College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Undergraduate Student Handbook

Undergraduate Student Handbook

August 2014


Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS)

Students entering CU Boulder who finished high school in the spring of 1988 or later must meet the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) specified by their school/college (see below).  Students who did not complete these courses in high school are required to enroll in appropriate college classes to address the deficiency.  Students must enroll, and complete at least one MAPS course each term, beginning in their first semester of enrollment, until all the requirements have been completed.  Please contact the Undergraduate Office for a list of courses that will meet MAPS requirements. 

● English - 4 units               ● Natural Science-3 units                 ● Foreign Language-2 units

● Math - 4 units                  ● Social Science-2 units                  ● Academic Elective in the Arts-2 units

Advanced Placement

Students may take Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams to earn credit or advanced standing at CU Boulder.  Specific exams and course equivalents are listed online at:

The College of Music follows the composite (theory and aural skills) grading system for the AP test.  Students with an AP test score of 4 are placed into second semester theory and aural skills, and students with a score of 5 are placed into third semester courses.  A final determination as to how AP or IB credits outside of music may apply to degree requirements is made by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.

Course Registration

Music majors register for classes during pre-registration periods in November (for the following spring) and April (for the following fall). Before registering, students should: 

1) Meet with their advisor to select courses in accordance with their degree program.  Students have access to their records at, where they can download transcripts and view degree progress forms to bring to advising sessions.

2) Have their advisor sign the Advisor Approval Form available online.

3) Return the Advisor Approval form to the Undergraduate Studies Office; office staff will remove the registration hold and add applied lessons to their schedule.

4) Students can then register for classes.  Staff in the Undergraduate Office are available to help with registration, and can resolve time conflicts and make scheduling adjustments.  All registration dates and deadlines, tuition payment information, etc. can be found on MyCUInfo or the Registrar website.

Music Theory and Aural Skills Classes

Ordinarily, students complete all music theory and aural skills classes in a four-semester sequence.  When students fail a music theory class, they are not permitted to enroll in the next level of music theory; when students fail an aural skills class, they are not permitted to enroll in the next level of aural skills.  In such situations, students are best served by extending their degree program and re-enrolling in the appropriate class at the next available opportunity.  Students may be enrolled in different levels of music theory and aural skills at the same time.  Students also may complete equivalent music theory and aural skills classes at another institution during a summer term to minimize the amount of time by which the degree program is extended.  Any such transfer credits must be approved by the Music Theory Chair and Undergraduate Associate Dean.


BM and BA students may use the pass/fail option for up to 12 credits of non-music course work required for the degree, except Written Communications.  BME students may use the pass/fail option only for K-12 student teaching.  Transfer students are limited to one pass-fail credit for every eight semester hours of credit earned in the College of Music.  Students must follow the pass/fail policies of the college or school in which such credit is earned.

Academic Policies

Admission Deferrals and Cancellations

Students admitted to the College of Music may defer admission for up to two semesters (not including summer) without re-applying or re-auditioning.  Students who have deferred admission must contact the Undergraduate Studies Office before enrolling in music courses so that diagnostic exams, placement auditions, and other orientation activities can be scheduled.   Please contact the Office of Admissions for more specific information about deferrals and cancellations. 

Class Loads

The normal academic load for an undergraduate student in the College of Music is 15 to 17 credit hours.  Schedules of fewer than 12 or more than 19 hours must be approved by the Undergraduate Associate Dean.


Successful work in the College of Music is dependent on regular attendance in all classes.  At the beginning of each semester, instructors will inform students of policies governing grading and attendance in each class.  Students are expected to attend classes and comply with the attendance requirements specified by their instructors.  For ensembles and other performance classes, attendance at dress rehearsals, major concerts, and other approved/sanctioned performances, as listed in the course syllabus, also is required.

Final Exams

The Final Exam schedule policy is available on the Registrar website.  Students are responsible for making travel arrangements that do not conflict with their final exam schedule.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services (303-492-8671; N200 Center for Community) to arrange for testing and other support services.  If you qualify for accommodations because of a diagnosed/documented disability, please have Disability Services submit an official letter to the Undergraduate Associate Dean in a timely manner so your needs may be addressed.


Students are responsible for distinguishing among and adhering to university deadlines for adding and dropping courses. Wednesday of the third week of classes is the standard deadline for dropping courses without an instructor’s signature; by meeting this deadline, a “W” grade does not appear on the transcript and students are not charged tuition or fees for the course.  After this date, a special action form signed by the instructor and the Undergraduate Associate Dean is required to drop a course.  After the tenth week of classes, an administrative drop request will not be approved unless students provide documentation of extraordinary circumstances beyond their control (e.g., major accident, serious medical condition, family emergency) that affect performance in specific courses but not all courses.  Suddenly discovering a course is more challenging than anticipated or that a grade is lower than hoped for is not adequate grounds for an administrative drop.  Nonattendance does not constitute withdrawal and also is not adequate grounds for an administrative drop.


