Jun 13, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Musical Studies Major

The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the musical studies program.  

The musical studies major is designed for College of Arts and Sciences students with serious preparation for and interest in the study of music within a liberal arts context. The major emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and communications skills grounded in practical musical experience. Students in the major build musical foundations in applied study, musicianship skills, and music history, and continue more advanced work in the major with a selection of courses chosen to contextualize their consideration of music.

Note: Students interested in intensive pre-professional training are advised to apply for the Bachelor of Music program in the Conservatory of Music.

Course of Study

Students interested in pursuing graduate work in music are advised to take additional courses beyond the minimum major requirements and to pursue the honors program.

Honors in Musical Studies

Students may apply for the Honors Program in Musical Studies in the second semester of the junior year. Entry to the honors program is contingent on approval of the honors proposal by both the student’s honors advisor and the musical studies committee. Detailed application information is available from the co-chairs of the committee.

arrow See more information about the Honors Program in Musical Studies and submission deadlines.

Detailed Major Requirements

Musical Studies Course Lists


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Qualified students in the College of Arts and Sciences may be accepted for membership in Musical Union, Oberlin College Choir, Oberlin College Women’s Chorale, Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Sinfonietta, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Collegium Musicum, Javanese Gamelan, Performance & Improvisation Ensembles, Oberlin Jazz Ensemble, Opera Theater, and various other ensembles under the direction of members of the Conservatory faculty. Ensembles are offered as half-courses (for 2 credits) per semester and may be repeated for credit. For further details consult the Conservatory of Music section of this catalog.

300- and 400-level Conservatory or Music-Focused Courses

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Any 300- or 400-level Conservatory course or a 300-level Arts and Sciences course with substantial musical content. Arts and Sciences courses must be approved by the program director.

Musical Studies Major Elective Courses

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Students can take elective courses in Ethnomusicology, Music History, up to four credits of Private Studies, as well as the areas listed below.


In addition to the courses below, students can take private lessons (typically secondary lessons) on an instrument or voice. Signups and auditions take place each semester during the first week of classes.

arrow View more information about Secondary Lessons here.