04.00 Undergraduate Academic Policy & Curriculum


04.00 General
04.01 Curriculum
04.02 Maximum credit loads
04.03 Transfer credit for matriculated students who enter as first-time freshmen
04.04 Advanced standing
04.05 Set-aside Credit towards Graduate Study
04.06 Double majors
04.07 Minors and certificates (non-music)
04.08 Transfer students
04.09 Dual degree program
04.10 Special programs
04.11 Absence policy
04.12 Grading policies and procedures
04.13 Progress towards degree completion
04.14 Graduation/Commencement

04.00 General

The Bachelor of Music degree may be pursued with a major in applied music (performance), composition, music education, jazz and contemporary media, musical arts, and theory.

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04.00.01 Residency requirements

It is expected that Bachelor of Music degree students, including those pursuing a double major, will complete their degrees through a minimum of eight semesters of full-time study during the regular academic year. A semester of full-time enrollment comprises courses totaling a minimum of 12 credits. Note that satisfactory academic progress in the Bachelor of Music curriculum generally requires an average of 15 credits per semester. Students who require additional semesters beyond the eight semesters to complete their degree do so with the understanding that:

  • the added semesters may be part-time enrollment,
  • neither applied music study nor participation in the School’s large ensembles will be available during the added semesters, and
  • financial aid from the School will normally not be available to support these added semesters.

Dual degree students (those pursuing both a Bachelor of Music degree at Eastman and a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree at the University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering)are allowed up to ten full-time semesters.

All Eastman School of Music Bachelor of Music degrees must be completed within 6 years, or 12 semesters of coursework, and up to 2 years of inactive status registration from the date of matriculation. If a student has not completed their degree within the allotted number of semesters, it will be necessary to reapply for admission and re-audition for studio placement. The Academic Progress Committee will monitor this requirement as part of the Academic Progress Review at the conclusion of each semester. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by petition to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. (Update approved by the Academic Progress Committee, May 1, 2011)

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04.00.02 Continuous Undergraduate Registration

Undergraduates are required to be continuously registered at the Eastman School of Music. This means that undergraduate students must register every fall and spring semester from their first semester of study until their degree is completed.

There are two options that enable undergraduate students to maintain continuous enrollment when not registered for coursework. Both require approval from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. International students with an F-1 or H-1 visa status must also obtain approval from the International Services Office. Students intending to register for one of these two options must have it approved in advance of the first day of classes for each semester except in extraordinary circumstances. The two registration options are as follows:

  • 6ESM 385 Inactive Status – Undergraduate Leave of Absence
  • 6SAB 200 Study Abroad

Students who do not register for more than one academic semester may be administratively withdrawn on the first day of the second semester in which they have not registered. The withdrawal will be retroactive to the end of the student’s last active semester. Should students wish to return to degree studies after having been withdrawn, they must reapply for admission to Eastman and re-audition for studio placement.

Approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee 2/5/2009

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04.00.03 Re-admission to the Undergraduate Degree Program

Students who have not been continuously registered for more than one semester, or students who have been on inactive status for more than four semesters, must re-apply for admission and re-audition for studio placement. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs. Students readmitted to a degree will be required to fulfill the requirements in their program of study that are in place at the time of their readmission. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by petition to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation for the reasons or circumstances for the student’s absence must be given; in addition, extra materials (such as tapes or CDs, research papers, and the like) may be required by the department. (Update approved by Undergraduate Curriculum Committee 2/5/2009).

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04.01 Curriculum

Individual Audit Sheets for the BM Degree
Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements for Applied Music Majors
Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements (other majors)

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04.01.01 Core curriculum

The components of the Bachelor of Music degree common to all majors are referred to as the core curriculum. Each major features specific departmental requirements above and beyond the core which, when combined, will total a minimum of 120 credits necessary for the Bachelor of Music degree. Any variations or exceptions to the core curriculum are noted under specific degree program listings.

[back to top] Performance component

Eight semesters of applied lessons

All undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Music degree program will be assigned to a faculty studio for their applied lessons.

Each year, through the junior year, students will be expected to pass a jury performed before a faculty panel; piano majors are expected to perform an additional jury in their senior year. If, for some extenuating circumstances, such as health or injury issues, a student cannot take their jury as scheduled, they will be assigned a grade of ?incomplete? for that semester?s lessons and will be expected to fulfill the jury requirement in the following semester.

Large ensemble experience

All undergraduate students are required to complete from two to eight semesters in large ensembles, such as orchestra, wind ensemble, or chorus, as required by the major.

Keyboard proficiency

All undergraduates are expected to develop functional keyboard skills. This proficiency requirement can either be demonstrated through examination or through successful completion of piano class, as required by the major.

[back to top] Music academic component

Five semesters of written theory and aural musicianship

Undergraduate students are required to take five semesters of an integrated written theory/aural musicianship sequence. The written theory courses are numbered TH101, TH102, TH201, TH202 and TH205, with the corresponding musicianship courses labeled TH161,TH162, TH261, TH262, and TH265. Students will be placed into the appropriate level course within the sequence based on placement exams administered during orientation week; the results of these exams are binding. Theory and aural musicianship courses must be taken concurrently and in sequence.

There are three possible theory “tracks” – intensive, regular, and honors. The intensive (I) track is intended for students who have had limited previous theory background; while the class meets for more clock hours than the other two tracks, this does not carry any additional credit. After successful completion of the first two semesters in the intensive track, students then move into the regular track.

The regular theory track consists of the standard five-semester curriculum, as described above.

The honors (H) track is intended for students who have significant previous theory background. The five-semester core theory curriculum is condensed into four semesters of integrated theory/aural musicianship that progresses at a quicker pace than the regular track. Note that students in the honors sequence must maintain a minimum course grade of B, or they will be reassigned to the regular course sequence (i.e., five semesters of coursework instead of four).

Failure of either theory or aural musicianship requires that the student register for the course again (offered one full year after the initial registration), and the student will be unable to move on in the overall sequence until a passing grade has been achieved. Should a student fail three or more theory/aural musicianship courses, this will be considered unsatisfactory progress towards degree completion and may lead to dismissal from the School.

Theory courses may not be taken out of sequence (for example, taking TH205 before TH261) except in very exceptional circumstances. Individual cases must be supported by strong justification (e.g. medical reasons), and must be approved by the theory department chair and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs prior to registration.

Three semesters of music history

Three music history survey courses (MHS121, 122 and 123) that trace the development of music from the ninth century to the present are required of all undergraduates. In addition to the study and analysis of the musical literature of the time, the cultural and performing contexts in which the music has been created are examined. Diverse styles of music throughout history are explored ? Western and non-Western, ?classical? and popular, as are perspectives on issues of gender, folk and popular musics.

One music academic elective: an upper division course in music history or theory

In addition to the core theory and music history sequences, students must take a 3-credit music academic elective. This is an upper division course (numbered 200 or higher) in either music history or theory, such as counterpoint, or any special topics music history course.

For students with a double major in music education and performance, this requirement is met by the combination of a jazz theory course (JCM201) with a composition course (orchestration or choral arranging), found within the music education major.

