Our performance programs are led by renowned performing artist faculty. Piano majors take private lessons and master classes, and perform regularly in concerts and recitals.


University Core

General Education Requirements 1
Oral and Written Communication – Part A and Part B 2,3
Quantitative Literacy (QL) – Part A and Part B 2,3
Foreign Language 2
Distribution Requirements 1
Natural Sciences (Must include one lab)6
Social Sciences6
Cultural Diversity 2
Electives Outside Peck School of the Arts12
Electives in Peck School of the Arts 412
Electives Outside Discipline3
Total Credits45

See General Education Requirements for more information.


Credits may be utilized in required curriculum areas.


OWC Part A and QL Part A should be completed within the first two semesters of pursuing a Music program.


9 credits are required in 3 of the 4 other departments in PSOA, outside of the student's discipline: Art and Design, Dance, Music, Theatre, or Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres.

Music BFA Requirements

The minimum number of credits required to complete the Bachelor of Fine Arts is 130. Students who need background preparation courses in math, English, foreign language, and chemistry may need additional credits.

Music Department Competencies
Theory Fundamentals
Fundamentals of Piano:
Music Theory
MUSIC 123Aural Theory I1
MUSIC 124Aural Theory II1
MUSIC 127Materials of Theory I2
MUSIC 128Materials of Theory II3
MUSIC 225Materials of Theory III3
MUSIC 226Aural Theory III1
MUSIC 421Materials of Theory IV3
Music History
MUSIC 106Foundations of Music3
MUSIC 211General History of Western Music I3
MUSIC 212General History of Western Music II3
Total Credits23

Piano Requirements

Principal Instrument 524
Lessons in Piano
Performing Organizations 66
Accompanying 74
Performance Repertoire 8
MUSIC 275Keyboard Performance Repertoire2
MUSIC 276Keyboard Performance Repertoire2
MUSIC 448Piano Pedagogy2
Music Theory Electives
Complete one of the following:3
Introduction to Computers and Music
Studio Techniques
Instrumental and Choral Orchestration
Special Studies in Music:
Music History Electives
Complete one of the following:3
Selected Topics in Music History and Literature:
Music of the Baroque Era
Music of the Classic Era
Music of the Romantic Era
Music since 1900
Junior Recital
Senior Recital:
Music Electives9
General Electives5
May be taken from any area of the University (including Music) to fulfill requirements
Total Credits62

MusPerf 4XX Principal Instrument (8 semesters minimum; 3 credits each semester) includes Convocation and Masterclass.


Music XXX Choral Ensemble (2 semesters) and Music XXX (any ensemble with Piano faculty consent; complete 4 credits at 1 credit per semester).


Enroll in 2 credits of MUSIC 259 for 2 semesters.


Complete two credits of each: MUSIC 275 and MUSIC 276.

Plan of Study

Recommended Course Sequence 

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
MUSIC 106 Foundations of Music 3
MUSIC 123 Aural Theory I 1
MUSIC 127 Materials of Theory I 2
MusPerf 4XX 3
Performance Ensemble 1
Electives or Core Curriculum 6
MUSIC 124 Aural Theory II 1
MUSIC 128 Materials of Theory II 3
MusPerf 4XX 3
Performance Ensemble 1
Electives or Core Curriculum 8
Year 2
MUSIC 211 General History of Western Music I 3
MUSIC 225 Materials of Theory III 3
MUSIC 226 Aural Theory III 1
MusPerf 4XX 2
Performance Ensemble 1
Electives and Core Curriculum 6
MUSIC 212 General History of Western Music II 3
MUSIC 421 Materials of Theory IV 3
MusPerf 4XX 2
Performance Ensemble 1
Electives or Core Curriculum 7
Year 3
MUSIC 259 Accompanying 2
MUSIC 275 Keyboard Performance Repertoire 1
MUSIC 353 Conducting 2
MusPerf 4XX 2
Performance Ensemble 1
Electives or Core Curriculum 9
MUSIC 276 Keyboard Performance Repertoire 1
MUSIC 310 Introduction to World Musics 3
MUSIC 323 Instrumental and Choral Orchestration 3
MUSIC 659 Junior Recital 0
Performance Ensemble 1
MusPerf 4XX 2
Electives or Core Curriculum 7
Year 4
MUSIC 259 Accompanying 2
MusPerf 4XX 2
Choose one: 3
Selected Topics in Music History and Literature:
Music of the Baroque Era
Music of the Classic Era
Music of the Romantic Era
Music since 1900
Electives or Core Curriculum 9
MusPerf 4XX 2
MUSIC 448 Piano Pedagogy 2
MUSIC 660 Senior Recital: 2
Electives or Core Curriculum 10
 Total Credits130

