May 29, 2022  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
    
Course Catalog 2022-2023

Conservatory of Music Degree Requirements


Degree Programs


Bachelor of Music


The Bachelor of Music is awarded upon completion of the following requirements:

  • Course and non-course requirements for one or more majors leading to the Bachelor of Music degree
  • 168 total credits, including 32 liberal arts credits; a maximum of four ExCo credits may be applied toward the degree 
  • Three full Winter Term projects
  • The residence requirement
  • A minimum GPA of 2.00

Master of Music combined with an undergraduate degree


The Master of Music in Conducting and the Master of Music in Historical Performance combined with an undergraduate degree in performance on a modern instrument are awarded upon completion of:

  • The requirements for a specified undergraduate major
  • The course and non-course requirements for the graduate major

Master of Music


Note: The Oberlin Conservatory is not accepting applications for this program at this time.


The Master of Music in Performance on Historical Instruments and Master of Contemporary Chamber Music are awarded upon completion of:

  • The course and non-course requirements for the graduate degree

Performance Diploma


The Performance Diploma is awarded upon completion of:

  • Specified course and non-course requirements
  • 64 credits
  • Four semesters in residence

Artist Diploma


Note: The Oberlin Conservatory is currently only accepting applications for the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology at this time.


The Artist Diploma is awarded upon completion of:

  • Specified course and non-course requirements
  • 40 credits
  • Four semesters in residence

Professional Certificate


Note: Only the Professional Certificate in Recording Arts is being offered at this time; the Recording Arts and Production program is not currently accepting applications for the two-year Artist Diploma path.


The Recording Arts and Production program offers two paths. Students who successfully complete their first year of study earn a Professional Certificate in Recording Arts. This certificate confirms a demonstrated understanding of the technology, systems, and processes associated with modern audio production. Students who successfully complete their second year of study earn an Artist Diploma in Recording Arts and Production.

Residence Requirement


Undergraduate Conservatory degree students must be in residence at Oberlin or in Oberlin College programs for a minimum of six semesters.

Conservatory Writing Requirement


The Conservatory Writing Requirement is designed to help students develop the ability to do the following: communicate effectively in writing, understand writing as a process, engage in writing as a form of critical thinking, demonstrate rhetorical flexibility by addressing various audiences and purposes in their writing, and demonstrate awareness of the conventions and forms of writing in particular disciplines.

As noted in the Graduation requirements for the Conservatory section of this catalog, the writing requirement is as follows:

Students are required to complete one Writing course, either W-Intensive (W-Int) or W-Advanced (W-Adv). It is strongly advised that students complete this course by the end of the second year of study. The course must be completed at Oberlin, with the exception that transfer students may petition to count a transferred course with a comparable focus on writing toward this requirement. The petition to request transfer of credit toward the writing requirement can be accessed here. Taking a second Writing course during studies at Oberlin is strongly recommended.

Courses carrying the W-Int designation involve explicit instruction in writing, are generally limited in size to allow such instruction, and require multiple writing assignments. These courses are designed to help students develop, compose, revise, organize and edit prose appropriate to the discipline or course. Courses carrying the W-Adv designation aim at helping students develop as writers within a discipline, employing the conventions and styles appropriate to that field and demonstrating the depth and engagement with disciplinary practices typical of knowledgeable practitioners.

Numerous campus resources are available to help students develop their writing skills, including Oberlin’s Writing Associates Program and the Writing Center. Conservatory students are encouraged to work closely with their Conservatory teachers to hone their music-specific writing skills as they progress through their degree requirements, with particular encouragement to engage in writing artistic statements, program notes, and grant proposals. Students enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) sequence will fulfill the Conservatory Writing Requirement as part of their ESOL coursework, specifically with the successful completion of ESOL 140 .