Students who have completed at least 50% of the required course work but who cannot satisfy remaining course requirements may request an incomplete grade.  The instructor will determine whether an incomplete grade is justified.  If so, the instructor must submit an incomplete grade request form to the Undergraduate Office specifying the conditions for earning a letter grade (amount and type of work required, deadline for completing work). “I” grades convert to an “F” after one calendar year.  In applied music, students unable to satisfactorily perform a jury or proficiency exam may receive an incomplete if the instructor decides that the student's situation merits this.


Students may withdraw from the College of Music and the University through the tenth week of the semester by obtaining the signature of the Undergraduate Associate Dean on a withdrawal form available from the Registrar Office.  After the deadline, students must provide documentation of extraordinary circumstances beyond their control that affect their performance in all classes.

StayConnected Program and Readmission Policies

Continuing students who have withdrawn from all classes and who are not under judicial suspension may apply to the StayConnected program.  Students approved for the StayConnected program may access certain university benefits during the semester(s) they are not registered for classes.  More information and the StayConnected application are available online.

Students who are inactive for two semesters or less may be automatically readmitted to the College of Music.  After more than two semesters of inactivity (not including summer), a Dean’s hold will be placed on the student’s record and the student must reapply and re-audition for admission to the College of Music.

Change of Major

Students interested in changing their major (or adding a second degree program) within music should obtain an Undergraduate Change of Major form from the Undergraduate Office.  This form must be signed by the appropriate area chairs, advisors, and Undergraduate Associate Dean.


A full-time undergraduate student in the College of Music who has completed at least 24 credit hours of course work by the end of the spring semester on the Boulder campus (excluding AP and IB credit or continuing education), and who earned a semester grade point average of at least 3.70, will be included on the Dean's Honor Roll for that semester.  Students on the Dean's Honor Roll are also listed in the College of Music Honors Program.  Students achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.70-3.79 (honors), 3.80-3.89 (high honors) or 3.90-4.00 (highest honors) are recognized at commencement.

Student Academic Honesty

The University has an Honor Code that is strictly enforced for all classes.  Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards and to follow the Honor Code Pledge which states:  ‘On my honor, as a University of Colorado at Boulder student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this work.’  Information about the Honor Code is available online at

Academic Probation and Suspension

To remain in good academic standing, a student must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and make satisfactory progress toward the degree as defined by the College of Music and area faculty. 

Academic probation is an official notification that a student’s grades are unsatisfactory.  Any undergraduate student who has a cumulative or semester grade point average below 2.0 is automatically placed on academic probation for the following three semesters.  (Cumulative GPA is calculated on grades earned at this university).  Students placed on academic probation will be limited to one ensemble and 15 credit hours.  If a probationary student’s GPA (semester and/or cumulative) at the end of any probationary semester is not 2.0 or above will result in automatic suspension.  Any undergraduate student who has a cumulative or semester GPA below 1.0 is automatically suspended without a probationary period. 

While on suspension, students may not register for CU main campus classes during the fall or spring semester and are not considered eligible for graduation.  To regain good academic standing, suspended students must earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher and raise their cumulative GPA to 2.0 or above during the following term by successfully completing a minimum of 12 credits (with no withdrawals, no incomplete grades, and no courses taken pass/fail) through Continuing Education or CU summer session. Courses taken at other campuses or institutions will not be used for purposes of reinstatement but credits earned may be transferred according to normal procedures and policies after reinstatement and readmission.  Suspended students who raise their cumulative GPA to 2.0 or above may then petition for readmission and receive a personal hearing before the Undergraduate Associate Dean.   Students who have been dismissed must reapply for admission to the University after being reinstated by the College.

Scholarship Probation and Suspension

Undergraduate music majors are eligible for scholarships or renewal of their scholarships as long as they make satisfactory progress in their major (as determined by the faculty), demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in jury exams and auditions, enroll in ensemble, and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.  Students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will be placed on scholarship probation for a maximum of two semesters (consecutive or cumulative), provided the GPA improves each semester.  A copy of the notification will be sent to the applicable applied faculty and advisor.  Students on scholarship probation who do not earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of the probationary period will have their scholarship(s) revoked.

