Undergraduate degree programs in Music are built around a series of courses in theory, musicianship, analysis, music history, and performance.
Our programs are rooted in the Western classical tradition. However, courses in modern composition and theory and jazz theory and history are available as well. Music majors may also choose to concentrate in one of five areas: Performance; Composition; Conducting; Music History, Theory and Ethnography; and Music, Science, and Technology (MST), should they wish to study any particular discipline in more depth.
Prospective Music majors are urged to consult with a department major advisor as early as possible to create a courseplan that allows for sufficient time to complete all academic goals.
Prospective Music minors may seek help from a faculty advisor on an informal basis, but should contact the Undergraduate Student Services Officer early on for help with setting goals and understanding expectations.
The steps below do not necessarily need to be completed in order, but all are required elements of the declaration process.
1. Review the program requirements
The Stanford Bulletin is the document of record for all program requirements and university policies. Read through the desired program description and any related concentration coursework to understand the requirements and expectations of our programs.
2. Map out a four-year course plan
Once you have researched the degree requirements, map out a four-year plan to complete the major using resources like Explore Courses to determine future course offerings. Include requirements and plans for any additional GERs, majors, minors, studies abroad, or large scale extracurricular projects you might be considering. This will help you gauge whether or not it’s possible to complete all your goals during your time at Stanford. If you plan to become a Music major, will you declare a concentration as well? Feel free to consult with the Undergraduate Student Services Officer or any departmental faculty as you weigh your options.
3. Find an Advisor
The student-advisor relationship is an extremely important one that gives students an opportunity to express intellectual concerns and discuss academic and professional interests and aspirations with someone who knows a great deal about music. Students must meet with their advisors at least once per quarter to have their study lists approved.
Each prospective Music major is encouraged to find his or her own academic advisor as part of the declaration process. Visit the Department of Music Administrative Office in Braun 101 to pick up an Advisor Agreement Form, or print one out via the link below.
4. Meet with Undergraduate Student Services Officer
Schedule a meeting with the Undergraduate Student Services Officer to discuss and approve your four-year courseplan and to turn in your Advisor Agreement form. This short meeting is intended to serve as a means of working out any scheduling conflicts and to brainstorm creative solutions to issues with both documents. Regardless of your concentration area or selected advisor, the Undergraduate Student Services Officer will continue to be a resource through your time in the department. Feel free to contact him with any questions or concerns at any time.
5. Declare the program in Axess
When you are certain that you would like to declare a Music major or minor, submit a request for your desired program in Axess. On your Student Services Center homepage, find the drop down menu option next to your quarterly course list that says “I want to...” and select “Declare a major or minor.” Follow the prompts to submit your request. Skip the course plan section, as you should turn in a PDF or printed form to the Undergraduate Student Services Officer. Upon approval of your course plan and receipt of your advisor agreement form, the Undergrad Student Services Officer will approve your request to add the major.