Academic Excellence

Honors at Graduation

Students achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.70–3.79 graduate with honors, 3.80–3.89 with high honors and 3.90–4.00 with highest honors. These students are recognized at commencement.

Scholarships and Awards

A number of scholarships and awards are designed specifically for students in the College of Music. Undergraduate music majors are eligible for scholarships or renewal of their scholarships as long as they make satisfactory degree progress by:

  1. demonstrating adequate performance in weekly applied lessons, ensemble and scholarship auditions, applied proficiencies/juries, and recitals/previews;
  2. maintaining at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in those classes that count toward the music degree; and
  3. successfully completing at least two-thirds of the credit hours attempted while a music major at CU Boulder.

Academic Standards

Academic Ethics

Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Cheating, plagiarism, illegitimate possession and disposition of examinations, alteration, forgery or falsification of official records, and similar acts or the attempt to engage in such acts are grounds for suspension or expulsion from the university.

In particular, students are advised that plagiarism consists of any act involving the offering of the work of someone else as their own. It is recommended that students consult with their instructors as to the proper preparation of reports, papers, etc., in order to avoid this and similar offenses. Students are expected to be acquainted with and abide by provisions of the CU Boulder Honor Code (see the Academic Integrity section).

Scholastic Requirements

To remain in good academic standing, a student must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and make satisfactory progress toward the degree as defined by the College of Music and area faculty. Please refer to campus Academic Standing policies for details.

Undergraduate music majors are eligible for scholarships or renewal of their scholarships as long as they make satisfactory progress in their major (as determined by the faculty), demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in jury exams and auditions, enroll in ensemble and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.00 will be placed on scholarship probation for one semester. Students on scholarship probation who do not earn a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher by the end of the probationary period will have their scholarships revoked. A maximum of two semesters may be granted with approval from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.


Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic dishonesty and to petition for exceptions to the academic policies stated in this catalog. Appeals should be directed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. College of Music policies are in addition to the campus policies.

Credit and Enrollment

Admission Requirements

In addition to the entrance requirements of the university outlined in Undergraduate Admission in the General Information section, freshman and transfer students must meet College of Music entrance requirements. Successful College of Music applicants have extensive prior experience in music (including private study), the ability to read and sight-read music notation, an understanding of music fundamentals or basic music theory and elementary piano skills. Students with appropriate skill in piano sight reading and keyboard harmony may be able to test out of all or part of the keyboard musicianship requirement included in their degree plan. Students with an AP Music Theory test score of 4 are credited with one semester of music theory and aural skills, and those with a test score of 5 are credited with two semesters.


An audition is required for all prospective undergraduate music majors. Undergraduate auditions are held in Boulder on selected Saturdays in February. Alternate audition dates may also be scheduled if necessary. If travel distance is prohibitive, prospective students may substitute a high-quality recording. Applicants should identify themselves by name and list selections and titles at the beginning of the recording. In order for students to be fully considered for financial assistance, live auditions should be completed during the general audition weekends in February or recordings should be received by Feb. 15. Students should prepare a 10–20 minute audition program in accordance with the audition requirements listed on the college's Auditions webpage.

Contact the undergraduate office at 303-492-8468 or for more information.

Admissions decisions for music composition applicants are based on a review of scores and sound recordings for at least three contrasting works. If the portfolio of scores and recordings is considered acceptable for admission to the music composition program, applicants are then invited to schedule an instrumental/voice audition.

Admissions decisions for music education applicants are based on academic qualifications, audition results and an interview conducted by two or more music education faculty members. Interviews address written and verbal communication skills, motivation and goals related to music teaching, prior music teaching experiences and affective characteristics associated with effective music teachers. For more information about music education interviews, visit the college's Music Education webpage and contact the music education chair.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from within the university and from other universities must meet the general requirements of the university and the specific requirements of the College of Music, including the audition. A minimum GPA of 2.0 for students transferring from within the university and 2.75 for students transferring from other universities is required. See the undergraduate Admissions section for specific requirements.

Attendance Requirements

Successful work in the College of Music is dependent on regular attendance in all classes. At the beginning of each semester, instructors will inform students of policies governing grading and attendance in each class. Students are expected to attend classes and comply with the attendance requirements specified by their instructors. For ensembles and other performance classes, attendance at dress rehearsals, major concerts and other approved/sanctioned performances, as listed in the course syllabus, also is required.


All undergraduate students enrolled in applied music must participate in a university ensemble appropriate to and required by their degree program. (Students enrolled in conducting courses must concurrently be enrolled in a conducted ensemble.) Voice performance majors are not required to be in ensembles during the semester of their senior recital, and bachelor of music education students are exempt from ensemble participation during the student teaching semester. Any student who studies applied music beyond degree requirements must participate concurrently in a university ensemble. Double majors need be in only one ensemble at a time.

Sophomore Proficiency

Students must pass a variety of jury tests and proficiency exams during their degree work. Each applied area has different requirements, so students need to consult the chair of their area and/or studio professor. However, all students must pass a sophomore proficiency exam. Students who cannot pass this exam receive an incomplete grade and cannot progress to the junior level of applied study until the proficiency is achieved. Studio professors provide students with proficiency and repertoire requirements.

Course Load

The normal academic load for an undergraduate student in the College of Music is 15–17 credit hours. Schedules of fewer than 12 or more than 19 credit hours must have approval of the associate dean for undergraduate studies of the College of Music.

Dropping a Course

Students should adhere to the deadlines posted on the Office of the Registrar website for dropping a course each semester. After a certain date each semester, a special action form signed by the instructor and associate dean for undergraduate studies is required to drop a course.

Pass/Fail Option

The pass/fail option for 12 credit hours is open only to Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in Music students. Music education students may only use the pass/fail option for student teaching. Pass/fail credit hours are to be selected from nonmusic courses and are in addition to those that may be taken in honors. Courses so elected are taken according to the pass/fail policies of the college or school concerned.

Pass/fail credit hours that transfer students can apply toward degree requirements from departments within the university are limited to 1 in every 8 credit hours earned in the College of Music.

Residence Requirement

Of the credit hours required for an undergraduate degree, the last 56 credit hours must be completed in residence in the College of Music. This may be reduced by the associate dean for undergraduate studies for excellent work done in this university and for high scholarship exhibited at previous institutions attended. In no case shall the minimum be fewer than 40 credit hours distributed over three semesters. At least 9 credit hours in applied music (private instruction) must be earned in this college for the degrees bachelor of music and bachelor of music education, and 6 credit hours for the bachelor of arts in music.

Student Recital Recordings

Any recital required for graduation is recorded. Arrangements are to be made through the College of Music Operations Office, and a recording fee is charged. The original recording is placed in the Music Library.