The Music Department offers both a Bachelor of Arts Music major, as well as a Bachelor of Music with 5 different majors.  The Music Department also maintains a  chart with all of these degree offerings.

Starting a major

Students interested in any of these Music majors normally begin by taking:

  • MUSIC 112-Introduction to Musicianship or MUSIC 114-Musicianship: Tonality (see placement info below)
  • Lessons on a primary instrument (see placement info below)
  • A Music Ensemble (see placement info below)

Major Auditions occur twice a year. Students wishing to do any of the music majors must successfully complete an audition as per the Music Handbook.

Are there courses students MUST, SHOULD, or Can take their First Year?


  • MUSIC 112 or MUSIC 114 – see placement info below
  • Lessons
  • Music Ensemble


  • MUSIC 161 (Piano Class I) – see placement information below


  • Following MUSIC 112, students can take MUSIC 141 (Intro to Musicology)
  • Students with a background in music composition can take MUSIC 223 (Composition)
  • Following MUSIC 112, MUSIC 114 and MUSIC 141, students should consult a music advisor to decide which courses would best suit them as they continue in the major


  • Musicianship: All potential music majors should contact David Castro ( to take a placement test to be placed into either MUSIC 112 (Intro to Musicianship) or MUSIC 114 (Musicianship: Tonality)
  • Keyboard Screening: All potential music majors should contact the music office to take a keyboard screening to be placed into MUSIC 161, 162, 261 or 262 (Piano Class I, II, III or IV)
  • Lessons: All St. Olaf students are welcome to sign up for music lessons by contacting Cheryl Bristol as per the information in the Music Handbook.
  • Music majors are required to take music lessons.
  • Music Ensembles: All St. Olaf students are welcome to audition for music ensembles by contacting the conductor for information on the audition process.
  • Music majors are required to be in an ensemble each semester they are on campus.

Non-major offerings

Students not wishing to major in music can take the following courses:

  • MUSIC 112-Intro to Musicianship
  • MUSIC 141-Intro to Musicology
  • MUSIC 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136 – a range of general interest music courses
  • MUSIC 164-Voice Class
  • MUSIC 223-Composition
  • MUSIC 225-Music in the Electronic Medium
  • MUSIC 229-Jazz Improvisation
  • MUSIC 231-History of Jazz
  • MUSIC 235-Music in Christian Worship
  • MUSIC 237-World Music
  • MUSIC 245-Music and Social Justice

Credit for previous coursework

No major credit is offered for high school courses, although students receive 1.0 general college credit if they earn a 5 on the AP Music Theory exam

Informational Events

Advising Information Sessions during Week One