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Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music degree is given upon completion of a minimum of 133 semester hours (s.h.), as outlined below. Students must fulfill a minimum three-year residency, pass all required courses, and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in Musical Studies and Liberal Arts courses.

General requirements

Additional departmental requirements

General Requirements


51 s.h.

Major lesson 32 s.h.
Elements of Conducting 3 s.h.
Additional departmental requirements (listed below) 16 s.h.

Musical Studies

51 s.h.

Fundamentals 2 s.h.
Harmony I, II 7 s.h.
Harmony III 4 s.h.
Counterpoint I, II 6 s.h.
Form 2 s.h.
Analysis 4 s.h.
Solfège I, II 8 s.h.
Solfège III 4 s.h.
Music History I, II 10 s.h.
Music History Seminars 4 s.h.
(Some majors require additional performance and musical studies courses:
See Additional Departmental Requirements below.)

Career Studies

1 s.h.

 The 21st-Century Musician 1 s.h.

Liberal Arts

30 s.h.

History of Western Civilization 6 s.h.
Language and Literature 6 s.h.
Literature 6 s.h.
Electives 12 s.h.
(Some majors require additional liberal arts courses: See Additional Departmental Requirements below.)

Additional Departmental Requirements

Composition Majors


16 s.h.

Composition Seminar 8 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 8 s.h.
Graduation Recital – Required  

Bachelor’s candidates: a Student Recital Series concert at least forty-five minutes long of their own music, the majority written while a Curtis student; recommended to occur in the fall of the student’s graduating year.

Diploma candidates: a concert at least one hour long of their own music, the majority written while a Curtis student; may take place in an alternate venue with the approval of the student’s major teacher and the dean; recommended to occur in the fall of the student’s graduating year.

Musical Studies

8 s.h.

Applied Orchestration 4 s.h.
Counterpoint III 2 s.h.
Score-Reading 2 s.h.

Private Instruction

Undergraduate composition majors (bachelor’s candidates) are expected to study with all composition faculty over the course of their four years at Curtis. Typically students work with their “intake” teacher for the first two years. During the third and fourth years, they are expected to study with other composition faculty members for a minimum of one semester apiece. Students are welcome to take additional semesters with the other faculty members (based on teacher availability), or they may return to their initial instructor.

Students consult with their intake teacher to determine when best to take a rotation semester; it is recommended that at least one be taken by the end of the third year.

Keyboard Majors

(Major Requirements: P=Piano, H=Harpsichord, O=Organ)


16–24 s.h.

Chamber Music 8 s.h. (P, H, O) 
Piano Repertoire Seminar 8 s.h. (P)
Supplementary Piano 8 s.h. (O, H)
Graduation Recital - Required (P)
Organ Class 8 s.h. (O)
Early Music Performance 8 s.h. (H)

Musical Studies

8 s.h.

Keyboard Studies I, II 4 s.h.
Keyboard Studies III 2 s.h.
Counterpoint III 2 s.h.

Career Studies

4 s.h.

Sacred Music Seminar 4 s.h. (O)



18 s.h.

Chamber Music 8 s.h.
Guitar Seminar 8 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Graduation Recital - Required  

Orchestral Instrument Majors

(Major Requirements: T=Timpani/Percussion, Va.=Viola, Clo.=Cello, Vn.=Violin)


42 s.h.

Chamber Music 8 s.h.
Orchestra 24 s.h. (age sixteen and older)
Orchestral Repertoire Class/Sectionals 8 s.h. (string, woodwind, brass, or percussion)
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Performance - Required (T)
Graduation Recital - Required (Vn., Va., Clo., T)

Voice Majors


58 s.h.

Opera Stagings 24 s.h.
Diction Coachings 8 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Vocal Performance Seminar 8 s.h.
Vocal Repertoire Coaching 16 s.h.

Musical Studies

8 s.h.

History of Singing 8 s.h.