Music Degree Requirements

The program of study offered by the Department of Music prepares music students for various careers in music and for post-baccalaureate study. Embracing concentrations in voice studies, piano studies, jazz studies, commercial composition, church music, and music history, the music program is designed to prepare well-rounded professionals through a course of study in which the theoretical and the scholarly are balanced with the practical. Music students pursue courses of study that include a judicious mixture of music theory, music history, and individual and ensemble music performances while emphasizing practical applications and exposure to the technology and methodology relevant to the various concentrations.  For musically talented students pursuing other disciplines, the Department of Music also offers a minor in each concentration.

The Department of Music offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music with five selected concentrations in Voice Studies, Piano Studies, Jazz Studies, Commercial Composition, and Church Music. The Department also offers students a General Studies in Music. The music core includes theory and history sequences, special skills, applied studies, ensembles, and seminars.         

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In addition to the General Degree Requirements as published in the Clark Atlanta University Undergraduate Catalog, students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music must complete the following required courses:

Music Theory

CMUS 105, Sight Singing and Ear Training I (3)

CMUS 106, Sight Singing and Ear Training II (3)

CMUS 201, Music Theory I (3)

CMUS 202, Music Theory II (3)

CMUS 301, Music Theory III (3)

CMUS 302, Music Theory IV (3)

CMUS 304, Form and Analysis (3)

Music History

CMUS 316, Music History and Literature I (3)

CMUS 317, Music History and Literature II (3)

CMUS 318, Jazz History (3)


CMUS 320, African American Music (3)

Special Skills: Three (3) courses for students concentrating in Piano Studies and seven (7) courses for those students in other concentrations.

CMUS 117A, Piano Class (1)

CMUS 117B, Piano Class (1)

CMUS 204, Basic Conducting (2)

CMUS 218, Music Technology I (1)

CMUS 217A, Piano Class (1)

CMUS 217B, Piano Class (1)

* Regardless of concentration, students majoring in piano are exempt from the four (4) credit Piano Class sequence, CMUS 117A/B and CMUS 217A/B. Hence, their Special Skills requirement is three (3) credits. These students will substitute four (4) credits of music electives for the Piano Class sequence.

Performance *

CMUS 100 - 400, Ensembles (8) (8 semesters)

CMUS 107 - CMUS 408R, Applied Music (8) (8 semesters or 6 semesters and 2 recitals)

CMUS 114A - CMUS 414B, Performance Seminar (8) (8 semesters)

CMUS 115A - CMUS 415B, Music Seminar (0) (8 semesters)

* All applied music, ensembles, and performance seminars are 1 credit each.

Students will enroll in CMUS 308R and CMUS 408R for concentrations requiring a Junior Recital and a Senior Recital. Others will enroll in CMUS 308 and CMUS 408 for regular applied instruction.

Junior recitals must be approved by the applied teacher of instruction.


Within the five (5) concentrations, the following are required courses beginning in the junior year of study:

Voice Studies Concentration

CMUS 340, Vocal Diction I (1)

CMUS 342, Vocal Diction II (1)

CMUS 440, Vocal Pedagogy (3)

CMUS 308R, Junior Recital (1)

CMUS 344, Opera Workshop I (2)

CMUS 345, Opera Workshop II (2)

CMUS 442, Vocal Literature (3)

CMUS 408R, Senior Recital (1)

Piano Studies Concentration *

CMUS 308R, Junior Recital (1)

CMUS 330, Piano Repertoire (3)

CMUS 331, Piano Music from the African Diaspora (3)

CMUS 430, Piano Pedagogy I (3)

CMUS 431, Piano Pedagogy II (3)

CMUS 408R, Senior Recital (1)

* The Piano Studies Concentration requires an elective in lieu of the Piano Class Sequence (four (4) credits: CMUS 117 A and B and CMUS 217 A and B).

Recommended Electives *

CMUS 107 - 408, Applied Music (In another Concentration) (1)

CMUS 318, Jazz History (3)

CMUS 320, African American Music (3)

CMUS 351, Song Writing, Arranging and Recording (3)


CMUS 403, Orchestration and Arranging (3)

* Students should meet with their academic advisors for additional options.

Jazz Studies Concentration

CMUS 305A, Jazz Theory and Improvisation I (3)

CMUS 305B, Jazz Theory and Improvisation II (3)

CMUS 308R, Junior Recital (1) *

CMUS 318, Jazz History (3)

CMUS 405, Jazz Composition and Arranging (3)

CMUS 408R, Senior Recital (1)


CMUS 417, Senior Project (1) *

* Applied credit category

Concentration in Commercial Composition

CMUS 308R, Junior Recital (1) *

CMUS 351, Songwriting, Arranging and Recording (3)

CMUS 403, Orchestration (3)

CMUS 450, Recording Internship (3)

CMUS 451, Senior Composition Project (3)

CMUS 417, Senior Project (1) **

* Performance

** Composition presentation

Concentration in Church Music

CMUS 308R, Junior Recital (1)

CMUS 370, Introduction to Church Music (1)

CMUS 372, Hymnody (3)

CMUS 417, Senior Project (1)

CMUS 470, Music in the African American Church (3)

CMUS 472, Church Music Methods (2)

CMUS 472C, Church Music Methods Internship (3) *

* CMUS 472 is a Co-requisite for CMUS 472C.