Music, Composition, Comprehensive Major

(Code 060-048)

University Requirements

Credit Requirements
Minimum total for graduation 1120
Upper division credits (courses numbered 300 and higher)39
Liberal Education Core36
Academic Concentrations
Grade Point Requirements 2
Total2.00 average
Resident2.00 average
Major2.00 average
Minor2.00 average
Certificate2.00 average
University Residency Requirements
Minimum total30
Senior year23
Major, Standard, upper division in residence12
Major, Comprehensive, upper division in residence21
Certificate25 percent of credits
Procedures Required for Graduation
Obtain admission to the degree program and/or the College offering it.
Apply for graduation on CampS.

Certain programs exceed this minimum.


See special requirements in each College.

Applicability of Credits Toward Graduation

Junior College or Two-Year College Credits. A maximum of 72 semester credits earned in a junior college or two-year college will be accepted as degree credits at UW-Eau Claire.

Extension Credits. Credits earned in credit outreach courses offered by UW-Eau Claire are treated as resident credits. Credits earned in extension courses offered by other units of the University of Wisconsin System are treated as transfer credits. All other (non-UW) extension and correspondence credits are normally limited to one-fourth of the total required for graduation from any curriculum.

WTCS Credits. A maximum of 72 semester credits earned in college parallel programs at Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College, or Chippewa Valley Technical College may be accepted as degree credits at UW-Eau Claire. A set number of general education courses will be accepted from other technical schools. Occupational and technical courses may also be considered for transfer if the quality and content of the course work from the technical college is judged to be comparable to course work at UW-Eau Claire. Refer to the Transfer Credit Wizard or contact the UW-Eau Claire Admissions Office for information about the current transfer policy.

USAFI Credit. UW-Eau Claire will accept up to 32 semester credits for work done through the United States Armed Forces Institute, under the provision for non-UW correspondence credit (see Extension Credits above).

Activity Credit (band, chorus, drama, KINS 100-184 courses) Students may count toward graduation no more than one credit of KINS 110-184 courses. Students may count toward graduation no more than four credits earned in any single activity course and no more than 12 credits resulting from any combination of activity courses (excluding KINS 110-184 courses). 

Other Restricted Credits. For other University restrictions, see the following: Cooperative Education; Credit by Examination; Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Registration; Transfer of Credits. College or departmental restrictions may also be placed on Independent Study (399-499 courses), Directed Study (395-495), and other types of credits.

Total degree creditmaximum 12
Major, Standardmaximum 1 course
Major, Comprehensivemaximum 2 courses
Minormaximum 1 course
Credit by Examination
Total degree creditmaximum ¼ of total
Major or minormaximum ½ of total
Two-Year College Credits
Total degree creditmaximum 72 credits
Activity credit (band, chorus, drama, KINS 100-184)
Total KINS 100-184maximum 1 credit
Total Band, chorus, dramamaximum 12 credits
Single course band, chorus, dramamaximum 4 credits
Extension credits
UW-Systemno maximum
Other extension/correspondencemaximum ¼ of total
USAFImaximum 32 credits

Liberal Education Core

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire measures learning outcomes to ensure that its graduates have achieved a liberal education and prepared themselves to contribute to a complex society. Upon graduation, each undergraduate will have met the five learning goals of our liberal education core and the 12 learning outcomes they comprise. 

Knowledge Goal
Knowledge Outcome 1 (K1): Natural SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 2 (K2): Social SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 3 (K3): HumanitiesTwo (2) learning experiences
Knowledge Outcome 4 (K4): Fine ArtsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Goal
Skills Outcome 1 (S1): Written and Oral CommunicationTwo (2) learning experiences
Skills Outcome 2 (S2): MathematicsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Outcome 3 (S3): CreativityOne (1) learning experience
Responsibility Goal
Responsibility Outcome 1 (R1): Equity, Diversity, and InclusivityTwo (2) learning experiences
Responsibility Outcome 2 (R2): Global PerspectivesOne (1) learning experience
Responsibility Outcome 3 (R3): Civic and Environmental IssuesOne (1) learning experience
Integration Goal
Integration Outcome 1 (I1): IntegrationTwo (2) learning experiences
Service-Learning Goal
Service-Learning30 hours

College Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Music

University Graduation Requirements. All candidates for degrees must fulfill the requirements for credits, curriculum, GPA, and University residency as specified in the section of this catalog titled University Graduation Requirements.

