Music

Programs offered
  • Music (major, minor, and concentrations)
  • Music Education (major)
  • Music Therapy (major)

When you choose an academic major or minor in the Music Department, you will find the music program:

  • Provides opportunities for all students to study music as an essential part of a liberal arts education in a comprehensive university.
  • Encourages you to develop your fundamental musical talent and performance skills along with 21st century musicianship skills.
  • Recognizes the interrelationship between music, our communities, and the other creative arts.
  • Challenges you to become a socially-conscious artist dedicated to creating positive change in our communities.

Additionally, Seattle Pacific’s Music program is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It also maintains membership with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA). The Music Therapy program is accredited by the American Music Therapy Association.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Music (BA)

Our BA in Music degree has been completely reimagined to encourage lifelong growth and talent development and to address a wide range of vocational skills as a reality of working musicians in the 21st Century. We have created a student-driven and project-focused curriculum that reflects and engages with the professional music-making culture in Seattle and across the nation.

  • In this program, you will learn to recognize the interrelationship between music and the other creative arts.
  • You can choose from four areas within the BA in Music degree — Composition, Performance, Recording, or Research.
  • A minimum 83–86 credits are required for these project-based concentrations, including 37 upper-division credits.
  • Student completing the Performance Project (Vocal version) must complete MUS 2261 the Singer's Art II, for 86 credits total in the major.
  • Piano proficiency is required for graduation for all Music majors.
  • If you are enrolled in “Music Theory I-II” or any Creative Engagement course, you may be required to enroll in MUS 1254, 1255, or 2200 until you can pass the Keyboard Proficiency Exam.
  • All students generate a professional-level project in their senior year that synthesizes your learning, builds your portfolio, and reflects your idenitity as a musician and artist. It is our goal that you walk out of your time at SPU Music with your career already started.

music education (BA)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

SPU's Education program is accredited at the state and national levels, and our graduates are among the most sought-after educators in the field. You'll benefit from a combination of class and field work, which includes opportunities for diverse experiences within public and private school settings in urban and suburban Seattle. Each component of the program is designed to sharpen your skills, develop your competence and character, and prepare you for teaching and service.

Undergraduate teacher candidates complete all requirements for a bachelor's degree in addition to the requirements for the P–12 Residency Teacher Certification Program. Music majors with an emphasis in Music Education are prepared to meet endorsement requirements for choral/vocal, instrumental, and/or general music endorsements. Courses are specially designed to meet state education requirements while also addressing music areas of specialization, such as "Music in Special Education" and "Music Technology" courses.

The BA in Music Education includes both a rigorous music program and the education coursework and internship for Washington P-12 music teaching certification.

  • A minimum 119 credits are required, including 37 upper-division credits.
  • You will need to fulfill the requirements for the Music degree, including ensemble experiences. 
  • Piano and guitar proficiency are required.
  • You will present a junior recital on your major instrument. 
  • You can choose course options that lead to general, instrumental or vocal/choral endorsements.
  • Once admitted to the major, you should maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Service learning, September experience, lab experiences, and internships provide comprehensive experiences in local schools supervised by experienced music educators.

Music Minors

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    As a Music minor, you will follow an integrative approach to advancing your musical skills. You will study music theory, aural skills, and the history of music, and will participate in context courses that further your knowledge of music, people, and culture. 

    A minor in Music and Worship Arts will train you to use your musical gifts — whether as a worship leader, a performer, a composer, a conductor, or a teacher. It will also provide you with advanced study in music theory and literature.

  • The Music minor requires a minimum 30 credits, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • The Music and Worship Arts minor requires a minimum 40 credits, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • Depending on the minor chosen, courses include Core requirements, Theological and Historical Foundations, contemporary performance practice, and ensemble participation.

entering and completing a music major, Music education major, or music minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete an academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, and students are not required to enter a major immediately upon admission to the University. However, you should enter a major by the end of your sophomore year to help ensure your timely completion of a degree. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should identify and enter their major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you wish to enter a major or minor in this department, you may select a program by using the online Major or Minor Application form. You will receive an email notification of acceptance.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, use the online Major or Minor Application form to select your major or minor. You will receive an email notification of acceptance. Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • If you will be pursuing teacher certification, you should achieve and maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA once admitted to the major.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year of admittance to the major or minor.

Music Therapy (BA)

The SPU Music Therapy Program’s rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum is designed to prepare you for the six-month clinical internship, and, ultimately, pass the national examination to earn your Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) designation. 

Music therapists are first and foremost strong musicians. Taking private lessons on your primary instrument is essential. Music therapy majors must pass proficiency exams in voice, guitar, and keyboard before graduation. Having experience with one or more of these instruments, especially piano, will be extremely helpful to your studies and clinical work.

  • A minimum 114 credits is required for this major, including 29 upper-division credits.
  • Pass proficiency exams on piano, guitar, and voice.
  • If you are enrolled in “Music Theory I-II” or any Creative Engagement course, you may be required to enroll in MUS 1254, 1255, or 2200 until you can pass the Keyboard Proficiency Exam.
  • Fulfill the requirements for the Music degree, including a junior recital on your major instrument.
  • Your classes will be in core music therapy, psychology, special education, and biology/physical education, as well as the required SPU courses. 
  • You will also have the opportunity for practicum experiences within diverse health care and educational institutions in the Seattle area.
  • You will have the close supervision by board-certified music therapists in an educational climate.
  • You will fulfill 180 hours of practicum experience during your undergraduate training.

music therapy major admission data

Admission to the Music Therapy major is limited to 10–12 students per year. Admission is selective and based upon prior academic performance, audition, an essay, and an interviews. Recent admission data is depicted below.

Academic Year 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
Average GPA of Admitted Students 3.7 3.7 3.5
Lowest GPA of Admitted Students 3.3 3.4 2.8
Number of Applicants 12 8 9
Number Admitted 12 8 9

apply to the music therapy major

  • You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission to the Music Therapy major.
  • Apply for the major using the online Major or Minor Application form and obtain the signatures of your music department advisor and private lesson instructor.
  • To apply for the major you must:
    • Perform on your primary instrument.
    • Play piano and guitar, and sing with a strong voice. All three proficiencies are required for a degree in Music Therapy. If you are not proficient in one or more of these, we would discuss your ability to meet standard level within a reasonable time period.
    • Write a short essay on why you want to pursue a degree in Music Therapy and articulating your professional and personal interests.
    • Be interviewed  by the director of the Music Therapy Program as well as Music Department faculty.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major or minor.

Note: Music Therapy is a competitive program. Post-baccalaureate and transfer students, in particular, should carefully review admission requirements for the program on the Music Therapy website.

Music Department

Visit the Music Department to see how a degree in Music or Music Therapy can help you achieve your goals to make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Music

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

SPU ensemble in rehearsal

Ensemble opportunities

You have an opportunity to choose from many SPU music ensembles. Find ensembles, descriptions, and requirements in the course listings in the 2000/4000 levels. All ensemble courses carry regular SPU credit. Music ensembles are open to music majors and non-majors by audition.

SPU student playing piano

Music accreditation

SPU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the American Music Therapy Association.