Undergraduate Programs

Why a degree in Music from UCI

Both our degrees provide a secure foundation in the academic and applied study of music. After graduating, many music majors go on to earn masters and doctoral degrees in performance, musicology, or composition, while others immediately pursue careers as professional musicians and teachers. At the same time, other music majors use their music degrees as a more general educational qualification, continuing on to graduate study and careers in diverse fields.

Given the wide range of transferable skills developed in the undergraduate music major curriculum, music majors are highly desired by law schools, medical schools, and business schools among many others. Employers and graduate schools understand that being a successful music major requires perseverance, discipline and self-direction, as well as excellent collaboration and teamwork skills. Music majors at UCI also learn to write and think creatively, and to present themselves well in public. With a degree in Music from UC Irvine, students will find that many career paths lie before them.


Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A.)

  • Our standard program, to which ALL incoming undergraduates are initially admitted.
  • Enables students to pursue a broad range of courses in music history, theory, composition and performance, within a flexible curriculum that is especially attractive for students pursuing a second major or study abroad.
  • Degree Requirements
  • 2 years of private lessons


Bachelor of Music in Performance (B.Mus.)

  • Incoming freshmen are not admitted to the B.Mus. program.
  • Transfer applicants who perform at a sufficiently high level in the entrance audition may change their degree objective from B.A. to B.Mus. after admission and the start of fall quarter.
  • Continuing students who desire more in-depth, specialized studies in performance may seek to change their degree objective from B.A. to B.Mus. by auditioning during their sophomore year.
  • Degree Requirements
  • 4 years of private lessons


UC EAP (foreign exchange students)

  • Applicants may be considered, but are not afforded the same privileges as Music majors. They do not receive private lessons, and do not have access to practice rooms.


Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music in Performance Learning Outcomes

While the following items are the expected outcomes for each undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) emphasizes #4, while the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) places a greater emphasis on #3, expecting a lecture recital based on the student's research paper.

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the rudiments and grammar of music and music notation, including completed compositions in tonal and non-tonal idioms.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the chronology and repertoire of Western art music from the Renaissancce to the present.
  3. Demonstrate reading, writing, and research skills associated with the study of music.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to perform art music and/or jazz both individually and in ensembles.


Musicianship & Music Theory

  • Musicianship and Music Theory are core competencies in our undergraduate program. All students must pass these courses in order to succeed in obtaining their degree.
  • Placement exams for Musicianship and Music Theory are required for all new undergraduate students, including incoming freshman and transfer students, and current UCI students newly admitted to the program. 
  • Placement exams take place during Welcome Week, just prior to the start of fall classes.
  • Placement exams DO NOT take place during auditions. They only apply to admitted undergraduate students.
  • We STRONGLY recommend applicants explore the following resources:


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