University Bulletin 2022-23

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Minor in Music

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If a minor is required in your degree program, at least 9 (lower and/or upper-division) hours of courses in the minor must be completed at the University.

Requirements For A Minor in Music Credit Hours
A minimum of 23 semester hours in music, including the following 23
MUT 112 and MUT 113  
MUL 235  
MUL 236  
Applied Music (six hrs. at 200 level)  
MUO 111, MUO 115, MUO 116, MUO 117, MUO 127, MUO 130 or MUO 133, or MUO 137 (four hours)  
Three hours of electives in music at 300 level or above.  

Department of Music website

The Department of Music of the University of South Alabama is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, Virginia  20190; (703) 437-0700. Degree programs are offered for those students pursuing careers in music performance, music education, music business, and those who wish to combine studies in music with other academic disciplines.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

Placement in Music Theory

Transfer students intending to take music theory must take a Theory Placement Examination. Contact the Music Office for details.

Placement in applied music classes

All students not previously enrolled in private music study at the University of South Alabama must audition prior to enrolling. Contact the Music Office for audition requirements and scheduling.
All students enrolled in private music study must fill out a Teacher Preference form for each Applied Music course in which they are enrolled. These forms must be filed on-line to the Music Office before registration begins. Once a student is registered and knows their schedule, they must submit their schedule information to their Applied teacher.

Applied Music

Applied music is an integral and vital part of the total education in the field of music. In addition to performing in recitals, full-time music students are also required to attend concerts and recital class (MUA 100) for six semesters and take part in various programs given during their course of study.

Students choosing a minor in music must include applied music courses at the 200 level.

Credit for applied music is based on the minimum practice time per week, not on the length of the lesson period. Courses that show one hour's credit require one 30-minute lesson per week with a minimum practice period of 30 minutes per day. A two-hour course requires 60 minutes of lesson time a week and at least 60 minutes of practice time per day. Those that show three hours' credit require 60 minutes of lesson time per week with a minimum of two hours per day for practice. Satisfactory achievement and development are best achieved by practicing twice the above minimum requirements.

A student may take no more than two applied music courses in any given semester unless permission is obtained from the student's advisor, major applied teacher, and department chair.

Senior Recital Requirements

A public senior recital (MUA 400) is required for the BM degree. Specific requirements vary according to the chosen concentration. See the Department of Music Student Handbook for details.

Applied Music Levels

Students must audition in order to enroll in Applied Music courses. Contact the Department of Music for information.

100 Level (Elective) is designated for students majoring in other academic disciplines (when possible) or music majors who wish to study in a secondary applied area.

200 Level (Major/Lower Division) is designated for the first four semesters of study as a music major. A student must pass an examination at the end of the fourth semester in order to enroll at the 300 or 400 level. Music minors will also enroll at the 200 level.

300 Level (Major/Upper Division) is designated for the junior and senior music major in all concentrations except Performance.

400 Level (Major/Performance) is designated for the junior and senior music major with a concentration in Performance.


Students pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree are not required to have an academic minor with the exception of the Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Outside Fields.

Music Organizations

The Department of Music sponsors performing organizations open to all students of the University, providing satisfactory audition requirements have been met. Ensemble participation is recognized as an essential literature class in music and music education. The appropriate MAJOR ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Marching Band, Symphony Band or Concert Choir) must be elected each semester that a student is enrolled as a full-time student in music. Lower division credit is for 1st and 2nd year students. Upper division credit is for 3rd and 4th year students and reflects increased responsibility and leadership within the section and/or ensemble as assigned by the conductor/director. Graduate credit requires assisting the conductor/director with logistics, rehearsals, and presentation of concerts. Each course number is to be repeated four times for a two-year sequence of the course. All Bachelor of Music degree majors in guitar and piano must satisfactorily complete a minimum of six semester hours in a major ensemble, to be taken for three consecutive years and one semester hour in another ensemble in which they will play their principal performing instrument. Students are, in addition, encouraged to elect additional hours in both major and small ensembles. Consult the appropriate curriculum in the section entitled Music Organizations for the requirements. The organizations include the Concert Choir; University Chorale; Marching Band; University Symphony Band; Wind Ensemble; University Band; Orchestra; Jazz Band; Woodwind, Brass, Guitar, Percussion, Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone, Tuba-Euphonium, Flute, World Music, String, and Piano Ensembles; and Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop.

Master Of Music Graduate Studies

The Master of Music degree offers concentrations in Collaborative Keyboard, Music Education, Music Education-Alt. Choral or Instrumental, and Performance (Piano, Vocal, Brass, Percussion and Woodwinds). The program is designed to provide professional advancement for musician living and working along the Gulf Coast, produce research and/or performances, qualify students for admission to doctoral programs, and fulfill the mission of the University by offering high-quality teaching and public service that increases the education level of Alabama citizens, who can better participate in a global community and attain a higher quality of life.

The department's graduate faculty engage students to think critically as they address music practices and issues. Courses examine how music creates, sustains and changes personal lives, organizations, cultural institutions and society.  Each concentration consists of 32-35 hours which culminate in performances, portfolios, recordings, or projects representing pedagogical work.  The Music Education—Alt. Choral or Instrumental concentration consists of 46 hours culminating in a supervised student internship. Graduates of the traditional Music Education concentration and the Music Education—Alt. Choral or Instrumental concentrations are eligible for the Class A Professional Educator Certificate from the Alabama State Department of Education.