(Updated 4/16/09)

[back to top] Colloquium (EIC101)

This is a one-semester presentation series that introduces students to the broad scope of music and musicians at the Eastman School; it emphasizes the practical aspects of music as well as the philosophical, pedagogical, historical, and social underpinnings of music practices in the broadest sense.

[back to top] Humanities/Science elective component

The School expects all of its students to explore a diverse range of academic disciplines, develop strong intellectual perspectives, and be able to voice these convincingly. This component of the curriculum enables students to reflect intelligently on their place in contemporary culture, and prepares them to assume roles of principled cultural leadership.

Freshman Writing Seminar (FWS121)

This seminar introduces students to college-level inquiry and analysis by focusing on critical thinking and academic writing. All students are required to take this course in their first semester, with the exception of the following:

  • Transfer students who have completed, with a minimum grade of B-, an equivalent writing course at another accredited college;
  • Students who are required to take ESL103 and ESL104 in their freshman year; these students will take FWS121 in their sophomore year.
  • Students who earn a passing grade in CAS 105, the required freshman writing course offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, will be considered to have fulfilled the FWS 121 requirement at the Eastman School of Music.

Twenty-one (21) additional credits of general studies (humanities/science) electives

These courses should be largely non-musical in content and/or disciplinary orientation and have substantial academic requirements. Each elective course must carry at least three credits; a student who wishes to take a course for five credits or more and have all of these credits count towards this general studies component must have the permission of the Humanities Department Chair.

To be counted towards B.M. degree requirements at Eastman, humanities and science elective courses must be taken for a grade; no Pass/Fail option is allowed. After the required twenty-one additional credits of humanities and science electives have been completed, additional general studies courses taken on the River Campus may be graded with the Pass/Fail Option. No humanities courses may be taken at the Eastman School with the Pass/Fail Option.

Courses in the following areas of academic study, as offered by the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and College of Arts and Sciences, may be used to fulfill these electives:


Eastman School of Music:

Art History Film Studies Italian
American Studies French Philosophy
Anthropology & Religion German Political Science
Classics History Psychology
English Humanities Women’s Studies

as well as TH241 and TH242 (Computer Applications I, II), offered through the Theory department. Students who are placed in English as a Second Language courses may also count ESL103 and/or ESL104 toward this requirement.


The College (Arts, Science and Engineering):

African and African-American Studies Film & Media Studies
Anthropology History
Art and Art History Judaic Studies
Art and Art History – Studio Arts* Linguistics
Astronomy Mathematics
Biochemistry Modern Languages & Literature (excluding labs)
Biology Neuroscience
Brain & Cognitive Science** Philosophy
Center for Visual Science Physics & Astronomy
Chemistry Political Science
Computer Science Psychology
Dance* Religion and Classics
Earth & Environmental Sciences Sociology
Economics Statistics
English Women’s Studies

*Students may elect to take up to two courses of three to four credits each of performing (non-musical) or studio arts toward the satisfaction of their humanities and science requirement.

**BCS260/TH260: Music and the Mind can be counted either toward Humanities credit OR toward the upper level Theory elective, but may not be counted toward both.

Courses in the other professional colleges of the University of Rochester – the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Engineering and Applied Science, the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the School of Nursing – may not be taken for credit toward the Humanities and Science requirement without permission of the Chair of the Humanities Department at Eastman.

Note that at least eighteen of the twenty-four humanities and science credits must be taken at the University of Rochester, i.e. either through the Eastman School offerings or those of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the case of transfer students, courses accepted for transfer will count towards this 18-credit minimum.

For dual degree students, this general studies component is met by the courses required in their second degree program.

EIC 394: Academic Year Internship and EIC 396B: Summer Internship may NOT be used as Humanities & Science Elective credit.

Matriculated students who wish to take one of their humanities and sciences courses at another institution please see section 04.03 Transfer credit for matriculated students who enter as first-time freshmen

Humanities policies and procedures are also published in a separate departmental document available here: Humanities Policies and Procedures.

[back to top] Humanities/Science: Non-English Language Requirement for Music Education Majors

New York State requires that all candidates for teacher certification must study a language other than English at the college level or demonstrate equivalent study.

“Equivalent Study” may be demonstrated by:

A score of 3 or higher on an AP language exam (French, German, Latin, Spanish) automatically qualifies a student as having equivalent study. Students will need to have a copy of the AP exam transcript sent from the Eastman registrar to the Music Education advisor for review.


Substantial high school preparation. If a student has enrolled for 3 full years of high school language (e.g. Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III), and has earned a grade of B minus (B- or 82) or higher each term, he or she may qualify as having equivalent study.

All music education majors may apply Eastman or College of Arts and Sciences language study toward their required 24 credits in humanities and sciences. If the student wants to study a language other than English (including American Sign Language) at the collegiate level, then advising is simply a matter of scheduling.

If the student believes he or she is qualified to study a language other than English at the 111 level or higher, he or she should see the chair of the Humanities department who will find the most appropriate placement for the student.

If the student does not qualify as having equivalent study on the basis of AP exam scores or substantial high school preparation, but might qualify on some other basis, such as being a native speaker, he or she should see the chair of the Humanities department, who will make the final determination about qualification. The chair of the Humanities department will notify the student, the academic advisor, and the registrar.

Any student who does not qualify as having equivalent study must complete a college level course in a language other than English. Possibilities include French, German, and Italian at ESM, and additionally, American Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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04.01.02 Departmental requirements

In addition to the core curriculum, there are departmental requirements specific to each major. These include courses such as chamber music, repertoire classes, and creative and practical electives. See the specific descriptions listed below for details.

[back to top] Applied Music – Double Bass, Guitar, Harp, Organ, Piano, Strings, Voice, Winds, Brass & Percussion

Senior recital

All applied music majors must present a full senior recital to a faculty panel of no less than three members of the department, including the student’s applied teacher. The recital must include the performance of at least one work written in the last forty years. For wind, brass and percussion majors, the recital must also include one unaccompanied work and/or one chamber ensemble work.

Should the faculty panel decide that a student’s senior recital does not meet the minimum standards, the student will be asked to give a second performance in fulfillment of this requirement. The faculty panel will determine, in consultation with the student’s applied teacher, what repertoire must be performed, as well as the issues that must be addressed to ensure a successful second attempt. This second program must be approved by the chair of the department and documented in written correspondence to the student.

Other departmental requirements

These include specific ensemble requirements (from studio accompanying to large ensemble), chamber music, repertoire classes, pedagogy classes, language proficiency, and creative and practical electives. Refer to the individual degree requirement worksheets for details.

