The Catholic University of America

This text is excerpted from the 2013-2014 CUA Announcements. Please consult the Announcements for further information regarding academic policies and programs.

Undergraduate Programs

Programs leading to the Bachelor of Music degree are offered in composition, music education, musical theatre, performance (orchestral instruments, organ, piano, collaborative piano, voice), or piano pedagogy.

Academic Electives: Academic electives may be chosen from courses in any field except music (MUS) or music private instruction (MUPI).

Accelerated Harmony: Harmony I-IV is an eight-credit sequence. Students permitted to take Accelerated Harmony I (3 cr) and Accelerated Harmony II (3 cr) have fulfilled the Harmony sequence without further need to make up two credits.

Advanced Placement: The music school follows guidelines established by the School of Arts and Sciences in the awarding of credits to students who submit Advanced Placement Test results.

Courses taken in sequence: The following courses must be taken in sequence, and the student must pass* the previous level before being allowed to register for the next highest level in the sequence: MUS 23, 24: Fundamentals I, II; MUS 123, 124, 223, 224: Harmony I, II, III, IV; MUS 125, 126: Accelerated Harmony I, II; MUS 121, 122, 221, 222: Eartraining-Sightsinging I, II, III, IV; MUS 325, 326, 327: History of Music I, II, III; MUS 104, 104A, 215, 215A, 315, 315A, 449, 449A: Musical Theatre Workshops: Freshman Levels I, II, Sophomore Levels I, II, Junior Levels I, II, Senior Levels, I, II.  *Some programs may have additional requirements.

Credit by examination or waiver of coursework: A student who has extensive professional or academic experience in a specific music subject area may request credit by examination or a waiver of coursework. In either case, an examination will be administered by the faculty in specific subject areas and a faculty recommendation will be submitted to the dean. Credit will be awarded only for outstanding performance in a subject area. If a waiver only is granted in a subject area, an appropriate credit substitution will be made. The maximum number of semester hours a student may achieve by examination in the bachelor's program is six.

Dean's List: A dean's list is created for each semester to recognize those music students who in a degree program have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average in a full-time course load for that semester (12 credit hours or more) and who have not incurred a failing grade in either a credit-bearing or non-credit bearing course taken that semester.

English requirements: Undergraduate majors in the music school are required to take two English courses: a writing course (ENG 101), part of the First Year Experience sequence of courses; and a literature course (HUM 101), in the Sophomore year. An additional English course may be required in certain degree programs: see individual curriculum for details. A student who earns a score of 4 or 5 on the AP English Literature and Composition exam will receive automatic credit for ENG 102. Note: The university does not accept the AP exam for English Language/Composition. HUM 101 Classics in Conversation may be accepted as a music (MUS) elective if it has not been used to satisfy the English literature requirement or other English course requirement.

First Year Experience: The school of music participates in the First Year Experience. Freshmen take ENG 101 and PHIL 201 in the first semester; they take TRS 201 and PHIL 202 in the second semester. For further details, the student is asked to see his/her program curriculum below.

Good standing, probation, dismissal: The music school follows university policy on good standing, probation, and dismissal, as outlined in the general section of these Undergraduate Announcements.

Handbook for students in the school of music: Students should consult the online Handbook found at for music school forms and procedures not detailed in these Announcements.

Incompletes and Extensions of Incomplete: The School of Music follows university policy with regards to Incompletes and Extensions of Incomplete with this clarification: only one Extension of Incomplete will be granted for a given course, requiring dean's permission and documentation supporting the reason for the request.  Further extensions will be considered only in extreme cases and with the approval of the instructor, the division head, and the dean.

Independent Study: Except in cases approved by the dean, no more than four Independent Studies may be included in a Bachelor of Music degree program, and the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

International Baccalaureate: The music school follows guidelines established by the School of Arts and Sciences in the awarding of credits to students who have earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Minor (Subconcentration): Undergraduate students may, in consultation with their adviser and with approval of the dean, elect a subconcentration in a nonmusic area. This may result in additional length of time required to complete the degree. A minor in Drama is not permitted for students in the Musical Theatre degree program. Undergraduate students may, in consultation with their adviser and with approval of the dean, elect a music minor among the following: Minor in Piano, Minor in Composition, and Minor in Conducting. This may result in additional length of time required to complete the degree. The curriculum of each music minor follows in the pages ahead.

