Are you passionate about music?

Turn your passion for music into a career! Our Music major and minor offer a balanced selection of courses in music history, performance, theory & literature. You will have numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the study of music, both instrumental and vocal.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY


Music (BA)



Music Major Requirements

Music Theory (11 credits)

  • MUSC 120 Music Theory I* 4
  • MUSC 220 Music Theory II* 4
  • MUSC 320 Music Theory III/ Composition 3

Music History (8 credits)

  • MUSC 225 Music History I 4
  • MUSC 226 Music History II 4

Class Piano (4 credits)

  • MUSC 130 Class Piano I* 2
  • MUSC 131 Class Piano II* 2

Lessons (min. 8 credits)

  • MUSC 100-108 Applied Lessons 2-4
  • MUSC 300-308 Advanced Applied Lessons 4-8

Ensembles (0 credit; must participate in a major ensemble each semester)

  • MUSC 271-279 Ensembles 0

Capstone (1-4 credits)

  • MUSC 495 Senior Recital or Capstone Project 1-4

Electives (min. 8 credits)

  • MUSC 211 World Music 4
  • MUSC 212 American Music 4
  • MUSC 213 Intro to Jazz 2
  • MUSC 214 Reel Music in America: Music and Film 4
  • MUSC 215 History of Rock Music 4
  • MUSC 216 Queering the Pitch 2
  • MUSC 217 Cultural Competency in Music 4
  • MUSC 200 Special Topics 2-4

*Students may be exempt by placement exam

Other courses may be considered; must be approved by the Department Head in consultation with Music Dept.

Total minimum MUSC credit hours for major: 40

Requirements for the Music minor

  • MUSC 110 Music Appreciation
  • MUSC 120 Music Theory I
  • MUSC 130 Class Piano I
  • MUSC 131 Class Piano II
  • MUSC 271-279 Music Ensembles
  • MUSC 101-108; 301-308 Private Lessons (on primary instrument or voice)

Note: Technique classes such as Beginning Voice, MUSC 132, may be substituted for one semester of private lesson.

Select 4 credit hours from:

  • MUSC 200 Special Topics
  • MUSC 211 World Music
  • MUSC 212 American Music
  • MUSC 213 Introduction to Jazz
  • MUSC 214 Reel Music in America
  • MUSC 220 Music Theory I

Music majors may choose to complement their credits and pursue our MBA 4+1 program with our College of Business.

You may also choose to minor in Arts Management to complement your Music Major.

These additional opportunities will make you exceptionally attractive with positions available in arts management and administration as well as prepare you for the business of private studio teaching.

You will receive private lessons, ensemble coaching, have multiple performance opportunities and a wide variety of music courses through classroom instruction. You will have the option of completing a Senior Recital or a Capstone, an individually designed project in music.

University Chorus

The Alfred University Chorus is a large ensemble open to any student on campus who enjoys singing and experiencing music in a collaborative setting. The chorus is also open to faculty and community members providing a unique opportunity for students to see their professors in a different setting and to engage with the Alfred community. The choir’s repertoire varies each year from major works with orchestra to contemporary classical and popular music, musical theater, spirituals, gospel and global music. The University Chorus usually performs once each semester but at times will perform off campus in the surrounding area or in Rochester.

University Chamber Singers

The Alfred University Chamber Singers is a select vocal ensemble initiated in 1995 as a response to student enthusiasm for a smaller, more challenging choral experience. Since their inception, the Chamber Singers have performed to standing ovations both nationally and internationally, having toured Scandinavia (2000), Peru (2004), Greece & Bulgaria (2007), Italy (2013), and China (2014). Open to all students on campus by audition, the Chamber Singers includes musicians from a wide variety of academic disciplines and truly represents the University’s commitment to liberal education. The singers are dedicated to performance of the highest quality choral literature from the Renaissance through contemporary compositions, including classical, folk, jazz and popular, and music celebrating a global perspective. On occasion they combine with the University Chorus to perform major works with orchestra. Most recently the Chamber Singers were invited to sing for Chinese New Year at the Chinese Consulate in New York City.

Voice Specific Choral Groups

Based on voices available, and interest by students, 2 separate groups are offered: higher range (soprano and alto) and lower range (tenor / bass).

Symphony Orchestra

The AU Symphony Orchestra offers instrumentalists the opportunity to study and perform music ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth Century. Each semester, visiting artists as well as student soloists are featured in performance with the Orchestra. Biannually, the Orchestra joins with the Chorus and Chamber Singers to perform large choral works, such as Orff's "Carmina Burana,” Mozart's "Requiem,” Handel's "Messiah," Bach’s “Magnificent,” and Vivaldi's "Gloria." Auditions are not required.

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble performs a wide variety of jazz in a standard big band setting. Students are encouraged to develop their skills in ensemble playing and to experiment with improvisation.

Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band is open to any student who plays a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument, regardless of major. The repertoire ranges from orchestral transcriptions to original works composed for band or wind ensemble.

Similar Programs

If you're interested in minoring in Music, you might also consider these related majors and other minors:

All Undergraduate Programs