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 but 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.

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.

BA Language Requirements

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

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
Tonal Form
MUSC 2XXX
(Music, Mind and Brain)
Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Music
Music Analysis Seminar
Analyzing Popular Genres

Music in Context

Choose one from each category below. At least three choices must be 2000-level or above. Two must be writing-intensive. Courses may not double-count across the five areas.

Introductory Class
MUSC 1001Music in Everyday Life4
Traditional
Complete one of the following:4
Music of the USA
Women in Music
Music and Poetry
Introduction to Art, Drama, and Music
What’s Playing at Symphony?
Historical Traditions: America
Historical Traditions: Classical
40,000 Years of Music Technology
Introduction to Opera
Principles of Music Literature
War and Music
Historical Traditions: Special Topics
Ethnomusicology
Complete one of the following:4
Music as a Social Expression
Survey of African-American Music
Introduction to World Music
Music of Africa
Music of the Middle East
Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
Music of the Jewish People
Music in Culture
Black Popular Music
Music of Asia
Principles of Music Literature
Historical Traditions: World
Historical Traditions: Special Topics
Contemporary
Complete one of the following:4
Women in Music
Music in Popular Culture
George Gershwin
Coltrane
Wired for Sound
Black Popular Music
Principles of Music Literature
Popular Music Since 1945
Historical Traditions: History of the Music Industry
40,000 Years of Music Technology
Historical Traditions: 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 from the list below:4
Introduction to Music Technology
Introduction to Composition
Jazz Improvisation
Conducting
Songwriting 1
Writing about Music
Making a Musical: Analysis, Craft, and Creation
Ensembles
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
World Fusion Ensemble

Capstone

Complete one of the following:4
Music History and Analysis Capstone
Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Issues in Fieldwork and Methodology
Seminar in Music Industry
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

Minimum 2.667 GPA  required in 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 Five Years, Two Co-ops

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
MUSC 10014Music theory course4VacationVacation
MUSC 12014Music in context elective4  
ENGW 11114Elective4  
MUSC 10001Elective4  
Elective4   
 17 16 0 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course4Co-op 1Co-op 1Vacation
Music elective4   
Elective4   
Elective4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 0 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course4Co-op 2Co-op 2Vacation
Music elective4   
Music theory course4   
Elective4   
 16 0 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Music in context course4Elective4VacationVacation
Music elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
Elective4Capstone4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16  
Total Hours: 130