Music - Music as a Liberal Art Option, B.A.


Department of Music

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements Music Major

Each student seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music must fulfill the Basic Core Requirements and all requirements listed under the music degree option which is the student's major field of study. Students must also fulfill the university's General Education requirements (48 units), including remaining music degree requirements (e.g. it is strongly recommended that vocal performance majors pass two semesters of university-level foreign language study in either French, German, or Italian) and Other Departmental Requirements to complete the B.A. (minimum 120 units). Each music major must consult with a designated music faculty advisor each semester before they may enroll in music classes.

Please note: Entrance diagnostics in music theory and aural skills and auditions in the declared performing medium are required of all freshmen and transfer music majors. Admission to the B.A. in Music is contingent upon audition and availability. Detailed information regarding entrance and degree requirements is available in the Department of Music Undergraduate Student Handbook.

1. Major requirements (69 units) and Additional requirements (9 units)
Core (28 units)
MUSIC 1A, MUSIC 1B, MUSIC 1C, MUSIC 1D, MUSIC 40, MUSIC 41, MUSIC 42, MUSIC 43, MUSIC 58, MUSIC 161A, MUSIC 161B (24 units)
MUSIC 4B, MUSIC 4C [Keyboard students: MUSIC 14 and 114] (see note 1) (4 units)
MUSIC 20 Convocation (8 semesters) (0 units)

Degree Option - Music as a Liberal Art (41 units)
Four semesters in MUSIC 103 appropriate to major emphasis (see note 2) (4 units) 
Four semesters in MUSIC 31/MUSIC 131 through MUSIC 39/MUSIC 139  (4 units) 
Other music electives (with advisor's approval)  (7 units) 
Approved electives from outside the Music Department (consult advisor)  (9 units) 

Additional requirements (9 units)
Music majors must take the following courses, which also satisfy 9 units of General Education requirements: BREADTH (Area C1) MUSIC 9A and MUSIC 74; INTEGRATION (Area IC) MUSIC 171

2. General Education requirement (48 units)

3. Other requirements (9 units)
American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2), Multicultural and International (MI), and Upper-division writing 

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5.Total (120 units)*
* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. See advisor for details.


  1. Music students must pass a piano proficiency examination after completion of MUSIC 4C. Passing MUSIC 4C does not constitute passing the proficiency exam. MUSIC 4B and 4C may be waived by passing the designated Piano Proficiency Exam. Pianists must substitute MUSIC 14 and 114 for Music 4B and 4C. Successful completion of MUSIC 14 and 114 satisfies piano proficiency requirement for piano students. (See Department of Music Undergraduate Student Handbook for details. Students for whom any of these courses are waived should fulfill the minimum unit requirements with elective courses.)
  2. Advanced standing designation is granted after passing Jury II.

Other Departmental Requirements

  1. Undergraduate music majors must select a degree option from the following: Music as a Liberal Art; Music Education: Choral, General or Instrumental Emphasis; Instrumental Performance; Vocal Performance; Composition; or Jazz Studies. Note: All students majoring in music are automatically enrolled in Music as a Liberal Art until they have been officially admitted to another degree option. All entering students (freshmen and transfer) must take a diagnostic examination in music theory. Other degree options have audition or other admission requirements which must be fulfilled before a student is officially recognized as enrolled in that option.
  2. Music education and performance degree options require students to declare a primary concentration (e.g. an instrument or voice).
  3. Upon conclusion of the second semester of MUSIC 31-39, 48 or 110, students must attempt Jury I in their declared area of concentration before being permitted to continue their major. Students are allowed two attempts, taken in consecutive semesters, to pass Jury I.
  4. Students majoring in music must enroll in a piano class (MUSIC 9A, 4B, and 4C) until the departmental piano proficiency examination has been passed. (See Department of Music Undergraduate Student Handbook for details.)
  5. Passing of the piano proficiency examination and successful completion of MUSIC 1B are required before attempting Jury II.
  6. Jury II must be passed for advanced standing for students enrolled in the Music Education, Vocal Performance, Instrumental Performance, and Composition options. Jury II is not required of students enrolled in the Music as a Liberal Art Option. Students are allowed two attempts, taken in consecutive semesters, to pass Jury II. Failure to pass a second attempt will result in the student being dropped from the Music Education, Vocal Performance, Instrumental Performance, Jazz Studies, and Composition options. These students may continue the major in the Music as a Liberal Art option.
  7. Guitar and piano students will fulfill 50 percent of the major ensemble requirement by enrolling in Guitar Ensemble, Keyboard Ensemble, Chamber Music Ensemble, Music Accompanying, or MUSIC 130T (as specified by their studio instructor). The remaining 50 percent must be fulfilled by enrolling in either Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Choir, or Marching Band.
  8. Music Education Option students must pass the conducting proficiency examination upon completion of MUSIC 158A OR 158B (LIMIT TWO ATTEMPTS). Passing MUSIC 158 does not constitute passing the proficiency examination.
  9. Students in MUSIC 31 and 131 through 39 and 139 (private studio instruction) will perform in student recitals when assigned by their instructor.
  10. Music students must earn a grade of C or better in each course used to satisfy the requirements of the major, including the core and specific option. No course taken for the music major can be graded on a CR/NC basis except for courses with mandatory CR/NC grading.
  11. Vocal performance majors must take two consecutive semesters of the same foreign language approved by the vocal instructor. One course can be used for G.E. credit where applicable.