Double bass: BM_AMU_Double_Bass

Guitar: BM_AMU_Guitar

Harp: BM_AMU_Harp

Organ: BM_AMU_Organ

Piano: BM_AMU_Piano

Strings: BM_AMU_Strings

Voice: BM_AMU_Voice

Winds, Brass & Percussion: BM_AMU_Winds_Brass_Perc

[back to top] Composition

Please See:

See: BM_Composition

[back to top] Jazz Performance

See: BM_Jazz_Performance

[back to top] Jazz Writing

See: BM_Jazz_Writing

[back to top] Music Education – General

See: BM_Music_Education_General

See: 02.17 Teacher Certification in New York State

See: Humanities/Science: Non-English Language Requirement for Music Education Majors

[back to top] Music Education – Instrumental

See: BM_Music_Education_Instrumental

See: 02.17 Teacher Certification in New York State

See: Humanities/Science: Non-English Language Requirement for Music Education Majors

[back to top] Music Education – Vocal

See: BM_Music_Education_Vocal

See: 02.17 Teacher Certification in New York State

See: Humanities/Science: Non-English Language Requirement for Music Education Majors

[back to top] Musical Arts

The Musical Arts major (MUA) is an honors curriculum that enables students to craft an individualized program of study, undertaken in consultation with a faculty committee that leads to a major senior project. These programs of study may be wide-ranging and possibly cross-disciplinary, and are generally not possible within the structured requirements of other majors at Eastman. This degree is intended for exceptional students who possess not only strong musical and intellectual abilities, but also the motivation and self-direction to succeed in the senior project.

Students who wish to pursue the MUA major will take Eastman’s core curriculum (as well as departmental requirements of their applied music area) during the first two years. During the junior and senior year, students will follow the individual course of study approved by the MUA Supervisory Committee, within guidelines established by the School and outlined in the Academic Policy Handbook. Students continue with applied lessons, juries, and recitals consistent with the requirements for all BM students. It is possible for students to petition to take 7 rather than 8 total semesters of applied music and ensembles, but only with the approval of the appropriate applied faculty. This would be considered if it enabled students to take advantage of off-campus learning opportunities, such as internships or overseas study, directly relevant to their senior project. Students must, however, be registered for lessons in the semester in which a jury or recital is presented; thus it is strongly recommended that any off-campus learning opportunity be planned for a fall rather than spring semester, so that jury requirements can be met.

While MUA majors are not held to the department-specific requirements of the final two years of the AMU major, these courses may be recommended by the applied teacher. Note that students may opt to add the MUA major to their current program of study, and pursue a double (or triple) major as part of their Bachelor of Music degree.

Also see: BM_Musical_Arts

Application and Admission

All students interested in the Musical Arts major must apply in the spring of their sophomore year by submitting the materials specified below to the Office of Academic Affairs. Application and information materials are available in the Office of Academic Affairs and are generally due in the first week of April. Note that all applicants must present a draft of their proposal to a member of the MUA Supervisory Committee no later than three weeks prior to the deadline in order for their application to be considered by the Committee.

The MUA Supervisory Committee will interview all applicants during the week of last week of April. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the last day of classes of the spring semester. Students will be assigned a mentor from the MUA Supervisory Committee upon acceptance.

The minimum admission criteria include (exceptions will be made only with the permission of the Dean of Academic Affairs and MUA Supervisory Committee):

  • cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better
  • grades of B+ or better in all juries and applied lessons
  • on track for completion of current program of study
  • outstanding supporting documents

Application requirements:

  • completed application form
  • current transcript (must be requested through the Office of the Registrar)
  • sample(s) of written work (at least one academic paper)
  • three recommendations from diverse disciplines, one from applied teacher
  • personal statement*
  • individual interview with the MUA supervisory committee

* The personal statement should be a substantial proposal (2-3 pages) that describes the student?s motivation for entering the program, his/her goals and objectives for study, and a vision of how the BM MUA might affect the student’s future.

Key Components of the MUA Curriculum

For a complete accounting of course requirements in the MUA degree, consult the degree advising worksheet.

Among other requirements, MUA students will take 24-27 credits in the humanities, while other BM students take only 21. Features that distinguish the MUA from other majors include a self-designed concentration of courses (12 credits) and a senior project (6 credits).


The concentration is a well-defined program of study similar to a ?minor field.? It will consist of intellectually stimulating, potentially diverse, and wide-ranging courses; it may be cross-disciplinary and comprise related music and humanities courses.

Students may view the concentration in one of two ways: as a group of like courses drawn together by similar content, or as a group of dissimilar courses linked by an underlying thread. Normally courses in the concentration will provide the background necessary for students to undertake the senior project.

Upon acceptance to the MUA program, students will design a MUA concentration and submit it to the Supervisory Committee for approval. Concentration proposals are due November 1 of the junior year.

Concentration proposals must include at least four courses (ESM, River Campus, or transfer) totaling twelve (12) or more credit hours, and a prose statement describing anticipated goals and how the courses will achieve those goals.

The concentration does not add to the required credit total, but rather provides a focus to the courses chosen by the student.

Senior Project

The senior project is the culmination of BM MUA study. As such, it must be a substantial and original work that integrates the experience and education of the student. It should blend performance and academic interests with professional preparation. Creative and enterprising projects are strongly preferred, and they may include one or more non-musical, cross-disciplinary components. The project may incorporate such diverse elements as outreach, internships, and performance or video art.

There are two components to the senior project:

  1. A final written document that provides a project overview, includes goals and methodologies, and summarizes and interprets the results is required;
  2. A significant public presentation of the project must be given, either at an annual colloquium or as a separate event.

Senior projects will be:

  • proposed by week 8 of the fall semester in the senior year with a formal written prospectus
  • approved by the supervisory committee
  • advised by one faculty advisor (other than the MUA Committee mentor)
  • public presentation must be completed no later than two weeks before the end of the spring semester of the senior year

[back to top] Theory

See: BM_Theory

[back to top] Curriculum Footnotes

Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements for Applied Music Majors
Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements (other majors)

1. Students majoring in Applied Music or Jazz and Contemporary Media will present a full senior recital, which will include performance of at least one work written within the last forty years. In addition, all wind/brass/percussion students must include one unaccompanied composition and/or one chamber music composition.

2. Students who entered in fall 2002 or later should enroll in TH 205/265 for their 5th semester requirement. (Students who entered before fall 2002 must take TH 203 or 204 and TH 263 as their 5th semester requirement.)

3. See section Humanities/Sciences elective component for courses which qualify as Humanities/Sciences electives. Courses must be at least 3 credits each. Courses of 5 or more credits must have permission of Humanities Dept. Chair.

4. Music History and Theory courses numbered 200 or higher, as well as various electives as approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs. Music Education majors fulfill this requirement with JCM 201. Students double-majoring in the combination of Music Education-Vocal and Applied Music-Voice fulfill this requirement by taking both JCM 201 and CMP 244.

5. Guitar students may substitute up to four semesters of Collegium Musicum (ENS 207/208) or Baroque Chamber Music (CHB 277) in place of Guitar Chamber Music (CHB 281/282).

6. Harpists may take Collegium Musicum (ENS 207/208) in place of piano class. Guitarists have the option of taking GTC 221 Advanced Fretboard Harmony in place of PCL 104. Otherwise, satisfactory completion of PCL 104 or the PCL 104 proficiency examination is required.

7. The chamber music requirement for wind/brass/percussion students may be fulfilled through registration in the following courses: Saxophone Ensemble (CHB 241), Baroque Chamber Music (CHB 277), Chamber Music (CHB 281/282), Trombone Choir (ENS 242), Percussion Ensemble (ENS 260), Jazz Ensemble (JCM 200). At least one registration of CHB 281 and CHB 282 is encouraged.