Academic Advising

All music majors are assigned an advisor/mentor who will guide them through degree requirements.  The studio professor serves as the advisor for BM students.  BME students are assigned faculty advisors from the Music Education faculty, and BA students meet with the staff advisor, Victoria Ibarra, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean.

Degree Requirement Sheets

General degree requirements are listed in the CU general catalog.

Music majors are urged to review their degree requirement sheet for their specific major.  Students will find these forms essential in keeping track of their degree progress towards graduation.  Students can also access their degree progress via Degree Audit/Transfer Credit Evaluation in MyCUInfo.

Transfer Credit Evaluation 

Classes from other universities in which a grade of C- or higher has been earned generally will transfer to CU Boulder as long as an equivalent course is offered here. Transfer credit for applied study is based on applied standing and performance proficiency, as typically demonstrated through a live audition.  For information about transferring courses, please review the transfer equivalency guide.

Course catalogs/descriptions for universities around the country are online at:  Students wishing to take summer school courses at other universities or colleges should seek pre-approval from the Undergraduate Office to make sure the credit will transfer. 

Transfer Students

Of the 120+ hours required for an undergraduate degree in music, the last 56 credits must be completed in residence in the College of Music.  This may be reduced by the Undergraduate Associate Dean for excellent work done at this university and for good scholarship exhibited at previous institutions attended.  In no case shall the minimum be fewer than 45 hours distributed over three semesters.  At least 9 hours in applied lessons must be earned in this college for the BM and BME music degrees, and 6 hours for the BA in music degree.

Advisor Approval Forms 

Each semester, before students register, they must schedule an advising appointment with their advisor and obtain their advisor’s signature on an Advisor Approval form.  The form must be completely filled out and submitted to the Undergraduate Office before their enrollment time.  Students will be registered for applied lessons and other courses (proficiency, recitals, etc.) according to the information provided on the form.

Graduation Check-out Forms

Students must complete a Graduation check-out appointment the semester prior to graduation.  The check-out form is available online at  All students are requested to complete an Exit Questionnaire upon graduation.  Deadlines to apply for graduation:  December – October 1, May & August – December 15.  Information about music commencement will be on the college website, while dates and procedures for the university commencement can be found online at


The Undergraduate Associate Dean and his staff are available between 9 am and 4 pm to meet with any student who has concerns or questions.  Appointments can be scheduled in advance by the Undergraduate Office staff.  Walk-in hours are on Mondays and Fridays from 1-4 pm.

Degree Program and Certificates

Undergraduate degrees include the Bachelor of Music (BM), the Bachelor of Music Education (BME) and the Bachelor of Arts in music (BA).  Students also may elect to earn a Certificate in Jazz Studies, Certificate in Music Technology or Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship (includes business minor) in conjunction with their degree.  There are requirement sheets that list specific courses needed for graduation in each different degree.  Incoming freshmen and transfer music students declared a degree before their first semester. There is no minor in music.

Eligible students, with approval of faculty in the relevant areas, may complete a dual degree in music performance and music education or a double major in music performance.  Normally, such programs take at least five years to complete.  The dual major in music performance and music education requires 144 to 148 credit hours, depending on the music performance area.  All requirements must be satisfied for each degree and the degrees are awarded concurrently.  Students pursuing a double major in music performance must complete at least 15 additional credit hours beyond the 120 credit hours required for a single performance major.  Requirements pertaining to applied study, chamber music, sophomore proficiency, junior recital and senior recital must be fulfilled separately for each degree; up to four credits of university ensemble can be applied to both majors when appropriate and with faculty/advisor approval.  Students completing all requirements are awarded a single Bachelor of Music degree with two majors.  The decision to earn more than one music degree or major should be carefully weighed, as it may be more advantageous for a student to complete a single degree/major and then begin work on a graduate degree in music.

Bachelor of Music

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for Bachelor of Music degrees.  BM students complete approximately 80 hours in music, including core requirements in music theory, history, and literature.  The BM requires 30 non-music credits, including 3 in English composition, and up to 12 credits of free electives (music or non-music courses).  Most degrees include approximately 36 hours of upper level courses.

Bachelor of Music Education

A minimum of 126 credit hours is required for the Bachelor of Music Education degree. BME students complete approximately 60 hours in music, including core requirements in music theory, history, and literature.  The BME requires 24 hours of non-music credits and approximately 40 hours of course work in music teacher education as required for licensure.  For more information, refer to the music education Undergraduate Handbook.

