Undergraduate Study

Musicology BA

Capstone Major

The Musicology major is a designated capstone major. Undergraduate students who are not pursuing departmental honors must complete a senior thesis that demonstrates the skills and expertise they have acquired in earlier coursework. Students are expected to conceive and execute a project that identifies and engages with a problem within a specialized topic, identify and analyze appropriate primary sources both textual and musical, and have a working knowledge of scholarly discourse relative to a specialized topic. While an extended essay is the default expectation for a completed project, students are encouraged to seek alternative formats, such as a lecture-recital, set of lesson plans, or video/audio presentation. Students discuss and critique the work of their peers and present their work to other students and, if they choose, to the public as part of a student-organized conference.

Learning Outcomes

The Musicology major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated specific skills and expertise, including research, analysis, writing, and general knowledge of music and music history
  • Identification and analysis of appropriate primary sources and musical scores
  • Conception and execution of a project that proposes and supports an original argument about a specialized topic
  • Working knowledge of scholarly discourse relative to a specialized topic
  • Engagement with peers through presentation, discussion, and critique of student work

Admission

The Musicology program assumes that students have some musical background before entering UCLA. Although auditions are not required, prospective majors should be sufficiently competent on an instrument or in voice to participate in a performance group, as required by the program.

Preparation for the Major

Required: Musicology M6A, M6B, M6C, 12W, Music 20A, 20B, 20C, and 6 units (three terms) of performance organizations selected from Ethnomusicology 91A through 91Z, Music C90A through C90Q, Musicology 28A through 28C, CM90T, or Music Industry 111; one lower-division humanities elective (minimum of 4 units; choose from study list held in Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Student Services). Enrollment in Musicology M6A, M6B, M6C and Music 20A, 20B, 20C requires taking the Music Theory Placement Examination administered by the Music Department.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Musicology major with 90 or more units must complete one year of music theory prior to admission to UCLA. Experience in music performance is strongly recommended. Transfer students are required to take Musicology 12W at UCLA.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Required: Musicology 125A, 125B, 125C, 126, 127, 128 (in a given year, the department may designate individual Musicology seminars in the range 160-185, 188, or 191 as equivalent to 126 and 127); one additional upper-division elective, chosen from Musicology 160 through 185, 191A through 191P, 195 (if supervised by Musicology faculty), or an equivalent seminar course in ethnomusicology, music, or music industry (see study list held in the Herb Alpert School of Music Office of Student Services and Enrollment Management; enrollments may be limited — check with the department or instructor); and the department capstone sequence, Musicology 187A, 187B, 187C.

Each course applied toward the major must be taken for a letter grade (courses offered only on a P/NP grading basis are acceptable).

Honors Program

The honors program is designed for Musicology majors who wish to carry out an extended independent research project that culminates in a departmental honors thesis of approximately 30 pages. The program gives qualified students the opportunity to work closely with individual professors on an in-depth supervised research and writing project.

All junior and senior Musicology majors who have completed a minimum of four upper-division musicology courses with a departmental grade-point average of 3.7 or better and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better are eligible to apply. Normally, the thesis must be completed during fall quarter of the senior year.

To qualify for graduation with departmental honors, students must (1) complete all requirements for the major, (2) have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7 or better in upper-division courses in the department and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and (3) complete at least one term of Musicology 198 (2 units) with a grade of A- or better on the resulting thesis.

To qualify for graduation with departmental highest honors, students must (1) complete all requirements for the major, (2) have a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or better in upper-division courses in the department and an overall GPA of 3.65 or better, and (3) complete at least one term of Musicology 198 (2 units) with a grade of A or better on the resulting thesis.