8. The following electives may be chosen as “Creative and Practical Musicianship” elective credit: Arts Leadership Courses (if not used for an ALP Certificate); Chamber Music (beyond the required 4 semesters); CL 290 Clarinet Choir; CMP 221-224 Composition for Non-Majors ; CMP 225-226 Intro to Computer Music; CMP 250-251 Orchestration; CND 211-216 Conducting; ENS 120 Large Vocal Ensembles; ENS 200 Large Instrumental Ensembles (in cases where students are assigned to play in double rotation); ENS 207-208 Collegium Musicum; ENS 215 Gamelan; ENS 216 Mbira; ENS 242 Trombone Choir; ENS 243 Tuba Mirum; ENS 244 Brass Guild; ENS 245 Horn Choir; ENS 260 Percussion Ensemble; HRN 290 Natural Horn; JCM 151-152 or JCM 251-252 Jazz Performance Workshop; JCM 200 Jazz Ensemble; JCM 201-202 Jazz Theory for Non-Jazz Majors; JCM 203 Basic Jazz Bass; JCM 204 Basic Jazz Drumset; JCM 205/206 Functional Jazz Piano; JCM 209 Jazz Mallet Performance; JCM 218 Jazz Pedagogy; JCM 223/224 Jazz Composition and Arranging; JCM 251-252 Jazz Performance Workshop; JCM 261 Entrepreneurship in Music; MUE 110 Intro Music Education; MUE 111 Field Experience in Music Education; MUE 211 Pre-School Music Education; MUE 212 Elementary General Music Methods; MUE 221-255 Music Education methods courses (not in the student’s primary instrument); Secondary (130-level) Instrument Study; OB 290 Baroque Oboe; PCL 105-106 Piano Class; EIC 394 Academic Year Internship & EIC 396B Summer Internships.

9. Choice of KBD 205: Organ Improvisation, KBD 250 or 251: Jazz Improvisation for Keyboard Majors, or KBD 443:Continuo Realization.

10. The progress of each composition student is reviewed by the composition faculty at the end of the sophomore year. Recommendations for continuation in the major are made at that time.

11. During the senior year, each Composition student is expected to present a major chamber work on the annual senior forum.

12. 12. All JCM drum, piano, saxophone and trombone students will be assigned a JCM instructor for four years.

All JCM guitar students will be assigned to a classical instructor (TA) during freshman and sophomore years in addition to four years of applied study with a JCM instructor.

All JCM trumpet students will be assigned a classical instructor during the freshman year and then a JCM instructor 6 semesters. All trumpet JCM majors will prepare and perform instrumental juries for the assigned ESM departmental faculty during the freshman year and also perform a jazz jury.

JCM bass students may select their applied study from either a “Jazz Track” or “Classical/Jazz Track.” “Jazz Track” students will be assigned a JCM instructor for four years and all jury and ensemble requirements would be fulfilled through the JCM department. “Classical/Jazz Track” students will be assigned to a classical instructor for 3 semesters and then a JCM instructor for 5 semesters. Students would have a classical jury requirement at the end of the third semester. Students will register for ENS 100 during the three semesters of classical study. “Classical/Jazz Track” students are required to register for JCM 230: Jazz Bass Styles & Analysis for the first three semesters. The remaining five semesters of jury and ensemble requirements would be fulfilled through the JCM department.

13. Students may elect a 2 credit non-jazz music elective in lieu of JCM 271.

14. Any 400-level course requires permission of the instructor. 500-level courses may only be taken with special permission from the department chair.

15. Students with a double major in Music Education-Instrumental and Jazz Studies may substitute JCM 205 & 206: Functional Jazz Piano for 2 semesters of piano class.

16. A passing grade in the College’s required Freshman writing course (CAS 105) will satisfy the FWS 121 core requirement at the Eastman School of Music.

17. Students accepted into the musical arts major may request a one semester reduction in music lessons.

18. Students accepted into the musical arts major may substitute a theory elective in place of TH 205.

19. Students double majoring in Music Education-Instrumental, automatically fulfill this requirement by completing their music education courses.

20. MUE 272 is not required for strings.

21. Musical arts majors: The large ensemble requirement is based upon requirements for the student’s major instrument. Once accepted into the MUA major, it remains the same except in cases where 8 semesters were required, the musical arts major changes the requirement to 7 semesters.

22. Students are required to take 3 of the instrument methods courses for a total of 3 or 4 credits.

23. Satisfactory completion of two years of secondary voice.

24. Must be completed during junior year as a prerequisite to CHB 281/282 to be taken in senior year.

25. JCM Writing Majors will take four semesters of 4-credit lessons, followed by four semesters of 2-credit lessons plus JCM 211.

26. Jazz bassists are also required to participate in ENS 100 Large Instrumental Ensemble for the first two years of their degree program.

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04.01.03 Variations from the prescribed programs of study

In order to earn a Bachelor of Music degree, all undergraduates are expected to complete the degree requirements that are in place during their year of matriculation. Any exceptions to the prescribed programs of study must be approved by the department in which the requirement resides, as well as by the Office of Academic Affairs. Students must complete a Waiver_Substitution_Form and obtain the necessary approvals in order to document any such variations within their degree program.

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04.02 Maximum credit loads

Undergraduate students may register on-line for a maximum of 23 credits per semester. Should a student wish to take courses above and beyond this, they must obtain approval from the Office of Academic Affairs. A minimum GPA of 3.0 and good overall standing will be prerequisites for approval.

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04.03 Transfer credit for matriculated students who enter as first-time freshmen

For information regarding transfer students, see section 04.08.

For information regarding Study Abroad transfer credit, see section 04.10.03.

Undergraduate students may take two humanities/science courses at another institution and transfer up to 6 credits into their Eastman School of Music bachelor of music degree program. Each course must be worth a minimum of 3 credits, and a grade of B- or better must be earned. Credit from courses taken on a pass/fail basis will not be considered for transfer credit. Correspondence or online courses will not be accepted for credit. Approval from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs must be obtained in advance of taking the courses in order to be sure that the course will fulfill Eastman graduation requirements.   Pre-approval is not required for courses taken before enrolling at Eastman.

Please submit via email the following:

  • Name of institution where you will take the course
  • Course title, course number and number of credits
  • The link to the college or university’s course description in their course catalogue

Upon completion of an approved transfer course, the transcript from the course must be submitted to the Eastman Registrar’s Office in order to finalize the transfer of credits.

Collegiate-level courses taken during high school may be considered for humanities transfer credit if they satisfy all of the following conditions:

  1. They were not taken in fulfillment of any high school degree requirement.
  2. They do not appear on the high school transcript.
  3. They are not included in the high school G.P.A. calculation.

If granted, such transfer credits count toward and are subject to the 6-credit limit mentioned above. Students may be asked to provide appropriate supporting documentation from the school district.

Credit more than five years old will not be accepted for transfer. (5/31/11)

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04.04 Advanced standing

04.04.01 Theory

AP standing in music theory is granted indirectly through the initial theory placement exam that takes place during orientation week. While AP scores do not automatically replace ESM coursework, previous theory study may contribute to advanced standing within the required core sequence, as determined by the placement exam.

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04.04.02 Humanities/science electives

To ensure that the Humanities department fulfills the School’s mission of complementing the college-level study of music with academic study in the liberal arts and sustained intellectual reflection, AP scores may earn a student advanced standing but, with the exception of double majors, no credit will be granted towards the Humanities and Science requirement on the basis of such scores. Note that the AP policies of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences vary; these policies apply only to degrees offered in the College and have no bearing on the Humanities and Science requirement for the Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music.

