music theory. The School offers two streams, to address the diverse needs and interests of students in the various B.Mus. programs.

The standard music theory stream comprises five courses that should be completed in the first three years: MUSC 100 (3), MUSC 101 (3), MUSC 200 (3), MUSC 201 (3), and MUSC 300 (3). The standard stream is designed to accommodate students in all B.Mus. majors, including those with diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of prior exposure to music theory concepts and aural skills training. The standard theory stream supports the acquisition of aural skills, musical literacy and knowledge, and part- and score-reading fluency essential for all performers and music teachers.

The intensive music theory stream, when offered, comprises four courses: MUSC 110 (4), MUSC 111 (4), MUSC 210 (4), and MUSC 300 (3). The intensive stream is designed for students with strong preparation, and those motivated to pursue creative applications and/or advanced study. Students in the intensive stream will acquire greater aural acuity and facility in writing, and an enhanced foundation for advanced undergraduate and graduate study.

Opportunities for shifting from either stream to the other are available at several stages, in particular following the completion of MUSC 100, 110, 111, and 200.

All B.Mus. students are expected to maintain continuous Winter term enrolment in either stream of the music theory core sequence until they have completed MUSC 300. Students who fail a required music theory core course twice must withdraw from the B.Mus. program.

Music Technology Core Requirement (3 credits)

All B.Mus. students fulfill the Music Technology requirement by completing MUSC 119 (3).

Students in the standard theory stream should take MUSC 119 in the first term of first year. Students in the intensive theory stream may take MUSC 119 in any year.

Performing in Ensembles

All students in the Bachelor of Music programs participate in the large and small instrumental and choral ensembles sponsored by the School of Music to develop their skill as musicians and to experience a wide range of repertoire. The ensembles are also open to qualified non-music majors, who may be accepted by audition and who may receive credit for participating (consult faculty listings). The ensembles are the University Singers, University Choral Union, UBC Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, UBC Concert Winds, UBC Opera Ensemble, Contemporary Players, Asian Music Ensembles, Jazz Ensemble, Early Music Ensembles, University Chamber Strings, and various chamber groups. No more than half of a student's small ensemble credit is to be in Jazz Ensemble. Where the term 'large ensemble' is used in lists of degree requirements, it refers to MUSC 150 (Large Instrumental Ensemble), 153 (University Singers), and 154 (University Choral Union).

Specific ensembles may tour extrasessionally. Student participation in such tours, while desirable, is not obligatory. Students should inform ensemble directors of their plans as early as possible in the Winter Session.

Minimum Requirements in Piano

Where piano is neither the major nor the concentration instrument, the student will be required to achieve the following keyboard proficiencies, normally by taking piano as a secondary instrument.

First-year students with little or no keyboard experience will be placed in Class Piano, MUSC 141.

Students who demonstrate proficiency in the skills listed below may be exempted from one or both years (2 or 4 credits) of secondary piano study. For details, consult the undergraduate coordinator of the keyboard performance division.

By the end of the first year of study, students must be able to:

  • perform independently-prepared repertoire at the level of Grade IV as defined by a recognized examining board
  • sight-read pieces at the level of Grade II
  • transpose pieces at the level of Grade II
  • improvise accompaniments using common-practice harmonies and/or contemporary techniques (melody and accompaniment; accompaniment alone)
  • play: major and minor scales in keys up to and including four sharps and four flats; triads, chords, and arpeggios, in the same keys as above; and chromatic scales from any note

By the end of the second year of study, students must be able to:

  • perform independently-prepared repertoire at the level of Grade VI
  • sight-read pieces at the level of Grade IV
  • transpose pieces at the level of Grade IV
  • improvise accompaniments utilizing more extensive harmonic and contrapuntal vocabulary (melody and accompaniment; accompaniment alone)
  • play complete scales, triads, chords, and arpeggios in all keys
  • play ensemble scores, with preparation and also at sight

Continuation Requirements

All students in the B.Mus. program will be reviewed annually to determine whether they should be allowed to continue in their course of study. Every year students should improve their performance technique, refine their interpretative abilities, increase the scope of their repertoire on their principal instruments, and be acquiring the basic musicianship skills that are essential for a professional career in music.

