The Music Department at UC Santa Cruz offers two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Music (B.M.). The B.A. degree offers a uniquely diverse curriculum, with the option of completing a concentration in Contemporary Practices, Global Musics, or Western Art Music. The B.M. degree is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in music performance. The department also offers minors in “Electronic Music,” “Jazz, Spontaneous Composition and Improvisation,” and “Western Art Music,” providing more access for music students and students in other disciplines to engage with music during their studies at UC Santa Cruz. Both B.A. and B.M. degrees are distinctive in that they integrate elements of performance, theory, composition, literature, and history & culture. Students leave UC Santa Cruz prepared for graduate studies and music careers in performance, teaching, and the digital arts.
Students will encounter a rich variety of performance opportunities. Specifically, students engage with music:
- as a cultural practice in ensembles focusing on musical traditions from all over the globe;
- temporally in ensembles based on Baroque, Classical and contemporary idioms to deepen their understanding of performance practices;
- technologically in electronic music ensembles and workshops, using innovative technologies;
- collaboratively in seminars geared towards student composition and improvisation.
Study and Research Opportunities
Students at UC Santa Cruz have extraordinary performance, composition, and professionalization opportunities.
All instrument and voice faculty are celebrated professional musicians, who provide unparalleled guidance for students in performance and professional development.
Ensemble courses culminate in an end-of-quarter performance, providing students with regular performance opportunities in a world-class Recital Hall.
The Electronic Music minor provides hands-on opportunities for students to learn a variety of techniques related to electronic sound production, composition, and recording in a state-of-the-art studio facility.
The Opera Program allows students to be involved in every step of a major production, from concept and design considerations to marketing and arts management.
Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)
Frosh students who wishto major or minor in Music should plan to take a performing ensemble andlarge-lecture GE Music course during their first quarter. Additionally, frosh students who plan to focus on a classical performance track (such as the B.M. degree or Western Art Music concentration of the B.A. degree) are advised to concentrate on developing a high level of skill on their principal instrument or voice. For these students, private music instruction during high school is highly recommended.
Information for Transfers
All transfer students are strongly encouragedto take the Theory Placement Examinationand seek academic counseling before transfer. While MUSC 30A: Theory, Literature, and Musicianship I is the required qualification/declaration course for both majors, students without a strong theory background may end up placingintoMUSC 13/14: Beginning Theory and Musicianship I/II instead, increasing time-to-degree.
Prospective transfer students interested in the B.M. or Western Art Music B.A. trackswho wishto have their performance level assessed by faculty may submit a video for faculty review. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
B.M. transfer students should prepare to audition for the B.M. program in the fall quarter after enrollment.
Careers and Internships
- Arts administration
- Film, television, and video game scoring
- Music arrangement
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Music facilities include a number of performance venues as well as classrooms and teaching studios outfitted with advanced audio-visual technology and with state-of-the-art digital audio, video, and recording systems.
396-seat Recital Hall
13 teaching studios
20 practice rooms
Ensemble rehearsal room
60-seat performance studio
General Catalog Information
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064