Music - BM, BA

Caine College of the Arts

About This Degree

The bachelor of music degree is offered through USU’s Music Department, which fosters a small, close-knit environment and provides students with the opportunity to receive private instruction, where they work one-on-one with professors to improve their performance skills.

All music majors must pass an audition to be admitted, making the program competitive and challenging which produces the highest quality musicians and music teachers. Students can also take advantage of scholarship funding exclusive to the Music Department.

There are many performance opportunities available for students, including concerts, operas, recitals, and numerous music ensembles. Students benefit from performances and master classes, which are small workshops in a private classroom setting given by visiting professional musicians from around the world.

The Music Department is home to the Fry Street Quartet, the region’s only professional string quartet in residence. The group works as faculty and mentors in the department in addition to regular performances on campus and international tours. USU’s Music Department boasts 100% job placement in public, private, and charter schools for its music education majors after graduation. Students in all emphases are also qualified to teach private lessons.


Music Performance:

This emphasis prepares students for careers in music performance. Students can focus on piano, string instruments, voice, wind/brass/percussion, guitar or organ. Students should check with the department for more information on the options available.

Music Education:

Students in this emphasis prepare to become music educators. In addition to music classes, they learn teaching techniques through classes taught by the College of Education. Students in this emphasis can focus on band, orchestra, choral, guitar, or piano education. Students should check with the department for more information on the options available.

Education Component

This is for the music education emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the Fall of their Sophomore year, in conjunction with taking MUSC 3100 Motivation and Classroom Management Strategies Secondary Classroom Music. Students learn subject content through the Music Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.

Students in the music education program are required to select an emphasis related to their major instrument. Woodwind, Brass and Percussion instrument majors select Band Emphasis, Voice majors select Choral Emphasis, Guitar majors select Guitar emphasis, and Strings select Orchestra Emphasis.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in music, students may pursue the following careers:

Music Performance Emphasis:

  • Private studio instructors
  • Corporate positions in the music industry
  • Studio musicians
  • Touring musicians and recording artists
  • Music dealership owners and managers
  • Recording engineer
  • Sound technician
  • Music journalist
  • Music arrangement

Music Education Emphasis:

  • Private studio instructors
  • Music teachers in secondary schools (band, choir, etc.)

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the music program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as pre-majors.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions need a 2.75 cumulative GPA to qualify, and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 cumulative GPA in order to qualify for this major.
  • To become a music major, students must complete the following:
    • A required audition, which usually takes place the February before the student’s freshman year
    • Other prerequisite coursework as determined by the department
  • STEP Requirements (music education emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
    • Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

It is recommended that students have their own instruments. It is also recommended that students have a laptop computer and be familiar with music software (Finale), which they can access in university computer labs.

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