The NDSU School of Music features excellent students, faculty, staff and facilities. The program has been continuously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1970 and has a strong tradition of excellence in ensembles dating back to 1904. Faculty and staff members are committed to providing outstanding musical opportunities for all NDSU students—whether they aspire to be professional musicians or only wish to take advantage of NDSU’s many musical opportunities.
NDSU music faculty members have international credentials in performance, music education and academic studies. All fulltime faculty members have doctorates in music; adjunct faculty members and graduate students provide additional instruction to achieve a well-balanced program.
NDSU’s School of Music offers the largest variety of degree programs in the region, from liberal arts degrees with emphases in music to professional music degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
Undergraduate music majors take courses in music theory, music literature, music history, and conducting; receive private lessons on a selected instrument and/or in voice; and participate in a major ensemble. Other courses are selected within chosen areas of concentration. In all programs, applied instrumental or vocal studies develop musicianship and performance ability. Students are accepted for private lessons depending upon demonstrated musical ability and available staff resources.
The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in music are liberal arts degrees with an emphasis in music. In addition to a general education core and the music concentration, students complete either a two-year competency in a foreign language or a complementary minor. Students take 18 to 19 credits in music electives.
The Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) with an option in music education leads to K-12 vocal or instrumental certification for North Dakota public schools.
The B.Mus. in performance leads to professional performing careers or preparation for graduate school. Students select a concentration in instrumental, vocal or piano studies.
NDSU also offers the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
Further, the School of Music offers a minor in music consisting of 21 credit hours of music classes, including applied study, ensembles, academic studies and electives.
Curriculum guides for all programs are available from the School of Music.
Degree programs in music education prepare students for opportunities as elementary, high school or college teachers, while performance degree students usually seek performing or conducting careers. Graduates often choose careers as professional teachers, instrumentalists or vocalists, and conductors. There are also more general opportunities in various music industries.
Music Performance Opportunities
All music ensembles are open to any NDSU student without regard to major and provide course credit (generally one semester hour for each group listed). Ensembles are some of the most rewarding experiences in college, and all students with musical interests are encouraged to participate.
The Gold Star Marching Band plays for all home NDSU football games and marches in special events fall semester. The group rehearses three days per week and is open to all students.
The Concert Choir meets five days per week, both fall and spring semesters. Open by audition, the group tours regionally or nationally on an annual basis and to European countries every three years.
The NDSU Wind Symphony is NDSU’s large concert ensemble for wind and percussion instruments. Members meet both fall and spring semesters and tour annually. Open by audition.
A smaller ensemble, Madrigal Singers, performs repertoire from the renaissance through contemporary periods. This auditioned group meets three days per week fall and spring semesters and produces the annual Madrigal Dinners in December. Members are auditioned from Concert Choir.
The Jazz Ensembles are two jazz big bands, generally of about 20 musicians each. Ensembles meet two or three times per week fall and spring semesters. Open by audition.
In Opera Theatre, opera scenes are rehearsed and produced each semester. This auditioned group meets twice per week. The School of Music traditionally produces a staged opera or musical every year in the spring semester.
A second concert band, University Band is open to all students by audition for section placement. University Band meets three times per week spring semester and has two concerts.
The University Chamber Singers is an auditioned mixed choir of students from many different majors and disciplines. They perform a wide variety of music and sing in at least two concerts each semester. There is an audition for this ensemble.
Women performing treble literature from all periods meet three times per week for Cantemus, and men sing with the NDSU Statesman. There is no audition for these ensembles.
Chamber ensembles include the percussion ensemble, brass ensemble, brass chamber ensembles, woodwind chamber ensembles (including flute quartets, clarinet ensembles, saxophone quartets and mixed woodwinds), vocal chamber ensembles, piano chamber ensembles and jazz combos.
Music degree programs vary because of the numerous options available. All music degrees, however, feature a general core of music classes that includes applied lessons, ensembles, supportive music courses, academic music studies and electives. Curriculum guides are available online and from the School of Music.
Following are the core requirements for all music majors. Each degree allows for flexibility in the student’s program. However, students must meet with an academic advisor to learn about additional degree requirements.
MUSC 103 - Introduction to Music History
MUSC 130, 131 - Theory and Analysis I,II
MUSC 132, 133 - Ear Training and Sight Singing I, II
MUSC 230, 231 - Theory and Analysis III, IV
MUSC 232, 233 - Ear Training and Sight Singing III, IV
MUSC 340, 341 - Music History I, II
Applied Music, Major Ensemble, Music Electives
This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.
Reineke Fine Arts Center
Music Education Room 115
Reineke Fine Arts Center is located on the south end of campus on the corner of 12th Ave. N. and Bolley Drive (Campus Map)
Department of Music
North Dakota State University
Reineke Fine Arts Center
Dept. 2334, PO Box 58108-6050
Fargo, ND 58108
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802