The primary means of evaluating a student's progress in music performance is a jury or recital required at the end of each winter session. A student who achieves a grade of less than B- on a jury or recital will be placed on probation. A student on probation who scores less than B- on a jury or recital will be required to withdraw from the B.Mus. program.

If a student’s grade on a jury or recital is less than 50%: on recommendation of relevant faculty members, and with the approval of the relevant division chair, the student may be permitted to redo all or part of the failed jury or recital program for the purpose of re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted. The re-examination grade will count as the final jury or recital grade. A student whose final jury or recital grade is less than 50% will not be eligible for individual lessons during the following Winter Session and will be required to withdraw from the B.Mus. program at the end of that Session.

Students should master basic musicianship skills early in their program. Only students who have passed MUSC 106 may take third-year performance lessons. Only students who have passed MUSC 205 may take fourth-year performance lessons.

There are higher standards for continuation in the Piano, Voice, Opera, Orchestral Instrument Performance, Organ, Harpsichord, and Composition majors. They are specified in the descriptions of those majors in this Calendar. Students who do not meet these standards may not continue in those majors, although they may be allowed to continue in the B.Mus. program as General Studies majors.

Students must also meet the Faculty of Arts Continuation Requirements. Students whose grade-point average falls below Faculty minimums, or who fail a required course twice, must withdraw from the B.Mus. program.

Private Instrumental Instruction

Students may be registered for private instruction on their principal instrument only in a session in which they are taking at least 15 credits, and only if they are taking concurrently, or have already taken, all ensembles required in their major for the year level of their private instrumental instruction.

Recitals by Faculty and Students

Recitals include the following:

  • Faculty Recitals. Members of the faculty present formal recitals throughout the academic year. All students in the Bachelor of Music program are expected to attend.
  • Wednesday Noon-Hour Recitals. On many Wednesdays, recitals feature outstanding soloists and chamber ensembles. Students in the Bachelor of Music program are expected to attend.
  • Student Recital Series. More formal recitals are presented occasionally during the academic year. Normally several students will share one of these periods on the recommendation of the faculty. Attendance is expected of students majoring in performance.
  • Graduation Recitals. All students majoring in performance (except opera) must present full-length graduation recitals in partial fulfilment of their degree requirements. Students in the Bachelor of Music program are expected to attend.

Writing and Research Requirements

To qualify for the Bachelor of Music, students must satisfy the Writing and Research Requirement as well as a Literature Requirement. The research component of the Writing and Research Requirement is satisfied by the work in fourth-year performance lessons (MUSC 482, 493, or 494).

Credit/D/Fail Courses

Students in the B. Mus. program may attempt only non-music elective courses on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

Non-Music Electives

The following courses are acceptable for credit as non-music electives in the Bachelor of Music:

  • all courses in the Faculty of Arts (other than music courses) and Science
  • all courses in Family Studies (FMST)
  • 18 credits in courses outside Arts and Science

Dean's List

Students who complete 27 credits or more in any Winter Session with an overall average of 85% or higher receive the notation "Dean's List" on their permanent records.

Additional Degree Options

Additional Majors and Minors outside Music

Students enrolled in the B.Mus. program can combine their major with a major or minor of the B.A. program. For successful completion of the B.A. Major, they must take at least 42 credits in a field or specialization, of which 18 must be in courses numbered 300 or above; in addition, they must fulfill all the requirements set by the Faculty of Arts department or program. For successful completion of a B.Mus. with an Honours in Mathematics, see the requirements of the Combined Honours in Mathematics and Another Subject.

A very limited number of B.Mus. students may also minor in Commerce. Eligibility is restricted as specified for the B.A. Minor in Commerce. Enrolment must also be approved by the senior Undergraduate advisor in the School of Music.

Dual Degree Program Option in Music and Education

This concurrent program option offers students the opportunity to earn both the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.; General Studies: Secondary Education Stream) and the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.; Music) in five years. Students must satisfy all the requirements of both degrees and will not be adjudicated for graduation for one degree before requirements for both are complete. After completing all the requirements, students are normally eligible for a British Columbia Professional Certificate in Teaching.


