Music Theory

Your future in music theory

Are you fascinated by different forms of music? Do you want to gain a better understanding of music? Then you should pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory at the University of North Texas.

Music theory involves studying music structures and forms, musical ideas and developing critical thinking skills. For Music Theory majors, a bachelorís degree can be the first step toward a teaching career at a college, university or conservatory. It also equips you with the skill and insight for interpreting music at an advanced level.

What we offer

Our faculty members provide you expert guidance in areas ranging from ancient Oriental music to contemporary popular music, with in-depth study in Western music from the Renaissance to contemporary post-tonal practices. They have earned recognition from the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology for their work. In addition to their scholarly contributions, many are nationally and internationally known award-winning musicians and performers.

We also give you the opportunity to:

  • Access one of the nationís largest music libraries
  • Discover your potential in classes with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Meet some of the worldís top music scholars and artists through specialized lectures and events hosted by the Division of Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology
  • Perfect your instrumental or vocal techniques in one of our 300 practice rooms
  • Perform in state-of-the-art performance halls with exceptional acoustics
  • Take advantage of countless solo, chamber music and ensemble opportunities

Scholarships are available to help you pursue your education. These scholarships are awarded based on talent and an audition.

The College of Music is a community of diverse talent and inspiration. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21; Reston, Va. 20190-5248; telephone 703-437-0700). This distinction means the college meets or exceeds the associationís strict academic standards for excellence in education.

What to expect

You will need to be admitted to the College of Music through an audition in addition to applying to the university. Auditions are held on campus during the spring semester for enrollment the following fall. If you cannot audition in person, a recording may be submitted. Placement exams in music theory and piano are required once you are accepted to the college.

As a Music Theory major, you will take courses in aural and keyboard skills and theoretical concepts. Other course work involves:

  • Advanced sight reading and music composition
  • Learning the craft of counterpoint in 16th- and 18th-century styles
  • Studying form and harmonic analysis
  • 12 credit hours of lessons in voice or an instrument and 2 credit hours of secondary piano (If your instrument is the piano, you will complete 2 credit hours of lessons in another instrument or in voice.)
  • Two years of French or German language courses
  • Schenkerian analysis and post-tonal analytical methods
  • Completing a senior research project to help you acquire the investigative skills needed to prepare for graduate school and teach at a university
  • Participating in a student ensemble each fall and spring semester

Our Career Center, Learning Center and professional academic advisors are among the many valuable resources that are available to you at UNT. The Career Center can provide advice about internships, future employment opportunities and getting hands-on experience in your major. The Learning Center offers workshops on speed reading, study skills and time management. Academic advisors will help you plan a class schedule each semester.

How to enroll at UNT

High school students

We encourage you to fulfill the graduation requirements for the distinguished level of achievement under the Texas Foundation, Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school program or the equivalent.

In your junior year, take the SAT or the ACT and have your scores sent to UNT.

In the fall of your senior year, apply for admission to UNT and to audition for the College of Music by the first Monday in December. You can apply for admission to UNT at Apply Texas. The College of Music application, audition requirements, audition dates and repertoire are available on our website.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses can count toward college credit at UNT.

Transfer students

If you're attending a Texas community college, you should consult our online transfer guides, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor or advisor to review your degree plan. Proper planning will allow you to receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Our Transfer Center will help you make a successful transition to college life at UNT by connecting you with a peer mentor and other campus resources. Each year, 3,900 students transfer to UNT. More information about the center is at