Entry-Level Writing or English as a Second Language (ESL)
Entry-Level Writing is the only requirement for graduation that students must satisfy before entering UCLA or during their first year in residence.

American History and Institutions
The American History and Institutions requirement is based on the principle that a U.S. citizen attending an American university should understand the history and public institutions of the U.S. under the federal and state constitutions.


Unit Requirement for Graduation
The minimum number of units for the Bachelor’s degree is 180 (counting Advanced Placement units) and a maximum of 216 units (not counting Advanced Placement units). Of the 180-216 units, 60 units must be upper division (numbered 100-199) and up to eight units of 300 level courses may be applied toward the degree for Music majors concentrating in Music Education.

Writing I
Students who have not been exempted from Writing I, should complete English Composition 3 at UCLA within the first three quarters of residency. For more information about how to fulfill this requirement, visit the general catalog online.

Writing II
One course from the list of approved Writing II courses (available online, through degree audits, or in the General Catalog). Musicology students fulfill Writing II via a major requirement: MSC HST 12W.

Quantitative Reasoning
Students must complete one course from the list of approved quantitative reasoning courses (available online, through degree audits, or in the General Catalog).

Foreign Language
All students must complete at least level 3 of a foreign language at UCLA. The requirement must be completed within the first six terms of residence. For more information about how to fulfill this requirement, visit the general catalog online. Note: Music majors have specific foreign language requirements, so please review the General Catalog for further information.

Students must complete one course from the faculty-approved list of diversity courses (available online, through degree audits, or in the General Catalog).

General Education
Herb Alpert School of Music students must complete eight general education courses (a minimum of 38 units) with an average grade of “C” (2.0) or better. Transfer students who have completed IGETC or transfer students who have completed General Education Requirements at another UC campus prior to being admitted to UCLA are not required to complete the School’s GE requirements. Transfer students who entered with partial IGETC must complete their requirements by the summer of their first year at UCLA. Courses must be taken from all three areas of UCLA’s General Education program as follows:

  • Foundations of the Arts and Humanities: Three courses from: 1) Literary and Cultural Analysis, 2) Philosophical and Linguistic Analysis, and 3) Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice. Courses in the student’s major field may meet these requirements.
  • Foundations of Scientific Inquiry: Two courses in either (different departments) or both subgroups: 1) Life Sciences and 2) Physical Sciences.
  • Foundations of Society and Culture: Three courses at least one from each of the two subgroups: 1) Historical Analysis and 2) Social Analysis.


In addition to the University and School requirements, all students must also fulfill major requirements. To obtain a full list of major requirements, please reference the General Catalog on the Registrar’s Office website and pick up a program Check Sheet available on the School of Music website or at OSSEM. If you have questions, please ask your academic advisor.

Majors within the School of Music are designated capstone majors. Through preparation for and execution of their senior capstone projects, students demonstrate a level of proficiency appropriate for their role in department.

A Note About the Music Theory Placement Test
All entering students (freshmen and transfer) in Ethnomusicology (World Music only), Music, and Musicology are required to take the Music Theory Assessment Examination either during New Student Orientation or during zero week of Fall Quarter. The examination score is used to determine eligibility and placement in first-year music theory course (Music 20A). Examination results may require enrollment in Music 3 as a requisite to 20A.

A Note About the Musicianship Placement Test
All entering students in Ethnomusicology, Music, and Musicology  are required to take ETHNMUS/MUSC/MSC HST M6A. To enroll in M6A, students must take the Musicianship Placement Test on the first day of class during week zero. The examination score is used to determine placement in a section of M6A.

A Note About Ensembles
Ethnomusicology (World Music) majors should attend several ensembles in which they’re interested during Week 1 to determine requirements to be in the classes (e.g. auditions). Instrumental Music majors (except piano, voice, guitar, and organ) are advised to visit for information about auditions. Piano and Voice students who wish to join chorale (MUSC C90A), or chamber singers (MUSC 90C) should contact Professor James Bass directly. Voice students who wish to join opera should contact Professor Peter Kazaras directly. Guitar and Organ students are required to join chorale, chamber singers, or piano accompaniment (MUSC C90Q) if they do not have secondary instrument with which to audition into an ensemble.