Undergraduate Programs

The City College of New York offers the following undergraduate music degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students wishing to join the music department must demonstrate basic music literacy before registering for any music course. Students are tested for rudimentary music reading ability during the registration period. Information about the music notation system is available free of charge on the Internet.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

  • Classical Instrumental Performance
  • Classical Vocal Performance
  • Jazz Instrumental Performance
  • Jazz Vocal Performance
  • Music & Audio Technology (Sonic Arts)

Specialization programs, designed with the help of an adviser, meet the needs of each student's post-collegiate objectives. Free electives should be chosen not only as a supplement to the specialization program but also as an opportunity to pursue other interests and to broaden intellectual perspectives.

Mission Statement of the College

     The College will graduate students who, in addition to demonstrating knowledge and skills in their chosen majors, are able to:

1. Demonstrate critical thinking and levels of oral and written communication that serve them well during their university years and in their postgraduate, professional, and personal lives;
2. Demonstrate the skills necessary for quantitative reasoning and analysis, evaluation, and synthesis that enable them to integrate new information and become lifelong learners;
3. Demonstrate an appreciation of arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, regardless of their fields of concentration, and an awareness of values, cultures, languages, religions, and histories other than their own;
4. Demonstrate the creativity, flexibility, and problem solving ability needed to succeed in the ever-changing work and educational environment of the 21st century;
5. Demonstrate the ability to work efficiently and effectively with peers and mentors.

Mission Statement of the Department of Music

      The mission of the Music Department is to offer high quality undergraduate major programs concentrating on musicology (history and theory), composition, performance, and popular music studies leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.); and professional training in classical and jazz performance, music education, and music & audio production technology, leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (B.F.A). Electives are recommended not only to enrich a students' degree program but also as an opportunity to pursue other interests and to broaden intellectual and cultural perspectives.

      Music department faculty are expected to maintain active careers in music scholarship, performance, and composition according to their areas of specialization. Additionally, music department faculty are expected to maintain high standards of teaching.

Departmental Learning Outcomes

Students with a B.A. in Music will:

1. Identify different periods, genres, composers, and musical forms through listening.

2. Demonstrate through analysis and composition the pitch organization, form, and key theoretical concepts of common-practice tonal music.

3. Demonstrate proficiency in writing about musical works, composers, key concepts in music history and music theory/analysis.

4. Demonstrate basic proficiency on a keyboard instrument.

5. Demonstrate the ability to sight-sing tonal music, and take basic melodic and harmonic dictation.

6. Demonstrate basic proficiency in vocal and/or instrumental performance.

In addition to the B.A. DLO, B.F.A. Music & Technology graduates will:

7. Demonstrate and apply the concepts and practical hands-on experiencewith basic acoustics and electricity, computer technologies, digital audio and MIDI sequencing, synthesis, signal processing including dynamic, time, pitch,and equalization processing, microphone techniques; sampling; internet audio; audio for film, video, and animation; mixing; mastering radio sound; and sound reinforcement.

8. Create original music, musical arrangements, underscores, sound design, and production techniques using the latest audio technologies.

In addition to the B.A. DLO, B.F.A. Classical Performance graduates will:

9. Demonstrate the skills necessary to perform music from a variety of peri styles, and genres at a post-graduate level.

B.F.A. Jazz Performance graduates will:

10. Memorize and perform a sizable number of jazz standards

11. Demonstrate the ability to perform at a professional level in a improvisational setting.

12. Demonstrate a fluency in a variety of jazz vocabularies for melodic continuity while reading and improvising.

13. Demonstrate analytical skills required to explain the melodic, rhythmic, and   harmonic organizational principles of music from all jazz styles.

14. Explain and discuss major concepts in the history of jazz including instrumental lineage and stylistic evolution from its origins to the present day.

15. Demonstrate basic performance proficiency in several concerts and recitals in a variety of large and small instrumental and vocal ensembles, and covering a wide range of jazz styles.

16. Demonstrate proficiency at a keyboard instrument for the purposes of analysis, arranging, composing, and continuing studies in the areas of  improvisation, harmony, and repertoire.



Those interested in music education should be aware that teacher certification in New York State requires the completion of a music major degree (B.A. or B.F.A.) and a 24-credit music education minor. Students may begin taking education courses after having completed Theory II or Jazz Harmony I if they have a GPA of 3.0 or above. After completing EDUC 22100, 20500, and 32500 with a grade of B or better, and passing the LAST, candidates may file for the minor with the chair of the Music Department. Departmental approval is needed for continuation in the Music Education sequence of courses beyond EDUC 32500.

Here is what you will need to be state certified:

1. Completion of a NYS Registered Program - Music (BA or BFA) 

2. Institutional Recommendation - Music 

3. NYS Teacher Certification Exam - Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)

4. NYS Teacher Certification Exam - Educating All Students Test (EAS) 

5. NYS Teacher Certification Exam - Teaching Performance Assessment (edTPA)

6. Content Specialty Test (CST) - Music

7. Fingerprint Clearance



Students who have successfully passed (grade of B or better), or been exempted from, Music 13100 (Elementary Musicianship), Music 16100 (Beginning Keyboard Techniques), and Music 10100 (Introduction to Music) may file a Major Declaration form with the department secretary and propose themselves as candidates for the B.A. degree (code 145) or the B.F.A. degree (code 119).