The B.A. in Music Education, completion of which enables students to apply for Michigan comprehensive K-12 teacher certification in music, is designed for students desiring to teach in the public schools.

The B.A. in Music provides students with a broad general studies education in the liberal arts combined with comprehensive music studies. The liberal arts emphasis will develop students' collaborative, innovative, and imaginative skills and abilities, which are transferable to many post-graduation settings. Recent graduates with a B.A. in Music have gone on to graduate programs in Vocal Performance, Guitar Performance, Collaborative Piano, and Music Theory.

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In addition to the above courses, each music major is required to attend (5) concerts per semester that they are not performing in. Also, during their degree program at SVSU, majors are required to perform once in a solo setting and once in a chamber setting. 

Career Possibilities for the BA in Music:

The B.A. in Music at SVSU is a liberal arts degree with a performance emphasis.   Many students and parents wonder what someone can do with a degree in music.  Here are some alternatives.

A liberal arts degree does not limit a graduate to a specific career path.  Instead it develops broader skills that can lead to many varied careers.  This may seem daunting to a new graduate who does not know which career path to follow, but in the long term it leaves the graduate able to change fields more flexibly as the job market changes or their own inclinations develop.  Here are some of the most important skills that a student with a liberal arts degree develops over the course of their college career:

  • to communicate clearly in writing and speech
  • to think creatively, critically, and analytically                
  • to solve problems accurately and imaginatively

Music majors learn other important skills:

  • teamwork
  • collaboration
  • deep focus
  • perceptive and acute listening
  • disciplined practice skills

The performance emphasis of SVSU’s B.A. in Music allows the student to develop their musicianship and performance technique to a level that means they can successfully enter graduate degree programs in their performance medium, music theory, or music history.

All these attributes also make graduates good candidates for graduate degree programs in other fields.  A careful choice of minor can enhance a student’s chances of success in a musical career as well as job prospects in other fields.  Some of the minors we recommend are Entrepreneurship, Communication, Theatre, French, and Sociology.

For a more detailed discussion of the benefits of a degree in music, read this. For the graduate who chooses a career outside music, their musical talent, skills, and knowledge can be a lifelong avocation.

Suggested Minors:

Communication: The minor requires 18 credits, with one required course, 6 credits at 200-400 level, and 9 credits at 300-400 level. Recommendations from the Chair of Communication are:

  • one course from the Organizational Area:  COMM 325, COMM 352, COMM 415
  • one course involving conflict management: COMM 227, COMM 351, COMM 415
  • COMM 227: Small Group Communication
  • COMM 270: Introduction to Marketplace and Media
  • COMM 315: Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 455: Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 475: Communication and Popular Culture

Entrepreneurship Minor for Non-Business Majors


French (for teacher certification)

Music Theatre for Music Majors:

This new minor builds on courses a Music Major takes as part of their major by requiring courses in the Theatre Department and cross-listed courses in dance and the history of musical theatre, for a total of 21 credits.  It focuses on vocal, acting, and dance skills. The following new courses are being proposed to CAPC as part of the minor:  THEA 215/MUS 215, THEA 216/MUS 216, and THEA 335/MUS 335.  These will be offered on a two-year cycle.

(21 credits required)

The Musical Theatre Minor for Music Majors is an interdisciplinary minor designed to enhance a Music Major’s theory and vocal background with appropriate Theatre courses in musical theatre, acting, and dance.

  • THEA 136: Introduction to Acting (3 credits)
  • THEA 160: Basic Scenography (3 credits)
  • THEA 215/MUS 215: Musical Theatre Dance: Tap/Jazz (3 credits)
  • THEA 216/MUS 216: Musical Theatre Dance:  Musical Theatre/Tap (3 credits)
  • THEA 335/MUS 335: History of Musical Theatre (3 credits)
  • THEA 340: Musical Theatre I (3 credits)
  • THEA 440: Musical Theatre II (3 credits)

Any Music major whose primary performance medium is not voice is required to take two semesters of applied voice lessons (MUS 107 and 108) and two semesters of Concert Choir (MUS 181) or Cardinal Singers (auditioned, MUS 189).

Sociology: for people interested in World Music or Ethnomusicology. The minor requires 18 credits in Sociology courses. Particular recommendations from a sociology faculty member for learning about cultural diversity and identity:

  • SOC 112 (3 credits): Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOC 280 (CI, 3 credits): Global Cultures
  • SOC 341 (3 credits): African American Cultures
  • SOC 365 (3 credits): Modern Africa