Music, BA

The Bachelor of Arts in Music at Northeastern engages students in the study of how music works and the many contexts in which it is created and received. 

Students encounter a wide range of musical repertories, theoretical approaches, and research strategies. While many students opt to major in music alone, many others enroll as part of a double major. This is especially true of young scholars who are aiming for careers in engineering, sciences, business, and fields in the humanities and social sciences who still want to pursue their interests in music. Students in the BA concentration take a variety of classes in history, theory, and ethnomusicology, and they may be active performers, participating in our many ensembles and taking private lessons. Students also participate in a wide array of co-ops and are encouraged to explore opportunities that conform to their interests. 

Complete all courses listed below unless otherwise indicated. Also complete any corequisite labs, recitations, clinicals, or tools courses where specified and complete any additional courses needed beyond specific college and major requirements to satisfy graduation credit requirements.

University-Wide Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the University-Wide Requirements.

BA Language Requirements

All BA students are required to complete the BA language requirements.

NUpath Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the NUpath Requirements.

  • NUpath requirements Creative Expression/Innovation (EI) and Interpreting Culture (IC) are met through the major course requirements. 
  • NUpath requirements Formal and Quantitative Reasoning (FQ), Societies and Institutions (SI), Analyzing and Using Data (AD), Difference and Diversity (DD), and Ethical Reasoning (ER) may be met through electives in the major.
  • NUpath requirements Natural and Designed World (ND) must be met through general electives.

Introduction to College

MUSC 1000Music at Northeastern1

Music Theory and Musicianship

Music Theory Placement
All students must take a music theory placement exam. Students who do not place into MUSC 1201 must first take the following course:
Fundamentals of Western Music Theory
Required Music Theory
A grade of C or higher is required in each course:
MUSC 1201Music Theory 14
Choose two courses from the following list:8
Fundamentals of Western Music Theory
Music Theory 2
Algebra and Geometry of Music
Jazz Improvisation
Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Music
Music Analysis Seminar
Analyzing Popular Genres

Music in Context

Choose one from each category below. From the categories "Western Tradition," "Ethnomusicology," and "Contemporary," at least two must be at the 2000-level or higher. Courses may not double-count across the five areas. Many, but not all, Music in Context courses at the 2000-level or higher fulfill the Writing Intensive in the discipline requirement.  Please check Writing Intensive status of courses as needed.

Introductory Class
MUSC 1001Music in Everyday Life4
Western Tradition
Complete one of the following:4
Women in Music
Beethoven
What’s Playing at Symphony?
Music and Technology: Stone Age to Digital Age
Introduction to Opera
Historical Traditions: Classical
40,000 Years of Music Technology
Divas, DJs, and Double Standards
Sounding Human
War and Music
Ethnomusicology
Complete one of the following:4
Jazz
Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
Black Popular Music
Music of Asia
Musical Communities of Boston
Music and the Racial Imagination
Music and Social Justice
Hip Hop in the Music Industry
Ethnography in Creative Industries
Contemporary
Complete one of the following:4
Women in Music
Jazz
Film Music
Wired for Sound
Black Popular Music
Making a Musical: Analysis, Craft, and Creation
Popular Music Since 1945
Punk Rock
40,000 Years of Music Technology
Divas, DJs, and Double Standards
Music, Sound, and the Screen
Sounding Human
Topics in Music since 1900
Hip Hop in the Music Industry
Creative
Complete one of the following 4-semester-hour courses or choose four 1-semester-hour ensembles and/or lessons from the list below:4
Introduction to Music Technology
Introduction to Composition
Sound Design
Making a Musical: Analysis, Craft, and Creation
Jazz Improvisation
Conducting
Introduction to Songwriting
Ensembles and Lessons
Music Lessons 1
Music Lessons 2
Chorus
Concert Band
Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Jazz Ensemble
Rock Ensemble
Blues/Rock Ensemble
Create Your Own Music
Chamber Ensemble
Contemporary Music Ensemble
Jazz Choir and Combo
World Music Ensemble
Fusion Ensemble
Pep Band

Capstone

Complete one of the following:4
Seminar in Music Industry
Ethnography in Creative Industries
Music Technology Capstone/Senior Recital

Music Electives

Complete three additional courses in music (MUSC, MUSI, or MUST). At least two must be at the 2000-level or higher.12

Major Credit Requirement

Complete 49 semester hours in the major.

Major GPA Requirement

Students must maintain at least a 2.667 GPA (B- average) in the requirements of the major and also complete all required music courses with grades of at least C. Students who fail to meet the above standards will be placed on departmental probation; those who remain on probation for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the major.

Program Requirement

128 total semester hours required

Sample Four Years, No Co-op

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHours
MUSC 10014Music theory course4
MUSC 12014Music in context course4
ENGW 11114Music elective4
MUSC 10001Elective4
Elective4 
 17 16
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours
Music in context course4Music in context course4
Music elective4Music elective4
Elective4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
 16 16
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHours
Music in context course4Elective4
Music theory course4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
 16 16
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHours
Elective4Capstone course4
Elective4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
Elective4Elective4
 16 16
Total Hours: 129

Sample Four Years, Two Co-ops

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
MUSC 10014Music in context elective (1)4Elective4Vacation
ENGW 11114MUSC 12014Elective4 
MUSC 11194Language (2)4  
MUSC 10001Elective4  
   
Language 14   
 17 16 8 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course (2)4Co-op 1Co-op 1Elective4
Music elective (1)4 Elective (on-line)4Elective4
Music theory course4  or Dialogue
Language Elective (3)4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 4 8
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course (3)4Co-op 2Co-op 2Elective4
Music elective (2)4 Elective (on-line)4Elective4
Elective4  or Dialogue
ENGW 33144   
 16 0 4 8
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course (4)4Music Capstone4VacationVacation
Music elective (3)4Elective4  
Music theory course4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
  
  
  
  
 0 0  
Total Hours: 130