College Graduation Requirements: Grade Point Averages. All candidates for degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences must earn minimum resident and total GPAs of 2.00 in the major, the minor, and the certificate. The resident and total GPAs for the major are computed using all attempted credits applicable to the major including those offered by departments other than the major department. The resident and total GPAs for the minor and certificate are computed similarly.

Major-Minor and Major-Certificate Requirements. A standard major (a minimum of 36 credits) must be supplemented by a minor (a minimum of 24 credits) or by a certificate (12 to 18 credits) to meet graduation requirements for completing a first and second degree program. No minor or certificate is required with a Comprehensive Major (60 or more credits) or with two majors of 36 or more credits each.

Certain degree programs, which include Comprehensive Majors, may require more than the minimum of 120 credits for graduation.

Acceptable academic program combinations are determined at the college level. A major and a minor or a major and certificate or two majors (if available) may not be elected in the same department or program, except in the approved combinations listed here.

College Credits. Earn at least 90 credits in courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Music Degree in the College of Arts and Sciences (B.M.)

Fulfillment of all University Graduation Requirements (which includes the Liberal Education Core); all College-level degree requirements (major and minor/certificate emphases, GPAs, earning at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences course work); foreign language competency at the 102 level.  Foreign language competency can be met in one of two ways:  (1) Achieve a score on the foreign language placement test that qualifies the student to enter the 201-level course in a foreign language.  (2) Earn a grade of at least C (not C-) or a mark of S in a 102-level foreign language course (or AIS 112 or AIS 122 / LANG 122 or CSD 103). 

Major Requirements

(Code 060-048)

All students majoring in composition must earn a grade of at least C in each theory and each composition course.

Seventy-seven semester credits, including:
MUSI 141
MUSI 142
Theory Written I
and Theory Aural I
MUSI 146
MUSI 147
Theory Written II
and Theory Aural II
MUSI 246
MUSI 247
Theory Written III
and Theory Aural III
MUSI 248Theory Written IV
MUSI 249Theory Aural IV
MUSI 309Electronic Music
MUSI 325Orchestration
MUSI 335Counterpoint
MUSI 407Music Theory Seminar
History/Literature 12
Music History & Society I
Music History & Society II
Analyzing Global Traditions in Music
Music History Seminar
Beginning Composition
Applied Music-Composition (six semesters, three semesters at 370 level)
Applied Music, minimum of five semesters, five credits, at least one credit at 300 level 15
Keyboard, three semesters3
Applied Music-Piano
Keyboard (piano emphasis) Students must substitute three credits of Music electives
MUSI 350Conducting2
Senior Recital
MUSI 497Senior Recital2
Ensembles -- Eight credits minimum, one credit required in every semester of classes.
Four credits from:4
Symphony Band
Wind Ensemble
University Band
University Orchestra
Jazz Ensemble
Concert Choir
Symphonic Choir
The Singing Statesmen
Women's Concert Chorale
Two credits from:2
Contemporary Music Ensemble
Two credits unconducted ensemble from:2
University Chamber Orchestra
String Ensemble
Brass Ensemble
Woodwind Ensemble
Percussion Ensemble
Jazz Combo
Contemporary Music Ensemble
Chamber Choir
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Piano Ensemble
Electives in Music5
Piano Proficiency - passed prior to graduation
Total Credits77

Students who wish to take a full eight semesters of applied lessons may do so, at the discretion of the studio teacher, by applying music elective credits toward applied study.

