Music Major

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music have opportunities to study music theory and analysis, music history, ethnomusicology, and composition.

Music majors from Chicago have been accepted to the finest graduate music programs, including Harvard, Berkeley, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Indiana. Many have later secured faculty positions at leading colleges and universities or embarked upon careers as singers, instrumentalists, and conductors.

Detailed information on the course of study for the music major can be found in the College course catalog. Please note that Chicago does not offer a B.A. in Music Performance: its extensive Performance Program is all a part of co-curricular life. 

To declare a music major, a student must consult with his/her College advisor and with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Music Department, Professor Jennifer Iverson.

While the deadline for declaring a major at UChicago is spring quarter of a student’s third year, it is recommended that a student declare a music major at the end of the first or beginning of the second year, as the required sequences of introductory and advanced courses typically take three years to complete. Additionally, many students submit compositions or scholarly papers in support of departmental honors. Large-scale projects like this are developed through the B.A. honors seminar and through close relationships with one or more faculty members.

Music Minor

The minor program in music provides students with the opportunity to develop their interest in music through the completion of seven music courses and the student’s participation for at least three quarters in a performance organization approved by the Department of Music. Students who elect the minor program in music must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the end of spring quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. The director’s approval for the minor program should be submitted to a student’s College advisor by this deadline on a form obtained from the adviser.

Detailed information on the course of study for the music minor can be found in the College course catalog.

Courses for Non-Majors

General Education

Students seeking to meet the general education requirement in dramatic, musical, and visual arts with music courses may choose from among the following: Introduction to Western Music (MUSI 10100), Introduction to World Music (MUSI 10200), Introduction to Music: Materials and Design (MUSI 10300), or Introduction to Music Analysis and Criticism (MUSI 10400). Students seeking to meet the general education requirement in civilization studies may select the following two-quarter sequence: Music in Western Civilization (MUSI 12100-12200). These courses are open to all students, regardless of previous musical background.

Other Courses for Non-Majors

In addition to offering general education courses, the department offers a two-quarter Introduction to Music Theory (MUSI 14100-14200) for students who have had little or no exposure to reading music and who would like to learn more about the organization of musical materials. Students who can read music comfortably may take the three-quarter Harmony and Voice Leading sequence (MUSI 15100-15200-15300). Courses numbered from 20000 to 24900 are open to students who have passed a course at the 10000 level or who have equivalent musical background. In addition, courses designed for the major (MUSI 25000 to 29900), as well as certain graduate courses, are open to qualified College students who are not majoring in music, with consent of the instructor.

Answers to most of your questions can be found in the Undergraduate Study FAQ