Requirement For Admission

All applications must receive approval from the Graduate Coordinator of Music, the Director of Graduate Studies for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate Dean. The Office of Admissions should receive a resume limited to one page and three letters of recommendation addressing academic or professional abilities. Students are admitted each semester and must meet the following additional requirements:

Regular Admission

Undergraduate Requirements

Students must submit official copies of undergraduate transcripts indicating the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in music.
  • At least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.

For the Music Education—Alt. Choral or Instrumental concentration, students must also submit official copies of undergraduate transcripts indicating the following:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 or a master’s or higher degree with a GPA of at least a 3.0. This GPA must be documented on the official transcript of the degree granting institution and must be the GPA that was used as the basis for granting the degree, not a GPA that includes post-degree courses. If admitted on master’s or higher degree GPA, courses from that degree cannot be used to meet certification requirements.
  • An academic major in the teaching field, appropriate credit hours in the teaching field (30/18: 30 hours in the field with 18 hours in upper-division), or a passing score on the prescribed Praxis subject assessment.
  • GPA Exception for unconditional admission to Alternative Class A State Department of Education-approved programs: Individuals who have earned a bachelor 's degree from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned and do not meet the minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75, but have at least a 2.0 overall undergraduate GPA, may seek provisional admission to an Alternative Class A program if the alternate score on the Alabama prescribed Praxis subject-area test is obtained. The alternate scores can be found on the Alternate Score Requirements document at (Department Offices: Educator Assessment: Educator Assessment Policies). The ONLY tests and scores accepted are those listed on the Alternate Score Requirements document. All other requirements for admission must also be met.
  • Students must pass a criminal background check.

International Students:

  • International students must submit documentation of TOEFL test scores of 525 or above (197 on computer-based test or 71 on internet-based test).
  • Students who are required to take the English Language Proficiency Examination and whose scores suggest an English language deficiency must take the appropriate English as a Second Language courses. These courses are not counted as part of the 32-hour degree program.

Departmental Admissions Requirements:

  • Passing score in Graduate Music Theory and Music History Diagnostic Exam or Bachelor of Music degree from USA.
  • Admittance requirements per area of specialization:
    • Collaborative Keyboards
      • Audition - recording or live. Admittance determined by area faculty
      • Contact Piano Area Coordinator for date, time and location
    • Music Education
      • Teaching Certificate
      • Video of teaching: 10 - 25 minutes. Acceptability determined by music education faculty
      • Contact Music Education Area Coordinator for date, time and location
    • Music Education-Alt. Choral or Instrumental
      • Interview with Music Education Faculty
      • Contact Music Education Area Coordinator for date, time and location
    • Performance Piano, Brass, Percussion and Woodwinds
      • Audition - recording or live. Admittance determined by area faculty
      • Contact Area Coordinator for date, time and location
    • Performance: Voice
      • Audition -  live on-site or live streamed via internet.  Admittance determined by area faculty
      • Diagnostic exam in vocal diction (Italian, German, and French)
      • Contact Vocal Area Coordinator for date, time and location
    • Diagnostic Exams
      • Students admitted to graduate degree programs in the USA Department of Music must take graduate diagnostic exams in music theory and history. USA graduates are exempt. Diagnostic exams are administered twice a year, in August and January. The results of the exams are advisory only; however, students may not take graduate-level history and theory courses until students have earned a passing score on the exams. Advisors receive the results of the diagnostic exams. Students consult with their advisors to determine appropriate history and theory studies.
    • Remedial Courses
      • Students who do not pass the diagnostic exams will be required to pass remedial courses before enrolling in the graduate-level core course.

    Non-degree Admission

    Students may register for and complete up to 12 hours without formal entrance into the program.

    Undergraduate Requirements

    Students must submit official copies of undergraduate transcripts indicating the following:

    • A minimum GPA of at least 2.5 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
    • Students with a GPA below 2.5 may want to consider enrolling in undergraduate classes to increase their GPA average before applying to graduate school. USA course work completed after graduation is automatically averaged into the final GPA. The USA Office of Academic Records computes transfer credit averages and can advise students in determining when the minimum GPA has been met.
    Degree Requirements and Courses

    Students must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of credit (46 hours of credit for Music Education – Alt. Choral or Instrumental) in approved 500-level courses. A minimum of 20 semester hours must be completed at the University of South Alabama. Up to 12 hours of USA courses taken while in another program (or non-degree status) may be applied. Only courses not applied to another degree may count. Maximum of 12 hours with grades of "A", "B", or "S" of approved transfer credit is allowed. If the university is non-accredited, the individual USA graduate program will determine if the quality and content of the courses meet the standards of the program.

    Grade Requirements
    • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA on all work attempted is required for graduation.
    • Courses in which a student receives a "D" or below will not be counted toward the degree program.
    • A maximum of two courses with a grade of "C" will be counted toward the degree program.
    • Students receiving four grades of "C" or below, regardless of the overall GPA will be dismissed from the program.
    • A student who receives a failing grade in a course for graduate credit may be dismissed from the program.
    Time Limitations
    • All degree requirements must be completed within seven calendar years.
    • Most students who take six-eight hours per semester (including summer term) complete the degree within a two-year period (two and a half for Music Education - Alt. Choral or Instrumental).
    • The time required for degree completion depends on how many courses a student can take each semester and the ability of that student to complete the recital(s) or final project(s).
    Course Load

    Six to ten credit hours per semester constitute a full-time course load.

    Note: No more than twelve credits in this area are applicable toward a degree.