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Department of



Courses of Study

We offer two Bachelor of Arts degrees: 1) in music with emphases in performance, music theory and composition, and music history/culture, and 2) a General Music degree. Our curriculum includes a broad range of courses, from early chant to cutting edge modern music, choral, chamber and solo performance, world music, computer music, sound art, and innovative interdisciplinary courses exploring music in relation to politics, art, literature, religion and cultural studies. Within the context of a liberal arts institution, music students receive a broad training as musicians, thinkers and citizens, developed through USD's strong core curriculum and the the Department of Music's rigorous history, theory and performance requirements.

Students can also look forward to an eclectic offering of concerts at USD and in San Diego, and close interaction with faculty and guest artists in master classes and other special events.

There are many performing ensembles for the USD community, including Choral Scholars, University Concert Choir, USD Chamber Music, Gamelan Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble some of which offer many performances both on campus and around the San Diego community, and in tours in the U.S. and abroad. Students have opportunities to pursue a variety of individual lessons and to acquire a teaching credential in music.

Individual lessons

The Music Program offers individual instruction to majors, minors and members of ensembles in all voice parts and all instruments, including harpsichord and pipe organ, as well as orchestral and choral conducting and improvisation. Vocal and instrumental students have the opportunity to work with professional accompanists for recitals, and conducting students have the opportunity to work with USD's ensembles as well as the acclaimed San Diego Youth Symphony.
Applied Lessons Policy & Procedures

Composition students have the opportunity to work with professional musicians in the performance of their music, and to gain experience with computer-based composition, notation software, sound art and digital audio recording.

Teaching Credential

Beginning in 2012, music majors may choose to graduate with a teaching credential. The USD Music Department is partnering with the School of Leadership and Education Sciences to assist music majors seeking the Single-Subject Teaching Credential in Music. Interested music majors are advised on how to complete the credential requirements while working on their Bachelor of Art's degree in Music.


Recent alumni of the Department of Music have gone on to graduate school in performance, early music performance, musicology and sacred music, and composition, and to work in fields such as public education, arts administration, orchestra and freelance performance.