Students interested in the Dual Degree in Music and Education should proceed as follows:

  1. When initially applying to UBC, complete the supplemental application for admission to the Bachelor of Music and select the Major in General Studies: Secondary Education Stream.
  2. In Year 2, successfully complete EDCP 210 in Term 1, and then apply for admission to the dual degree in Music and Education by January 311. The dual degree application can be found on the School of Music website.

1Field experience is a requirement of EDCP 210, and students are thus required to complete a criminal record check prior to the start of the course.

Admission at any time is conditional; maintenance of good academic standing and an average of at least 65% in each session are required throughout. Students who do not maintain a 65% average will be required to withdraw from Education but may continue with the Bachelor of Music if they meet the continuation requirements.

The Dual Degree Option is not open to students with a previous degree. Students must communicate with the School of Music’s Student Advisor and the Teacher Education Office annually after admission to the program to discuss their progress.

Program Requirements

First Year (Winter)
WRDS 150 or ENGL 1002 3
MUSC 100 3
MUSC 101 3
MUSC 105 1
MUSC 106 1
MUSC 119 3
MUSC 120 3
MUSC 121 3
MUSC 182 4
MUSC 141 2
Large Ensemble 3-4
Small Ensemble 2
Total Credits 31-32
Second Year (Winter)
EDCP 2103 3
ENGL 1104 3
MUSC 200 3
MUSC 201 3
MUSC 205 1
MUSC 206 1
MUSC 220 3
MUSC 221 3
MUSC 282 4
MUSC 241 2
Large Ensemble 3-4
Total Credits 29-30
Third Year (Winter)
EPSE 308 3
MUSC 300 3
MUSC 309 2
MUSC 310 2
MUSC 311 2
MUSC 312 2
MUSC 313 2
MUSC 112 2
MUSC 122 2
MUSC 131 2
MUSC 382 4
Large Ensemble 3-4
Total Credits 29-30
Fourth Year (Winter)
EDCP 312 4
EDCP 313 4
EDST 401 3
EPSE 310B 2
EPSE 311B 1
EPSE 317 3
LLED 360 3
MUSC 482 4
Music Electives 5
Large Ensemble 3-4
Total Credits 32-33
Fourth Year (Summer)
EDCP 410 3
EDST 403 1
EDST 404 1
EDUC 440 3
LLED 361 3
Total Credits 11
Fifth Year (Winter)
EDCP 311A 3
EDCP 412 3
EDUC 315 2
EDUC 421 12
EDUC 430 1
EDUC 450B 3
EDUC 451B 3
EDUC 452B5 3
Total Credits 30
Minimum credits for dual degree 162

Education courses sequence may vary where necessary in order to accommodate students.
1 Admission to the Dual Degree is also possible in Year 3. Students applying in Year 3 should take both EDCP 210 and EPSE 308 in Year 3.
2 The Writing Requirement (WRDS 150 or ENGL 100) must be attempted within the first 30 credits of the program and must be completed successfully within the first 60 credits.
3 Field experience is a requirement of EDCP 210, and students are thus required to complete a criminal record check prior to the start of the course.
4 This course satisfies the Bachelor of Music Literature Requirement. Any English (ENGL) course from the Literature Requirement list may substitute for ENGL 110. Together, ENGL 110 and the Writing Requirement provide the 6 credits of English literature and composition that are required for teacher certification in BC.
5 EDUC 452B (Final Inquiry III): a course section for Dual Degree Program Option students is scheduled for last week of April and first week of May. EDUC 430 (Community Based Experience) may be integrated with this specially designated course. Alternatively, dual degree students have the option of taking EDUC 430 and EDUC 452B as normally scheduled in Winter Term 2 and Summer Term 2 respectively, as per the 12-month B.Ed. schedule.

Dual Degree Program in Music and Science

This program offers capable students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science degree in most combinations of one Music (B.Mus.) major program and one Science (B.Sc.) major program. Most combinations can be completed in six winter sessions.

Admission to the B.Mus. program requires an audition. Potential B.Mus. students interested in the Dual Degree Program must consult both a senior advisor in the School of Music and the Science Information & Advising Centre at the time of application to UBC. Admitted B.Mus. students who are recommended by the School of Music may apply for admission to the Program through the Science Information & Advising Centre, normally during Term 2 of their first year in the B.Sc. program. Acceptance into the Dual Degree Program will be based on: (1) the recommendation from the School of Music; (2) a review of the applicant's transcript to determine that both the prerequisite studies and competitive admission standards of the Faculty of Science have been met; and (3) a review of a statement of academic purpose.

