Programs of Study

Undergraduate Program

The Department of Music provides its majors a strong foundation to prepare for graduate school and careers in music. The department also offers many opportunities for students interested in combining a music major with a second major in another discipline and for students who wish simply to further their musical development. The skills developed through studying music help our graduates thrive in a wide variety of fields.

The music major offers a choice between two concentrations: Theory/History or Performance. The two concentrations overlap significantly: for example, students in the Performance Concentration must complete a comprehensive sequence of courses in music theory and history, and students in the Theory/History concentration are encouraged, although not required, to take lessons on an instrument or in voice. Each of the two concentrations also offers an Honors option for outstanding students intending to pursue graduate study in music after graduation. Acceptance into the Honors track is by invitation of the faculty during the spring semester of the sophomore year.

The Department also offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Musical Theatre in conjunction with the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. This is a 15-credit course of study in which students have flexibility to structure their curriculum to suit their interests, for example, in singing and acting, songwriting, work as conductor/impresario, stage directing, or scholarship.

Preparing for the Undergraduate Music Major

Undergraduates at Notre Dame do not formally declare their majors until the sophomore year. However, potential music majors ideally should begin their musical studies during their first year, particularly Theory I and II, Musicianship I and II, ensemble participation, and lessons. All interested students should indicate their intent to major in music to the First Year of Studies and to the Office of the Department of Music. Students will be assigned an adviser within the Department for guidance with the completion of the curriculum.

Students with particular interest in the Performance Concentration should also contact the Office of the Department of Music to arrange a meeting or audition with the principal faculty member in their particular instrumental or vocal area.