Bachelor of Arts in Music
CSUSB's BA in Music provides a broad study of music balanced with significant general studies in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The core of required music courses provides a foundation in music theory, history, ensemble participation, and an applied area of study (instrumental or vocal performance, composition, or technology), while General Education courses balance musical study with significant exposure to many other disciplines. Additionally, the degree's free electives allow students to pursue study in areas of particular interest, including, with the permission of a music advisor, the substitution of courses from disciplines outside of music. Students are encouraged to consider completion of a minor as part of their elective study.
Bachelor of Music
CSUSB’s selective BM program prepares advanced students for careers as professional performers or as music teachers. Students must meet rigorous academic and artistic standards to enter and continue in the program. BM students declare a concentration in either Instrumental Performance (including strings, winds, percussion, guitar, and piano), Vocal Performance, or Pre-Certification (Music Education).
Students in the performance concentrations pursue advanced training in preparation for careers as performing artists. The concentration has a rigorous curriculum that focuses on applied study, repertoire classes, and professional development. Students hone their skills in auditioning for professional engagements, competitions, and entrance to masters and doctoral programs. Students in the Pre-Certification (Music Education) concentration receive preparation for post-baccalaureate pursuits, such as single-subject teaching credentials. The pre-certification concentration puts similar focus on pre-professional activities, including substantive observations in school music settings, as well as pursuit of meaningful paid or volunteer teaching in such settings.
More information about the degree programs can be found in the Curriculum section of the Department Handbook
Minors in Music
In addition to the two baccalaureate programs, CSUSB's Department of Music offers the following three minors. Each minor requires about 20-25 units of coursework, and can be declared by students majoring in any field. Coursework in the minors can also be applied to work towards the baccalaureate degrees, which means many music majors may also choose to declare a minor in a related field to their primary emphasis.
Minor in Music: This is the most open-ended of the Music Department's minors. It is intended for students who wish to continue their secondary school musical experiences on a collegiate level, but are not interested in majoring in music.
Minor in Music Technology: This minor is for students interested in the study of digital audio, recording technology, and electronic music. This is a minor commonly completed by students interested in supplementing work in a related major and with career goals for which knowledge of digital audio or recording would be helpful.
Minor in Alternative Styles of Music: This minor is designed to meet the needs of our students who frequently come in to the Music Department with a background in alternative styles (Jazz, Mariachi, Rock, etc.), and are seeking to pursue studies in a field other than Western classical music.
Program Learning Outcomes for BA and BMUS
Program Learning Outcome #1: Written Analysis of Music - Graduates from our program acquire a strong and widely applicable understanding of the foundational techniques of Western common-practice music theory, allowing them to analyze examples from the repertory both harmonically and formally, and to apply these abilities creatively in personal projects.
Program Learning Outcome #2: General Musicianship Ability - CSUSB musicians develop key musicianship skills through training in aural dictation and sight reading, keyboard proficiency courses, and private instruction in instrumental and vocal performance.
Program Learning Outcome #3: Historical and Cultural Understanding of Music - Our graduates cultivate a nuanced understanding of diverse Western and global musical practices, demonstrating a sensitivity towards a variety of cultural approaches and an ability to interpret and critique music from the perspectives of multiple fields
Program Learning Outcome #4: Communicating About Music - Our students gain experience in communicating with wide audiences in the musical world and are equipped to not only engage in academic research, but also to produce effective grant proposals, appealing websites, engaging program notes, and captivating educational videos and podcasts—all essential for success in a variety of musical careers.
Program Learning Outcome #5: Continuing Growth of Technical Skills and Artistic Expression - Our students demonstrate a highly creative technical proficiency and artistry as singers, instrumentalists, or composers, and engage with their audiences through a variety of performance platforms, enhancing both traditional and contemporary genres.
Program Learning Outcome #6: Artistic Collaborations and Applications - Our graduates engage in collaborative learning and peer instruction that champions artistic cooperation across all of the arts in education, performance, and cultural diversity initiatives.
Any student accepted for admission to CSUSB can declare music as a major and pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. No audition is required for acceptance into the BA degree program, but students must audition for advanced placement into the appropriate level of applied lessons, theory courses, and piano proficiency courses.
Entrance to the Bachelor of Music degree requires a demonstration of significant academic, performance, and intellectual achievement. Students may apply at any time for entrance to the Bachelor of Music, but freshmen students usually apply to enter the program after the completion of two semesters of CSUSB coursework, and transfers usually apply immediately before their first semester of enrollment. Acceptance to the BM program is dependent upon a performance audition, a written essay, and completion of prerequisite courses in music theory.
CSUSB currently uses the CSU system's priority application deadline of November 30 for admission in the following Fall term.
For more information, download a PDF the CSUSB Music Viewbook for Prospective Students and please read the information on the Advice for Prospective Music Majors page.