Performance Ensemble: Piano majors are required to enroll in a minimum of 6 semesters of ensemble with a minimum of 2 semesters in a choral ensemble and 4 semesters in any ensemble with iani or oragn instructor consent.

Performance Master Class: 8 semesters at 1 credit is required as part of your individual lesson obligation.

0 Credit Courses: A 1 credit fee will be assessed by the University if a student's course load is less than 12 or greater than 18 credits.

Undergraduate Admission and Audition Procedures

Throughout the year, the Music Department schedules new student audition days. In addition to meeting the general University admission requirements, a prospective Music degree candidate must successfully complete an audition in his or her primary performance area (Principal Instrument), and take a music theory and piano placement exam. Composition majors must submit original works as a Composition Portfolio to the Composition faculty for consideration. In certain degree programs, students must successfully pass an audition on a secondary instrument as required. The Music Minor Audition process for lessons: a student can audition either a scheduled audition day, at ensemble auditions, or with area heads and be admitted to lessons at the discretion of the instructor and area head.

Pre-Music Education majors must audition for the certification program with the Music Education Area, while enrolled in MUS ED 350, preferably in their fourth semester.

Students accepted through auditions who lack basic aural, theory, and/or keyboard skills must successfully complete MUSIC 1 and/or MUSPERF 1 in their first year of study. A final grade of B or higher is required to enroll in the subsequent Music Theory and Piano courses.

Theory & Piano Placement Exams

All new freshmen are required to take Theory and Piano Placement exams on the day of their audition. Those with prior piano experience must perform a short composition that best demonstrates their keyboard skills.

Transfer Students

All transfer students must audition on their principal instrument, be accepted by the faculty in their course of study, and take placement exams in Music Theory and Piano. Transfer students must enroll in the level of Music Theory recommended by the Theory Area. Undergraduate transfer students who have completed two years at another university, college, or junior college may not be able to graduate with only two years of study at UWM. Students transferring from another Music Education program should contact the Chair of the Music Education area prior to audition.

Music Admission Application

To be eligible for acceptance into any Music program, students must first complete a successful audition. Please submit all application materials at least 2 weeks prior to audition date.   To schedule an audition or request more information, please email music-admission@uwm.edu. Students interested in department level scholarships must audition by March 1 for priority consideration.

Statement of Intent

Upload a 100-word statement describing your desired musical career and how studying at UWM will help prepare you.


All BA and BFA degree programs require an audition on principal instrument or voice. See Undergraduate Audition Requirements for more information. Auditioning students will attend an orientation, a Department of Music student convocation, and take music theory and piano placement exams. The typical audition day starts at 8:30AM and ends around 2PM. Parents are encouraged to attend. Presentations from Financial Aid, Norris Health Service, and University Housing will be offered.


Students declared Provisional at the time of auditions could achieve Music major status based on the successful Jury performance at the end of the first semester. Students not performing a successful first semester jury will not be allowed to continue as a Music major and will be dropped from the Music department. Provisional students must take all required first-semester Music courses during the provisional semester.


A Music major who has a studio performance grade of C or lower for two consecutive semesters may be placed on Music Department Probation. (2.75 GPA is required for continuation in the Music Education degree program.) Cleared Probation: Either re-audition or a passing grade for the performance lessons and final Jury is attained during the semester of probation and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

Not Accepted

Prospective students not accepted at their initial audition are allowed one additional audition opportunity.


Required after an absence of two consecutive semesters from the UWM Music Department as a Music major actively progressing toward degree. The returning student must successfully re-audition in their principal area. The Music Education major must re-audition in their principal area and re-interview with the Music Education faculty.

Degree Requirements

All Music curricula for the BFA require 125-130 credits, distributed as follows: music courses as specified in each curriculum: 75-80 credits; core curriculum: 45 credits; general electives: 0-9 credits. The BA in Music requires 120 credits, distributed as follows: music courses, 48 credits; core curriculum, 45 credits; general electives, 27 credits.

