Bachelor of Music Theory

Music theory encompasses a variety of activities which all focus on understanding music. It includes such diverse fields as music analysis, the development of new theories of music and musical structure, history of theory, music perception and cognition, aesthetics of music, music theory pedagogy, and computer-assisted music instruction.

Pursuing Music Theory at Ohio State

Students interested in music theory should develop performance skills in preparation for the School of Music entrance audition. Piano lessons and music theory classes are also recommended, if available.

All students planning to pursue a music major complete an entrance audition and the Theory Placement Exam (TPE). Normally students do this during the senior year in high school on a scheduled Audition Day. Transfer students and students already at Ohio State should also plan to complete an audition and the TPE. Acceptance into the Bachelor of Music degree program in music theory requires a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative point-hour ratio (CPHR) in first- and second-year music theory courses and in first- and second-year aural training courses, admission to the second-year level of performance (private lessons) on the student’s principal instrument, and approval by the music theory and composition area faculty.

School of Music students should apply for acceptance into the Bachelor of Music degree program in music theory at the end of the second year or the beginning of the third year of study.

Career Prospects in Music Theory

Most music theorists continue their studies in graduate school and earn a doctoral degree before becoming a college teacher or university professor. Recent Ohio State music theory majors have gone on to graduate school at Indiana University, the University of Ottawa, The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, and SUNY at Stony Brook, as well as at Ohio State.

Undergraduate Curriculum information