Bachelor of Music, Commercial Option

The Bachelor of Music degree is designed for students preparing for graduate study or careers in performance. A student majoring in Music Performance may select to specialize in voice, piano, guitar, strings, winds, percussion, or commercial.

Program Admissions Requirements

All prospective music majors/minors and transfer students must contact the department office prior to their first semester’s registration to be assigned a departmental advisor and take diagnostic placement tests and performance auditions. Acceptance as a music major/minor is dependent upon auditions and these examinations. Examinations should be taken before or during the week preceding classwork.

Performance Auditions

These auditions will include technique demonstration and repertoire ­performance.

Theory Placement Exam

This exam will determine the specific semester of music theory to which a student will be assigned.

Piano Placement Exams

These tests serve to determine the specific semester and section of class piano or private instruction to which a student will be admitted. All music majors must successfully complete the department’s required piano proficiency to graduate. Credits in MUSC 1118MUSC 1119MUSC 2218MUSC 2219, or MUSA 1120 may be used toward passing the piano proficiency. The student must register for piano or piano class each semester until passing the proficiency exam.

General Education

The listing below includes program requirements that also fulfill General Education requirements.

Objective 1 6
Objective 2 3
Objective 3 - MATH 1123 Recommended 13
Objective 4 - MUSI 11087
Objective 57
Objective 66
Students must fulfill Objective 7 or Objective 83
Objective 7
Objective 8
Objective 93
Total Credits38

“P” courses are equivalent to the original course.

Major Requirements 

MUSC 1103Theory of Music I3
MUSC 1104Theory of Music II3
MUSC 1107Recital Attendance (7 semesters)0
MUSI 1108The World of Music (Partially satisfies General Education Objective 4)4
MUSC 1113Aural Skills I1
MUSC 1114Aural Skills II1
MUSC 2203Theory of Music III3
MUSC 2204Theory of Music IV3
MUSC 2213Aural Skills III1
MUSC 2214Aural Skills IV1
MUSC 3304Music History I3
MUSC 3305Music History II3
MUSC 3306Music History III3
MUSC 3311Form and Analysis2
MUSC 4495Senior Recital2
Piano Proficiency 14
Upper Division Music Theory/History Elective2-3
Other Music Electives 22
Total Credits41-42

Piano proficiency is required for all degree candidates. Applied music secondary credits (MUSC 1118-MUSC 1119, MUSC 2218-MUSC 2219, or MUSA 1120) may be used toward passing the piano proficiency. The student must register for piano each semester until able to pass the proficiency exam.


Music electives must be chosen from Music courses (MUSC) and Music General Education courses (MUSI), not from Applied Music courses (MUSA) or Music Ensemble courses (MUSP).

Commercial Option Requirements

MUSC 3312Music Technology2
MUSC 3313Recording Technology2
MUSC 3314Improvisation I2
MUSC 4440Studio Arranging and Composition2
MUSC 4442Audio Mixing and Production2
MUSC 4494Commercial Music Capstone Project2
Business Elective: MKTG 2225 or MGT 11013
CMP 2202Photo, Graphic, and Video Editing3
Applied Music (major instrument, commercial music) 316
Four credits required of lower division Large Ensembles (band, orchestra, choir)4
ISU Women's Choir
Concert Choir
Band (Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, or Concert Band)
Four credits required of upper division Large Ensembles (band, orchestra, choir)4
Four credits required of MUSP 4475 - Commercial Music Ensemble 44
Total Credits46

Applied Music Study MUSA:  1 credit lessons, level 11XX and 22XX,  on the student’s primary instrument of entry  (i.e., “saxophone”, “guitar”, etc.) for the first 4 semesters of study prior to completion of junior standing; thereafter, 4 semesters of applied commercial music MUSA 3395 / MUSA 4495 at 3 credits each (junior and senior year) for a total of 12 credits.  Students are permitted to potentially continue studying the original instrument for one credit if so desired in addition to the required commercial music lessons.


The Chamber music ensemble which satisfies the requirement for the BM Commercial option is specifically MUSP 4475 Commercial Music Ensemble. Note that course MUSP 1175 exists as a performance option for underclassmen, but does not fulfill requirements for the Commercial Music option. Similarly, other sections of chamber music MUSP 1168-4468 do not fulfill requirements for the Commercial Music option. 

Degree Totals

Program Admission Requirements0
General Education38
Major Requirements (Required General Education credits removed)37-38
Commercial Option Requirements (Required General Education credits removed)46
Upper Division Free Electives0
Free Electives0
Total Credits121-122

ISU Degree Requirements

ISU General Education

Major Academic Plan (MAP)