Undergraduate Study

Global Jazz Studies BA

Capstone Major

The Global Jazz Studies major is a designated capstone major. The capstone project, usually done in the senior year, is tailored to each student and includes a seminar class (course 186A) and a capstone presentation such as a recital, lecture-demonstration, or lecture-recital (186B). The capstone experience provides an appropriate vehicle for the faculty to assess the students’s accomplishments during their tenure in the program.

Learning Outcomes

The Global Jazz Studies major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Advanced-level performance of multiple jazz styles across historical periods and contemporary jazz performance practices
  • Demonstrated proficiency in styles representative of Africa, the African diaspora, and at least one other world musical culture
  • Demonstrated advanced skill and understanding in improvisation, musical structure and instrumentation, composition, arranging, timbre, and expression
  • Demonstrated basic proficiency in areas of programming, recording, and/or postproduction
  • Demonstrated interdisciplinary knowledge of global jazz as text and method
  • Interrogation of the concerns of jazz as a comprehensive practice, including its capacity to transform the musical, political, and socioeconomic world it engages


Applicants are reviewed individually, based on a questionnaire, grade-point average, test scores, a personal statement of purpose, and an on-campus audition. Applicants who are unable to travel to UCLA have the option of submitting a video audition in place of the on-campus audition.

Preparation for the Major

Required: Ethnomusicology 20B or 20C (5 units), 4 units from 91E and/or 91P, 4 units from 68A though 68O and/or 91A through 91Z (except 91E and 91P); Global Jazz Studies M12A, M12B (10 units), 12 units from 71A through 71I (students must enroll in a studio each quarter); Music M6A, M6B, M6C (6 units). Each course must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Global Jazz Studies major with 90 or more units must complete as many of the following introductory courses as possible prior to admission to UCLA: one to two years of jazz studio instruction (equivalent to Global Jazz Studies 71A through 71I) and one year of musicianship (equivalent to Ethnomusicology M6A, M6B, M6C).

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

The Major

Required: 72 units from the areas below. Each course must be taken for a letter grade and be completed with a grade of C or better. Students must have an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. No more than eight units from upper-division tutorials (195-199) may be applied toward the degree.

Performance (24 units) — 12 units of studio coursework from Global Jazz Studies 171A through 171I, 4 units of small jazz combo (Global Jazz Studies 175), 8 units of large jazz ensemble (Global Jazz Studies 176A through 176G). Students must enroll in a studio class and at least one combo or ensemble each quarter.

Musicianship and theory (24 units) — Global Jazz Studies 122A, 122B, 122C, 127A, 127B, 127C, 129A, 129B, 129C.

Scholarly foundations (24 units) — Global Jazz Studies 101, M111; one course (at least 4 units) selected from each of the following three subject areas: African American Studies 108, M150D, M158C, Global Jazz Studies M109, M119, 125A, 125B, 125C, M130, M131, 165, 188, 199, Music Industry 102, 104A, 107A, 115.

Capstone seminar and project (4 units) — Global Jazz Studies 186A, 186B.