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Undergraduate Studies/Programs in Music

The undergraduate major in Music is built around a series of courses in theory, musicianship, analysis, music history, and performance.

While Music is open to all students at Stanford, Music majors (inclusive of majors, minors, and performance certificate students) receive access to certain benefits not available to all students. Music majors are charged lower lesson rates than non-Music majors and have access to limited discretionary funding opportunities for curricular based projects. Prospective majors and minors are urged to consult a department major advisor as early as possible to create a course plan that allows for sufficient time to complete all academic goals.

The Music Major

Our program is rooted in the Western classical tradition. However, courses in modern composition and theory and jazz theory and history are available as well. Students 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.

Stanford Bulletin Music Major Description

How to Declare

Music Major Webpage

The Music Minor

The minor in Music or in MST provides students with a core of essential courses in music that establishes a foundation for informed appreciation of music and a basis for further study, should the student wish to pursue it. To declare a minor, follow the declaration procedures outlined in the Stanford Bulletin.

Stanford Bulletin Music Minor description

department of music minor website

how to declare

The Performance Certificate for Non-Music Majors

This program is open by audition to undergraduate students who already demonstrate a high degree of accomplishment in their area of music performance, study privately with one of the Department of Music’s faculty, and wish to bolster their performance studies with coursework that may be drawn from the Department of Music’s other areas of academic focus: history, theory, computer music, and/or composition. The Certificate in Music Performance is issued by the Department of Music and will not appear on any University record, including the student’s transcript.

How to Apply: Students are admitted to the Performance Certificate program based on a live audition adjudicated by Department of Music faculty at the beginning of spring quarter. To request an audition, students must turn in a Performance Certificate Application*, along with a musical performance résumé. Applicants with sufficient applications and résumés will be invited to audition for department faculty.

Stanford Bulletin Performance Certificate Description

Recital Planning website


General Information about Music for Non-Majors

The Department of Music offers an array of courses available to both majors and non-majors alike. Even though students may not be a Music major or minor, they are still welcome to participate in lessons, ensembles, and lecture courses. All students are eligible for Applied Music Lesson scholarships through the Friends of Music, and can rent lockers and practice rooms. Non-major students involved in private lessons may also present one staged solo recital during their time at Stanford with the approval of his or her lesson instructor.

music lockers

practice rooms



friends of music Lesson Scholarship

recital planning

Last modified on: 
Wednesday, August 15, 2018