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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome! Please scroll through our frequently asked questions to learn more. If your question is not answered down below, please send us a question via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

As a reminder, music advisors can assist on academic advising as it relates to major/minor requirements and the overall undergraduate music program. For questions regarding general education requirements and/or university requirements, please reach out to your college's advisors. 


Music Majors

What majors does the department offer?

The department offers three majors: Music, Music Humanities, and ICAM-Music. The Music Major emphasizes the development of musical listening and performance as applied to both contemporary and traditional music. The Music Humanities Major is intended for students who wish to pursue a broad liberal arts program that includes music as a central element. The ICAM-Music Major draws upon music and visual arts and aims to bring together ideas and paradigms from computer science, art, and cultural theory. Please refer to each major's web page to learn more. 

How do I declare a Music major?

Complete the online major declaration on My TritonLink. It is recommended that you speak with a music advisor to determine if the major is right for you and if you can complete it within your years at UC San Diego. 

Music Minors

What minors does the department offer?

We offer a Music minor and an ICAM-Music minor. Please visit our Minors web page to learn more about minor requirements.

How do I declare a Music minor?

Complete the online minor declaration on My TritonLink. Though this can be done at home, we recommend coming in to the department office for assistance with submitting the form correctly. It’s suggested you come in with a list of courses you want to use for the minor. 

What grading option should I choose for the minor courses?

You can take the courses for Pass/No Pass or Letter grade. You can mix & match! However, if you are using a course to fulfill a requirement for your college, be sure to check with the advising office that a limit does not exist on how many courses can be taken as P/NP. 

Can I use minor courses to meet my college GE requirements?

You will need to check with your college to determine which courses are acceptable. 

Once I declare the minor, am I required to take only the courses I listed on the minor form?

No. The courses and grading options listed on the original minor declaration form can be changed at any time. You also have the ability to drop the minor at any time. 

Can I start taking classes before declaring the minor?

Yes, but we recommend declaring the minor prior to taking the courses. 

Performance Ensembles

Can I join an ensemble?

Performance Ensembles are open to all UC San Diego students! Some ensembles will be audition-based which means that before you can enroll in the course, you must pass the audition first. Quarterly audition information can be found here


How do I enroll in an audition-based ensemble?

Auditions typically take place the first week of every quarter. Instructors will provide us with the list of students who have passed their auditions and then we can pre-authorize those students for enrollment. This means that, unlike other courses where you enroll in them weeks before the start of the quarter, you will not be able to enroll in an audition-based ensemble until around Week 2 of the quarter.

What ensembles do not require an audition?

The following ensembles do not require an audition: 

  • MUS 95C: Concert Choir 
  • MUS 95G: Gospel Choir 
  • MUS 95W: World Music Ensemble 
Please note: this list is subject to change.

Individual Lessons

Do I have to be a Music student to take lessons?

Yes. Students must be a declared music major or a music minor (exceptional case by case basis) to be eligible for an audition for lessons. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled in a performance or non-performance music course while taking a lessons course. 

How can I learn about the audition requirements?

Lesson audition requirements will vary by instrument. Please visit the Lessons web page to learn more.

When are auditions held?

Auditions are held at the beginning of every academic year during Welcome Week (Week 0) of Fall Quarter. Please see the Lessons web page to find specific instructions and room locations.

How do I enroll?

The department will notify students directly on the outcomes of their audition. For students who pass their auditions, they will receive a confirmation with a notice of clearance to enroll in either MUS 32/132 and then be able to enroll via WebReg.

Do you offer beginning lessons?

No. Students must be at least at an intermediate skill level. We do have a Musicians Referral Directory, which lists instructors who teach privately for a fee.


Are there any courses I can test out of?

The department offers proficiency exams for the MUS 1, 2, and 2K Series at the beginning of every academic year during Welcome Week. Please refer to our Proficiency Exams web page to learn more.

Is there a list of courses offered for the year?

Yes, the Courses by Quarter web page displays what the department plans on offering throughout the academic year. Please note: this list is subject to change. 

Can I take other music courses besides ensemble courses?

If all prerequisites are met and there is space in the course, non-music students can enroll in music courses. Please note: enrollment is not guaranteed. Music Majors will receive priority enrollment for their major's course requirements. Please visit Music Course Catalog to explore music course descriptions and prerequisite information. 


Where is the Department of Music located?

Conrad Prebys Music Center (CPMC) is located on Russell Lane across the street from Pepper Canyon Hall & Gilman Parking Structure. Please see Maps for more information. 

May I use a practice room?

Practice rooms are available to declared Music majors, Music minors, and only non-music students who are actively enrolled in a Music course. We ask that all other students refrain from utlilizing these spaces to ensure we have adequate resources available to our students.

Do you have lockers?

A locker for storage of personal instruments is available to Department of Music Graduate Students, Undergraduate Majors, and Minors who are currently enrolled in a Music course. Lockers are assigned to suit the primary instrument of the user.

Does the department ever loan instruments to students?

Students are responsible for providing their own instruments. Instrument loans for Performance Ensemble courses are considered on a case by case basis.