There are approximately 400 undergraduate music majors and 150 graduate students.

With nearly 60 full-time faculty in the College of Musical Arts, the student to teacher ratio is approximately 9:1.

Bachelor of Music degree with majors in

  • Jazz Studies
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education
  • Music History and Literature
  • Performance
  • World Music

Bachelor of Musical Arts degree

Yes. An Applied Lesson Fee of $300 per semester is assessed for a minimum of 13 one-hour lessons. A Music Usage Fee of $50 per semester is charged for general use of equipment. Depending on the ensemble you are in, females may be asked to purchase a black dress and males a tux. Falcon Marching Band members are asked to purchase a shirt, gloves, shoes and a cap. See the Financial Facts page for more financial details.

There are several service organizations as well as fraternities and sororities to join. There list available on the College of Musical Arts Student Organizations available.

There are 13 large ensembles to choose from, including five bands, two jazz lab bands, five choirs and an orchestra. In addition, there are many chamber groups such as vocal jazz, early music (vocal and instrumental), Indonesian Gamelan, Afro-Caribbean Drum Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble and numerous instrumental choirs. For information about the ensembles please visit the ensembles Web site and opportunities for non-majors.

Yes, students are encouraged to participate in ensembles. Students register for the ensemble during summer orientation and registration and audition for the ensemble during the first week of classes in the fall. For more information, please visit the ensembles Web site.

Auditions take place during the first week of classes in the fall. Information and an audition sign-up can be obtained on the bulletin boards outside these offices for each ensemble just prior to the beginning of fall semester classes.

  • Band: Room 1010
  • Jazz: Room 2017
  • Choral: Room 1038
  • Philharmonia: Room 1006

Due to the number of music majors and minors in our program, lessons for credit are very limited. To be considered for lessons, a student must pass a competitive college level entrance audition the semester prior to the semester the lessons are taken.

Lessons are available for no credit through the College of Musical Arts’ Creative Arts Program. Email cap@bgsu.edu

If you are majoring in music you should own your own instrument. In some cases, school-owned instruments may be used on a temporary basis. You may wish to contact the faculty member of the instrument you play to determine if there is an instrument for you to use.

Approximately seven days prior to the beginning of classes, students arrive and move into their assigned residence halls, then report for marching fundamentals, drills and music rehearsals. Auditions are held at the beginning of rehearsals in August.

The Falcon Marching Band performs at all home games, selected other events and on the Sounds of the Stadium concert in November. Typically the group travels to at least one away game per season.

There are approximately 70 practices rooms located on the second and third floor of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Practice rooms for percussion students are also located on the third floor and in the basement of the Center.

“The time you spend in the practice room is some of the most valuable time you can spend working on your major. Make sure you budget your time. No amount of free time is too small to stop and practice. Don’t let this valuable time go to waste.”—Kelly Sutton, music education


Students must be admitted to Bowling Green State University (complete University Application) AND pass an entrance audition in the College of Musical Arts. The University application may be obtained online at www.bgsu.edu or by contacting the Office of Admissions toll free at (866) 246-6732.

It is not necessary to be accepted by the University at the time of your audition, however it is recommended that you have applied to the University prior to your audition. To be assured full consideration for a Music Talent Award, students must have passed an entrance audition and have sent all University application materials to the Office of Admissions on or before the Music Scholarship deadline. (Information on music scholarships is available.)

Reserving an audition is separate from the application to the university. More details about how to sign up as well as types of auditions being offered (in-person, virtual, recorded, etc.) can be found on the Audition Information page.

The Music Theory Placement Exam is given to determine placement regarding the appropriate theory class for the student’s level of knowledge. It is not considered when evaluating the student for entrance to the College of Musical Arts as a music major or minor.

There are three areas of music preparation that will be helpful if you are pursuing music in college.

  • Study your instrument/voice with a private instructor
  • Learn fundamentals of music theory (general notation and terminology, scales, key signatures, intervals and triads)
  • Be familiar with the piano keyboard

By auditioning on or before our scholarship deadline, you are automatically considered for a Music Talent Award. Beyond the initial recommendation, grades and test scores may be reviewed before final award decisions are made. To be assured full consideration for a Music Talent Award, students must have passed an entrance audition and have sent all University application materials to the Office of Admissions on or before the Music Scholarship deadline (Information on music scholarships is available). Each year about 40 percent of the accepted students receive a Music Talent Award. Students who enroll without receiving an award may be considered in subsequent semesters.

The faculty are looking for students that can perform beyond the basics. They are looking for students who have the potential for success as a music major. Success means meeting the ongoing standards laid out by the faculty over time. Passing your audition increases the likelihood of success, but only your hard work will guarantee it. A list of audition requirements for your instrument/voice is available.


Yes. You may re-audition at any time during the following academic year. In the meantime, if you are accepted to BGSU, you may declare an undecided major (Pre-major Advising) or another major of your choice other than music.

No, the Theory Placement Exam is used for placement purposes only.

You can take the exam again when you are on campus during summer orientation and registration. Use the theory study materials in your audition packet to review. A list of self-programmed workbooks and helpful theory Web sites is available online.

Yes, but it will take you five to six years, or you may obtain a bachelor’s degree in music education and pursue a master’s program in music performance. Receiving both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees will take the same amount of time as will the bachelor’s degree with two undergraduate majors.

“Sometimes majoring in music can be a challenge, especially with two majors, but it’s definitely possible and definitely worth it if music is your passion. For potential future music students, I highly recommend planning ahead. For instance, take piano, theory or sight-singing and dictation classes now, and start learning a secondary instrument.”—Caitlin Miekstyn, music education and french

Unlike most majors, music students begin working on courses required for the major in their first semester of enrollment. Depending on theory placement, students will enroll in several “Core Music Courses” including theory, aural skills and class piano. Additionally, students will register for applied (private) lessons, ensemble and recital attendance. Courses from the BG Perspective will also be taken each semester but most of your coursework will be music courses.

“Make sure you have a set schedule of what you are going to do, including planning some time for you to hang out, relax, go swimming/running, eat, etc. This will help you get and stay organized, without asking too much of yourself and causing a quick burnout.”—Edward Bialorucki, music education

Yes, taking piano is part of the curriculum. You will be placed in a group piano class according to your level. A piano placement exam takes place during orientation.

No preparation is required for the exam; however, if you wish to place out of any level of group piano or to begin progress on keyboard skill abilities, the following is suggested. You may work independently or with a teacher on the following:

  1. Playing songs/pieces in which both hands are used.
  2. Learning/playing scales and chords
  3. Playing chords and melody
  4. Harmonizing a melody with diatonic chords.

No. However, since piano is part of the curriculum for a music major, learning even the basics of piano before starting college will help you. You will take a piano placement exam during summer orientation and registration. The piano placement exam serves to assist the student and academic advisor on the appropriate level of group piano class in which the student should enroll.

“Try to take some piano lessons if you haven’t already. Basically every music student, no matter what instrument or voice, will have to learn piano in college. Any previous experience will make this much easier.”—Edward Bialorucki, music education

Where there are multiple teachers (voice, piano, trumpet and violin), you will be able to list your teacher preference when you are on campus for orientation. This does not guarantee you will study with that teacher but every effort will be made to accommodate your request. Faculty information and bios are available online.

Yes, a music advisor will meet with you at orientation to select courses for the fall semester. In addition he/she will be available to guide you each semester through course selection.

Updated: 04/04/2023 11:49AM