Major Requirements

For students who declared prior to Fall 2022, please see the pre-Fall 2022 Music major requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements

  •   Music 70 (History of Music)
  •   Music 80 (Studies of Musics of the World)
  •   Music 90 (Making Music)

Upper-Division Requirements

Musicology and Ethnomusicology

  •   Music 170 or 170A (Musicology), and
  •   one course from Music 130-139, or Music 180 (Ethnomusicology)

Making Music

Two courses (which may not be repeated for this requirement) from:

  •   Music 108 (Music Perception and Cognition)
  •   Music 116 (Improvisation in the Jazz Tradition)
  •   Music 150 (Sightsinging and Score Reading)
  •   Music 151A, 151B, 151C or 151D (Harmony)
  •   Music 154A (Counterpoint)
  •   Music 155 (Composition)
  •   Music 156 (Analysis)
  •   Music 157A (Orchestration)
  •   Music 158A (Music and Sound Computing)
  •   Music 161A (Conducting)
  •   Music 166A (Aurality and Creative Interaction I)


Three courses (which may be repeated for this requirement) from Music 116, 140-149, 164-5, or the Music 168 series provided that students are in an ensemble in conjunction with their 168 lessons.

Capstone Course/Project*

Music 195 (Capstone in Music, 1-unit independent study), taken concurrently with one additional course from:

  •   Music 107 (Advanced Project in Computer Music)
  •   Music 155 (Composition)**
  •   Music 156 (Studies in Musical Analysis)
  •   Music 157B (Orchestration)
  •   Music 158B (Situated Instrument Design)
  •   Music 159 (Computer Programming for Music Applications)
  •   Music 161B (Conducting)
  •   Music 165 (Berkeley Nu Jazz Collective)
  •   Music 166B (Aurality and Creative Interaction 2)
  •   Music 168 (Music Performance)
  •   Music 170 (Topics in History, Culture, and Analysis)
  •   Music 170A (Topics in Research and Performance)
  •   Music 172 (Popular Music Theory)
  •   Music 180 (Seminar in Ethnomusicology)

*Music H195 (Honors in Music) may be substituted for the capstone requirement.

**Students must take Music 155 at least once prior to taking it as their capstone course.

Upper-Division Electives

Additional courses from Music 100-189 to reach a total of 24 upper division units in Music. One semester of Music H195 or Music 195 may be counted toward major. Music 197, 198, and 199 may not be counted.

Notes on the Major

Students may not use a course taken a single time to satisfy multiple upper-division requirements for the major.

  • For example, Music 170 must be taken twice to satisfy the upper-division musicology and capstone course requirements.

All courses counting towards the Music major (with the exception of Music 195, graded PNP) must be taken for a letter grade. A letter grade of C- or higher must be received in all of your lower and upper division Music Major courses. Additionally, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the major to be in good standing.

Students without keyboard proficiency are strongly encouraged to enroll in two semesters of basic piano (Music 45M) in their first semesters in the major program. 

Students are expected to shape their program according to their particular interests, using these units and, if they wish, additional courses from both within and outside the department (with departmental approval). Suggested areas of specialization include composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, conducting, performance, improvisation, theory and analysis, cognitive science and music technology.

Sample Program Plans

See the First-Year and Transfer plans of study on the Berkeley Academic Guide, along with these sample program plans for first year and transfer students. Keep in mind that each student’s program plan will vary based on experience and interest, and the sample plans linked above are not intended as the only program planning scenario. Students should familiarize themselves with the major requirements before making a program plan, and consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to review their plan and declare the major.