Bachelor of Arts

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for the Bachelor of Arts degree.   Of these hours, at least 68 must be in non-music courses, 45 must be in music, and 8 are free electives (music or non-music courses).  A minimum of thirty credit hours must be taken at the 3000 or 4000 level.            

Students may elect to pursue a degree in a non-music field (e.g., engineering, business, journalism, arts or science major) in addition to a music degree, and this is done most often in conjunction with the BA degree in music.  A double degree program can only be completed with the advisement and approval of the second degree-granting department, school, or college.  Most double degrees require more than four years to complete.  Resident students completing a double degree may exceed the 145 credit hour College Opportunity Fund limit.

Certificate in Jazz Studies

The Certificate in Jazz Studies is designed to allow students to study jazz at a higher level than music degrees generally require without specializing to the extent required by the BM degree in Jazz Studies.  The certificate curriculum, consisting of a minimum of 18 credit hours, includes classes such as jazz theory, aural foundations to jazz, improvisation, history of jazz, scoring and arranging, jazz keyboard, electronic music, jazz combo, and jazz ensemble.  These courses are required in addition to those in each degree plan.  Entrance into the program is by audition in the sophomore year.  For more information, please refer to the website:

Certificate in Music Technology

The Certificate in Music Technology provides students with an opportunity to study music technology in greater depth than music degrees currently allow.  Each participating student must elect the certificate's curriculum in addition to the normal requirements of their degree program.  The curriculum consists of 18 credit hours, including an introduction to technology course, and classes in composing at the computer, interdisciplinary performances, recording techniques, and special topics in music technology.  For more information, please refer to this website:

Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship

The Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship is offered in partnership with the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business.  The curriculum consists of 18 credit hours and will give students a range of tools to develop their career and apply entrepreneurial skills to their professional development.  Students will take a combination of music and business courses, participate in an internship with an entrepreneurial venture, and take a capstone exam.  For more information, please refer to the website:

Dean’s Convocation

Dean’s Convocation (11-11:50 am on Tuesday)   is an extension of the CU Boulder Campus and College of Music orientation programming.  Convo sessions are designed to provide new undergraduate music majors with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in making progress toward a music degree.

Freshman music majors are required to attend all ten convocation sessions.  Transfer student attendance is not required, but individuals are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in any sessions that may be particularly interesting and/or relevant to future success.  Bring your BuffOne Card to each convocation session.  Students should swipe their card in the card reader upon arrival.  After the convocation has ended, students will swipe their card again.  Students must arrive on time and stay for the entire convocation session in order to receive credit.  Up to two excused absences from Dean’s Convocation can be made up by attending a recital/concert event and submitting the program to the Undergraduate Office.  Students who do not attend the required number of Dean’s Convocation sessions will have a registration hold placed on their record and will not be able to register for the spring semester classes during their designated enrollment appointment.

Ensemble Requirements

Music majors are required to be in an ensemble appropriate to and required by their degree program every semester that they take applied studio lessons.  Exceptions are voice majors during the semester of their senior recital, BME students during their student teaching semester, and piano and guitar students whose sight-reading and accompanying classes fulfill the ensemble requirement during their first year of study.  Freshmen and sophomores register for the 1000 level of ensemble; juniors and seniors register for the 3000 level.  BME students who major in wind, brass, or percussion are strongly encouraged to be in Marching Band during their first year.

Music scholarship students must register for applied lessons and participate in an ensemble each semester they are enrolled, regardless of their degree (other than the exceptions mentioned above).  Students who do not adhere to the ensemble requirement may be dropped from applied study and their music scholarships may be cancelled.  Further information is available online at

Juries and Proficiencies

Students must pass a variety of jury tests and proficiency exams during their degree work.  Each area has different requirements so students need to consult the chair of their area and/or their studio professor.  Students must register for and pass a Sophomore Proficiency exam.  Those who cannot pass their Sophomore Proficiency receive a grade of incomplete (I) and cannot progress to the Junior level of applied study or register for junior recital until the proficiency is achieved.  Studio professors provide students with proficiency and repertoire requirements.  Students cannot register for senior recital unless they have passed the junior recital and all keyboard proficiency requirements. 

Recitals and Recordings

BM and BME students are required to perform a half-hour Junior recital.  BM students are also required to perform a one-hour Senior recital.   After consulting with their studio professor, students need to complete a Student Recital Scheduling form.  All information for scheduling recitals can be found on the College of Music website at  The fee for scheduling a recital is $100, which includes the cost of two CD recordings, (one for the Music Library Archives and one for the performer), a stage manager, marketing and programs.  Senior students may begin signing up for a recital during the fourth week of each semester while juniors may begin signing up during the fifth week.  Students may elect to schedule a recital up to a full semester early.  All students must preview their recital before an appropriate faculty committee at least three weeks prior to the recital.  Contact your studio professor to arrange the preview.

