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Degree Requirements

A Chronological Guide to Earning Your Music Career

First Term Considerations

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Applied Placement Level

The term Applied Music refers to the study of performance on a particular instrument. Applied lessons must be taken every semester (Fall, Spring) until applied music degree requirements are met. Your Applied Music Placement Level (or simply Applied Level) refers to the level of proficiency at which you are studying, as follows:

Secondary level: For Music minors, majors studying a “second” instrument, or non-majors
Principal level: For Music majors pursuing any music degree except BM-Performance
Performance level: For Music majors accepted into a BM-Performance program
MVV 3331 = Junior Voice Principal Level
MVW 2423 = Sophomore Clarinet Performance Level

Your Applied Music Placement Level is designated as a course number using the following numbering system:


Applied Music course numbers begin with MV_. The third letter refers to your instrument category as follows:

MVB = Brass
MVJ = Jazz
MVK = Keyboard
MVP = Percussion
MVS = Strings
MVV = Voice
MVW = Woodwinds

The first numerical digit MVW 2423 refers to your level of study.

Your applied music level may not correspond with your academic level. Some students may be a year or more behind in their applied study. For example, a transfer student may have earned 60 hours of college credit (Junior status), but with little playing experience, might be placed in Freshman Applied Music (for example, MVW 1311). A student’s applied music level may not be higher than his/her academic level.

1 = Freshman
2 = Sophomore
3 = Junior
4 = Senior
5 = Graduate


The second numerical digit MVW 2423 refers to your Applied Music Placement Level as follows:
2 = Secondary
3 = Principal
4 = Performance


The third numerical digit is always the same as the first: MVW 2423


The fourth numerical digit indicates your particular instrument within your instrument category: MVW 2423
(NOTE: Each category is in score order).

Brass Jazz Keyboard Percussion
1 = Trumpet
2 = French Horn
3 = Trombone
4 = Euphonium
5 = Tuba
0 = Piano
1 = Voice
2 = Violin
3 = Guitar
4 = Double Bass
5 = Flute
6 = Saxophone
7 = Trumpet
8 = Trombone
9 = Percussion
1 = Piano
2 = Harpsichord
3 = Organ
4 = Piano Pedagogy
1 = Percussion
Strings Voice Woodwinds
1 = Violin
2 = Viola
3 = Cello
4 = Double Bass
5 = Harp
6 = Guitar
1 = Voice
2 = Musical Theatre
1 = Flute
2 = Oboe
3 = Clarinet
4 = Bassoon
5 = Saxophone

MV_101_, Preparatory Applied Placement: This placement level is for students admitted on a preparatory basis. The third letter and the fourth numerical digit correspond to the student’s instrument. Preparatory students must jury at the conclusion of one or two semesters of study to advance to the freshman level. Preparatory level does not carry credit for applied music major requirements.

Group Piano/Class Voice Placement

These forms are filled out by faculty administering the placement/exemption exams, often during orientation. Copies showing the placement/exemption should be given to students completing the exams. Programs of Study list specific Group Piano/Class Voice requirements in your degree program.

Note: Group Piano/Class Voice exemptions carry no credit. Students exempting all or portions of their Group Piano/Class Voice requirements must take additional music course work above and beyond curricular requirements to substitute for the exempted hours.

Exemption and Placement Exams

This exam is given online prior to orientation and determines placement into either The Fundamentals of Theory (MUT 1001) or Music Theory I (MUT 1111) and Sightsinging I (MUT 1241L).


Music Theory exams will occur before the first day of classes every Fall and Spring terms at the discretion of the Theory Faculty. All Sight Singing/Ear Training exams will be given during the first class session of each section. Three hours of credit are awarded for each Music Theory course exempted and one hour for each Sight Singing/Ear Training course exempted. Contact Dr. Evan Jones (LON 213B, 644-8400) for more information. Times will be posted outside of HMU 203.


