Music, B.A.

Bachelor of Arts
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  • Female music student

It’s been said that music is the language of the soul. As a music major at Fresno Pacific University, you’ll not only learn to speak in notes, but you’ll dive into the history behind music. Here, you’ll gain a lifelong appreciation for and participate in a rich variety of musical forms of expression. Whether you’re studying the facets of music history, theory, technique or application, you’ll be equipped to become the musician you want to be. Our major emphasizes performance and combines theory with practical participation in a variety of musical activities, moving you from student to performer.


  • Focus on participation and performance
  • Smaller class sizes allow for focused attention and one-on-one mentoring
  • Choose from three areas of emphasis: music performance/composition, church music and music education

Career opportunities

Our curriculum prepares skillful musicians, effective communicators, creative teachers and responsible servant/leaders in the church and the community. Through the study of music theory and history, and the practice of music performance, you will be prepared for lifelong exploration of music through teaching, performance, leading worship or composition. Common career paths include public school teaching, private studio instruction, church ministry, performance and recording industry/business enterprise.

Transferring to Fresno Pacific

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Course listing

In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, students must complete at least 120 units. Along with completing all required courses in their selected area of study, general education requirements must be met by all graduates. See the general education summary in the undergraduate academic catalog for more information.

Select programs may not provide enough units for a student to graduate and therefore an emphasis and/or elective courses must be completed alongside the major. Please see below for emphases related to this area of study.

General Education Or Other Prerequisites (6 Units)

MUS 101Elements of Musicianship *3
MUS 103
or ART 110
Introduction to American Popular Music
or Art Appreciation

* (Prerequisite for MUS 110L - Music Theory and Aural Skills Lab. Requirement may be waived by passing the theory placement exam)

  • Students who demonstrate sufficient background (by exam) may waive MUS 101 - Elements of Musicianship and proceed directly to MUS 110L - Music Theory and Aural Skills Lab. For students who require foundation studies in preparation for the theory course sequence, music faculty recommends MUS 131 - Piano Class or MUS 135 - Private Instruction in Piano, followed by MUS 101 - Elements of Musicianship.

Required Courses (31-33 Units)

MUS 110Music Theory and Aural Skills3
MUS 110LMusic Theory and Aural Skills Lab1
MUS 210Music Theory and Counterpoint3
MUS 210LMusic Theory and Counterpoint1
MUS 310Music Theory and Analysis3
MUS 310LMusic Theory and Analysis Lab1
MUS 410Music Theory Since Debussy3
MUS 410LMusic Theory since Debussy Lab1
MUS 349Music Research1
MUS 350Early Music History3
MUS 351Music History: 1725-19003
MUS 352Music History and World Music Since 19004
MUS 400Music in the Church3
MUS 495
or MUS 497
Senior Project
or Senior Project in Music Composition
  • Successful completion of Level 1 on the student’s primary instrument is a prerequisite for MUS 310 - Music Theory and Analysis.
  • Music history courses should be preceded by MUS 349 - Music Research and MUS 110L - Music Theory and Aural Skills Lab.
Applied Music (private Instruction) (8 Units)
  • Enrollment in private music instruction in the student’s primary instrument is required each semester of attendance, totaling at least 8 units (including at least 4 upper- division units) on the same instrument.
Ensemble (12 Units Minimum)

Participation in a performance ensemble is required each semester of attendance. This requirement includes all music students regardless of primary instrument. All ensemble participation units may be taken in any of these ensembles

MUS 115Vocal Performance Workshop2
MUS 116Concert Choir2
MUS 122Orchestra2
MUS 123Symphonic Band2
Up To 50 Percent Of All Required Ensemble Units May Be Taken In Any Of These Ensembles:
MUS 108Beginning Handbell Choir2
MUS 114Crosswind2
MUS 117San Joaquin Chorale2
MUS 118Vocal Ensemble (women’s chorale, men’s chorus or other approved vocal ensemble)2
MUS 119Pacific Chamber Singers2
MUS 120Brass Choir Strings, Handbells, Flutes (brass choir, or other approved instrumental ensemble)2
MUS 121Jazz Band2
MUS 125University String Quartet2
MUS 127Woodwind Ensembles (flute choir, sax quartet, woodwind quintet)2

Additional Requirements

  • All music majors must pass a piano proficiency exam. Enrollment in Piano Proficiency Class (MUS 132) or Private Piano Instruction (MUS 135) is required until the exam is passed. Transfer students who have passed the piano proficiency test at another institution are required to pass the FPU piano proficiency exam as well.
  • Level Exams: Passing the Level 1 exam signals official admittance into the music department as a music major and is a prerequisite for admittance to Music Theory and Analysis (MUS 310). The Level 2 exam must be passed at least one semester prior to the senior recital ( MUS 495 - Senior Project, MUS 497 - Senior Project in Music Composition).
  • During the final year of study, graduating music majors are required to present a senior performance recital. Students will register for MUS 495 - Senior Project or MUS 497 - Senior Project in Music Composition during the semester of the scheduled recital.
  • A portfolio chronicling the student’s activities in music is due the semester of graduation. The portfolio is especially important for music education majors.
  • Voice performance majors are required to complete the equivalent of one year of study in a second language–Italian, French or German–as determined by the faculty mentor or private music instructor.
  • Voice performance majors are required to participate in four semesters of MUS 115 - Vocal Performance Workshop. Two semesters are required for music education majors whose primary instrument is voice.
  • Keyboard majors and church music majors are encouraged to take one semester of organ instruction during their years of college study. Keyboard majors may be asked to accompany voice or instrumental students for rehearsals and student recitals.


This program requires an emphasis


Bethany Alvey
Bethany Alvey, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor, Music

Saul Walter staff photo
Walter Saul, D.M.A.

Professor, Music