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Advising Policies

General Advising Information

All music majors are assigned to a music faculty member for advising.  Other music faculty members are always available for mentoring (i.e., helping you decide what classes to take to realize your musical and career aspirations), but they will direct any inquiry regarding academic advising (i.e., helping you select the most efficient way to complete classes required for a music degree) to your assigned advisor.  If you want to request reassignment to a new advisor, please contact the department chair at

For advising each semester, all students use the standard 'Music Advising Form' available on the Music website's Department Forms page. In selecting courses, rather than use CSUSB's printed schedule of classes, students are instead strongly encouraged to use CSUSB's online Class Schedule link to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Also, all students should select classes based on a 'degree roadmap' and a review of a PAWS report. Degree roadmaps for music majors are available at a link on the Music website's 'Students' page; they are plans for what courses should be taken in what order, depending on a student's chosen degree emphasis. Each music major should carefully follow his or her roadmap. Deviation from the order and distribution of courses in the roadmap for a particular emphasis may result in unsolvable conflicts between course meeting times or unreasonably heavy course loads in some quarters. Those difficulties may delay a music major's planned date of graduation. The Music Department is not responsible for accommodating the graduation plans of a music major who does not follow his or her roadmap.  The PAWS (Program Advising Worksheet for Students) is essentially a checklist indicating what courses have been completed and still need to be completed for a particular degree plan.

Transfer music majors should make every effort to closely follow their personalized roadmap. In scheduling classes and designing it's curriculum, the Music Department has made a commitment to serving the specialized needs of transfer students. However, transfers student come to CSUSB with a wide variety of transferable music course work, so it is impossible to perfectly accommodate the needs of every transfer student.

New Music Majors

Transfer Students: as soon as you are admitted to CSUSB, email the Music Department chair at to make an advising appointment. In preparation for that appointment, you should review the information at the 'Advice for ...' link on the 'Students' page that best matches your transfer status (upper- or lower-division). You should come to your initial music advising appointment having already chosen a major instrument and a degree emphasis.

Freshmen students: your initial advising for classes will take place with either your music advisor or the department Chair in the summer, prior to classes. Email to schedule an appointment. 

Returning Music Majors

Priority Registration for a given quarter usually starts at about the mid-point of the previous semester. The Music Department and/or advisor will remind you via email of the specific dates several weeks in advance.  You should make every effort to initially enroll in classes during Priority Registration so that you do not have difficulty getting the classes you need. If you do not enroll during Priority Registration, you will likely have great difficulty find spots in classes you need. In the effort to complete your enrollment quickly, get your advising done as soon as possible. Even if you have holds on your university account that prevent you from enrolling right away, you can still do your advising right away.

Once you have determined your classes for the coming quarter, download the Music Advising Form from the Music website's Department Forms page, fill it out as instructed, and submit it in paper form to your assigned faculty advisor at least a week before your priority advising begins for the coming quarter. Fill out your form carefully and thoughtfully! Incomplete, mistaken, or questionable information on the form will delay its approval.  Your advisor may want to meet with you in person to discuss your form, so check your CSUSB email for instructions.  In addition to your advising form, you will need to submit a copy of your PAWS report and your degree roadmap.

Career Advice

The National Association for Music Education's career page is a good source of information regarding various career options in music. The page includes links to a glossary of current music careers and a career resources page. The resources page includes additional links to information about a variety of music careers in teaching, performance, and business and industry, and many other areas. An even more extensive list of possible careers and associated descriptions is available on the Berklee School Of Music's careers page.

In addition, CSUSB music majors and minors should consult closely with their music faculty advisors and teachers for information about specific coursework, and special opportunities such as internships or summer workshops and festivals, that will best prepare them for their intended career paths. Students not yet assigned to an advisor should contact the Music Department chair.