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04.04.03 Advanced placement (AP)

Students with sufficient AP scores may be exempt from introductory-level courses and be able to place directly into higher-level classes. No credit will be granted for the exempted course unless the student is a double-major (see below). Those seeking such standing should consult with the appropriate chair, program director, or instructor.

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04.04.04 Double majors

Students who matriculated in the fall of 2005 and after, who are registered as double majors, and who complete both majors, may receive three credits (for one exam) or six credits (for two exams) for scores of four or five on AP exams in the humanities and sciences (except music theory; see above) with the following two provisos:

  • That a student can receive a maximum of six credits for AP exams and summer transfer courses combined; and
  • If a student who is originally a double major drops one of the two majors, the AP credits granted by the School will be withdrawn.

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04.05 Set-Aside Credit towards Graduate Study

Students nearing completion of their undergraduate coursework may decide to take courses at Eastman above and beyond their Bachelor of Music degree requirements, with the intent of applying these additional credits towards their stated masters? degree requirements. Students may request that up to six credits of such coursework (200-400 level) be set aside for elective credit in their master of music degree, thus reducing the total number of credits required at the master’s level. Approved set-aside courses remain in the undergraduate degree program on the student?s record and factor into the undergraduate grade point average. The same course cannot fulfill a requirement in both degree programs. This policy is only applicable to courses taken at the Eastman School. To apply for set-aside credit, submit a Set-Aside Credit Application Form to the Eastman Registrar’s Office

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04.06 Double majors

Students may enroll in any combination of majors with the approval of the appropriate departments and the Office of Academic Affairs. Students must meet all requirements for each major in order to complete their Bachelor of Music degree. Certain combinations of majors may require additional semesters of study, given sequencing and credit load considerations.

Students interested in adding a new major must meet with the chair of the department and pass all admission requirements as established by the department, including performance assessments and academic file review. If accepted into the second major, the student will need to complete a “Change of Academic Status” form (available in the Office of Academic Affairs) and submit it to the Dean of Academic Affairs for final approval. Approval of a student’s double major program is given by the Dean only on the recommendation of the chairs of the major departments.

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04.06.01 FORTE program

The FORTE program is a ninth semester of tuition-free enrollment for selected music education majors. This semester is devoted exclusively to completion of the student teaching experience. The FORTE program is available to students enrolled in the music education programs (instrumental, vocal or general) who are also enrolled in a second major; e.g. performance, composition, theory, or jazz studies, or in a second degree program (Bachelor of Arts or Science) at the College.

Students must be in good standing in both programs in order to apply, and must be recommended by their music education advisor as well as their studio teacher. Students must apply for the FORTE program by the beginning of the junior year (fifth semester) so that scheduling of courses in the junior and senior years can be adjusted to facilitate student teaching in the ninth semester. All requirements other than student teaching must be completed in eight semesters. Applied study is not available to a student as part of this tuition-free semester. To begin the application process, students should consult with their academic advisor in the Music Education department.

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04.07 Minors and certificates (non-music)

Eastman students may establish a minor or undertake certificate studies in a field other than music through many of the departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. A list of possible minors and certificates (www.rochester.edu/college/certificates.html) is available on the College’s website. Students interested in adding a minor or certificate should research the coursework needed for their intended area of study, and then meet with the departmental advisor of that particular certificate to obtain final approval. Students must then complete the appropriate paperwork to obtain credit for the minor or certificate at the College’s Center for Academic Support. With some exceptions, these courses count toward the general (humanities/science) elective requirement in the Bachelor of Music degree.

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04.08 Transfer students

An individual is considered to be a transfer student at the Eastman School if he or she earned college level credit while matriculated (enrolled as a candidate for a degree) at an accredited university, college, or community college. Students who earn college-level credit while attending high school or who earn college level credit that is not part of a degree program are considered first time freshmen and not transfer students.

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04.08.01 Minimum residency requirement

Students who transfer to the Eastman School of Music from another college or university to earn a Bachelor of Music degree are required to complete a minimum of four consecutive full-time semesters at Eastman.

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04.08.02 Determination of class standing

Transfer class standing is dependent on the applied/primary instrument placement, as determined by the department, as well as on music academic placement. The latter is determined by placement exams as well as by a review of all earned academic credit. The initial class standing determination may be subject to change at the discretion of the department following the student’s first applied jury.

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04.08.03 Transfer credit for transfer students

The Eastman School reserves the right to validate, by examination, credit presented as requisite to a course for which a student wishes to register and which is required in his or her curriculum.  All transfer credit will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in conjunction with specific department chair.

Music Performance Component

  • Credit by examination may be awarded in applied study for students who are placed at a sophomore or junior level.  This same principle applies to ensemble credit.
  • A Piano placement examination is given during orientation week.  Although prior study may result in advanced placement, no transfer credit is awarded.

Music Academic Component

  • Music History transfer credit may be awarded with the approval of the Chair of Musicology and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs if the prior coursework is closely aligned with the requirements for the Eastman Music History core sequence and a minimum grade of B- was earned.
  • The Music Theory placement examination is given during orientation week.  Although prior study may result in advanced placement, no transfer credit is awarded.
  • All entering transfer students will be required to take EIC101 (Colloquium) unless they can present documentation that they have taken a similar course at another school. Depending on their remaining degree requirements, students transferring in with junior class standing may be exempt from taking EIC101.  The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will make this determination.

Humanities/Science Component

  • Students transferring from accredited institutions may, without examination, have the credit from humanities and sciences courses validated for credit.  Each course must be worth a minimum of 3 credits, and a grade of B- or better must be earned. Credit from courses taken on a pass/fail basis or distance-learning courses (correspondence or online courses) will not be considered for transfer credit.
  • Transfer students who have completed, with a minimum grade of B-, an equivalent writing course at another accredited college may be exempted from FWS121 (Freshman Writing Seminar).

(Update approved by the Academic Progress Committee, February 1, 2013)

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04.09 Dual degree program

04.09.01 General guidelines

The dual degree program is designed for students who have equally strong interests in music and another field such that they wish to undertake undergraduate degree work in both. Dual degree students are those who have applied to and been accepted by both the Eastman School and the College (Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), and are intending to complete a Bachelor of Music as well as a Bachelor of Arts or Science.

Given that each campus has its own independent offices (e.g. admissions, financial aid, registrar), each dual degree student will be assigned a primary college (either Eastman or the College) for administrative purposes. The sole determining factor in the assignment of the primary college is the financial benefit of the student; this decision is jointly made by the two financial aid offices upon the student’s admission to the dual degree program. As long as the student continues to make what both schools consider to be satisfactory progress toward both degrees, and assuming that all other factors remain the same, the institutional financial aid for which the student qualifies will remain in place for up to ten semesters.

Students who initially enrolled in a single degree program at the Eastman School may apply to add a second degree at the College. To do so, they should meet with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to discuss the impact of the second degree on their current program of study, and then complete an “Intent to Enroll Form” (available through the Admissions Office at the College.

