The Dickinson State University Division of Music provides a comprehensive professional program, available to music majors, music minors, and non-majors, as well as to students certifying to teach public school music. The program also offers fundamental courses to serve the general education needs of the University and promotes the understanding and enjoyment of music on campus, in the community, and in the region.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Education degree requires General Education, the major, Professional Education and electives to equal a minimum of 120 semester hours. Note: Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in Music (Options in Composite, Choral, and Instrumental) does not require a minor.

Bachelor of Arts degree requires General Education, 8 credits of one spoken foreign language, the major, minor, and electives to equal 120 semester hours.

Additional Requirements

Music Theory Placement Exam Requirement

The purpose of the Theory Placement Exam is to determine the potential for success of students wishing to enroll in MUSC 122 Theory and Analysis I. A score of 80% or better is required. (Or a grade of "C" or better in MUSC 121.) Students may take this exam twice; if an 80% score is not achieved on the second attempt, the student must enroll in MUSC 121 Music Fundamentals (offered Spring, and Summer.)  The Theory Placement Exam is not needed for transfer students with previous college level theory credits. [Recommended practice site: by Ricci Adams]

Applied Lessons

Applied lessons are the study of an instrument or voice with a faculty member of the music department. Lessons involve weekly one-on-one instruction with a music faculty member. Each number listed under applied music represents a level of study with specific requirements. Each level may be repeated until the student is recommended for advancement by the instructor. Music majors and minors are given preference in the scheduling of applied lessons, but non-music majors may also register for applied lessons with the permission of the instructor and the Chairman of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (special fees apply).  MUSC 140/MUSC 240/MUSC 340/MUSC 440 Chorale and/or MUSC 141/ MUSC 241/ MUSC 341/ MUSC 441 Concert Band are co-requisites with applied lessons. Non-music majors taking applied lessons are required to take the jury examination at the end of each semester of study.

All music minors must enroll in and satisfy requirements for four semesters of Performance Class during the semesters they are registered for applied lessons. At a minimum, every student enrolled in applied lessons must perform at performance class at least once each semester. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a failing grade for the applied lesson.

300 Level Requirements

Students may register for applied lessons at the 300 level after:

  1. At least two semesters of applied lessons at the 200 level with an average grade of 2.5.
  2. Receiving permission from their applied instructor.
  3. Passing the Piano Proficiency Examination.
  4. Passing the Sophomore Gateway Examination.

Sophomore Gateway Examination

At the conclusion of the sophomore year (fourth semester of study), or after a maximum of two semesters in residence for transfer students, and passage of the Piano Proficiency Exam, the student will attempt the Sophomore Gateway Exam. The Sophomore Gateway Exam will consist of an extended jury performance in which the student will demonstrate technical and literature requirements established by the applied teacher and approved by the faculty. The student may take the exam up to four times, but must pass before admission to upper level study is granted.

At each attempt of the Sophomore Gateway exam, the faculty will provide written indication to the student either that:

  1. The student is on track and should finish the degree within a normal expectation of time.
  2. The committee notes progress but still hears musical or technical problems which have not yet been corrected, therefore, the student should be aware that it may take longer to complete the appropriate degree and should make appropriate academic decisions.
  3. Continuation of the music major is done against the advice of the faculty.

Piano Proficiency Requirement

As a requirement for graduation, all music majors must pass MUSC 230N - Piano Proficiency Exam. It is highly recommended that this requirement for graduation be met no later than the end of the sophomore year. The Piano Proficiency Exam must be completed concurrent with or prior to upper level study and prior to service teaching. Transfer students must present written evidence of having passed an equivalent examination.

Theory, Keyboard Requirement

Students registered for MUSC 122 are required to take MUSC 130 during the same fall semester as preparation for Piano Proficiency Exam (MUSC 230N). Students registered for MUSC 124 are likewise required to take MUSC 131 the same spring semester. Students may also elect to continue preparation for the exam in MUSC 231, and MUSC 232.

Recital/Capstone Requirement

Music majors must present a recital in the major applied music area during the senior year of study. It is recommended that all music majors present a junior recital. Students must have permission from their applied lesson instructor prior to registering for the recital. For the senior recital, students must be registered in at least the seventh semester of applied study for the major applied instrument. Students must be enrolled in at least the second semester of 300 applied level study during the semester of the recital.  B.A. music students not pursuing a performance-oriented area of interest may present a capstone project in lieu of the senior recital. For the junior recital, students must be registered in at least the sixth semester of private lessons for the major applied instrument and have the permission of the applied instructor. The recital will be graded by at least three members of the music faculty, including the applied instructor.

Recital Hearing

A recital hearing is required at least four weeks prior to presentation of the junior or senior recital. Required at the recital hearing is a successful presentation of the repertoire, with the accompanist, of all material programmed on the recital program. The student’s applied teacher and at least two other members of the music faculty will be present at the hearing. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule this hearing.

Jury Examinations

Music majors and minors must perform a jury examination at the end of every semester for each instrument/voice of applied study that term.

Performance Class Requirement

All music majors must enroll in and satisfy requirements for Performance Class (MUSC 189/MUSC 289/MUSC 389/MUSC 489) during each semester that they are a declared music major. The only exception is the semester that students are student teaching.

Ensemble Participation

See above for ensemble requirements for majors and minors under applied lessons. Music ensembles are open to all students regardless of academic major. Students who are not music majors or minors are encouraged to participate in music ensembles and activities.