Special Studies


Through enrollment in a Special Studies course in the Department of Music (MUS 82, 83, 84, and 86), students engage in independent study in history, musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, composition, performance, or another area under the direction of a music department faculty member. Special Studies courses are one term long and earn the student one credit upon completion.


  • MUS 82 | Special Study in History, Musicology, or Ethnomusicology
  • MUS 83 | Special Study in Composition and Theory
  • MUS 84 | Special Study in Performance
  • MUS 86 | Other Special Studies

Proposal and Registration

Before registering for a Special Studies course in the music department, an interested student must:

  1. Identify a music department faculty member who is willing to supervise the independent study.
  2. Discuss goals, expectations, deadlines, and other details with the supervising professor. In collaboration with the supervising professor, the student should complete a Special Studies Proposal Form. If the supervising professor approves of the plan outlined, both parties sign the proposal form.
  3. Email a PDF scan of the signed proposal form to the department chair (CCing the supervising professor and the department administrator) for final approval before the end of the course election period of the term during which the proposed Special Studies course is to be taken. Please note that the course election period is earlier than the course change period and the schedule adjustment period; see the Registrar's Term Calendar for more information.
  4. After receiving approval from the department chair, you may register for MUS 82, 83, 84, or 86 in Banner.

Deadlines for submitting signed proposals to the department chair:

  • Spring 2024 Special Studies: February 15, 2024
  • Summer 2024 Special Studies: May 2, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Special Studies: May 16, 2024
  • Winter 2025 Special Studies: November 7, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Special Studies: February 20, 2025