College of Arts & Sciences || School of Music

Undergraduate Students


Many areas within the School of Music have their own websites with detailed information about their faculty, students, events, and requirements. Please see these pages for more information about the School of Music!

Degrees, Programs & Curricula

The University of Tennessee School of Music offers the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees as well as several minors in music.

Bachelor of Music Degree

The Bachelor of Music degree is the undergraduate professional degree in music. Its primary emphasis is the development of the skills, concepts, and sensitivity essential to the professional life of a musician. In any of the roles as performer, composer, scholar, or teacher, the professional musician must function as a practitioner who exhibits not only technical competence but also a broad knowledge of music literature, sensitivity in musical style, and insight into the role of music in the life of humankind.

BM – Music Education Concentration

The Music Education program focuses on preparing prospective music educators for teaching instrumental and vocal music in grades K-12. The program is based on the National Standards for Arts Education in Music and the requirements for licensure established by the Tennessee Department of Education.

All undergraduate degree programs in Music Education culminate in a Bachelor's degree in music and a Tennessee K-12 music teaching license. The music education programs include a full year internship, which in most states may count as one year of teaching, and twenty-four credit hours or graduate work which may be applied to a Master of Music degree in music education.

BM - Music Performance

The BM in Music Performance degree prepares students for further study in music performance (Masters Degrees) or for careers as private teachers. Graduates with this degree have successful careers with symphony orchestras or military bands.

The Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy is designed for students who desire a career in keyboard teaching in private studio or who wish to pursue graduate work with the goal of teaching at the college/university level. Graduates of this program go on to successful careers teaching piano in a private studio or at a college or university.

BM – Sacred Music Concentration

The Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music is designed for those students who want to pursue a career as a church musician. There are three tracks in this degree program: piano, organ and voice.

Graduates of the sacred music program have successful careers as Directors of Music of conductors of music in a church setting. Several of our majors have also continued their studies in music or related subjects such as ministry or religious studies.

The B.M. in Studio Music & Jazz is designed for those who want a professional career as a creative musician, focusing on improvisation and learning to deal with the jazz idiom. Our graduates have full time careers as jazz recording artists/performers, Broadway pit musicians, orchestral musicians, touring and recording artists in the Americana, Rock, Country, R & B, and Christian music genres. In addition many of our graduates have gone on to successful graduate study at other university and are involved in teaching at every level from guitar lessons for five year olds to college jazz directors.

BM – Theory / Composition Concentration

At the University of Tennessee, the undergraduate majors in theory and composition are combined into one degree program. The Bachelor of Music in Music Theory/Composition program is designed to train students in music theory and analysis as well as composition. Students may elect an emphasis in music theory, composition, or electronic composition within the degree plan.

Graduates of the theory/composition program have gone on to study theory or composition at prestigious doctoral schools. Other graduates have decided to study in related fields such as film studies. Ultimately, our graduates teach theory and/or composition at the college or university level, or have careers as composers or arrangers.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

This program is designed for those students who have a strong interest in music, but desire a comprehensive liberal studies program. There are two concentrations for the BA: Music and Music & Culture.

The BA degree provides an appropriate background for prospective candidates for advanced degrees who are preparing for such careers as musicologists, composers, music librarians, arts administrators, and music therapists.

  • BA – Music Major – Applied music concentration
    The Bachelor of Arts in Music degree program is intended to provide students with a comprehensive liberal studies program and specialized training in music.
  • BA – Music Major – Music & Culture concentration
    The B.A. in Music & Culture degree engages students in the study of music from the perspective of humanistic and social science scholarship. Students study music from the perspectives of research, criticism, and interpretation with an emphasis on historical and ethnographic scholarly approaches. The degree's goal is to highlight music as a culturally expressive form rather than solely as an objectified art.

Music Minor

Music minors are offered on a space available basis to all University students by audition. The music minor program gives students an opportunity to improve and enrich their study of music without making a professional commitment to the field.

School of Music Honors Program

The School of Music offers an honors program for exceptional undergraduate students. Students wanting to enter the music departmental honors program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5, a music GPA of 3.5, and a recommendation from a faculty member. The recommendation is sent to the student's major area (e.g., voice, jazz, education, musicology, theory) to be approved. Once the area approves the student for entrance to the honors program, a letter will be sent to the School of Music's Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies admitting the student to the music departmental honors program.

Teacher Licensure Programs

The School of Music offers two options that prepare students to teach music in public schools, both of which lead to the degree and to teaching licensure. Students may choose to student teach for one semester or one year (an internship). The internship option provides for the granting of the degree at the end of four years, with teacher licensure being awarded after a fifth-year, graduate level internship. Students choosing the internship option earn twenty-four graduate hours, which may be applied to the Master's degree.

Double Majors

Many students decide to double major, some choosing to choose two different music majors (e.g., music education and performance), while others choose music and another liberal arts academic area (e.g., Music and Business). Students wishing to double major within music should talk to their advisor or the Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Music.


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