Leasing School Instruments

The College is able to lease a limited number of musical instruments, contingent on availability and instructor approval, to students enrolled in music classes, with priority given to music majors.

Log in to your email address and fill out the form at this link:

After completing the form, see Sean Kemp or Bethany Nickel in the Music Ed TA office, N118, to pick up a school-owned instrument.  All marching band instruments are checked out separately by marching band personnel.  Some instruments require approval from your studio professor to be checked out.  All questions and individual appointments can be emailed to


Imig Music Building

Active music majors will have 24-hour swipe access to the Imig Music Building.  Main entrances will continue to be open from 7 am until 11 pm, except on University holidays and other designated dates (e.g., Saturdays on which home football games are scheduled).

Practice Rooms

New students must fill out and sign a Swipe Card Agreement form to gain access to practice room corridors.  Once the form has been completed and processed, students can use their BuffOne cards (obtained in C4C) to open the electronic locks on the practice corridors.  All practice rooms in the secured corridors are reserved for music majors only, please do not prop open corridor doors.  In accordance with College of Music Student Government policy, after a ten-minute period of being away from a practice room, a student will have relinquished any claim to the room.  Practice room privileges may be revoked for major violations of the Swipe Card Agreement or other inappropriate behavior.  Please refrain from bringing food or beverages other than water into any practice room.


Active music majors have access to lockers in the Imig Music building.  To check out lockers in the Imig Music Building for the 2014-15 year, please follow these instructions Log in to your email address and fill out the form at this link:  After completing the form, bring $15 to either Sean Kemp or Bethany Nickel in the Music Ed TA office, N118. When you turn in your $15, which covers the full school year, you will receive a locker number and combination.  Students are responsible for removing their locks by the end of the spring semester in May.

Computer Labs (CAML & CRUNCH)

The Computer-Assisted Music Laboratories I and II (CAML) are designed primarily for classroom instruction.  They feature numerous workstations, each with a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, sampling keyboard, and computer.  The CRUNCH lab, which is adjacent to the CAML Lab, is a full electronic music project studio.  This lab is optimized for computer music research (including live interactive performance systems) as well as sound recording and editing projects and audio/video production.  These labs are located in the basement of the North wing of the building.  You must fill out a Swipe Card Agreement Form in the music office to gain access for personal use.

Music Library

The Howard Waltz Library is located on the 2nd floor in the north wing of the music building.  Students can access the collection online at


Bulletin Board

The undergraduate bulletin board is located next to room C199.  Information concerning scholarships and important dates will be posted on this board.  Important reminders and announcements will also be distributed to students via the undergraduate music student listserve (


University email addresses are the official method of communicating with students.  All students are provided with free access to the web and an e-mail account in conjunction with MyCUInfo.  Each student is responsible for activating their e-mail account and checking it regularly.  Many important communications regarding degrees will be emailed to students and deadlines will appear on MyCUInfo.  For information, contact

Contacting Faculty

Students can contact faculty via voice messages, email, or by leaving messages in Faculty Mail Boxes located in the Music Office.  For reference, go online to:

Conflict Resolution

Problems and conflicts of interest that students encounter should be brought to the attention of the Undergraduate Associate Dean.  If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached between the parties concerned, the problem will be referred to the Ombuds Office.

Internships and the Entrepreneurship Center for Music

The Entrepreneurship Center for Music helps students to think creatively about using their talents in the music industry and to develop an entrepreneurial spirit by offering specialized courses and workshops, featuring lectures by guest speakers, and arranging individual appointments in order to discuss career options.  The internship program also provides valuable experience outside of the classroom in affiliation with arts organizations around the state and country.  More information about the E-center is available at  Forms for Internships are available online at

Concerts Cards

The College of Music offers a variety of concerts that require tickets, including the CU Opera, the Artists Series, and the Takács Encore Series.  Students may obtain a Concerts Card for $30, which allows them to purchase $60 worth of tickets for these events.  They may be purchased on-line at registration time or at the concerts office located in the University Club.  Students can purchase up to 3 cards a semester.

Student Organizations

The student body of the College of Music has its own government, represented by the College of Music Student Government and the Graduate Music Student Council. Honorary music fraternities include Mu Phi Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Iota and Kappa Kappa Psi.  Pi Kappa Lambda, the national scholastic honorary music fraternity, is also an active organization on this campus.  Music education majors are eligible for membership in student chapters of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).