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04.09.02 Satisfactory progress for dual degree students

Given the complexities of balancing the requirements of two distinct degrees, it is typical for students to take up to ten semesters to complete their degree study. The largely pre-professional study at the Eastman School consists of tightly-sequenced coursework, particularly in the first two years of study. As a result, dual degree students typically take only one or two courses on the River Campus during their freshman year and add courses as they progress in their degree programs.

To assist in the planning of their programs of study, dual degree students are advised by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Eastman School, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the College, and their assigned departmental advisors. The normal course load for a dual degree student varies between 18 and 24 credits, depending on the combination of majors.

In order to maintain enrollment in the dual degree program and to make progress toward the degree in the College, it is strongly recommended that students complete at least eight credit hours on the River Campus by the end of the first year, and 24 credits by the end of the second year. By the end of the fifth semester, dual degree students will be expected to have earned 32 credit hours and to have been officially accepted into a major in the College. Students may be dropped from the College degree program if these criteria have not been met.

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04.09.03 Special academic arrangements

Programs of study at the College are based on a cluster system; clusters are sets of related courses. Each cluster contains a minimum of twelve credits of coursework, which is equivalent, in most cases, to three courses. Each cluster falls within one of the three academic divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Engineering. In each of these three divisions, students will be expected to complete a formal set of coursework: a major, a minor, or a cluster. Special divisional clusters in the Humanities and Social Sciences have been devised and approved for dual degree students; they include coursework that is required for the Bachelor of Music degree. Students who major in a Natural Science discipline may take advantage of both of these special clusters. Other students, in addition to completing a major and one of these special clusters, will need to complete a cluster in the Natural Sciences. See www.rochester.edu/college/ccas/clusters for more details.

The freshman writing requirement for dual degree students may be fulfilled by successful completion of either FWS121 at Eastman or the College’s required freshman writing course, CAS105/105E.

Up to five years of private instruction are available to dual degree students: four consecutive years with their applied faculty instructor, followed by one year with that teacher’s teaching assistant. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the faculty member, the department, and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

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04.09.04 Requirements for graduation/Degree conferral

Dual degree students must complete all of the specified degree requirements for each degree in order to graduate from the University of Rochester’s dual degree program. Both degrees must be completed before either bachelor degree will be conferred.

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04.10 Special programs

The University of Rochester offers two unique programs that allow students to broaden their undergraduate experiences during a tuition-free semester or year.

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04.10.01 Take Five Scholars Program

The Take Five Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to acquire a liberal education that might not otherwise be available to them. Qualified students will be granted either one or two tuition-free semesters to take courses that significantly broaden their programs of study. Note that this program is not intended to be pre-vocational or to enhance a student’s marketability.

Students may apply to the program from the second semester of their sophomore year through the first semester of their senior year. Applications are reviewed in both the fall and spring semesters; students must attend an information session either at Eastman or at the College before they may apply to the program. Neither major applied study nor large ensemble participation is available during the extra semesters of enrollment of students admitted to the Take Five Scholars Program.


Detailed information can be found at www.rochester.edu/College/CCAS/TakeFive.

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04.10.02 Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Program

The KEY program provides accepted students with the opportunity to devote one or two semesters, tuition-free, to the study and/or practice of entrepreneurship. Proposals may include internships, special projects, business plan development, research into various facets of entrepreneurship, or analysis of how culture and public policy influence entrepreneurial activity.


Interested students should attend an information session to learn about the program and the guidelines that are in effect. For more information, see: Center for Entrepreneurship.

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04.10.03 Study Abroad Transfer Credit

The Conservatory Exchange Program expands opportunities for Eastman students by creating student exchanges with leading European conservatories. A semester or year abroad offers the chance to improve language skills, appreciate a different culture, find a unique educational experience, learn about national performing styles, complete important research, or seek career opportunities.

Students who Study Abroad through an approved program will have their course work evaluated on a case by case basis. Applied music and ensemble will automatically be transferred into the degree program. All course work will be evaluated by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the appropriate department chair for substitution in the student’s program of study.

Detailed information on the Conservatory Exchange Program the can be found at: http://tempest.esm.rochester.edu/admissions/ugrad/programs/#conservatory-exchange

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04.10.04 Eastman Initiatives Curriculum Internship

A supervised work experience (Internship) can provide a valuable educational experience that augments the regular academic program of students. Internships provide students with opportunities to establish professional networks, and they often lead to offers of employment after graduation. The Eastman School of Music provides students to enroll for unpaid internships, with either credit or no-credit options.

Eastman Initiatives Curriculum (EIC) 394: academic year, credit/no credit
Eastman Initiatives Curriculum (EIC) 396A: summer no credit
Eastman Initiatives Curriculum (EIC) 396B: summer for credit

Elements of the Internship Enrollment:

  1. The internship must be unpaid.
  2. Students may earn academic credit for unpaid internships in both for-profit and non-profit sectors.
  3. The purpose of the internship is to acquire experience at the professional level; the internship work must not be clerical in nature.
  4. Internships may be completed during the academic year or during the summer.
  5. Most internships will be completed during the junior or senior year, or in the rising junior/senior summer; freshmen and rising sophomores are not permitted to enroll for internships.
  6. All for-credit internships require first an Independent Study plan with a faculty sponsor.
  7. For-credit internship requests must be approved by the Professional Development Committee.
  8. To be approved for an internship, a student must be in good academic and judicial standing.

Detailed information on the Eastman Initiatives Curriculum Internship the can be found at: Eastman Initiatives Curriculum Link

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04.11 Absence policy

Regular and prompt class attendance is considered to be a crucial part of the learning process at the Eastman School of Music. For this reason, attendance policies for courses and ensembles are determined and managed by the faculty and departments. In all cases, it is a student’s responsibility to notify faculty in advance of any planned class absence and to discuss the impact on successful completion of the course of study. Students are expected to do this well in advance and to make up all missed work in a timely manner.

Eastman expects that its students will be presented with opportunities for professional growth and development. These may include job interviews, auditions for professional positions or graduate schools, and exceptional performance opportunities. Students are responsible for notifying each of their instructors well in advance.

All students who are absent from class for an extended period of time, or for a personal or medical emergency, should contact the Office of Academic Affairs so that their teachers may be notified. These notifications do not signify approval but are sent to instructors as a courtesy.

In some cases, the Dean of the School may authorize absences from classes due to special events or performing opportunities. The names of students involved in such organized activities must be reported to the Office of Academic Affairs in advance of each event. This report must describe all necessary information, including dates of absences and the specific purpose of the activity. The Office of Academic Affairs will notify faculty of the impending absence.

Questions or clarifications of the Absence Policy may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs. (Updated November 6, 2009)

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04.12 Grading policies and procedures

04.12.01 Grades, points and credit

Each faculty instructor determines the grading criteria for their courses and publishes them in the class syllabus. This includes expected assignments and exams, specific stipulations for successful course completion, and attendance policies.

Semester hours of credit are assigned to courses in accordance with the recommendations of the National Association of Schools of Music and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. In general, for classroom subjects, one semester hour of credit is assigned for each class hour per week per semester. Exceptions to this policy include large ensembles and chamber music, where less out-of-class time is required; and applied lessons, where significant out of class work is expected. For large ensembles and chamber music, two to four hours of instruction per week may be required for each hour of credit, while weekly applied lessons will receive two to four credit hours due to the significant amount of preparation required for each meeting.