Performance Ensemble Requirement

All Music majors are required to participate in performing organizations during the course of their study. All Performance and Music Education majors must be registered in an approved major performing organization concurrent with each semester of private study. The director of bands, the director of choral activities, and the director of orchestras make ensemble assignments at the beginning of each semester. Only one approved ensemble credit per semester can apply toward degree requirements. For the purpose of fulfilling the Performance Ensemble requirement, the Department of Music recognizes the following approved major performing Ensembles: University Advanced Women’s Choir, Concert Chorale, Women’s Chorus, University Men’s Chorus, University Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra, and University Community Orchestra. (Other performance ensembles may be approved in certain degree programs; see individual degree programs below for specific requirements in each area.)

Performance Ensemble Requirement for Transfer Students

Credits from an accredited college/university for performing organizations may be granted as follows:

  • All transfer students to UWM, regardless of entry level, must take at least two semesters of an approved major performing organization. The performing organization must conform to the individual degree requirements: instrumentalists take band or orchestra, vocalists take choral ensembles;
  • Entering sophomores with 30 or more earned credits may only transfer up to two completed semesters of an approved performing organization from another university; and
  • Entering juniors with 60 or more earned credits may only transfer up to four completed semesters of an approved performing organization from another university.

Recital Attendance and Music Convocation Requirements

All Music majors must attend weekly Music Convocation meetings for a minimum of five semesters. All students entering the Music Department as freshmen are required to take one semester of MUSIC 106 during their freshman year.

All Music majors, excluding transfer students and second degree candidates, must earn 80 recital attendance credits for graduation. This requirement may be met by attending:

  • Campus recitals (one attendance credit per recital),
  • Weekly departmental Music Convocation (five attendance credits per semester), and
  • Off-campus recitals (one attendance credit per recital to a maximum of three per semester).

Transfer students and second degree candidates must earn 10 recital credits (including weekly Music Convocation) for each semester on the UWM campus, to a total of 80, or until the completion of the degree.

Music Performance Course Enrollment Requirements

The study of music performance in private lessons, master classes, and seminars is governed by four special conditions:

  • Performance courses (lessons) cannot be dropped after the second week of each semester;
  • Eligibility for undergraduate Music major private lessons requires a minimum of 4 credits in Music Department courses. Only one ensemble credit can be applied to the 4-credit minimum;
  • All Music majors are required to enroll in an approved ensemble concurrent with each semester of Performance lessons; and
  • Students enrolled in Music Performance lessons at the 200 level or above must enroll in the appropriate Performance Master Class. Music Education Majors are not required to take Performance Master Class, but may enroll in Performance Master Class as music electives.

Music Theory and History Requirements

The Music Theory core comprises a three-semester sequence of Materials of Theory concurrently with three semesters of Aural Theory. This is followed by a semester of Form Analysis. The Music History core comprises a three-semester sequence of the General History of Western Music. Additional Music Theory and Music History courses are required in all Music degree programs. See individual programs for details.

Laptop Requirement

Music students in all areas will be encouraged to have a laptop computer during their course of study in the department. Students in the BFA Music Composition and Technology program will be required to have a laptop computer once they are admitted. Please see requirements posted on the PSOA Laptop Requirement web page: uwm.edu/arts/apply/laptop/.


Location: Theatre 120
Hours: M–Th 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Fri. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed on university holidays)
Contact: 414-229-4763 | Contact Form 

Academic advising is an important aspect of long-term academic success. At the Peck School of the Arts, we offer professional advising in the undergraduate disciplines of art, dance, film, music and theatre.

Our advisors provide students with individualized appointments to assist them in areas such as: degree requirements, major options, course selection, campus resources, college success strategies, graduation assessment, academic policies and procedures, and more.

For more information please visit the Peck School of the Arts advising and student services page

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is granted to students who have earned a GPA of 3.500 or greater in the major and the academic department's recommendation.

High Honors in the Major is granted to students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or greater and the academic department's recommendation.

Departmental Honors are granted to students recommended by their academic department for Honors excellence in performance not reflected in the GPA.

Dean's Honors are granted to students with major achievements in one or more of the arts.

College of the Arts and Architecture Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.