Music : About The Program

About Our Degrees

We offer two undergraduate degree programs: the MusB in Music Performance and the BA in Music (no instrument study required). The curriculum of both programs is intended to give the student the best possible training in music theory, music history, and/or performance practice. A student completing either of our undergraduate degree programs is well-prepared to continue advanced music studies at the master's or doctoral level in their chosen music specialty.

Acceptance Criteria

Applicants for the MusB Music Performance degree who pass the diagnostic music theory exam, MUS 105 with a grade of C, and a qualifying audition on the major instrument or voice are fully accepted into the Mus.B. major.

Applicants for the BA degree program must pass the diagnostic music theory exam and successfully complete MUS 105, MUS 106, and MUS 213 with no lower than a grade of C, followed by formal application to the B.A. program for official departmental acceptance.

Acceptance Information

Deadlines: Feb. 1st music application for scholarship consideration; all others are rolling admissions
Minimum required GPA: 2.0
Audition: Required for MusB in Music Performance
Theory Placement: Diagnostic music theory exam required of all new and transfer students

Degree Requirements

Please see Degrees and Policies.


Academic (no instrument study required) and performance minors are available. The core curriculum for both includes 2 semesters of theory, and 2 semesters of music history.

About Our Courses

The core course requirements for the B.A. in Music and the Mus.B. in Performance are four semesters of both music theory and music history. The performance degree requires more theory and history electives, and the B.A. requires four upper-level electives relevant to the student's focused area of study. The minimum ensemble requirement is 2 semesters for the B.A. and 6 semesters for the Mus.B. Foreign language study is also required.

Private voice and instrument lessons are given on a weekly basis. Students perform regularly in master classes, concerts, and at student noon recitals.

The theory and history classes usually do not exceed 15-20 students. The first semester theory class is the only exception, with 50-60 students enrolled.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) teach the ear-training, sight-singing and keyboard labs which are offered in addition to the classes in written theory. The Department of Music also offers an array of non-major general education music courses.

Suggested Introductory Course
  • MUS 116 Theory of Music for Non-majors

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

The faculty is comprised of renowned scholars and performers in their respective fields. Members of the music faculty currently hold the Slee Chair, the Birge-Cary Chair, and the Ziegele Chair. The applied music faculty is active in current performances and several are members of the acclaimed Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent New York City performances in Carnegie Hall by the UB Chorus and Choir, and other members of the performance faculty have received accolades from the critics.

Faculty biographies and recent activities can be found at

The Director of Student Programs is the advisor for all music majors. Students may schedule meetings with the director for purposes of advisement and assistance in all areas of academic concerns.

See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features

The Music department is housed in two adjoining buildings: Baird Hall and Slee Hall. Baird Hall facilities include a multi-purpose recital/rehearsal room, classrooms, sixty-five practice rooms, teaching studios, administrative and faculty offices, a student lounge, the Music Library, a band rehearsal room, a fully-equipped computer music classroom, and a full percussion corridor, including a percussion teaching studio, practice rooms, and two percussion ensemble rehearsal rooms.

Slee Hall offers the 750-seat Lippes Concert Hall with its three-manual and pedal Fisk tracker pipe organ, composition teaching studios, an orchestra rehearsal room, a recording studio, state-of-the-art computer music studios, and the concert/box office.

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

Students working on special projects in connection with their undergraduate thesis, or other specialized interests, may enroll in Independent Study or specially-arranged internships for credit.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

The Department of Music supports its own honors program, distinct from University Honors, that allows qualified students to pursue special interests through a project performed under the direction of a faculty member approved by the Undergraduate Committee. Minimum requirements for the honors program are a 3.33 Music GPA and 3.25 overall GPA and completion of the required 100- and 200-level course sequence.

The Department of Music offers scholarships to qualified students. These departmental awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. Scholarship decisions are based on talent, recommendations, support material, and data compiled at the time of audition. A special scholarship audition is held each spring semester for enrolled students newly requesting scholarship aid and current students wishing to renew their scholarships.

Departmental scholarships are made possible by endowments from the Cameron Baird Fund, Buell Fund, John Lund Memorial Fund, D. Bernard and Jill L. Simon Music Scholarship, Malyak Fund, Cuthbert Fund, WPHD Fund, Clifton Fund and the Elizabeth Remington Olmstead Fund. Additionally, the Department of Music receives special funding from the Garahee Foundation to aid talented musicians.

Scholarship awards are determined by application to the department and audition.

A limited number of Performing and Creative Arts Scholarships are available and are renewable for up to four years. A select number of music applicants are nominated for this award. They must possess outstanding musical talent and meet the academic requirements of: SAT 1230 and a minimum GPA of 3.6.

Extracurricular Activities

The Department of Music offers a concert season of approximately 200 performances, some for a nominal fee and others free of charge. These include concerts by all of our department ensembles, faculty recitals, the Visiting Artist Series, the Slee Sinfionetta, and various lectures and Master Classes - all open to the public.

Once or twice a month the department offers Brown Bag recitals. These are free and are held in Slee Hall. Some of these are previews of upcoming faculty or student recitals.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Majors that Complement Music

Courses Outside Music that Might Improve Employment Opportunities

Links to Further Information About this Program

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:01:45 EST