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Music (B.A.)

Website: School of Contemporary Arts

Concentrations: Music Education, Music Industry,
Music Performance, Music Production, Music Studies

About the Major

Ramapo College provides a distinctly forward-thinking approach to music education, which embraces inclusive and interdisciplinary teaching philosophies, widely diverse creative and performance opportunities, and advanced technologies in a liberal arts environment. A uniquely progressive foundation in musicianship and music history enables students to delve into popular music, European art music and music from around the world.  Students develop entrepreneurial strategies to turn their passions into successful careers. Faculty mentors encourage music majors to explore combining music concentrations, flexible course options, independent projects, or teacher certification. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to earn a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Music Technology through our 4+1 program.  

Ramapo music majors study with professors who have internationally prestigious careers as producers, composers, performers, directors, managers, technologists and researchers. Explore and develop skills in leading-edge studio facilities, and establish the foundation for a post-college music career through our highly regarded internship program that enables students to gain professional experience with top level music companies in New York City. Join our diverse, creative musical community and make your contribution to shaping the future of music.

Music Education prepares students for careers teaching music. The progressive curriculum balances traditional and contemporary music studies with a global perspective, diverse hands-on experiences, creative teaching projects, and individualized instruction. With this forward leaning and flexible foundation, students are prepared for success in today’s diverse music classrooms. Students have the option to complete Teacher Certification through the Teacher Education program in coordination with the Music Education concentration.

Music Industry prepares students for careers in the contemporary music business. The curriculum features studies in music copyright, music publishing and recording industries, music marketing, promotion, touring and live concerts, digital media and data science. The relationship of music, business, and technology in the rapidly changing digital media landscape is strongly emphasized. Music Industry students are also responsible for the management and oversight of Ramix Music, a college-sponsored record label. 

Music Performance provides students with wide-ranging opportunities to develop strong technique, build performing skills, and find their unique sound and style.  Students are encouraged to explore solo and group performance experiences spanning from award-winning international touring Choral Ensembles, Ramapo Chorale, Gospel Chorus, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble to Brazilian Latin Percussion Ensemble, digital performance, singer-songwriting and student-led bands. Students interested in teaching typically combine the Performance and Music Education concentrations.

Music Production emphasizes a creative approach to a wide range of topics relevant to music technology including sound synthesis, electronic composition and performance, audio mixing and mastering, acoustics, interactive media and live concert sound.  Students have access to state-of-the-art resources in the Ramapo Les Paul Recording Studio and Electronic Music Lab.

Music Studies focuses on the analytical and interpretive disciplines of music, honing skills to research and write about music in historical, cultural, and international contexts. The concentration includes music performance and interdisciplinary studies. Music Studies prepares students for graduate studies in musicology/ethnomusicology and careers in music journalism and art administration.

Students completing this program will receive a B.A. degree. A flexible Minor in Music is available.

Outcomes for the Major


1.   The Music Program will foster creativity, preparing students for careers in the fields of creating, performing, and producing music and interdisciplinary works (Learning Outcomes 4, 6, 7).

2.   The Music Program will foster analytical and interpretative skills, preparing students for careers in diverse paths in the music industry of today (Learning Outcomes 1,2, 3).

3.   The Music Program will foster professional communication skills (Learning Outcome 5).


Students completing the Music Program will meet established expectations in the following areas:

1.  Technological Literacy in Music

Explore and explain how technology has influenced the field of music.

2.  Music and Culture/Identity

Examine and interpret ways that music expresses culture and identity in diverse settings.

3.  Music in Historical/Global Perspectives

Understand and describe the development of Western art music and a selection of popular genres, African American music, and non-Western musical traditions.

4.  Musicianship

Develop and apply competence in music notation, aural skills, and technical analysis.

5.  Communication/Critical Thinking

Demonstrate abilities to research, synthesize, and articulate music-related topics in written and verbal communication.

6.  Performance/Creative

Produce creative work or a performance that demonstrates skills relevant to the student’s concentration.

7.  Technological Competency in Music

Employ current technologies relevant to the student’s concentration.

Requirements of the Major and Concentrations
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, Major, and Concentrations may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Studies in the Arts and Humanities the other three courses are taken in the major and school core.
  4. All music majors and minors must take the online Musicianship Placement Test upon entering the program and no later than one week after the beginning of their first term.
  5. Students should begin the Musicianship course sequence in their first semester as music students.  Based on the results of the Music Placement Test, the sequence will either begin with Musicianship I or require the preceding course, Music Fundamentals.  Exceptional test scores may provide the option to enroll in Musicianship II, subject to evaluation by musicianship faculty.
  6. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  7. All new students in the Performance concentration are required to take an Entrance Performance Evaluation, after which they can declare their concentration with the convener.
  8. Students in the Education, Performance, Production, and Studies concentrations are required to participate in a group performance course or ensemble with wide-ranging options available.  See below for details.
  9. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.
Requirements of the Minor
  1. Courses fulfilling the requirements for the primary or second major may count towards the requirements of the minor, but may not exceed one-half of the credits required in the minor. A School core does not need to be completed for a minor.  Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
  2. All music minors must take the online Musicianship Placement Test upon entering the program and no later than one week after the beginning of their first term in the minor.
Music Minor
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • Required Courses:
  • MUSIC ELECTIVE LOWER LEVEL:  Select two at the 100 or 200 level (8 credits)
  • MUSIC ELECTIVE UPPER LEVEL:  Select two at the 300 or 400 level (8 credits)