Music Certification: The Music Education curriculum leads to K-12 Music Certification in the District of Columbia. Pursuit of reciprocal certification with other state departments of education is possible.

Music Teacher Certification Program (non-degree): Although the Music Teacher Certification Program may stand alone, it is also available to undergraduate students who wish to pursue music education certification simultaneously with the completion of a Bachelor of Music degree in a field other than music education. Students are advised that this may result in additional length of time required to complete the degree and are advised to begin the certification program early in their undergraduate program. Students interested in this program should consult with the the chair of Music Education.

Overelection: 1. A Junior or Senior music major who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better or who achieves a 3.5 grade point average at the end of a semester may request to enroll in the following semester for one additional credit beyond the allowable maximum of 21. Dean's permission requried.  2. A music major may request in one semester of the Senior year a one-credit overelection without achieving the 3.5 grade point average.  Dean's permission required.

Participation in productions: Music students derive benefit from participation in many aspects of the management and production of performances. Students may, as part of their educational experience, be assigned various duties in the production of operas, musical theater productions, and orchestral, choral, and chamber music concerts.

Performing organization requirements: Full-time and part-time undergraduate students are required to enroll each semester in Chorus (MUS 507 Chamber Choir [by audition]; 507B University Singers; 507C University Chorus; 507D Women's Chorus [for Freshmen women]); University Symphony Orchestra (MUS 508); Wind Ensemble (MUS 508B) according to the requirements of their degree program. Undergraduates who pass the audition for entrance into Chamber Choir (MUS 507) may use that performing ensemble to fulfill their major ensemble requirements. Transfer students, whether from another institution or another School within the university, are required to enroll in a performing organization during the semesters in residence at the School of Music. Students in Musical Theatre who participate in the London Dramatic Academy and students in Music Education should consult their curriculum for exceptions to the above.

Piano Proficiency Examination: Students whose curricula require the Piano Proficiency Examination must complete the examination by the end of the junior year. A student will not be permitted to present the senior recital committee hearing until the examination is passed.

Private Instruction and degree recital: Students are required to enroll for at least one semester hour of private instruction in their major field during the semester in which they present a degree recital.

Private Instruction with part-time faculty: Part-time faculty members teaching private instruction are appointed at an hourly rate by the university. Study with part-time applied faculty is subject to their availability; some part-time applied faculty members teach off campus. Students studying with part-time faculty may be required to pay an additional studio rate.

Studio X (MUS 100): All undergraduate students are required to register for MUS 100 Studio X each semester they are in residence.

Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) requirements: TRS 201 (Faith Seeking Understanding) is required of all undergraduate students in the university and must be fulfilled in the Freshman year or, for transfer students, their first semester of study at CUA.  All undergraduates in the music school are required to take three TRS courses, the specifics of which are outlined in the curricula of the degree programs that follow. Transfer students in the music school are permitted to take two TRS courses: they must take TRS 201 plus a 200-/300-/400-level course of one's choosing.

Theory Evaluation Test: Entering undergraduate students are given the Theory Evaluation Test to determine their placement in music theory. Based on the results of the test, students may be required to complete successfully two semesters of Fundamentals of Music Theory (MUS 023, 024) before enrolling in MUS 121 and 123.

Transfer credits: For credits to be transferred from another institution, the other institution must be regionally accredited, the grade received in the course must be "C" or higher, the course must be applicable to the degree being pursued at CUA, and the course must first be evaluated for equivalency. When transferring credits, if a student's prior institution awarded more credits for a course than CUA awards for an equivalent course, only the number of credits awarded by CUA will be granted for the course; surplus credits for the course may be used as free music elective credits, if necessary. If a student's prior institution awarded fewer credits for a course than CUA awards for an equivalent course, the missing credits must be made up in music electives. An exception to this latter policy will be applied lessons for which the student's prior institution awarded one or two semester hours of credit for weekly hour-long lessons during the entire course of a semester; in such cases, CUA will award three semester hours of credit upon written confirmation from the institution.