School of Music
Department Information
C-550 HFAC
Advisement Center
D-444 HFAC

Admission to Degree Program

Enrollment in the School of Music's degree programs is limited. Prospective majors must pass an audition and aural skills exam. Please consult the General Information section below and visit the college advisement center for details.

The Discipline

The School of Music celebrates musical artistry and understanding as core elements of the human experience, crucial components of a liberal education, and central aspects of a spiritual life.

In the School of Music, students learn self-expression and self-discipline through rigorous practice and passionate performance. They develop an acute sensitivity for collaboration and artistic cooperation through intensive ensemble work. In the study of music theory and history, students learn to hear and appreciate various musical languages, distinguish nuances of style, and discern the connections between musical developments and their cultural contexts.

Students learn in a variety of situations: private lessons, small seminars, multimedia labs, ensembles, recitals, and lectures. They are encouraged to participate actively in the vibrant musical environment of the School of Music by attending concerts, lectures, and workshops, and by contributing to a student culture of independently motivated artistic engagement. These experiences foster a holistic approach that embraces academic rigor, artistic intuition, creative ambition, physical grace, and expressive eloquence.

In pursuit of the University's spiritual aims, students learn the divinity inherent in creativity and the devotion expressed by the nurturing of one's craft.

Career Opportunities

The School of Music leads its students toward careers in performance, studio teaching, music education, creating and managing music projects for the media, recording and sound technology, arts management, music journalism, composition, and other music-related professions. Because the music curriculum is rigorous, it is also an excellent pre-professional course of study for those interested in fields as diverse as law, business, library science, or medicine. Whatever degrees one obtains, however, an education in music pertains not only to earning a living through art but also using art to enhance one's satisfaction and joy in life.

General Information

  1. Admission applications to the School of Music must be received by November 15 for contemporary vocalists; December 1 for pianists, violinists, and classical vocalists; and January 15 for all other applicants.
  2. All entering students (including transfer students) must pass a performance audition on their major instrument (or voice). Live auditions are held on the last Saturday of January. Students who cannot attend the live audition must submit an audio or video recording for consideration; these recordings must be received by January 15. See the School of Music office (C-550 HFAC) for further details regarding the audition process and requirements, or call (801) 422-8903.
  3. All entering students must also pass an aural skills examination. They may take this examination in one of three ways: (1) in a group, at admissions auditions on the last Saturday of January; (2) individually, at the BYU Testing Center (call [801] 422-6147 to schedule times), or (3) individually by proctor at other locations (only if you are NOT coming to campus for a live audition; you live outside of Utah County; and you are unable to come to BYU campus and take the test in the Testing Center. Call the School of Music office to arrange). Students may take the exam as many times as desired to improve their score. (Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the aural part of the AP music exam are exempt from this test.)
  4. All students who do not have a keyboard emphasis (piano or organ) must complete the piano proficiency requirement by the end of the sophomore year. Students can fulfill this requirement by (1) taking one or both of Music 221, 222, or by (2) taking the Piano Proficiency Exam. (Call the School of Music for more details.)
  5. Upon acceptance as a music major, each student must meet with their academic advisor in the college advisement center.
  6. Students who pass either part of the AP Music Test with at least a score of 4 should check with the college advisement center before registering for core courses.
  7. All major performance instruction must be in the same instrument (or voice), with the following exceptions: Commercial Music and Composition students, with approval from their division coordinator, main studio teacher, and secondary studio teacher, may opt to fulfill a portion of their studio lesson requirement on a secondary instrument.
  8. All students registered in Music 161, 250R, 260R, 360R, or 460R must complete an examination before a faculty jury on their major instrument (or voice) near the end of each semester of performance study. (With the approval of the faculty, students may elect to substitute a juried public recital for a jury examination.) Students wanting to enter Music 360R or 460R (normally after the sophomore year) must first be granted approval to do so by a faculty jury.
  9. All students must fulfill the ensemble requirements of their individual degree programs as described below: Ensemble requirements are filled through a mixture of assigned "Category 1: Approved Large Ensembles" and "Category 2: Other Ensembles Approved for the Major," as listed in each degree program.

    Approved Category 1 ensembles include Music 312R: Men's Chorus, Music 313R: Women's Chorus, Music 314R: Concert Choir, Music 315R: University Singers, Music 325R: Symphonic Band, Music 326R: Wind Ensemble, Music 337R: Symphony Orchestra, and Music 338R: Philharmonic Orchestra. Only one approved Category 1 ensemble per semester may count toward this requirement, and students may not enroll in more than two conducted or directed ensembles per semester. This ensemble assignment is determined by the student's major instrumental teacher or by choral audition, not by the student. For all BA or BM music students, the total ensemble requirement should be completed in consecutive semesters of enrollment beginning the freshman year.

    Please note:

    • Commercial Music and Composition students, with approval from their division coordinator and main studio teacher, may fulfill part of their Category 1 Ensemble requirement by auditioning and performing on a secondary instrument. Students who play guitar or piano as their principal instrument may also count participation in Music 333R: Jazz Ensemble or Music 334R: Synthesis toward their Category 1 Ensemble requirement.

    • In certain circumstances, music majors may be allowed to count participation in the non-auditioned ensembles (Music 311R: University Chorale, Music 321R: University Band, and Music 322R: University Orchestra) toward their Category 1 requirement with permission from their respective studio teacher and the ensemble conductor.

  10. All transfer students must have their previous university work in music evaluated by the appropriate BYU School of Music faculty members to determine what credits will be accepted in the transfer (see the college advisement center for referrals). We subscribe to the policy of the National Association of Schools of Music and carry no obligation to accept upper-division music credits from other member schools.
  11. If a School of Music student receives an E grade twice in any one course within his or her major, s/he will not be allowed to proceed in the major. Also, a registration hold will be placed on the student's records pending a meeting with an academic advisor to determine an alternative plan of study. Only in rare and extreme cases will the School of Music consider petitions to take a course a third time and have major status reinstated.
  12. Students temporarily leaving the School of Music for a mission are required to file a deferment form with the university's Admissions Office and notify the School of Music Admissions Assistant of their intent to defer. Students intending to enter the School of Music during the school year immediately following mission service are highly encouraged to apply and audition for admission to the School of Music (see #1-3) prior to departure.
  13. All School of Music students are expected to attend at least eight concerts and two School of Music-sponsored lectures each semester. For more information, see the "Undergraduate Handbook" published online by the School of Music.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs Available

This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.