Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Music, B.A.

Saint Louis University awards a Bachelor of Arts in Music in the areas of voice and piano, with a concentration in music performance or music studies. 

A Bachelor of Arts in Music enables SLU graduates to pursue further degrees in music performance, music education or musicology at other institutions. In addition, the music program offers performance and study opportunities for all interested SLU students through private lessons, studio classes, courses in music theory and literature, and participation in ensembles.

SLU's music program is located in Xavier Hall and contains classrooms, teaching studios, rehearsal spaces and practice rooms available to currently enrolled music students. Every semester, the program presents a varied series of concerts, recitals, lectures and masterclasses by guest artists, faculty and students. All concerts and recitals are free and open to the public.

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts is an integral part of Saint Louis University. In the arts, one finds truth, beauty and the celebration of God’s creation. Because the arts reflect the world around us, they provide an excellent opportunity to study humanity, aesthetics and cultural values together with theory and practice.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Double majoring in music is possible with most other majors at SLU.
  • SLU will soon be an all-Steinway school, gradually replacing its old instruments with an armada of new Steinway pianos over the coming years.
  • Popular performing ensembles accessible to the entire SLU community include the University Chorale, Mastersingers, String Orchestra, Concert Band, Pep Band and Jazz Ensemble.
  • Additional performance opportunities for advanced student musicians include the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, Union Avenue Opera, Winter Opera Saint Louis and the SLU Mass Choir.
  • Just a short walk from campus brings students to an array of venues such as the Fabulous Fox Theater, Chaifetz Arena and Powell Symphony Hall, where students can listen to the world-class St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Curriculum Overview

SLU's music curriculum provides a solid background in theory, history and performance, as well as participation in University vocal or instrumental groups. All classes, lessons and ensembles are open to the entire SLU community, regardless of major.

At the end of the second semester of study at SLU, students may select either the music performance or music studies concentration. Both options require a minimum of 40 credits in music courses for graduation. Both concentrations are identical in course work with the exception of work done in the junior and senior years. Students pursuing the performance concentration work toward a junior and senior recital. Students pursuing the music studies concentration engage in research their junior and senior years culminating in a senior capstone presentation of that research.

Careers

Benefits of SLU's B.A. in music program include several career opportunities. During their time in the music program, students have found positions at summer music camps, interned at musical theatre and opera companies, worked in local box office venues, taught private lessons and performed in venues across St. Louis.

Graduates of the Saint Louis University music program have gone on to graduate study and careers in:

  • Music management and business
  • Music education
  • Music performance
  • Religious music programming
  • Music therapy

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Auditions for Music Majors

The SLU music program accepts majors in the areas of voice and piano. All prospective music majors at SLU must audition for admission to the program. Admission to SLU's music program is based on musicianship, talent and background training.

Live or virtual auditions must be completed/submitted by March 31 in order to be considered for music scholarships. To schedule an audition, contact the department at arts@slu.edu.

Students who are unable to audition on-campus may also submit an audition via the Get Acceptd app.

Applicants admitted to the music program receive an award from the Father Guentner Fund, a renewable scholarship covering applied music lesson fees on the major instrument. Admitted applicants are also considered for the Music Talent Scholarship.

Please bring an updated list of the repertoire studied to the audition, as well as extra copies of the audition music. On the repertoire sheet, include titles, identifying opus numbers/keys, composers, significant technical studies, recent performances, and teachers' names. This repertoire list may form part of a more complete student resume.

Pianists

Prepare two works from contrasting style periods (i.e., Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, 20th Century). The pieces played should be at least late-intermediate level in difficulty, such as Bach Two-Part Inventions, Clementi sonatinas, and the Debussy Arabesques.

Singers

Prepare two contrasting selections from the art song, aria, spiritual, classical Broadway, or musical theatre repertoire. One of your selections must be in a foreign language. Songs must be performed from memory. An accompanist will be provided.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of standard technique appropriate to the student’s instrument or voice in solo recitals and/or juries.
  2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of standard technique appropriate to the student’s instrument or voice in ensemble performance.
  3. Graduates will be able to employ techniques specific to ensemble performance including blending in a section, following direction, and performance etiquette.
  4. Graduates will be able to recognize, identify, and apply standard Music Theory elements including tonal harmony, counterpoint, voiceleading, non-tonal harmony, and notation.
  5. Graduates will be able to analyze tonal and non-tonal music including that of the 20th century.
  6. Graduates will be able to memorize basic facts related to music history and interpret music in relation to those facts.
  7. Graduates will be able to demonstrate functional skills at the piano.