The Department of Music faculty has backgrounds in varied areas of specialization. Many members of the faculty have national and international reputations as performing artists and teachers. Others are well known for their scholarly research, articles, and books. They are all dedicated to providing students with the best music education possible both in their classes and studios.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.A. in Music - Music as a Liberal Art Option

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

For the most up-to-date roadmap, please contact the College Advising Center or check your My Degree Plan.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Chamber Singers

The Department of Music provides undergraduate instruction in music for those planning professional careers as performers, composers, and studio teachers, as well as those preparing for advanced degrees in performance and composition. It also provides State-approved subject matter preparation required for a single-subject California teaching credential in music, and graduate instruction for students planning professional and academic careers or seeking professional growth as K-12 teachers or junior college instructors. Students can also acquire a broad acquaintance with music for the community and non-music majors.

Our Facilities

The new 65,000 square foot Music Building, combined with an extensive remodeling of the existing facility ensures that students enjoy all the advantages possible in a modern facility. The building houses the 320 seat Concert Hall, the 100 200 seat Wahlberg Recital Hall, a 220 seat Rehearsal Hall, as well as over 30 practice rooms, classrooms, a large dance studio, faculty office space, a conference room, and 700 student lockers. The building also contains two digital recording studios, computer labs, MIDI and electronic music labs, and a tracker-action organ.

What You Can Earn

Public School Teacher
$58,577 (in our region)
Source: HR Reported data from as of January 2021

Music Instructor and Composers
$51,079 (mean annual wage)
Source: HR Reported data from as of January 2021

Church Music Director
$31,635 (mean annual wage)
Source: HR Reported data from as of January 2021

Associate Professor - Music
$72,300 (in our region)
Source: HR Reported data from as of January 2021

What You Can Do

  • Music Performer or Composer
  • Music Sales Representative
  • Instrument Technician
  • Recording Technician
  • Artist Representative
  • Artist Manager
  • Music Teacher
  • Church Music Director

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Major Ensembles (Concert Choir, Jazz Orchestra, Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Wind Orchestra)
  • Minor Ensembles (Chamber Singers, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Jazz Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, Basketball Band, Percussion Ensemble, String Ensemble, University Singers and various brass woodwind ensembles)
  • Specialty Ensembles: Bulldog Beat, Clendenin Brass Quintet, Chamber Music, Keyboard Ensemble, Mariachi, and President's Quintet (Woodwind)
  • Flamenco Guitar Interpretation
  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • Jazz Theory and Improvisation
  • Pop Music: Jazz and Rock

What You Can Learn

  • Professional performing proficiency on an instrument or voice
  • Use of computer technology for composing, sequencing and recording
  • Ability to improvise in a variety of settings
  • Understanding of the way historical aspects of music relate to performance and style interpretation
  • Understanding of music from diverse cultures
  • Understanding of musicianship and theoretical aspects of music, including ear training, sight-singing, analysis and composition

About the College

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

College Contact Information

College of Arts & Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats MS/MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024

(559) 278-3056
FAX: (559) 278-6758
email Dean's office

Where We Are Located

We are located in the west wing of the Music Building in Room 186.

Department Contact Information

Department of Music
Office Location: Music Building, Room 134
Phone: 559.278.2654
email Music Department

Mailing Address:

Department of Music
California State University, Fresno
2380 E. Keats Avenue M/S MB77
Fresno CA 93740-8024