Undergraduate Degree Programs

BA vs B.Mus

Choosing Bachelor Arts in Music (BA) or Bachelor of Music (B.Mus) degree is influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Primary area of study within music
  • Desired time to degree
  • Career goal

The primary difference between the BA and the B.Mus is that the B.Mus is a pre-professional degree, preparing students for careers in performance, music education in the public schools, or history. The BA is a liberal arts degree, designed to develop broadly-educated musicians and citizens.

The most important differences are as follows:

  • BA students are not required to enroll in private lessons, and have fewer requirements in ensemble, music theory, aural skills, pedagogy, and literature.
  • BA students have a larger elective requirement in music.
  • Students may declare the BA without audition and are encouraged, but not required, to take placement exams in Music Theory, Music History, and Ear Training.
  • B.Mus students must perform a senior recital; BA students complete a capstone project, by enrolling in MUS 598 (Senior Thesis). The project is designed in consultation with the student’s thesis advisor (the course instructor for MUS 598).
  • B.Mus students are entitled to one-hour lessons each semester, with no additional fee and must enroll in two ensembles every semester. BA students may request 30 minute lessons for several semesters.
  • Students must audition for entry into the B.Mus program and are required to take placement exams in Music Theory, Keyboard, and Ear Training.
  • Students may change from BA to B.Mus by completing a successful audition, after which they submit a request for change of major form
  • Students may change from B.Mus to BA by submitting a request for change of major form
  • Students planning careers in Music Education in the public schools are encouraged to complete the B.Mus, as it allows them to apply directly to the required teaching credential program. BA students must pass the CSET exam before applying to the required teaching credential program.
  • B.Mus students planning careers in Composition for visual media (films, games, VR) are eligible for placement in industry internships.

 

BACHELOR OF MUSIC

An exciting and intensive learning experience, our Bachelor of Music degree trains future educators, performers, and scholars. This high-unit degree prepares students for graduate study or professional careers in the music field. All B.Mus students receive weekly lessons with a member of the applied faculty during each semester of their degree. Candidates for the B.Mus may apply either before or after enrolling at SF State.

Areas of Study Include:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Electronic Music
  • Film / Game Scoring
  • Jazz Performance
  • Music Education
  • Music History

For additional information please see the University Bulletin, Class Schedule, and Degree Roadmap:

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BACHELOR OF MUSIC

Students entering the Bachelor of Music program are required to audition. Please see our Audition Page for further information.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. To train students:
    - To perform at a professional level
    - To successfully compete in the professional fields of music
    - To be prepared for advanced collegiate study in music 
  2. To provide for the development of music educators who will perpetuate the finest musical traditions in highly diverse musical communities, such as those found in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond
  3. To foster intellectual and creative expressions through research and musical scholarship
  4. To educate general students in ways which enrich, enlighten and encourage the development of their musical expression and appreciation
  5. To train students to perform in concerts and other musical events of the highest quality for SFSU and the Bay Area Communities
  6. To assist in the cultivation of arts audiences of the future

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MUSIC 

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is a liberal arts degree with music as the major area of study. The structure of the degree program offers students several avenues to pursue individual interests in music as preparation for careers in music or music-related fields. Students with other music-related career interests may also design and complete a series of electives more appropriately focused on their career goals, with the approval of the School of Music.

Areas of Study Include:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Electronic Music
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Film / Game Scoring
  • Jazz Performance
  • Music Education
  • Music History
  • World Music

For additional information please see the University Bulletin, Class Schedule, and Advising Worksheet:

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Students entering the Bachelor of Arts in Music program are not required to audition but may audition for applied private lessons. Please see our Audition Page for further information.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. To prepare students for advanced collegiate study in music
  2. To foster intellectual and creative expressions through research and musical scholarship
  3. To educate general students in ways which enrich, enlighten and encourage the development of their musical expression and appreciation
  4. To train students to perform in concerts and other musical events of the highest quality for SFSU and the Bay Area Communities
  5. To assist in the cultivation of arts audiences of the future