Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduates may apply for admission to either the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Music (BM) degree prUCSB Gospel Choir in Actionograms, or students my pursue a Minor in Music which can be declared once you arrive at UCSB.

The curriculum in the Music Department centers on chamber music and classical training, but includes a broad range of courses which include popular music, jazz, world music, and composition. View the complete course catalog (course offerings vary by year and quarter).

The UCSB Department of Music does not prescreen undergraduate applications. Admission to the BM programs requires acceptance into the University by UCSB's Admissions Department and Acceptance into the BM program via audition by the Music Department. Both of these application processes are separate.

It is possible to be accepted into UCSB and not into the BM program. You may still be eligible, however, for the Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies degree, which presents many possibilities for the study of music in a broad liberal arts spectrum. It is also possible that you are determined eligible for the BM program, but are not admitted to UCSB. In this case you will not be eligible to attend the program. Your status in terms of being admitted to the University of California at Santa Barbara is ultimately determined by the Office of Admissions.

Admission to the Music Department's Bachelor of Art major (any emphasis) does not require an audition prior to enrolling at UCSB. If you choose the BA as your first choice major during your application process, admission is determined solely by the UCSB Admissions department. Lessons, studion placement and ensembles will require auditions at the beginning of Fall quarter if you choose to participate in these opportunities.

Minors can be declared once in residence at UCSB. Lessons, studion placement and ensembles will require auditions at the beginning of Fall quarter.


Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Music Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies (BA), balances musical studies in history, musicianship, theory and performance with the broad general education implied by a liberal arts degree.

The Music Studies Major of the Bachelor of Arts degree program offers a wide range of options within a liberal arts degree. Students take the same set of GE requirements as all BA students in the College of Letters and Science. The core academic courses: music theory, musicianship, analysis and music history, are the same as for the BM. The BA requires fewer Music courses than the BM which can be more conducive to accomodating double-majors, although any Music student can pursue a double-major. As a capstone, Music Studies majors must complete a senior project which may be an recital (in performance), a composition, or a research paper.

Degree requirements for all Music Department programs are listed here. The course catalog, with descriptions of each course number can be found here.

Optional emphases, which appear on a students transcript, include:

Bachelor of Music (BM)

The Bachelor of Music degree, with emphases in various performance disciplines, is a professional degree, open by audition to highly qualified performance students. The Bachelor of Music, is a professional degree, and the majority of work consists of prescribed courses in studies in performance, theory, musicianship, and history and intense study in applied music, requiring proficiency in an instrument, voice, or conducting.

The program of study is focused more intensely on performance accomplishment, with fewer GE requirements than the BA. Applicants seeking admission to a Bachelor of Music are required to pass an entrance audition. Typically these auditions take place in January prior to enrolling at UCSB, some exceptions are made for continuing students where space allows.

The core academic courses: music theory, musicianship, analysis and music history, are the same as for the BA Music Studies major. BM programs all require active participation in ensembles, including orchestra or wind ensemble for orchestral instruments, choir and opera workshop for voice, piano duets for piano, and chamber music for all instruments. BM performance programs all require passing end-of-year freshman and sophomore auditions (performance exams for a faculty jury), and public Junior and Senior Recitals.

The Bachelor of Music Degree is awarded in the following emphases, which appear on the student's transcript:

Music Minor

Students majoring in other disciplines are able to pursue an interest in music at a less intensive level than the major by completing a minor in music. A minor requirements can be found here (.pdf). Students can declare a minor in music once they are a student at UCSB. This process is simple, and can be done via email or in-person (Music 1314)

Double Major

Either Music Major can be combined with a second major at UCSB. Students should explore this option as soon as possible with the support of undergraduate advisors in each department, and an advisor in the college(s). For College of Letters and Science advising, see here.


After browsing the site, and viewing the FAQs, if you still have questions, please email the Undergraduate Advisor.