New Music Major Info

Information for new music majors

Welcome to the UCI Department of Music! Below are some links to important information that will help set you up for success in your studies here.

Welcome Week and Placement Tests

"Welcome Week" refers to the 3 days in fall quarter prior to the first day of classes. For Fall 2024, those days are Mon-Wed. Sept. 23-25, with Thursday Sept. 26 being the first day of classes. This week is also called "week 0" because each quarter has 10 full weeks of classes, and in fall the first full week of classes ("week 1") begins the following Monday, Sept. 30.

CTSA and the Music Department hold many activities during Welcome Week and some are required, so please be sure to review the Welcome Week Schedule linked below once it's updated for Fall 2024. It will also be emailed to you in summer.

Two of the most important required activities for all new music majors in Welcome Week are the Music Theory and Musicianship Placement Exams. The Theory test will determine whether you are able to begin the first quarter in our core first-year theory sequence (MUS 16A), or instead must take Fundamentals (MUS 25) first, and begin MUS 16A in your second year. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you study theory basics over the summer to help you achieve the skill level needed to place into MUS 16A in your first quarter in the music major. To help with this, we provide you with details on the content of our Music Theory and Musicianship Placement Exams, and we also offer a page listing Resources for studying Music Theory and Musicianship, including free, online textbooks.

Ensemble Auditions

Most of our ensemble classes are open by audition to all UCI students. For some classes, auditions take place in fall during Welcome Week, and for others, they are handled differently. Details about all ensemble auditions are summarized on our Ensemble Auditions page. For more information about each ensemble/area, please see the Ensembles page this website.

Degree Requirements and Course Advising

The official requirements that you must complete for your degree, and all other details about our degree programs, are listed on our department page in the UCI Catalogue, linked below. Please note that all students currently enter into the B.A. degree, and then in their second year (or sooner in the case of transfer students) they may audition for entrance to the B.Mus degree.

The CTSA Student Affairs and Academic Advising office has a wonderful team of staff and peer mentors who can help you with questions about degree requirements and course advice, including how to ensure that you are moving efficiently through the degree requirements and other questions such as how to pursue a double major. You can contact the CTSA Academic Advisors in various ways including a live chat.

Other Important Resources

These links (also under the "Current Students" menu on this site) also provide important information for music majors:

For other questions you cannot answer using this website, please feel free to reach out to the department office staff by emailing We look forward to meeting you in the fall!