Registered first- or second-year B.Mus. students may also apply to the Program but must meet the current admission requirements of the Faculty of Science and must have met the academic standing requirements of the program while at UBC (see below). Applications from students with a higher year standing will not be considered. Admission to specializations within Science and Music may be competitive and admission to the Program does not imply future admission to particular specializations. The Program is not open to students with a previous degree.

Admission at any time is conditional; maintenance of good academic standing and at least a 68% (B-) average in each term are required throughout the program. Students must satisfy all of the degree and program requirements for both the major in the Bachelor of Music and the major in the Bachelor of Science. Individual courses may be considered to satisfy requirements for both degrees; MUSC courses may satisfy the Arts and breadth requirements for the B.Sc. major program. MUSC courses numbered below 300 may not count toward the upper-level credit requirement for the B.Sc. program. Students should endeavour to satisfy lower-level course prerequisites for both programs in their first two years. Students must communicate with both an advisor in the School of Music and one in the Science advising office prior to enrolling in their first year of courses and at least annually thereafter.

Minor in Science

B.Mus. students can also take a Minor in Science. An acceptable program must comprise courses recognized in the Faculty of Science that are for credit toward a Bachelor of Science and consist of at least 18 credits numbered 300 or higher in a single subject or field of specialization, together with any necessary prerequisites. Students should design a coherent and academically sound course of studies for their proposed Minor, which must be approved by a senior advisor in Music at the beginning of the second year. All courses must be acceptable for a Science Major in the proposed subject area or field.

Courses in musical performance, conducting, and arranging offered by the Faculty of Education are not acceptable for credit in Music degrees, except as specified in the programs of the Elementary and Secondary Education Streams of the General Studies Major.

Double Major

A student who is exceptionally qualified may undertake two majors concurrently in the B.Mus. To graduate with a double major, a student must be admitted to the two majors by established procedures (by audition, for most majors), and must satisfy the continuation requirements of both majors each year, and must complete all course requirements for both majors. Neither of the majors may be General Studies.

Minor in Applied Music Technology

The Minor in Applied Music Technology provides knowledge, guidance, and experience to support professional artistic activities involving music and technology. This Minor involves 18 credits of 300- and 400-level courses that explore the use of technology in music and sound creation.

To be considered for admission to this Minor, applicants must have completed prerequisites MUSC 100 and 119, and required courses MUSC 319 and 320 with high standing. Applicants will submit three examples of coursework or independent projects that demonstrate their aptitude and potential for research, software development, and artistic creation using recent and emerging music technologies.

First and Second Years

Prerequisites (6 credits):

  • MUSC 100 (3) Principles of Musical Form
  • MUSC 119 (3) Introduction to Music Technology

Required courses1 (6 credits):

  • MUSC 319 (3) Introduction to Electroacoustic Music
  • MUSC 320 (3) Computer Music

Third and Fourth Years

Required courses (6 credits):

  • MUSC 419 (3) Interactive Performance Systems
  • MUSC 420 (3) Music Technology Capstone Project

Electives (6 credits), to be chosen from the following list, subject to the restrictions of the student's degree and major. Approval of the Music Technology Coordinator is required.

  • MUSC 419 (3) Interactive Performance Systems2 (taken a second time)
  • any 300- or 400-level MUSC course (non-music majors see MUSC 321-330)
  • PHYS 341 (3) Physics of Music (strongly recommended for Music majors)
  • ARTH 340 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Triumph and Demise of Modernism
  • ARTH 341 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Postmodern
  • COGS 300 (3) Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems
  • COGS 303 (3) Research Methods and Cognitive Systems
  • CPSC 310 (3) Introduction to Software Engineering
  • any 300- or 400-level FIPR course
  • any 300- or 400-level FIST course
  • LING 311 (3) Studies in Phonology
  • LING 314 (3) Instrumental Phonetics
  • THTR 308 (3) Sound Design
  • VISA 310 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts I
  • VISA 311 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts II

1Interested students are encouraged to take MUSC 319 and 320 in second year, but the minor can still be completed in four years by students who take these courses in third year.
2This course can be repeated for credit, as its content is different every year.

