Program: Music, B.A.

Breadth Studies Option

Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Music option in Breadth Studies is a flexible program with minimum performance requirements that allows students to combine studies in music with other fields of interest (entrance audition required). Students must audition at the same level as other B.A. programs and have a clear career goal that cannot be met through one of the other CSUN Music options.

Program Requirements

A. Admission to the Major

Admission to the major in Music for all undergraduate degrees is determined by audition. Those auditioning for the Performance options must exhibit a high-performance competence in the audition. Audition procedures and standards are listed on the Department of Music—Audition and Placement website.

Transfer students seeking admission to Performance options must audition at the appropriate entrance level determined by the number of transferable units accepted by the University. (Example: At the time of the audition, students with more than 60 transferable units must demonstrate musical proficiency at the junior level for admission to a Performance option.) Exceptions to this policy are rare and are at the discretion of the Music department.

B. Lesson and Ensemble Requirements

To qualify for individual lessons in any semester, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units, including lesson units and the correct number of ensemble units required by their option.

Enrollment in the designated ensemble(s) for the student’s instrument is a corequisite of enrollment in private lessons each semester of enrollment. Students who do not meet this requirement by the third week of the semester will not be eligible for lessons that semester. Students enrolled in music ensembles in the Fall semester normally are expected to re-enroll in the same ensemble for the Spring semester. The nature of these classes makes it essential that consistent personnel be maintained throughout the year.

All students enrolled in individual lessons must demonstrate their progress in the major before a faculty jury at the end of each semester of study. Students receiving lower than a grade of “C-” in that semester of lessons will need to take additional study at their own expense to achieve their required level of performance before resuming department-paid lessons.

C. Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

1. Lower Division Required Courses (24 units)

MUS 110A Keyboard Musicianship I (1)
MUS 110B Keyboard Musicianship II (1)
MUS 111/L Musicianship I and Lab (1/1)
MUS 112/L Musicianship II and Lab (1/1)
MUS 191/L Fundamentals of Music Technology and Lab (2/1)
MUS 201 Style/Literature of Western Music I (3)
MUS 202 Style/Literature of Western Music II (3)
MUS 210A Keyboard Musicianship III (1)
MUS 211/L Musicianship III and Lab (1/1)
Individual Lessons (1-1)
Ensembles (4)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (6 units)

MUS 307 Music from a Global Perspective (3)
MUS 483ME/L Music Entrepreneurship and Lab (1/1)
MUS 495 Senior Recital/Project (1)*

3. Breadth Studies in Music Option Requirements (35 units)

MUS 210B Keyboard Musicianship IV (1)
MUS 212/L Musicianship IV and Lab (1/1)
MUS 213 Harmony I (3)
MUS 214 Harmony II (3)
Individual Lessons (1-1)
Ensembles (4)

Upper Division Music Courses (20 units)

Upper division Music courses to be selected in consultation with the Breadth Studies advisor and directed toward a specific capstone, including two music literature courses.

Literature (choose two)

MUS 306 Introduction to Jazz (3)
MUS 309 Traditional Music of the U.S. (3)
MUS 310 Understanding World Cultures Through Music (3)
MUS 401 Opera Literature (2)
MUS 403 Vocal Literature (2)
MUS 404 Symphonic Literature (2)
MUS 405 Wind Literature (2)
MUS 407A Keyboard Literature I (2)
MUS 407B Keyboard Literature II (2)
MUS 409 Chamber Music Literature (2)
MUS 411 History of Performance Practices (2)
MUS 412 Choral Literature (2)

Individual Lessons

Maximum of 2 units (in addition to the required 4 units) may be requested of the department chair by the student in writing at the time of the fourth semester jury. If approved, this choice leads to capstone no. 4 as listed below.


Maximum of 4 upper division units toward the 20-unit elective total (4 units required for students receiving 2 additional units of lessons).


Maximum of 6 units in one or more disciplines outside music. MUS 307, MUS 483ME/L and MUS 495 do not count toward the 20-unit upper division requirement.

*Capstone (MUS 495 in Core, Credit/No Credit)

One of the following (detailed requirements available from the Breadth Studies advisor):

  1. Undergraduate thesis (35-page minimum).
  2. Lecture/demonstration—plus written report (15-page minimum).
  3. Custom-designed project. Student must describe the specifics of the project and how it relates—plus written report (15-page minimum).
  4. Lecture/recital. Requires department chair approval, normally not permitted. In rare circumstances the student and faculty member may petition the department chair during the fourth semester of lessons for consideration of the lecture/recital capstone and additional lessons.

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog, including 3 units of coursework meeting the Ethnic Studies (ES) graduation requirement.

9 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: MUS 202 satisfies C1 Arts; MUS 191/L satisfies E Lifelong Learning; and MUS 307 satisfies 3 units of upper division F Comparative Cultural Studies.

If taken, MUS 397R/L satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; and MUS 306 or MUS 309 satisfies upper division C1 Arts.

Total Units in the Major/Option: 65

General Education Units: 39

Additional Units: 16

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Department of Music
Chair: Lorenz Gamma
Cypress Hall (CY) 116
(818) 677-3181

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with the elements of music, through sight-reading, basic keyboard proficiency and musical analysis.
  • Perform standard repertoire appropriate to their performance area, as individuals, members of ensembles and/or conductors.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of music history within their area of specialization and an acquaintance with the history, cultural background and repertoires beyond that area, including a wide selection of Western and world music literature.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of music technology and its application to their area of specialization.
  • Develop pedagogical and/or clinical skills fundamental to their area of specialization for application across a variety of music and music-related professions.
  • Demonstrate professional competence in the execution of business processes and practices commonly employed within their area of specialization.
  • Create derivative or original music in both extemporaneous and written form.

ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps

Students who have graduated with a verified Associate Degree for Transfer and have been admitted to a CSUN program that has been deemed similar will be able to complete the baccalaureate degree within 60 semester units. For additional information, see ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps.

Music/Breadth Studies Option - AA-T in Music (2023-Present)

Previous Years