This exam is usually given at orientation and is optional for students wishing to exempt some levels of group piano. Students who have no previous piano experience who do not wish to take this exam will begin in MVK1111A their first term, if it is required by their degree program.


This exam, sometimes given at orientation, is optional for students wishing to exempt some levels of class voice. Students who have no previous vocal experience who do not wish to take this exam will begin in MVV1111 their first term, if it is required by their degree program.

For more information, please contact Wanda Brister-Rachwal (644-5073; KMU 325A).

Performance Area Seminars

College of Music Applied Music Seminars in most applied areas are held Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. When scheduling courses, Music majors must leave this time available.

Bachelor Degree Milestones

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Jury Requirements

A jury is a performance for your applied area faculty (Woodwind, Brass Percussion, Strings, Voice, Keyboard, or Jazz) for which you receive overall comments and a grade. You must jury after two semesters of study to complete an applied level and/or progress to the next level. Your applied teacher may require you to take a jury examination at the end of any semester. You may elect to take a jury examination at the end of any semester, but it is not advisable to do so without the approval of your applied teacher. Failure to advance to the next level after three terms, or two failed juries, results in a change of major out of music.

Students studying at the preparatory level must jury no later than the end of the second term for placement at the freshman level.

Policies regarding juries vary among the applied areas. Consult your applied instructor or coordinator for specific details. Students who were not placed at the performance level, but who would like to audition for the BM-Performance degree may do so at the time of their jury. Juries are not required for students studying an instrument at the secondary level, including minors.



Special Recitals: Special Recitals may be given at any time during the academic career with permission of the applied teacher and availability of facilities. Special Recitals are good preparation for Junior or Senior recitals. Students often “share” a Special Recital with another performer, which provides each student with valuable performance experience and divides the responsibilities of recital planning.

Junior/Senior Recitals: BM-Performance majors must complete Junior and Senior recitals. Students register for Junior Recital (MV_3970) or Senior Recital (MV_4971) (0 hours credit) during the term the recital is presented. Composition majors present a recital of compositions during the senior year and register for MUC 4950 (0 hours credit).

Senior Project/Recitals: Music Education and Music Therapy majors must complete a Senior Recital or a Senior Project. Senior Recitals are encouraged. Students must have senior status, be admitted to professional sequence, and have completed the 3000 level of applied music by jury, and must register for Senior Project Recital (MUS 4970, 2 credit hours) the term in which the recital is given. This recital is prepared under the guidance of an applied instructor. BA-Music students may also give Senior Project Recitals.

Specialized Studies Program Recitals (formerly Certificate Recitals): Many Specialized Studies Programs require completion of a recital. Check Specialized Studies Program specifications (available in 204C HMU) for details, and consult your applied teacher for assistance.

All recitals: A $45 fee is charged for presenting a recital.


  • A full recital is to be a minimum of 50 minutes and a maximum of 70 minutes.
  • A half recital is to be a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 35 minutes.
  • Junior recitals, Specialized Studies Recitals (Non-applied majors), and Senior Project recitals are to be Half-Recitals, i.e. shared with another student. A faculty member who wishes to have a student do a full recital must give approval before scheduling the recital. Students granted permission to play a full recital must play the recital prior to the last three weeks of classes [i.e. no special full recital will be scheduled during the last three weeks of classes for Fall or Spring semester, or during exam weeks]. All other recitals are full-length recitals.


  • Students requiring Senior, Junior, and Specialized Studies recitals should schedule the recital and the recital exam before the fourth week of classes. Students must enroll for the appropriate course number during the semester in which the recital is given.
  • A recital examination is required 10 days to two weeks before the performance of any student’s recital in the College of Music.
  • Scheduling of examinations and notification of committees is the responsibility of the Scheduling Office, upon signed endorsement of the teacher concerned.
  • Undergraduate recital examinations are approved by the applied area faculty.


