Requirements for Graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in Music

  • Request graduation evaluation from Evaluations Office four quarters in advance.
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 units of music each quarter. Deviations from this requirement must be requested and approved by either a music faculty advisor or the department chair, and communicated to the Music Department Office.
  • Pass all of the required courses.
  • Pass the Mid-Point Evaluation - piano, musicianship, theory, applied music at a minimum of the MU 250 level.
  • Fulfill the Concert Attendance Requirement.
  • Complete a senior project/senior recital.

Concert Attendance

  • Each music major must attend 6 performances per quarter which are to be chosen from a prepared list of approved concerts or musical events.
    • Music majors attending events sponsored by Cal Poly Arts are entitled to a special ticket discount. To receive this special discount, present your current student ID card when you purchase your ticket.
  • One attendance each quarter may be satisfied through a concert report. Reports cannot be written for events which are proctored.
    • Music Major Concert Report Guidelines:
      • Format and Identification
        • At least 500 words. Most word processing apps have a word counting tool. Use only your name and the name of the performance at the top of the page.
      • The Performance
        • In one sentence, describe the concert setting:
          • Date and name of the performance
          • Describe the performance venue, audience and performers
        • The next section should be approximately 98% of your report. You must report on a piece in the first AND in the second half. Be an active rather than passive listener to what is happening in the music. Take notes during the performance, and refer to compositions by name. Be specific and use musical terms and concepts to analyze and discuss the following:
          • Is the performance well done? Why or why not.
          • By analyzing what you hear in the music, discuss what you specifically like or dislike about the pieces you are choosing for your report? Why?
          • What is your emotional response to these pieces and what in the music prompts that response?
          • Compare and contrast what you hear in the specific pieces.
          • Have a concluding sentence or two.
      • Attach a program and a concert ticket from the performance to your report. If there is not a program, take a photo of yourself at the venue.
      • A copy of the paper must be turned in at the Music Department office no later than noon on the Monday of finals week.
  • At the end of each quarter if a student has not attended the required 6 concerts, they will have a deficit beginning the next quarter/year, and will carry that deficit until each missed concert has been made up - which will delay the graduation process.
    • The Department encourages students to attend major concerts off campus – even out of town.
  • If a student attends additional concerts during one quarter, it is possible to count those towards another quarter of the same academic year.
    • No more than 3 extra concerts may be carried forward in each academic year. 
  • A student who is enrolled part-time is required to attend 4 concerts per quarter. 
  • A student is expected to be current in their concert attendance when taking the Mid-Point Evaluation, but must take the exam regardless of their concert attendance status. 
    • If a student has a concert deficit, but performs satisfactorily on the exam, the student will not receive credit for passing the exam until the student has made up the deficit plus the additional six concerts that accrue in each successive quarter. 
    • If a student has not “caught up” in concert attendance within one year (i.e. before the day of the next June Mid-Point Evaluation administration), the previous Mid-Point Evaluation results will be voided, and the student must retake AND pass the Mid-Point Evaluation (Musicianship, Piano Skills and Theory portions) a second time to satisfy this graduation requirement.  Failure to do so will be grounds for dismissal from the major. 
    • A student with a concert attendance deficit will not be allowed enroll in MU 461 (Senior Project) until that deficit is removed.

Participation in Commencement Activities

If a student wishes to participate in the University commencement ceremony, the student must meet one of the three conditions of the University Policy listed below. To participate in the Music Department commencement ceremony, in addition to meeting the University policies, Music Majors must also meet ALL of the Graduate Requirements listed above (Concert Attendance, Piano Proficiency, etc.). Students must also submit an "Application to Participate in Music Department Graduation Ceremony," which also serves as a checklist for all requirements that have been or will be satisfied, no later than the end of the 5th week of Winter Quarter (for Spring Quarter graduation).

University Policy for University Commencement Ceremony Participation

For a student to participate in graduation ceremonies, the student must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • The student shall have completed all degree requirements and not have participated in a graduation ceremony previously.

  • The student shall currently be enrolled in classes that would complete all of the student’s degree requirements.

  • The student shall be registered for classes for the following term that would allow the student to complete all of their degree requirements.

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