Music Composition (BM) Course Plan (first 3 semesters)

This is an example course plan based on the 2019-2020 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.

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, Ilia Radoslavov; for vocalists, William Hudson.

**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.
  • Music majors practice an average of 15 hours per week, regardless of units earned.
  •  All music majors and minors must complete one semester of Colloquia in Music (MUS
    014x) in their first semester.
  •  All music majors should be registered for Experiencing Live Performance (MUS 015x) for
    each semester, according to their individual degree requirements.
  •  Music majors are strongly encouraged to attend Convocation hour every Thursday from
  • 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).