Tips for Success with Recitals:

  1. Choose music and plan the program with applied teacher.
  2. Obtain an accompanist and/or additional performers.
  3. Obtain a date and place to perform (See Jacob Lane, HMU 112, 644-2705)
  4. See Wendy Smith (Publicity Office, 213 HMU, 644-4774) regarding recital programs.*
  5. Make posters to advertise the recital. Post on College of Music bulletin boards. DO NOT place them on walls, windows, or doors.
  6. Arrange for recording and plan stage set-up (644-5486).
  7. Arrange use of any special instruments (harpsichord, etc).

* Recitals by students given off campus do not appear on Music Events calendars unless specifically approved by Jacob Lane (HMU 112). They are not recorded by the College of Music and no printed programs are provided.

Graduation Clearance

Students must request “grad checks” from Rachel Ward (HMU 209, 644-3038) two semesters prior to graduation or internship. The grad check will identify all degree requirements remaining at that time. Allow a minimum of three weeks for completion. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Graduation Section of the Registrar’s Office and request a Liberal Studies grad check two semesters prior to graduation. Students must apply for graduation in the Graduation Office (A3900 University Center, 644-5850) at the beginning of the term in which their requirements will be completed. Deadlines for graduation application are published in the Registration Guide and on the Registrar’s website (

Bachelor Degree Requirements

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University Requirements

In addition to the specific Music major requirements listed on the Music Program of Study, the following University requirements must be met for all bachelor’s degrees awarded at the Florida State University:

  1. Completion of  FSU’s Liberal Studies requirements
  2. Completion of the  multicultural requirement.
  3. Completion of the  oral communication competency requirement.
  4. Completion of the  computer skills competency requirement.
  5. Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  6. Completion of at least 120 semester hours. (More for some majors.)
  7. Completion of at least 45 hours in upper division (3000-4000) courses. (30 hours must be at FSU)
  8. Completion of the final 30 hours in residence at FSU.
  9. Completion of at least 1/2 of the major coursework at FSU.
  10. At least 9 hours of summer study at a Florida senior institution.

Some of these requirements may vary according to number and type of transfer credits, and several may be met by “alternate” methods. Students are advised to consult the University General Bulletin: General Requirements, or the  FSYou website for details about these requirements.

College of Music Requirements

Curriculum guides for specific music major may be found  here, and academic maps with milestone courses at: the FSU Academic Program Guide. All majors in music, however, contain a common core of music course work in applied music (8 credit hours), music theory (16 credit hours), music history/literature (10 credit hours), ensembles (4 credit hours), and recital attendance (6 semesters of “S” credit). Additional work in these areas is required of specific majors.


The Undecided/Undeclared Major

The major Music Undecided/Undeclared is used for:

  • Students accepted into Music but who have not indicated a specific major.
  • Students requesting Performance, Composition or Music Theory who have not received approval from their respective departments.

Students may remain in a Music Undecided/Undeclared major for two terms after which a major must be declared. Students not declaring a major after two terms will be unable to register for courses until such time as a major is declared.


Students who requested a BM-Performance major, but received a principal Applied Placement Level have not been admitted into the performance program and are assigned the major Music Undecided/Undeclared. These students may pursue, with approval, any undergraduate music degree except BM-Performance, or may later re-audition for the performance program (consult Applied Instructor regarding preparation). In many instrumental areas, only a limited number of students are admitted into the performance program, and in some cases, no freshman students are admitted at all.


Composition majors must submit an application (available in 204C HMU) and sample compositions to Dr. Evan A. Jones (LON 213B, 644-8400) for formal admission into the program. (Completion of MUT 1111 and MUT 1241L are prerequisites for composition lessons.)

BM-Theory majors must submit admission approval forms (available in 204C HMU), to the Coordinator of Music Theory, Dr. Evan A. Jones (LON 213B, 644-8400). Admission is based on the overall FSU GPA and the GPA in representative music courses. Writing samples may also be requested.