Minor in Education

The Minor in Education allows Bachelor of Music students to combine Arts subject content with an area of Education through which that content can be more broadly explored and applied. These investigations through the lens of education can lead to career options involving education theory and pedagogy, both for teaching careers and other professional goals. The Minor in Education provides prerequisites to higher education programs and required courses necessary for specialized teacher education.

This Minor does not qualify students to teach in the K-12 system; students with this interest should either (a) enrol in the Dual Degree in Music and Education, or (b) enrol in the B.Ed. program after completing the B.Mus. degree.

The Minor in Education consists of 30 credits, 18 of which are drawn from specified core Education courses and 12 of which are drawn from supportive Arts courses at the 300-400 level. Five different versions are available:

  • Special Education
  • Interpersonal Development
  • Community, Adult, and Higher Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Language Learning and Teaching

The Education subject courses for each option are listed further below.

Students who wish to declare the Minor must be eligible for 3rd year standing and must meet with Music Advising prior to third-year registration for approval of the 12 credits of supportive Arts courses. No more than 6 of the 12 Arts credits may also be counted toward the B.Mus. major, and not all MUSC courses will satisfy this requirement. Music Advising may consult with Arts Advising and the Teacher Education office for final approval of the supportive Arts courses.

Education subject courses consist of the following:

  • Special Education: EPSE 303, EPSE 312, EPSE 316, EPSE 348, EPSE 436, EPSE 437
  • Interpersonal Development: CNPS 362, CNPS 363, CNPS 364, CNPS 365, CNPS 427, CNPS 433
  • Community, Adult, and Higher Education: ADHE 327, ADHE 329, ADHE 330, ADHE 412, plus two additional Education courses chosen in consultation with academic advising in the Faculty of Education
  • Early Childhood Education: ECED 400, ECED 401, ECED 406, ECED 407, ECED 420, ECED 421
  • Language Learning and Teaching: LLED 489A1 and LLED 489B, plus 12 credits from LLED 399, LLED 429, LLED 433-435, LLED 450-457, LLED 478-480

1ENGL 330 or ENGL 331 may be substituted for LLED 489A, in which case students may include these ENGL credits towards the required 12 credits of Arts and must take 3 additional LLED credits to reach a total of 18 credits of LLED for the Minor.

Minor in Land and Food Systems

The Faculty of Land and Food Systems offers five optional minors for Arts students. Upon declaration of one of the following five minor options, the notation "Minor in [Subject]" will be denoted on the student's transcript. Note that most upper-level Land and Food Systems and Science courses have lower-level pre-requisites. Interested students are encouraged to meet with a Music Advisor as early as possible to discuss program planning.

The Applied Animal Biology Minor will consist of 18 credits selected from APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 316, 327 (BIOL 327), 398, 410, 411, 413, 414, 415, 416, 418, 419, 427 (BIOL 411), 496, BIOL 310, 325, 425; PSYC 306.

The Applied Plant and Soil Sciences Minor will consist of 18 credits selected from APBI 318, 322, 324 (BIOL 324), 327 (BIOL 327), 328 (BIOL 317), 342 (FRST 310), 351 (BIOL 351/FRST 311), 401, 402, 403, 426 (BIOL 421), 428, 440 (BIOL 440), 444 (FRST 444).

The Food and Resource Economics Minor will consist of 18 credits selected from ECON 371, FRE 302, 306, 326, 340, 374 (ECON 374), 385, 402, 420, 460, 490.

The Food Science Minor will consist of 18 credits selected from FNH 300, 301, 302, 303, 309, 313, 330, 335, 402, 403, 413.

The Nutritional Sciences Minor will consist of FNH 250, 350, 351, and 12 credits selected from FNH 301, 355, 370, 398, 402, 451, 454, 455, 471, 473, 474, 477, 490 for a total of 21 credits.

Space in many Science and Land and Food Systems courses is limited. Admission to a Land and Food Systems minor does not provide priority access to courses agreed upon for the minor.

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