Additional Sample Course Plans

This is an example course plan based on the 2018-2019 University Catalog; your actual schedule may deviate from this example. Your faculty advisor will work with you to select appropriate courses.

As an IWU student, it is your responsibility to track your progress each semester towards completing graduation requirements using the MyIWU degree evaluation tool.


A minimum of 35 course units are required for the Bachelor of Music in Composition (9 Gen Ed, 26 Music)

  • A course unit may count for both a general education requirement and a major requirement, but may not count for two general education requirements.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 (C) with no more than one (1) course unit of "D" work in Music and no more than six (6) units of "D" work completed at IWU or elsewhere may be counted toward the degree.
  • At least 11 course units of work counted toward a degree must be from upper division offerings (numbered 300 or higher), and at least four (4) of these units must be in the major field or concentration.
  • Participation in at least one major ensemble or the equivalent during each semester in residence.
  • Attendance at recitals in accordance wit the requirements set by the music faculty.
  • Substitutions in the prescribed courses of study may be permitted only by approval of the music faculty or an appropriate committee thereof.
  • Students may enroll for a maximum of five and one-half (5.5) course units in Fall and Spring semesters. Any exceptions must be approved by the Advisor and the Director.
  • Enrollment in at least one May-Term course is required.

For more information on course work, look over the Degree Checklist!



Course Course Units
Applied Concentration 3.5



Survey of Music History


Keyboard Basics (or proficiency)


Functional Piano




Upper Division Music History

Plus one from:

MUS 301 Tonal Counterpoint 1
MUS 302 Advanced Analysis 1
MUS 309 Orchestration 1
MUS 313 Electroacoustic Music 1


Ensembles (8 semesters) 2
Music Electives 1.5
MUS 15X: Experiencing the Live Performance of Concert Repertoire  (7 semesters) NC


Year 1

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

May Term

  • Optional

*Lessons: register for the CRN with the student's instrument/instructor. For pianists, R. Kent Cook; for vocalists, J. Scott Ferguson.

**Students can take a keyboard proficiency exam which is given during New Student Orientation, and if they test out of MUS 100A/B, then they take: MUS 205 (non-keyboard majors) or MUS 207 (keyboard majors) in the Fall semester and MUS 206 (non-keyboard majors) or MUS 208 (keyboard majors) in the Spring semester.


Year 2

Fall Semester

*Lessons: register for the CRN with the student's instrument/instructor. For pianists, R. Kent Cook; for vocalists, J. Scott Ferguson.

** Keyboard Harmony (207/208) is offered in alternate years.  In the year in which it is not offered, students should be encouraged to take an additional Gen Ed or PE course.

Ensemble Information

Ensemble auditions are held during the first week of class. Depending on audition placement, students may need to
implement an alternate class schedule. If the student is a BM: Composition (s)he must keep the following schedule
times open until after ensemble assignments have been posted:

String Instrumentalists: Orchestra
Winds and Percussion: Orchestra, Symphonic Winds and Wind Ensemble
Vocalists: Collegiate Choir and University Choir

Pianists who also play an orchestral instrument may audition for placement in one of the instrumental ensembles. 
Pianists may also audition for Collegiate Choir or University Choir. After the first year, pianists are
required to enroll in MUS 031 – Piano Accompanying, for at least 4 semesters. This course fulfills the ensemble
requirement for those semesters.

Orchestra MUS 021

M 4:00 - 6:00 PM

W 4:00 - 5:00 PM and 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Wind Ensemble MUS 022

MWF  12:30 - 1:50 PM

Symphonic Winds MUS 024

T 4:05 - 5:35 PM

R 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Collegiate Choir MUS 023

MWF 4:00 - 5:15 PM

R 5:30 - 6:30 PM

University Choir MUS 026

MWF 3:00 - 3:50 PM



Students may participate in a second large ensemble listed above, as an elective or for X-credit.

Students may also audition for these small ensembles listed below, as electives or X-credit, in addition to the major

Jazz Ensemble MUS 034-1

T R 2:35 - 3:50 PM

Jazz Lab Band* MUS 034-2

7:00 - 8:15 PM

Chamber Singers MUS 031-6

T R 2:35 - 3:50 PM

Unlicensed Syncopation MUS 175

T R   2 : 3 5 - 3 : 50 PM

*The Jazz Lab Band is open to all students with NO audition.

Study Abroad

  • Due to the sequential nature of the music major, study abroad is not recommended during the first two years. Students interested in studying abroad should consult with the Director of the School of Music to decide on a case-by-case basis which semester(s) would be most appropriate.

Additional Information for All Majors

  • Music majors pursuing the BM degree or the BME degree are allowed to take as many as 5.5 units per term, and music majors pursuing the BA degree are allowed to take as many as 4.5 units per term; however, first-year students should try to avoid taking the maximum number of units, particularly during their first term.
  • It is suggested that first-year students not take more than two general education courses, including a Gateway course during a given semester.
  • Music majors fulfill the CHC general education requirement through a course in the major.
  • MUS 227 (0.5 unit) and MUS 309 (1 unit) are required for BM, but not BA students, but are available if the student is interested.
    Note: MUS 227 is restricted to BM/BME or consent of instructor. MUS 309 has a prerequisite: 103 or consent of the instructor. Offered in alternate years.
  • Music majors practice between 7 and up to 21 hours per week for this amount of credit. Therefore, the total number of units does not necessarily reflect the actual extent of the workloads. All music students, both majors and minors, must complete one semester of Colloquia in Music (MUS 14X) and a requisite number of semesters of Experiencing Live Performance of Concert Repertoire (Music 15X). Because first-year students are often unsure of which degree program they will ultimately pursue, every music major should be enrolled for these courses. Additionally, attendance at School of Music Convocations is strongly encouraged of music majors. Convocations, which are weekly departmental meetings, are scheduled for Thursdays, from 4:00 – 5:00. Therefore, it is important that music students not be scheduled for a course or another activity during this time.
  • First-year students who are pursuing the B.A. degree with a major in music are required to meet the same requirements as first-year students who are pursuing the B.M. degree with the exception of 30-minute lessons in place of 60-minute lessons. Upon permission of the applied instructor, B.A. degree candidates may take 60-minute lessons beginning in the second semester. Fees are accessed for lessons that are beyond what is required of the degree (Refer to IWU Catalog, page 23, Financial Information).
  • First-year students who elect to minor in music are required to meet the same requirements as first-year students who are pursuing the BM degree with the exception of 100A and 100B (Keyboard Basics) and level of applied music (MUS 100 instead of MUS 181/183)
  • Music majors with sufficient piano skills may proficiency out of Keyboard Basics (MUS 100 A/B). Proficiency exams will be scheduled during Turning Titan: New Student Orientation.
  • First-year students should look carefully at the ensemble schedule (refer to Ensemble Information) before scheduling a General Education course.
  • Non-music majors who are the recipients of a Jennings Scholarship must enroll each term in a major ensemble and applied minor lessons (MUS 100); these are the conditions of this scholarship (refer to Scholarships & Aid Section).
  • Any student at the University may enroll for private instruction in music; there is an additional fee for this instruction for non-music majors who do not have a Jennings Scholarship. Also, ensembles are open to any student at the University by audition. Audition information is available in the Music Office in the School of Music (ext. 3061).
  • All first-year music majors are assigned a faculty advisor, who is a full-time music faculty member. If you should have an advising question, please feel free to call your music mentor. To reach a music mentor, call the Music Office at ext. 3061.