Grades for undergraduate students are reported on one of the following two systems:

  • Letter grades: “A” excellent; “A-“; “B+”; “B” good; “B-“; “C+”; “C” fair; “C-“; “D+”; “D” poor; “D-“; “E” failure
  • “S” satisfactory; “E” failure

A grade of “I” incomplete may be awarded at the instructor’s discretion when required coursework is outstanding at the end of the semester. The letter “I” will precede the final grade if all work is completed within the time frame agreed to by the instructor (for example, “IB+” or “IS”). A final grade of “E” will be awarded if work is not completed by the specified deadline.

Should a passing grade be earned for a given course, students receive the number of semester credit hours assigned to the course. For the purposes of calculating a student’s grade point average, each grade is assigned a particular point value; this information appears on the back side of the official academic transcript: Transcript Key.

Any River Campus course counting towards an Eastman undergraduate requirement must be taken for a grade. After the required twenty-one additional credits of humanities and science electives have been completed, additional general studies courses taken on the River Campus may be graded with the Pass/Fail Option. No humanities courses may be taken at the Eastman School with the Pass/Fail Option.

Proposals for new course offerings are presented to the appropriate curriculum committee (the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for 100- and 200-level courses, and the Graduate Professional and Graduate Research Committees for 400- and 500-level course).Each course proposal includes a rationale for the assignment of credits to the course, based on the type of course and the proposed number of clock hours of meeting. The Eastman School of Music Registrar is responsible for ensuring accurate and reliable application of credit hour policies and procedures. The Proposal for a New Course Offering form is available to download from the Academic Affairs website: http://tempest.esm.rochester.edu/academic-affairs/new-course-offering-proposal/.

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04.12.02 Repeating failed courses

A course in which a student earns a grade of “E” (failure) may be repeated. A higher grade earned as the result of repeating a failed course also will be entered on the record, and both grades will be used in calculating his or her grade-point average.

When a student earns a failing grade in a required course, the course must be repeated. If the failure occurs at the end of the first semester in a course that normally extends through the entire year, the student may continue in the course only if the instructor deems it advisable. If a satisfactory level of achievement is reached by the end of the second semester, it will be considered that the student has reached that level of proficiency in that particular area.

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04.12.03 Dean’s List

At the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters, a list is issued of those students whose academic achievement warrants notation on the Dean’s List. The Dean’s List for the Eastman School of Music will include full-time undergraduate students who meet the following requirements:

  1. an overall semester GPA of 3.9 or above, and
  2. completion of 16 or more credit hours (12 credits in the senior year), at least 12 of which have normal letter grades (A through E)
  3. no “I” or “N” grades

Notation of Dean’s List standing is made on the official transcript.

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04.13 Progress towards degree completion

04.13.01 Minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines require undergraduate students at the Eastman School of Music to achieve a specified cumulative and current GPA, as well as accumulate a specific number of credit hours by the end of each semester. Students must meet these standards, which are based on federal regulations, in order to maintain their institutional merit scholarships, as well as federal aid. Academic progress is reviewed at the end of the fall and spring semesters by the Academic Progress Committee (comprised of the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Registrar, and the Director of Financial Aid).

The minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for a Bachelor of Music degree student are described in the chart below. Please note that while these guidelines allow students up to 10 semesters of Title IV eligibility to complete their degree program, students will only be allowed to take 8 semesters of applied lessons. Any additional semesters required to complete outstanding coursework will not include applied lesson instruction. Transfer students enter the SAP chart based on the number of credits transferred upon admission to Eastman.

At the end of semester… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A student must complete a least this many credits… 12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
And have a minimum current and cumulative GPA of… 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

In addition to the above guidelines, undergraduate students registered for a full-time course load are required to successfully complete at least 12 credits. Incompletes (I), No Grades (N) and Withdrawals (W) will be calculated as courses attempted and not completed, while audited courses will not factor into SAP calculations as no grade is earned for the course. Pass-Fail courses (S/E) are factored into SAP calculations as credits attempted and earned.

In addition to the above SAP guidelines, a student’s institutional merit aid may be reduced should they not maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 by the end of the first year of study.

Students may repeat a course due to failure only one time.  If a course is failed a second time, Federal Title IV Financial Aid will not pay for a third attempt.

Students who do not maintain SAP may face sanctions as described below (see 4.13.07 Impact on Merit-based Aid). Students will be notified in writing should there be any concerns regarding their progress in their programs of study and an electronic notation will be put into their academic and financial aid records.  The Registrar, Financial Aid, the student’s Department Chair, advisor(s) and parents of dependent students will receive copies of any written correspondence regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress.

04.13.02 Financial Aid and Academic Warning

Students who do not meet the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined above will be placed on Financial Aid and Academic Warning Status. Students on this status will be notified in writing by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the requirements which must be satisfied to remove themselves from this Warning.

Students on Financial Aid and Academic Warning Status will face a financial penalty and will lose some or all of any institutional merit scholarship they may be receiving (see 4.13.07 Impact on Merit-based Aid). Students cannot be on Warning for more than one semester, or else they risk suspension or dismissal from their studies at Eastman.

04.13.03 Suspension

A student who is not making sufficient progress in their degree, has their progress is impeded by failed required coursework, or has not been able to remove him/herself from a Financial Aid and Academic Warning status as required by the Office of Academic Affairs, will be suspended from their studies at the Eastman School of Music for one full semester or one full year depending on the student’s outstanding academic requirements. The terms and conditions of the suspension will be defined in a written letter to the student, and each of these must be met by the student before the Office of Academic Affairs will consider their re-instatement to full-time matriculated study. These terms may include (but are not limited to) completion of 12 credits of academic coursework at another institution with minimum grade expectations, as well as a re-audition on his/her applied instrument.

Students will be administratively registered as inactive (ESM 385) to maintain continuous enrollment.  With this registration comes an administrative fee per semester (see 04.00.02 Continuous Undergraduate Registration).

04.13.04 Appeals

Students who have been suspended may appeal to be reinstated to active status only in cases of extenuating medical or personal circumstances (e.g., a death in the family, significant documented illness of the student and/or immediate family member, or documented injury). The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Director of Financial Aid will review the appeals.

Appeals must be made in writing no later than 10 business days after the date of the letter of suspension.  Students must document their reason for appeal, provide a personal statement documenting how they plan to improve their success in the coming semester and provide any necessary supporting documents. Acceptable supporting documents may include:

  • A physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or injury
  • A written statement from a clergy, family member or other third party who knows the student’s situation
  • Newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths

Appeals in which students fail to submit adequate, acceptable and appropriate documentation or a written appeal within 10 business days will be denied.

Appeals will be assessed and approved on a case-by-case basis. If approved, the suspension will be lifted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation, and an academic action plan will be established in order to assist the student in regaining SAP.  Failure to complete the action plan may lead to the student’s dismissal.

04.13.05 Financial Aid and Academic Probation

Students may be placed on a Financial Aid and Academic Probation as the result of a successful suspension appeal.  A detailed academic action plan will be established by the Office of Academic Affairs and will define the conditions necessary for the student to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Students who meet the requirements of the academic action plan will have regained Satisfactory Academic Progress and be in good standing.  Should a student fail to meet the requirements of the academic action plan, they will be dismissed.

