Music

Bachelor of Music Degree

Music majors pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree are preparing for a career in some aspect of the music industry. 

The Bachelor of Music degree offers four areas of specialization: Performance, Music Business, Sound Recording Technology, and Music Studies (for teacher preparation). Programs combining two areas of specialization, e.g., Sound Recording Technology and Performance, are also possible. A student desiring to pursue such a combined course of study must satisfy the requirements in both areas and should plan to spend one or more semesters in residence beyond the normal eight semesters of full-time study required for the successful completion of a program with a single area of specialization.

For additional information visit the Music Department or contact us.

Bachelor of Music requirements:

General Department Requirements

In order to qualify for a baccalaureate degree offered in the Department of Music, undergraduates must comply with the University general education requirements, must conform to the requirements of the Department of Music which govern degrees and major studies for such degrees, and must meet the ongoing retention requirements of their major concentrations of specialization. See specific major for curricular requirements and retention information.

Declaration of Major

Music majors are accepted into their intended majors conditionally. They must officially apply to their program of choice. See specific major for requirements and deadlines.

Transfer Policies

A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 is required for intercollegiate transfer and for transfer from another institution. Additional requirements for admission to specific majors also apply.

Readmission to the Department of Music

Students who have been dismissed from the Department of Music may apply for readmission after one academic year.  At that time a minimum grade point average of 3.0 over two semesters of full-time study at another institution or in another major at UMass Lowell is required to demonstrate adequate academic skills have been developed. Should the student’s previous performance also contain difficulties in applied performance studies, sufficient musical achievement must also be demonstrated by a reaudition.

Musicianship Core

All undergraduate music degrees granted at UMass Lowell are Bachelor of Music degrees, which are professional in nature and are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each program provides a thorough, shared core training as a musician, much of which is concentrated within the first two years of study. This musical training includes courses and experiences in Music History, Ensembles, Applied Instruction (private lessons), Conducting, and Musicianship and Analysis (combines instruction in such areas as theory, arranging, musicological approaches, aural training, keyboard skills, improvisation and composition).

Applied Music

All Bachelor of Music degree students in the Music Studies program must successfully complete eight semesters of applied music (private lessons) on their principal instrument. The performance specialization requires eight semesters of study and a public senior recital. Music Business and Sound Recording Technology students are required to take six semesters of applied music. An evaluation by a faculty panel is required of all full-time undergraduate music students in select semesters (see Panel Evaluations below).

Panel Evaluations

Panel evaluations are periodic departmental exams for Applied Lessons. Every student enrolled in Applied Lessons must take Panel Evaluations during certain designated semesters. Panel Evaluations take place during final exam period.

Every Panel Evaluation will be worth 40% of a student's final grade for the semester. Additionally, students may be required to retake a level of Applied Lessons in the event that they are unable to demonstrate sufficient competence during Panel Evaluations.

Panel Evaluations will be graded by one or more full-time faculty members. The student's applied teacher is encouraged to attend in order to offer invaluable feedback to the student; however, this is not required.  

For Music Business and Sound Recording Technology:  Students take Panel Evaluations when enrolled in Applied 1, 2, 4 and 6.

For Music Studies: Students take Panel Evaluations when enrolled in Applied 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8.

For Performance: Students take Panel Evaluations when enrolled in Applied 1, and Performance Applied 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.  (A Senior Recital is required in Performance 7 in lieu of a Panel Evaluation.)

Recital Attendance Requirement

All undergraduate music majors are required to attend ten concerts and/or recitals each semester from among those listed on the Department of Music Performance Calendar. In addition, attendance at scheduled recital hours on Thursdays is required.

Seven satisfactory semesters of recital attendance are required of each undergraduate student with the following exceptions: 1) students who are in residence fewer than seven semesters and transfer students must fulfill the recital attendance requirement for each semester of residence as full-time matriculated degree students; and 2) part-time students have no requirement.

Failure to complete the total recital attendance requirement will result in denial of graduation.

Ensemble Requirements

All Music Studies, Sound Recording Technology and Music Business students must participate a minimum of two credits of ensembles each semester they are full time students. Music Performance majors are required to take two credits of ensembles each semester they are full time lower classmen, and three credits each semester they are full time upper classmen. At least one of these required credits each semester must be taken on the student’s major applied instrument. These requirements do not extend beyond eight semesters. For additional information visit the Music Department or contact us.

Participation in some ensembles is by audition only, while others may not require auditions. Auditions for select ensembles are given at the start of the fall semester and select ensemble placement and participation is for the academic year. Auditions for select ensembles may be held during the first week of the spring semester for all new music students, transfers and re-admitted students.


Students entering Fall 2013 or after are required to follow the following outline of specific ensemble credit requirements:

4 credits from the following Conducted Ensembles:

  1. University Orchestra
  2. Wind Ensemble
  3. Concert Band
  4. Studio Orchestra
  5. University Choir
  6. Chamber Singers
  7. Choral Union

4 credits from the following Small Ensemble experiences:

  1. Electric Guitar Ensemble
  2. Classical Guitar Ensemble
  3. Percussion Ensemble
  4. Brass Ensemble
  5. Piano Ensemble
  6. Mixed Chamber Ensemble
  7. String Ensemble
  8. Small Jazz Ensemble
  9. Jazz Lab
  10. Opera Workshop

2 credits from the following ensembles for diversity of experience:

  1. Percussion Ensemble (section designated for non-percussion students)
  2. Piano Ensemble (section designated for non-piano students)
  3. Guitar Ensemble (section designated for non-guitar students)
  4. Contemporary Electronic Ensemble
  5. World Music Ensemble
  6. Choral Union

6 credits of free ensemble electives:

These can be chosen from any ensemble offerings, including up to 2 credits of Jazz Rock Big Band and 2 credits of Marching Band.

Performance majors are must complete four additional free ensemble credits to fulfill degree requirements.

For additional information on auditions and ensemble requirements, inquire of the course instructor, the ensemble coordinator, visit the Music Department or contact us.

Student Recitals

Students in the performance major are required to present a senior recital while enrolled in Performance Applied 7. Students in other specializations may also present public recitals, but are not required to do so. In all cases, students wishing to present a recital must receive recital permission from the applied music instructor, the appropriate Applied Music Coordinator. A recital permission form may be obtained from the Music office.