Other Requirements

Freshman and transfer students interested in majoring in composition are strongly urged to present a composition portfolio to a member of the composition faculty before registering for any composition course. No possible credit for composition at another institution will be awarded before the end of the first semester of study at UW-Eau Claire.

NOTE: No music course may be taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing this program will be expected to meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate artistic expression through musicianship, technical expertise and skill as appropriate to discipline.
  • Create historically and culturally appropriate interpretations through the performance of varied repertoire in collaborative and solo performances as appropriate to discipline.
  • Apply culturally specific analytical techniques and approaches to musical compositions.
  • Make comparative written statements about aesthetics and function for multiple compositional styles.
  • Demonstrate a diverse and inclusive perspective of music, as well as identify systems of privilege in music.
  • Demonstrate mastery of a range of traditional and current compositional styles.
  • Demonstrate mastery of composing idiomatically as appropriate for the selected media.

Sample Degree Plan

 Music, Composition, Comprehensive Major, B.M.

The following is a sample degree plan, based on the 2023-2024 catalog. It is based on the 120-credit graduation requirement and assumes no transferred credits, no requirements waived by placement tests, no courses taken in the summer or winter, no repeated courses, and no remedial courses that may be required. This sample degree plan is intended for first-year students entering UW-Eau Claire in the fall semester. Your own degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). UW-Eau Claire cannot guarantee all courses will be offered as shown, but will provide a range of courses that may enable prepared students to fulfill their requirements in a timely period. This sample degree plan is just a guide. Please consult your advisor, your degree audit, and the catalog to create your own degree plan. Note: In order to earn the required minimum of 120 credits for the degree in four years, you should plan to take 15 credits each semester or 30 credits each year.

To earn a degree, students must fulfill all University Graduation Requirements, including the Liberal Education (LE) Core.  LE Core course work in the following sample degree plan uses abbreviations such as LE-K1, LE-S2, LE-R3, and LE-I1 to represent the learning outcomes students will meet via completion of their liberal education course work.  Please click here for a description of the Liberal Education Core outcomes and requirements.  Note that the LE Core may be completed through both course and non-course experiences.

MUSI 141Theory Written I3
MUSI 142Theory Aural I1
MUSI 106Class Piano (If necessary - does not count to degree)2
MUSI 1XX Ensemble (LE-S3 with two ensembles)1
MUSI 1XX Major Applied Instrument1
WRIT 114Intensive Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing (LE-S1)5
Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing
LE Option3
MUSI 146Theory Written II3
MUSI 147Theory Aural II1
MUSI 108Advanced Class Piano (If necessary - does not count to degree)2
MUSI 1XX Ensemble (LE-S3 with two ensembles)1
MUSI 1XX Major Applied Instrument1
MUSI 150Beginning Composition2
LE Option4
MUSI 246Theory Written III3
MUSI 247Theory Aural III1
MUSI 170Applied Music-Composition1
MUSI 151Applied Music-Piano1
MUSI 1XX Major Applied Instrument1
MUSI 1XX Ensemble1
MUSI 227Music History & Society I3
LE Option4
MUSI 248Theory Written IV3
MUSI 249Theory Aural IV1
MUSI 170Applied Music-Composition1
MUSI 151Applied Music-Piano1
MUSI 1XX Major Applied Instrument1
MUSI 1XX Ensemble1
MUSI 229Music History & Society II3
LE Option4
MUSI 305Analyzing Global Traditions in Music3
MUSI Elective2
MUSI 309Electronic Music2
MUSI 170Applied Music-Composition3
MUSI 3XX Applied Music1
MUSI 151Applied Music-Piano1
MUSI 2XX Ensemble1
LE Option4
MUSI 404Music History Seminar3
MUSI 370Advanced Applied Music-Composition3
MUSI 3XX Major Applied Instrument1
MUSI 2XX Ensemble1
MUSI 350Conducting2
LE Option3
LE Option3
MUSI 325Orchestration2
MUSI 335Counterpoint2
MUSI 370Advanced Applied Music-Composition3
MUSI 3XX Ensemble1
LE Option3
LE Option3
MUSI 370Advanced Applied Music-Composition3
MUSI 497Senior Recital2
MUSI 3XX Ensemble1
MUSI Elective3
MUSI 407Music Theory Seminar2
LE Option3
LE Option3