04.13.06 Academic Action Plans

Students who are not achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on an academic action plan and monitored by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.  The plans may include specific coursework which must be taken, minimum grade or musical performance requirements, or any other manner of academic action. The specific plans will be determined on a case-by-case basis in order to assist the student in regaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

04.13.07 Impact on Merit-based Aid 

A student’s institutional merit aid may be reduced if s/he does not maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the first year of study, or if s/he is placed on Financial Aid and Academic Warning or Probation.

  • 25% reduction of merit aid – Cumulative GPA is below a 3.0 at the end of the first year of study or any subsequent semester.
  • 50% reduction of merit aid – Financial Aid and Academic Warning
  • 100% reduction of merit aid – Financial Aid and Academic Probation

Reductions of merit aid are reexamined each semester, and if a student does not meet the above standard for a subsequent semester, an additional reduction will be assessed on top of the previous semester’s reduction. As soon as a student’s GPA rises above 3.0 or s/he is able to remove the Financial Aid and Academic Warning/Probation status, some or all of their merit scholarship will be restored for the remainder of their eligible time (see 04.13.10 Scholarship Aid Eligibility).

04.13.08 Other Forms of Academic Probation Departmental Probation

In addition to the minimum standards of academic progress listed above, students must also meet the expectations for good standing in their major, as defined by the major department. Students who are placed on departmental probation are only permitted one probationary semester to rectify their situation; if they are not able to do so, they will be dismissed from the major and/or their degree studies at Eastman. Performance Probation

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress in their principal instrument will be placed on performance probation. There are two types of performance probation.

Jury probation: Students will be placed on jury probation as a result of an unsatisfactory performance jury or failure to perform a jury. Students with documented medical concerns or emergencies may be permitted to postpone their jury by one semester with the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs.

Jury probation carries no financial penalty, but the probationary status must be removed within one semester or the student will be dismissed from the performance major and/or Eastman. Jury probation resulting from an unsatisfactory performance jury will be recorded as a grade of “incomplete” for the semester and may cause the delay of the student’s advancement in class year or reassignment of graduation date.  An incomplete in a jury will impact a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.

Lesson Probation: Students may be placed on lesson probation as a result of a semester grade of “C+” or lower in applied lessons. Lesson probation carries no financial penalty, but the student must earn the grade of “B-” or above in the subsequent semester or the student will be dismissed from the Eastman School of Music. Music Education Probation

Students who major in music education are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. In addition, the required minimum grade in all music education courses (courses with an MUE label) is B- or 2.7. If a student does not earn this minimum grade in a music education course, s/he will be required to re-take the course. Reviews of GPA will take place at the end of each semester by music education faculty. One semester of probationary status in the music education major may be given to bring the GPA into compliance.

Students must successfully complete all components of the sophomore review, or else they will be placed on departmental probation. They must demonstrate sufficient progress in the following semester in order to regain good standing in the major. In extreme cases where the student does not earn the minimum standard requirements in their attempt of the sophomore review, the student may be dismissed from the music education major. Theory Probation

A student who has failed two courses within the core undergraduate sequence will have probationary status for the remainder of their degree study. This probation carries no financial penalty, but the student must pass every remaining course in the core undergraduate sequence until graduation. Should a student fail a third theory/aural musicianship course, this will be considered unsatisfactory progress towards degree completion and may lead to dismissal from the Eastman School of Music. English As A Second Language Probation

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the undergraduate level are considered an integral part of a student’s humanities electives.  As a result, they are included in the calculation for SAP. Students who fail ESL courses may be suspended from their studies until which time they can successfully complete an academic action plan and return to retake the course.  The academic action plan may include additional intensive coursework in English and retaking the TOEFL exam in order to obtain a score designated by the Office of Academic Affairs. Failure of a second ESL course may lead to dismissal from the Eastman School of Music.

04.13.09 Dismissal

In cases where it is evident a student is not able to demonstrate the minimum expected standard of performance, or has not been able to remove him/herself from a final probationary status as required by the Office of Academic Affairs, the student will be dismissed from studies at the Eastman School of Music. Once a student has been dismissed, he/she may not be permitted to re-apply for future undergraduate study. Under extreme circumstances, this may extend to graduate study as well.

04.13.10 Scholarship Aid Eligibility 

Undergraduates who have completed all of their degree requirements will no longer be eligible for institutional merit aid or federal Title IV aid.

Bachelor of Music students should complete their degree in 8 full-time semesters.  Dual degree students (those pursuing both a Bachelor of Music degree at Eastman and a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree at the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering), should complete their degree in no more than 10 semesters.  Music Education double majors in the FORTE program are eligible for 9 semesters of scholarship.  Students with a double major in Performance and Music Education and a dual degree may receive scholarship aid for 11 semesters including a possible FORTE semester.  Appeals to this policy should be directed to the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and the Director of Financial Aid.

04.13.11 Academic progress requirements for state aid programs

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

In order to receive a TAP grant, an individual must be admitted as a full-time student in an approved program, meet New York State residency and income requirements, pursue the program of study in which he or she is enrolled, and make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her program of study.

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 6 15 27 39 51 66 81
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

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04.14 Graduation/Commencement

To be eligible for graduation, students must:

  • complete the prescribed degree program with a minimum GPA of 2.0,
  • satisfy the major department and applied music jury,
  • be recommended by the faculty for the degree, and
  • have completed the equivalent of at least eight full-time semesters of college study.

Students are encouraged to participate in May commencement ceremonies for their class year. Participation in the commencement ceremony and listing in the program booklet does not constitute graduation or degree conferral. The University permits students in the Take Five Scholars Program to participate in commencement ceremonies at the end of either their fourth or fifth year of study.

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04.14.01 Marching on completion

Students are assigned to (or re-assigned to) a particular class year if they are likely, expected, or eligible to complete their degree in May, August or December of that calendar year. Undergraduate students who will complete their eighth semester of study in May but must complete coursework during the summer or fall, must perform a recital, or will participate in the FORTE program through the Music Education department during the fall semester will be considered “on completion” and should plan on participating in the May commencement ceremonies of that calendar year. These students may not participate in the commencement ceremonies for the following class year.

Students who begin their studies in a January session and who will complete their eighth semester of study in December of their class year should plan on participating in the preceding May commencement (of the same calendar year). A student who will complete all degree requirements in December may participate in the following May commencement ceremonies on degree pending status only if they request, in writing to the Registrar, that their official class year be changed.

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04.14.02 Graduation Honors

Honors candidates for the Bachelor of Music degree with distinction will be limited to the top 33 percent (and ties) of the graduating class. They are allocated as follows:

  • Highest distinction: top 3% and ties
  • High distinction: the next 10% and ties
  • Distinction: the next 20% and ties

Honors are calculated at the end of the fall semester of the year in which the student is graduating. To be considered a candidate for such honors, a student must have completed at least 60 semester hours in residence and must show no unfinished “incompletes” on his/her record.

Note that for dual degree students, any determinations regarding honors will be dependent on the student’s primary campus.

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