Apr 19, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements

arrow Learn more about the Bachelor of Music degree in general.  

Students are responsible for compliance with the institutional graduation requirements stated in the Oberlin College and Conservatory Course Catalog in effect when they first matriculate at Oberlin unless action by an appropriate faculty body specifically directs otherwise.

The Bachelor of Music degree is conferred upon students who successfully complete the requirements detailed below. Students are expected to progress toward completion of the degree at the rate suggested by the recommended course of study for their declared major.

Please note that requirements and expectations may differ for double-degree students.

arrow See the Double Degree Program degree requirements.  

Detailed Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement

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Major Study Requirement

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  • Students accepted into the Bachelor of Music degree program declare a major as part of the admissions process.
  • Students are required to pursue at least one major full-time in every semester of enrollment.
    • If students are denied continuation in a major by action of the Academic Standing Committee, they may appeal to the committee for permission to enroll for the following semester without a major for the purpose of finding a new major; regardless of the circumstances, more than one semester of enrollment without a major is not permitted.
  • Students may pursue a major in more than one department or program.
  • Any student interested in changing majors or in adding a second major must initiate that request through the Office of the Associate Deans of the Conservatory. A student must audition before a committee in the department of the new major before changing performance majors or before adding a second performance major. Auditions are arranged by the Conservatory Admissions Office. An interview with the appropriate Conservatory division director is required for changes involving majors other than performance.

arrow See majors available to students pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree.  

Non-Course Requirements

Non-course requirements (such as committees, hearings, portfolio submissions, departmentals, recitals, etc.) vary by major and by concentration. These are required musical performances or submissions which allow students to illustrate their progress before a faculty panel. Successful completion of each non-course requirement permits a student to move on to the next academic year and ultimately receive their degree. Refer to the catalog page for a specific major or concentration for the exact non-course requirements associated with that major or concentration.

Winter Term Requirement

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The purpose of this requirement is to provide students a semi-structured opportunity to pursue interests outside of regular course offerings through immersive learning experiences.

  • Winter Term takes place in January of each academic year. In certain extreme cases, permission may be granted for a student to complete a Winter Term project outside of the scheduled Winter Term. Such exceptions are granted by petition to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Winter Term projects can be completed on- or off-campus, independently or in groups, and carry either one half or one full Winter Term credit.

arrow See more about Winter Term.

Aural Skills Requirement

Students are expected to register for one aural skills course each semester until they have completed the core requirements.

Music Theory Requirement

Students are expected to register for one music theory course each semester until they have completed the core requirements.

Note: A music theory placement test score of 80 or higher is a prerequisite for MUTH 131 . Students with lower scores must successfully complete MUTH 120  before taking MUTH 131 . The placement exam may be taken five times.

Music Theory Core Courses

The core courses of the music theory requirement prepare students to hear, perform, and communicate about multiple aspects of music in diverse repertoires.

Music Theory Elective Courses

Two additional music theory courses at the 200-level (MUTH 250-299) are required. These include topic- and repertoire-based classes that are chosen in consultation with academic advisors.

Writing Requirement

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Students are required to complete one full course (four credits) with either the Writing Intensive (WINT) or the Writing Advanced (WADV) attribute by the end of the second year of study if possible. A second course with the WINT or WADV attribute is strongly recommended. The required 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 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.

arrow See a list of courses with the WINT attribute. 

arrow See a list of courses with the WADV attribute. 

Minimum GPA Requirement

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Students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.00.

Residence Requirement

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Students must spend at least six semesters in residence at Oberlin or enrolled in Oberlin programs.