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Liberal Arts

SIU School of Music Liberal Arts Specialization

Going off to college doesn't erase a lifetime of music appreciation any more than it can the ability to ride a horse or paint a lifelike bowl of fruit. Our Liberal Arts specialization allows students with significant musical backgrounds to continue performing and studying their instruments at a university level, while maximizing the versatility of an arts degree.

If you love music but feel the excitement of other futures tugging at you, too, this program is designed to keep you exercising your musical prowess—while flexibly combining it with other passions and interests. Believe it or not, we've seen just about everything...and we'll never make you choose. From the student pilot unwilling to sacrifice his Yamaha, to finance and management students who never miss a convocation, we understand and are anxious to work with you. Whether you're considering a double major, or just want help finding electives to get you to all the places you're going, we'll be marching right alongside you.

SIU Music Student singing in class

Bachelor of Art (Liberal Arts)

The undergraduate major can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Art (B.A.) degree.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 120 credit hours
  • University Core Curriculum: 39 credit hours
  • Theory: 16 credit hours
  • History-Literature: (3) + 5 credit hours
  • Conducting: 1 credit hours
  • Partial Recital: 1 credit hours
  • Specialization Requirements: 52 credit hours

Compass IconCheck out the B.M. Curricular Guide, which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for all four years. View all related undergraduate courses.


Music majors are required to participate in major musical ensembles throughout the academic year, such as SIU's Concert Choir, Marching Salukis, Southern Illinois Symphony or Wind Ensemble. Additionally, The Outside the Box music festival is produced each year, providing opportunities for composition students to attend master classes, seminars, workshops and to perform in the Emerging Composers recital during the event.

Visit the School of Music for a full list of participation opportunities.


The SIU School of Music has more than 30 scholarships available. A large variety of criteria exist for these awards and are listed below outlining the eligibility requirements.

Undergraduate Admissions and Auditions

To apply to the undergraduate music program, prospective students are required to submit both a University application as well as a School of Music application. In addition to these applications, you will be required to complete an in-person audition at Altgeld Hall on campus, or a live online audition if traveling is not possible. Our Admissions and Auditions page will give you all of the details necessary to begin early preparation for your applications and an audition for each specific instrument.


At SIU, rehearsals and performances take place in the oldest currently occupied building on campus, Altgeld Hall. With state of the art spaces for choral performers and musicians of every kind, this majestic building is a second home to many students of the music program and a place to enhance their experience as a burgeoning artist.


Contact Information

Karen Wolf
Academic Advisor
Faner 1229
1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Jessica Butler
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Altgeld 22
1000 S Normal Ave
Carbondale, IL 62901

SIU Music Liberal Art Student in front of Altgeld Hall