Challey School of Music

This is an archived copy of the 2020-21 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Undergraduate Programs of Study

  • Music (major, minor)
  • Music Performance - Instrumental, Piano, Vocal (major)
  • Music Education - Instrumental, Vocal (major)

Graduate Programs of Study

  • Music
  • Musical Arts
  • Music Education

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.)
  • Master of Music (M.M.)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

Department Description

NDSU Challey School of Music prepares students for careers in teaching, performance, and related liberal studies. It also provides creative opportunities for all talented student musicians regardless of major, and seeks to foster an appreciation of music throughout the greater NDSU community.

NDSU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Programs of study lead to the Bachelor of Music with options in Performance and Music Education; the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Music; the Master of Music with options in Performance, Conducting, Theory Pedagogy, and Music Education; and the Doctor of Musical Arts with options in Performance and Conducting.


Admission to music major or minor programs is arranged through an audition and interview; for information, please contact the Division of Performing Arts office. All undergraduate music majors take private lessons, participate in ensembles, and take a broad range of courses appropriate to their areas of emphasis. All music courses must be passed with a grade of 'C' or better. A performance achievement jury must be passed prior to registration in 300-level applied study.

The Bachelor of Music degree in Performance is for talented vocalists and instrumentalists who wish a career as a professional performer or conductor, and who will likely continue their studies in graduate school. The Bachelor of Music degree with certification in Music Education is for students who wish to teach K-12 music in North Dakota’s public schools. Certification requirements for other states varies, but North Dakota licensure is congruent with that of many other states. Experiences in a broad spectrum of music education courses—elementary, instrumental, and voice/choral—results in NDSU’s outstanding reputation for producing teachers with excellent and versatile credentials.

Music majors pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree (without public school teaching certification) are generally interested in a broad liberal arts education with a significant number of electives.

Music majors and minors supplement their course work by attending recitals and concerts. Those in applied study perform for the jury examination at the end of each semester. Students enrolled in private applied study also participate in a related major ensemble; pianists sometimes play with chamber ensembles or accompany large ensembles.


The NDSU Challey School of Music sponsors a large variety of ensembles including the NDSU Wind Symphony, Concert Choir, University Symphony Orchestra, Madrigal Singers, two large Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combos, the Gold Star Marching Band, Brass Ensemble, University Chamber Singers, NDSU Statesmen (men's choir), Cantemus (women's choir), University Band, Bison Pep Bands, NDSU Opera Theatre, and chamber ensembles in typical instrumental and vocal combinations.  The Concert Choir, Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Madrigal Singers and several other groups have touring programs, some of which are national or international in scope. Participation in these ensembles is open to all students, some by audition and some as open-enrollment ensembles.

Music Curricula

Requirements are grouped by degree. Please refer also to graduation requirements listed in the Academic Policies section of this publication. The information in this Bulletin may be superseded by information updated regularly and provided by the Challey School of Music.