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Major Requirements

Musicianship and Harmony:

Minimum of two courses in each series, starting with the course of placement.

  • Musicianship: 52A, 52B, and 152A; 152B is optional.
  • Harmony: 53A, 53B, and one of 153A or 153B.
Musicianship Placement:
  • If you are placed into Music 52A, you are required to complete 52A and 52B; 152A and 152B are optional.
  • If you are placed into Music 52B, you are required to complete 52B, 152A; 152B is optional.
  • If you are placed into Music 152A, it is the only Musicianship course required; 152B is optional.
Harmony Placement:
  • If you are placed into Music 53A, you are required to complete 53A and 53B; 153A and 153B are optional.
  • If you are placed into Music 53B, you are required to complete 53B and 153A, or 53B and 153B.
  • If you are placed into Music 153A, it is the only Harmony course required; 153B is optional.

History and Culture:

Complete one lower-division course for each area:

  • History: Music 70 (History of Music I)
  • Culture: Music 80 (Studies of Musics of the World)

Music majors should complete Music 80 in the first two years of the bachelor degree program if at all possible, but no later than their junior year. Transfer students must take the course in their junior year.

Complete one upper-division course for each area:

  • History: Music 170/170A
  • Culture: one course from Music 130-139, or Music 180

Performance Ensemble:

Complete 3 courses from Music 116A-116B, Music 140-149, Music 164-165, or the Music 168 series provided that students are in an ensemble in conjunction with their 168 lessons.

  • Music 168A (3 units): includes participation in Music 141 (UCBSO) or Music 142 (Wind Ensemble); fulfills performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168B (3 units): includes participation in Music 144 (University Chorus) or Music 145 (Chamber Chorus);  fulfills performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168C (2 units): does not fulfill performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168D (2-3 units):
    • 2 units: does not fulfill performance ensemble requirement.
    • 3 units: includes participation in Music 140 (Javanese Gamelan); fulfills performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168E (2-3 units):
    • 2 units: does not fulfill performance ensemble requirement.
    • 3 units: include participation in UC Jazz or UC Jazz Choir by instructor agreement; fulfills performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168G (2 units): may include participation in Guitar Ensemble; does not fulfill performance ensemble requirement.
  • Music 168H (2-3 units):
    • 2 units: does not fulfill performance ensemble requirement.
    • 3 units: includes participation in Music 149 (Baroque Ensemble); fulfills performance ensemble requirement.

Upper-Division Electives:

Take additional music major courses from Music 130-189, and Music 100-129 with an M suffix, to reach a total of 24 upper division units in Music. One semester of Music H195 may be counted toward major. Music 197, 198, and 199 may not be counted.

All courses counting towards Music Major lower and upper division requirements 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 urged 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, musics of the world, music history, conducting, performance, improvisation, theory and analysis, cognitive science, and music technology.

Sample Program Plan

Below are sample plans of study for music majors who are admitted as freshman or transfer, respectively. Each student’s program will vary based on experience and interest, and the samples listed below are not intended as the only program planning scenario. Students should familiarize themselves with the major requirements before making a program plan, and consult the Undergraduate Advisor should any question arise.

Please note that the sample program plan below include only courses required for the major. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with university, campus, and college requirements. Students in the College of Letters and Science, see the L&S Advising Degree Requirement page for more detail and consult their college advisor to address any questions and concerns. Students in other colleges should consult their respective college’s information.

All courses are subject to change every semester. Students must check the Class Schedule for the most up-to-date class offerings in a given semester.

First-Year Students

See the four-year Plan of Study on Berkeley Academic Guide.

Transfer Students

Fall Spring
Course Units Course Units
1st Year 52A 3 52B 3
53A 3 53B 3
70 4 80 4
Performance Ensemble 2 Performance Ensemble 2
45M 1 45M 1
Berkeley Connect 1 Berkeley Connect 1
2nd Year 170(A) 3 130’s/180 4/3
Performance Ensemble 2 UD Elective 3
UD Elective 3 UD Elective 3
UD Elective 3 UD Elective 3
UD Elective 3

Notes: The Music Major requires 24 upper-division units in music elective coursework, Music 197, 198, 199, and 410 excluded.