 Music students must complete a minimum total of 40 credits for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
MUSC 2270Music Theory I3
MUSC 2271Aural Skills I1
MUSC 2280Music Theory II3
MUSC 2281Aural Skills II1
MUSC 2500Class Piano III 11
MUSC 2510Class Piano IV 11
MUSC 3270Music Theory III3
MUSC 3271Aural Skills III1
MUSC 3300History of Music I3
MUSC 3310History of Music II3
MUSC 4410Conducting2
Music Elective Courses
Select two of the following:6
MUSC 1150
History of Jazz
MUSC 1170
World Music
MUSC 1180
Music of the African Diaspora
MUSC 1190
American Musical Mosaic: Songs of an Immigrant Nation
MUSC 2260
Music Computer Skills
THR 3510
Musical Theatre Performance
Applied Music Credits
Select ten credits of the following: 210
MUSC 2010/3010
Applied Music: Voice
MUSC 2020/3020
Applied Music: Piano
MUSC 2100/3100
Applied Music
Performance Ensembles
Select four semesters of the following: 30
MUSC 3420
University Chorale
MUSC 3440
University Mastersingers
MUSC 3450
Jazz Ensemble
MUSC 3460
String Ensembles
MUSC 3470
Pep Band
MUSC 3490
Concert Band
MUSC 3500
Piano Ensemble
Other Course Requirements
Select one of the following Concentrations:2
General Electives14-23
Total Credits120
1

Many music majors may need to take Class Piano I and II (MUSC 1260 Class Piano I (1 cr) and MUSC 1270 Class Piano II (1 cr)) before enrolling in MUSC 2500 Class Piano III (1 cr) and MUSC 2510 Class Piano IV (1 cr). However, students with significant piano background may be able to test out of some or all of the piano classes leading to the proficiency exam. All music majors must pass the Piano Proficiency Exam, which is the final examination of MUSC 2510 Class Piano IV (1 cr), by the end of their junior year.

2

At least 6 credits must be from upper division (3000-level).

3

Four semesters of an ensemble are required for the degree. Ensemble participation is required every semester in order to maintain music scholarships.

Concentrations

Music Studies Concentration

MUSC 3840Junior Research Methods1
MUSC 4960Music Capstone1
Total Credits2

Performance Concentration

MUSC 3850Junior Recital1
MUSC 4961Senior Recital1
Total Credits2

Non-Course Requirements

Recital attendance (every semester).

Continuation Standards

To maintain the music major, students must:

  • Enroll as at least a half-time student according to University guidelines, showing progress toward the B.A. degree in both core and music courses.
  • Complete all music courses with a grade of "C" or higher in order to count for the major.
  • Successfully complete recital attendance requirements each semester.
  • Perform at least one student recital each semester.

Students studying abroad or involved in a SLU-approved internship requiring them to enroll for less than half-time may be exempted from the on-campus requirements for ensembles, recitals, and recital attendance for one semester.

Students failing to meet the criteria listed above will be on probation in the music program. A student may remain on probation for no more than two consecutive semesters and a student may not be on probation for more than three semesters total and remain a major.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Music Performance Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2270 Music Theory I 3
MUSC 2271 Aural Skills I 1
MUSC 1260 Class Piano I 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2280 Music Theory II 3
MUSC 2281 Aural Skills II 1
MUSC 1270 Class Piano II 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Year Two
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3270 Music Theory III 3
MUSC 3271 Aural Skills III 1
MUSC 2500 Class Piano III 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2510 Class Piano IV 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
MUSC Elective 3
CAS Core 3
Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3300 History of Music I 3
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 3 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3850 Junior Recital 1
MUSC 4410 Conducting 2
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
MUSC Elective 3
Electives 3
 Credits12
Year Four
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3310 History of Music II 3
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
Electives 9
 Credits15
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 4961 Senior Recital 1
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
Electives 12
 Credits16
 Total Credits121
1

Recital attendance required each semester student is enrolled as a music major.

2

Four semesters of performance ensemble are required for the degree. Ensemble participation is required in order to maintain a music scholarship, if applicable.

3

Ten credits of applied music are required; at least 6 credits must be 3000-level.

NOTE: A student may choose to study abroad. If this option is elected, it is recommended that the student study abroad in their sixth semester. In this case, the advisor, mentor and student will work together to make sure the student is able to complete all requirements.

Music Studies Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2270 Music Theory I 3
MUSC 2271 Aural Skills I 1
MUSC 1260 Class Piano I 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2280 Music Theory II 3
MUSC 2281 Aural Skills II 1
MUSC 1270 Class Piano II 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Year Two
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3270 Music Theory III 3
MUSC 3271 Aural Skills III 1
MUSC 2500 Class Piano III 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 9
 Credits16
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 2510 Class Piano IV 1
MUSC 2XXXApplied Music 1
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
MUSC Elective 3
CAS Core 3
Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3300 History of Music I 3
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 3 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3840 Junior Research Methods 1
MUSC 4410 Conducting 2
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
MUSC Elective 3
Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 3310 History of Music II 3
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
Electives 9
 Credits15
Spring
Recital Attendance 1  
MUSC 4960 Music Capstone 1
MUSC 3XXXApplied Music 2
MUSC 3XXXPerformance Ensemble 2 1
Electives 9
 Credits13
 Total Credits121
1

Recital attendance required each semester student is enrolled as a music major.

2

Four semesters of performance ensemble are required for the degree. Ensemble participation is required in order to maintain a music scholarship, if applicable.

3

Ten credits of applied music are required; at least 6 credits must be 3000-level.

 NOTE: A student may choose to study abroad. If this option is elected, it is recommended that the student study abroad in their sixth semester. In this case, the advisor, mentor and student will work together to make sure the student is able to complete all requirements.

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.