Minimum total for the baccalaureate degree = 120 credits

Note:  All students must complete the 30-hour Service-Learning Requirement via a non-credit or credit option (see Undergraduate Graduation Requirements).

 Course Information

  • See catalog for details of ensemble requirement.
  • Music Theory sequence should begin in 1st year.
  • Piano Proficiency Exam must be passed prior to MUSI 350.
  • Class piano is not accepted in lieu of the applied piano requirement. 
  • See catalog for foreign language competency requirement.
  • Keyboard (non-piano emphasis) – MUSI 151, 3 sem. (piano emphasis students must substitute at least 3 additional credits of music electives or supporting electives, see University Catalog).

Application to Major
Admittance to major is through audition to the Music Program

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire encourages all students to participate in High Impact Practices.  The following information identifies any specific recommendations that faculty in this major have concerning which HIPs might be most beneficial to students, and any recommendations about when those HIPs best fit into the degree plan. Students should also consult their faculty advisor for information on HIPs. There are many additional high impact opportunities available. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about incorporating HIPs like Study Abroad, Intercultural Immersion, Internship, and/or  Student/Faculty Collaborative Research into your time at UW-Eau Claire.

  • Students are encouraged to seek an internship related to the performing arts during the final two years of the program. See internship possibilities in the performing arts on the Music and Theatre Arts Homepage.
  • Students are encouraged to consider a cultural immersion program, such as the Spring Break trip New York City, in the final two years of the program.
  • Faculty-Student Research Projects are encouraged after the first year of the program.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in “Quest,” the Integrated Learning Project specifically created for Music and Theatre Arts students. See Music and Theatre Arts Homepage for more information.

Liberal Education (LE) Core Guidance

Liberal Education Core (LE Core) 

The LE Core comprises 17 learning experiences across 11 learning outcomes. Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits in courses approved for the LE Core. 

  • K1 – Natural Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K2 – Social Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K3 – Humanities; two experiences. 

  • K4 – Fine Arts; one experience. 

  • S1 – Written and Oral Communication; two experiences (one experience must satisfy the University writing requirement). 

  • S2 – Mathematics; one experience (must satisfy the University math competency requirement). 

  • S3 – Creativity; one experience (can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • R1 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity; two experiences (one experience must meet the UW System Design for Diversity (DD) requirement). 

  • R2 – Global Perspectives; one experience. 

  • R3 – Civic and Environmental Issues; one experience. 

  • I1 – Integration; two experiences (one experience can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • SL—Service Learning; 30 hours 

Additional LE Core Information 

  • Most LE Core learning experiences are course based, and many courses meet more than one learning outcome (e.g., K3 and R2 or K1 and R3). 

  • Some learning experiences can also be met outside of a traditional course (e.g., undergraduate research (S3), study abroad (I1)). 

  • S1 – An English placement score that fulfills the University writing requirement fulfills one S1 experience. 

  • S1 – A foreign Language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 102 level satisfies one S1 experience. 

  • S1, R2 – A foreign language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 202 level satisfies one experience in S1 and the R2 experience. 

  • S2 – A math placement score that qualifies the student to enter Math 111, 112, 113 or 114 fulfills the S2 experience. 

  • S3 – Completion of two credits from any approved music ensemble fulfills the S3 experience. 

  • I1 – Any semester long study abroad program can fulfill one I1 experience.