Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Program


NDSU offers the following undergraduate music degrees:

Bachelor of Music in Performance
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Bachelor of Music in Composition
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Bachelor of Science in Music

All music majors take courses in music theory, music literature, music history, and conducting; receive private lessons on a selected instrument and/or voice; and participate in a major ensemble. Other courses are selected within a chosen area 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 Challey School of Music offers three undergraduate degree programs:

BMus Performance

The Bachelor of Music in Performance is available for students demonstrating outstanding ability and potential in musical performance. Tracks are offered in instrumental, keyboard, and voice performance. Students earning the Bachelor of Music degree generally pursue advanced performance degrees in graduate school or immediately enter the field as performers or music professionals in other areas.

BMus Music Education
The Bachelor of Music in Music Education includes certification requirements for students to teach music in North Dakota's public schools. Students may opt for certification in grades K-12 or 7-12. Though the degree contains comprehensive preparation, students generally elect a principal area in either instrumental or voice/choral.

BMus Composition
The Bachelor of Music in Composition provides thorough creative and professional training in acoustic and electronic media. Students earning the Bachelor of Music degree generally pursue advanced performance degrees in graduate school or immediately enter the field as composers or music professionals in other areas.

Further information coming soon.

BA or BS in music

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in music are general liberal studies degrees. The curriculum is flexible, and allows focus in areas of the students choice. The degrees are identical, except that the BA requires a two-year foreign language proficiency; and the BS requires an NDSU approved minor in an area other than music.

Career Opportunities

The Challey School of Music prepares undergraduates for careers as music teachers and as performers through the two tracks of the Bachelor of Music degree (BMus). Music Education track graduates are certified to teach music in the public schools of North Dakota, at any level—elementary, middle school, and high school, in both instrumental and voice/choral programs. Certification to teach K-12 music in other states is generally easily accomplished administratively because of our broad-based program. Performance degree students are prepared for careers as professional performing musicians, either immediately or after further study in graduate school. Our liberal arts degrees (BA and BS) prepare students for a wide range of careers that require critical thinking skills, versatility, and trainability in many disciplines.

Student Organizations

Sigma Alpha Iota

Sigma Alpha Iota is North Dakota State University's only professional fraternity for women in music. SAI was founded in 1903 at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and has grown to over three hundred chapters and 76,000 members.

SAI's purpose is to encourage and promote interaction between those who share a special interest in music. The members hold monthly meetings, perform in special recitals called musicales, perform off-campus, and support the bands and choral groups on campus.

Membership in SAI is open to all women pursuing a major or minor in any area of music who have completed at least one semester of study. Rush is held twice a year, at the beginning of each semester.

Members work together and support each other in their various activities. The Fargo-Moorhead SAI Alumni chapter offers two scholarships each year. Members may also be nominated by the chapter for national scholarships. For many members, the greatest benefit of being an SAI is the relationships developed with other women in music, those who will be future colleagues.

National Assocation for Music Education (NAfME)

The National Association for Music Education is one of the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates for all aspects of music education at local, state, and national levels. Joining NAfME Collegiate provides students with an opportunity for professional development at the undergraduate level which includes free or heavily discounted registration to state and national conferences, access to job search advice, periodicals and other scholarly articles, and free sheet music and lesson plan libraries.

NAfME at NDSU provides students with many opportunities for professional development including monthly discussions hosting teachers from the area and specialists from around the country, as well as information sessions about Music Education at NDSU, partial to full funding from the Congress of Student Organizations to attend state and national music education conferences, and leadership opportunities which build practical skills in preparation for a career in music education.

Tau Beta Sigma

Tau Beta Sigma operates primarily as a student service and leadership recognition society in which their main goal is to assist the Director of Bands in developing the leadership and enthusiasm that they require of their band. Tau Beta Sigma provides exceptional service to collegiate bands and promotes equality and diversity, including empowering women in the band profession. They cultivate leadership, educational achievement, music appreciation and community development.

They serve not only to provide the bands with service activities but to also give their members valid and wholesome experiences in organization, leadership, and social contacts. The honorary nature of membership is based on their premise that “it is an honor to be selected to serve”—this band, its department of music, its sponsoring institution, and the cause of band music in the nation’s colleges and universities.

With their strong emphasis on service, TBS is a great society for those who wish to become leaders in the bands and further the role of women in the bands of colleges and universities worldwide.

College Music Society

The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

The NDSU student chapter of CMS is interested in exploring new ideas for music education, composition, performance, technology, and involvement in the community. Our goal is to give members opportunities to learn about topics that aren't provided in the current curriculum through hosting various speakers and presenters.