Undergraduate Music Study
at Stony Brook University
Welcome and thank you for your interest in Stony Brook's Department of Music!
We offer a rigorous Bachelor of Arts in Music that provides a thorough education
in music history, theory, musicianship, keyboard, and performance. The degree requires
a minimum of 63 credits of music courses.
We also offer several
music minor tracks in general studies, theory, jazz, and music and technology. These minors require
20-24 credits of music courses.
To become a music major or minor at Stony Brook, students must pass rudimentary exams
in music theory and musicianship (aural skills), as well as pass an audition on an
instrument or voice. Exams and auditions are given in February of each year, and during
the first week of classes in the Fall and Spring terms.
How do I apply to the music program?
You must apply BOTH to the university and the music department separately. You are
accepted to Stony Brook University first, then you are considered for admittance to
the music program. Prior to completing the music department application, you should
submit your application to Stony Brook University and obtain your Stony Brook ID number,
which you will need to complete this application. Students who perform successfully
in the audition and their theory placement and musicianship exams will be admitted
to the music major upon admission to the University. In addition, students participating
in this audition process may be considered for scholarship offers and the opportunity
to study with Performance Faculty.
Click here to apply
If I am accepted as a music major, will I study with performance faculty?
Stony Brook has a large and distinguished graduate program, about two-and-a-half times
the size of our undergraduate program. Our performance faculty are performing musicians
who are in great demand as performers and as teachers, and attract hundreds of graduate
applicants per year. Many are part time, and devote most of their energies to graduate
teaching. While some promising students are admitted for study with performance faculty,
the majority of undergraduate students study with our very fine graduate students,
many of whom are returning to school while in the midst of impressive performing careers.
Students who do not study with performance faculty will still have access to them
through coachings and master classes. Your acceptance letter will explicitly state
whether you will be studying with performance faculty or one of our many fine graduate
Will auditioning at Stony Brook automatically qualify me for a Music Department Scholarship?
Yes, by filling out the Department of Music online application, you will automatically
be considered for a scholarship. If you plan to major, The Department of Music has
funds to offer four-year scholarships for students talented in performance, composition,
or music history, in some cases, full tuition for four years. Many of our talented
students receive scholarship support. To be eligible, students must be academically
high achieving (as evidenced by high school grade point average and SAT scores), and
demonstrate exceptional talent as performers. (Sometimes, exceptionally gifted performers
receive these scholarships, even if their academic qualifications are less exceptional.)
There are also very limited scholarship funds for transfer students. We typically
award ten Bright Lights Scholarships based on musical talents. These scholarships
are only for Music Majors.
Are there performance opportunities at Stony Brook?
Yes, there are many performance opportunities at Stony Brook. Any student, whatever
his or her major, is eligible to audition for placement in any performance ensemble(s)
of their choice: Stony Brook Chorale, Camerata Singers, Opera Workshop, University
Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, University Wind Ensemble, Big Band Jazz Ensemble, Jazz
Combos, Contemporary Chamber Players, Baroque Ensemble, Marching Band, Volta (African
Drum Ensemble, and Chamber Music.
If I am interested in music education as a career, should I consider Stony Brook?
If you feel certain that you want to teach music on the pre-college level, you may
want to consider an institution that offers a Bachelor of Music Education degree.
However, Stony Brook prides itself on offering a rigorous music program that will
prepare students for any graduate degree in music. Many of our students obtain the
Bachelor of Arts in Music degree at Stony Brook and enter a master’s degree program
to receive the Master of Music Education degree. Many are now teaching successfully
in New York state.
If I don’t want to major in music, can I minor, or continue music studies without
being a major or minor?
The Department of Music offers four music minors programs.
Music minor programs
Can I double major?
Many students come to Stony Brook to receive a fine education in Music and other fields,
double majoring in Music and Psychology, Music and Biology, Music and Computer Science,
and Music and Business, to name a few. There is also a five-year Music BA and MBA
degree opportunity. Students who double major work hard, but leave Stony Brook with
two degrees and many skills.
If you have any questions about undergraduate music study, please contact Professor
Deborah Heckert, Director of Undergraduate Studies, at
click here to set up an appointment.