B.F.A. in Jazz & Contemporary

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Jazz and Contemporary Music is intended for students wishing to pursue careers as singers, instrumentalists, composers and arrangers. These students also make up the various jazz, funk, blues, rock, R&B, fusion, and world ensembles as well as a wide range of vocal groups.

Course Requirements

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music is designed for exceptional students who plan to pursue professional careers immediately after graduation. The B.F.A. program differs from the B.A. program in its expanded curriculum requirements and higher standards regarding the development of professional skills and theoretical knowledge.

I.   Required courses in the major—65-75 hours, including: MUSC 150, 201, 202, 231, 232, 295, 296, 301, 331, 382, 393, 394; 12 hours of music history, including 357, one course from 348 or 349, and one course from 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348 or 349 (whichever not previously chosen), 350, 367, or 368; 12 hours of applied music: MUSC 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492; 8 hours of ensemble chosen from MUSC 113, 114, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 128, 129. Students whose level of proficiency does not allow them to start with MUSC 201, 231 and 291 will be required to complete MUSC 101, 130, 131, 191 and/or 192 prior to taking the higher level courses. These demonstrated proficiencies are determined by the music theory placement exam and the audition for the major

II.   Required courses outside the major—None.

III.  Other departmental requirements—Major competency is demonstrated through lecture and recital.

Review UNC Asheville’s Course Catalog for all course descriptions and degree requirements.

Sample Curriculum for the B.F.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music Degree

This Sample Curriculum is provided as an aid to the student. It is not the definitive statement of degree requirements. It is the sole responsibility of the student to know and satisfy his or her degree requirements. When in question, consult the course catalog published during the year you were accepted into the degree program at UNC ASheville. Also refer to Department of Music guidelines for additional requirements. The Office of the Registrar can also provide information and assistance.

Format: (course number) (course title or category) (number of credit hours)

Note: Introductory Theory (with significant aural skills component) and Class Piano will be offered each Fall semester (not required; offered as remedial). Applied 191 and 192 will be offered every semester (not required; offered as remedial).

  • Aural Skills I, Spring (1)
  • Aural Skills II, Fall (1)
  • Aural Skills III (1); Spring
  • Theory I, Spring (3)
  • Theory II, Fall (3)
  • Theory III (3); Spring
  • Harmony and Improv I (2)
  • Harmony and Improv II (2)
  • Harmony and Improv III (3)
  • Harmony and Improv IV (3)
  • Contemporary Writing and Production I (2)
  • Music History I (3)
  • Music History II (3)
  • Jazz History (3)
  • Music Business I (3)
  • Applied 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492; (Total 12)
  • 8 hours of ensemble;
  • 6 hours of music electives at the 300-400 level

Total: 62 Hours


In order to be accepted into a UNC Asheville music degree program, applicants must first pass an instrumental or vocal audition placing them into MUSC 291 or higher. See the Auditions webpage for audition requirements. It is highly recommended that students pass an audition before enrolling at UNC Asheville.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Music

Students who pass a Music Department audition are eligible to formally declare the major after satisfying the LANG 120 requirement, demonstrating piano competency through the MUSC 101 level and successfully completing Aural Skills I and Music Theory I. Note: Demonstration of piano competency may also be satisfied by completion of *MUSC 101 Class Piano I, which is the prerequisite for Theory I and Aural Skills I.

Declaration of Major or Minor

Students can declare their major or minor online.