The School of Music admits undergraduate students to four different majors in the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus): General Studies, Music Education, Composition, and Music Scholarship. B.Mus. applicants who meet higher standards of performing ability may audition for acceptance into the majors in Advanced Performance.
Every major includes four years of private instruction in an instrument or voice. Students can expect private lessons on at least one instrument in every year of their undergraduate program. At the heart of each BMus program is a core curriculum of performance (four years), music scholarship (two years) and non-music electives (four years).
Each major involves a different distribution of required and elective courses, in music and in other subjects. Visit our Areas of Study page for more information about the breadth of study available to students. When you're ready to apply, check out our B.Mus. application guidelines.
General Studies (GMUS)
GMUS is designed to provide a broad, flexible, general higher education in music, including private lessons on the instrument the student plays best. Most students in the BMus program are registered in General Studies.
General Studies gives students the freedom to choose many elective courses, allowing continuation into various professional options, including graduate degrees. Applicants admitted at the General Studies level may freely move between the GMUS, the General Studies: Elementary Education (GSEM) major and the General Studies: Secondary Education (GSSM) major.
General Studies majors may:
- Audition for transfer to an Advanced Performance major at the end of both first and second year, with permission of the division;
- Apply for transfer to the Composition major at the end of first and second year (preferably having taken MUSC 107C); or,
- Apply for transfer to the Music Scholarship major at the end of second year.
Elementary Education (GSEM): Applicants wishing to become an elementary school music teacher may audition at the General Studies level for acceptance into the General Studies: Elementary Education major.
- Major requirements
- Advising worksheet
- Coursework by year of study
- Review B.Ed entrance requirements
- Music Education electives must be chosen in consultation with the Faculty of Education.
Secondary Education (GSSM): Applicants wishing to become a secondary school music teacher may audition at the General Studies level for acceptance into the General Studies: Secondary Education major.
- Major requirements
- Advising worksheet
- Coursework by year of study
- Review B.Ed entrance requirements for Music Education
- MUSC 112 Class Brass & Percussion and MUSC 122 Woodwinds: Must take one of these during second year and the other third year.
- MUSC 311 Fundamentals of Conducting: Must take at least one conducting course by the end of third year.
Students who can demonstrate a special aptitude for Composition may apply to major in it. Students applying for enrolment in the Composition Major must enter with proficiency on at least one instrument. Requirements are the same as those for the General Studies concentration on all instruments except piano, where a somewhat lower level (about RCM Grade 8 for 1st year) will be given consideration if the applicant is especially strong creatively.
If you have chosen the Composition Major (regardless of whether it is your first or second choice), you must submit 3-6 original scores to the School of Music and upload the corresponding audio recordings to our software system.
Printed scores must be bound, double-sided, paper copies (NO hand-written pencil or ink masters). Scores will not be returned. Scores can be mailed to: Attn: Undergraduate Admissions | UBC School of Music | 6361 Memorial Rd. | Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 | CANADA
Audio recordings of your scores need to be uploaded to UBC's CLAS software. Once the supplementary application deadline (Jan 22) has passed, applicants who have chosen Composition as their intended major will receive instructions on how to upload their audio recordings. Contact Katherine Evans with any questions.
Lessons: The performance requirement is eight (8) credits of piano plus either: an additional four (4) credits of piano; or, an additional four (4) credits of another instrument(s) on which the student has prior experience.
Music Scholarship is for students entering third year who have a special aptitude for research in music history, music theory, or ethnomusicology, and who meet the performance requirements of the General Studies major. Students who do not meet the performance standard may also study music scholarship in the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music. Students are not admitted to the Music Scholarship major until the beginning of their third year of studies and may be enrolled in the General Studies Major during their first two years.
To gain admission in third year to the Music Scholarship program, students must enter with proficiency on at least one instrument; requirements are the same as those for the third year of the General Studies Major.
Normally an applicant will not be admitted without at least an overall 80% average in the first- and second-year core courses in music theory and history, at least a 75% average in first-year English.
Students applying to transfer into the third year of the Music Scholarship major must also:
- Submit original research papers on historical or analytical topics to the School of Music. One paper is sufficient, but two (good papers) give a better idea of your range of skills, especially if one paper is a history essay and the other a musical analysis.
- Include an explanation of interest in the Music Scholarship specialization when completing the "Short Essay" question on the BMUS Supplementary Application.
B.Mus. applicants who meet higher standards of performing ability may audition for acceptance into the majors in Advanced Performance. Please note that applicants whose auditions do not qualify them for the Advanced Performance majors are automatically considered for admission to the General Studies major.
- Piano (PIAN)
- Opera (OPER)
- Standard Orchestral Instruments (ORIN)
- Voice (VOIC)
- Guitar (GUIT)
- Harpsichord (HARP)
- Organ (ORGN)
Choosing a minor
Minoring in Arts
Students enrolled in the BMus program can combine their major with a major or minor of the BA program. Some programs require departmental approval, most do not. Explore ARTS MINOR OPTIONS and contact the School of Music Student Advisor for application information.
Minoring in Commerce
A very limited number of BMus students may choose the Minor in Commerce. Eligibility is restricted as specified here. Enrolment must also be approved by the senior Undergraduate Faculty Advisor in the School of Music. To apply, e-mail the School of Music Student Advisor by May 31st.
Minoring in Science
BMus students may minor in science (requirements). To apply, consult with Dr. Alan Dodson (firstname.lastname@example.org; 604-822-5287; Room 415 Music Building) for approval and course selection. Please note that the minor is shown on your transcript as "Minor in Science", not in a specific field. Being a minor does not guarantee access to upper-level courses.
Banner image by Don Erhardt Photography