The Department of Music offers two types of degrees with a major in Music: the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music Studies and the Bachelor of Music (BM). Both require some level of degree preparation at your previous college. However, if you have taken minimal or no music classes at the community college you attended, you should strongly consider choosing the Bachelor of Arts.

The BA is eligible for TAG. The BM is not, but you can audition and apply through the traditional route.

It is advised that you enter UCSB with at least some music coursework at your previous college to pursue the BA degree. Generally, we recommend taking music theory, musicianship, applied performance, music history (Mus 10 series equivalent), and world music classes. All are helpful in meeting your lower-division requirements. is a helpful site that can help you determine what classes will automatically transfer.

Please note that any theory and musicianship classes taken at a previous college do not automatically apply to your degree requirements at UCSB, unless noted in A placement exam, taken at the beginning of Fall quarter, is required for all incoming Music Majors, and encouraged for anyone who has taken these courses. Students may find that they are placed at an earlier stage of equivalence at UCSB than the courses they completed at their cc. For information about the exam, including the study guide see the Fall Kickoff page.

french horn student

Bachelor of Music Preparation Recommendations

Finishing the BM degree in two years requires that you are sufficiently prepared with much of your preparation work completed at your previous college. As a guide, use the degree sheet for your prospective BM in (instrument). With the exception of the Music 3 series of courses, the majority of the preparation for the major courses should be taken at your college. Please note that for Music Theory and Musicianship classes, equal equivalency is determined through the Theory and Musicianship Placement Exam at UCSB. For information about the exam, including the study guide see our Fall Kickoff page.

Prospective Bachelor of Music students ideally will start at UCSB prepared with: a year of Music Theory, Musicianship and Piano to prepare for the placement tests at UCSB, one year of Music History (equivalent to MUS 10), participate in BM degree appropriate lessons and ensembles and, in some cases, fulfill a language or two (e.g. Voice majors are required level 3 proficiency in Italian, and German or French). It is strongly encouraged that you have also completed your lower division GEs, which can be done by completing the IGETC at a California community college.

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Bachelor of Art Preparation Recommendations

For applicants interested in the Bachelor of Arts or the Music Minor, no additional application materials or audition is necessary during the application phase.

Although specific preparation work is not required, typically taking Music Fundamentals, Music Theory, Musicianship, World Music, Music History, participating in lessons and/or ensembles, and completing your IGETC at a California Community College will most prepare you to complete your degree at UCSB. Some additional lower division work and diagnostic exams will be needed when you enter.


Talk to an Advisor!

Schedule a meeting with the Undergraduate Advisor to discuss your goals and how to best prepare your time at community college to prepare you for a Music degree at UCSB.

Audition Requirements by Instrument for the Bachelor of Music for Transfer Students

Please note all audition requirements may change year to year, information posted here is to be used as a guide. Current requirements will be posted on the audition sign-ups. This information is for students transferring into UCSB, not continuing UCSB students, and typically signifies eligibility for upper-division lessons. If you are a current UCSB student interested in auditioning for the Bachelor of Music degree program, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor or your instrument instructor for more information.



BM Emphases in Voice

Program must include French, German, Italian, and English art songs performed from memory. Arias from opera or oratorio are permitted, though not required.  The candidate must provide one copy of the music for the accompanist.

BM Emphases in Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, And Tuba

Major repertoire for the instrument.  Consult faculty for specific requirements.

BM Emphases in Double Bass, Cello, Viola, and Violin

Two or three contrasting works from different historical periods. At least one work must be performed from memory.

BM Piano Emphasis

BM Piano Emphasis - If auditioning for BM Junior status in piano: Four contrasting works from different historical periods, played from memory. One of the works must consist of two or more movements of a sonata from the Classical period, and another must be a Chopin Etude or comparable virtuosic work.

BA, Music Studies - (audition for lessons with piano faculty, if space available):
For Lower-division lessons in Piano Two contrasting works from different historical periods.
For upper-division lessons in piano: Three contrasting works from different historical periods. One of the works must consist of one or more movements of a sonata from the Classical period.

BM Percussion Emphasis

Timpani: Applicable etudes from any of the following methods/solos (or similar) -

Fundamental Method for Timpani, Mitchell Peters
Intermediate Timpani Studies, Mitchell Peters
The Complete Timpani Method, Friese/Lepak
Exercises, Etudes, and Solos for Timpani, Raynor Carroll
The Solo Timpanist, Vic Firth
Modern Method for Timpani, Saul Goodman

Orchestral excerpts, Beethoven Symphonies #5, 7, 9 (available on request)

Snare Drum: Etudes or Solos from any of the following methods/solos (or similar) - 

Portraits in Rhythm, Anthony Cirone
Intermediate Snare Drum Studies, Mitchell Peters
Advanced Snare Drum Studies, Mitchell Peters
Delecluse 12 Studies for Snare Drum
Orchestral excerpts, Scheherezade, Lt. Kije (available on request)

Mallets: Applicable solo (2 and/or 4 mallets) for marimba, from the following (or similar) - 

Modern School for Xylophone Marimba and Vibraphone, Morris Goldenberg
Fundamental Method for Mallets, Vol 1, Mitchell Peters
Masterpieces for Marimba, Thomas McMillan (editor)
Bach E Major Partita Prelude or Bach A Minor Violin Concerto, Log Cabin Blues (GH Greene) or similar advanced 2 or 4 mallet solo
Orchestral excerpts including Polka from the Golden Age (Shostakovich), Colas Breugnon (Kobalevsky), Harry Janos Suite (Kaodaly), Overture to Candide (Bernstein) (available on request)

BM Composition Emphasis

Students who wish to audition for entrance into the BM, Composition program, a live audition is not required. However, auditioning to determine lesson eligibility is encouraged.

For your audition into the BM Composition, please create a single PDF portfolio with the documents listed below and links to your work, which should be available for viewing online.

Your portfolio must include:

  • Statement of Objective as a composition major
  • Three works, submitted with scores (.pdf) and a link to recordings, or separate (.mp3 or .wav)
  • Complete List of Works, indicating any performances and recording