The certificate in music theory provides students the opportunity to take more varied upper-level courses and develop independent projects under faculty mentorship. The certificate provides students with a formal acknowledgement of their work in music theory, potentially serving as a stepping-stone to graduate school, private teaching, theory teaching in primary or secondary schools or work in music-related media and technology.


Admission Requirements

Students need a minimum average grade of B+ or higher for freshman and sophomore music theory and aural skills classes to qualify for the certificate. 

Application for the certificate takes place either sophomore or junior year. In order to apply, students must submit a statement of purpose. Applications can be sent directly to the chair of Music Theory area, currently Yonatan Malin (

Required Courses and Credits

The curriculum consists of 18 credit hours. Students will typically take between one or two required courses per semester. Students need to maintain a minimum average grade of B+ or higher.

Core Courses
MUSC 2101
MUSC 2121
MUSC 2111
MUSC 2131
Semester 3 Theory
and Aural Skills Lab, Semester 3
and Semester 4 Theory
and Aural Skills Lab, Semester 4
or MUSC 3081
MUSC 3091
Jazz Theory and Aural Foundations 1
and Jazz Theory and Aural Foundations 2
MUSC 4957Senior Thesis3
Elective Courses
Choose from the following:9
Introduction to Music Research
16th Century Counterpoint
18th Century Counterpoint
Tonal Analysis
Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
Topics in Music Analysis
Topics in Music Analysis (with instructor permission, when not double-listed with MUSC 6801)
Elective outside major within or beyond the College of Music, with advisor permission
Total Credit Hours18