two music students consult with a professor in a practice room with piano and whiteboard

Music Theory

The foundation of the music theory program is a rigorous two-year undergraduate sequence that instructs all music majors and minors in written theory and aural skills.

What to Expect

Students have the opportunity to explore interests in related fields such as musicology, composition and computer music and to work closely with faculty mentors on undergraduate research projects.

We also provide students with a wide variety of innovative courses in composition, conducting, education, history and performance, designed to serve the needs of our program.

Undergraduate Degree

B Bachelor of Music in Music Theory (B.M.)

Offered by the School of Music, the Bachelor of Music undergraduate degree program provides excellent general education combined with rigorous training in an area of emphasis (composition, jazz studies, music education, music theory or performance).

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in music theory:

  • Music Theory I-IV
  • Aural Skills I-IV
  • History of Western Music I-III
  • Recital Class (and laboratory)
  • Music Advocacy I: Understanding the Power of Your Music
  • Music Composition I-II
  • Orchestration
  • Form and Analysis
  • Post-Tonal Music Theory
  • Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint
  • Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint
  • Ensembles

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

Our Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the most current information on the application process so you can check the requirements based on your current status and find university scholarships.

I really enjoy studying with the teachers in the music theory department. Not only do they have incredible knowledge of the subject, but also they are passionate for my success in the field.

Spencer Martin
Photo of Spencer Martin

Graduate Degrees

One-on-one training with world-class faculty members and visiting artist/teachers and diverse performance opportunities prepare our graduates for the challenges of a career in music. The School of Music offers a Master of Music with a music theory concentration.

M  Master of Music in Music Theory (M.M.)

Graduate Director: Clifford Leaman, 803-576-5893,
Program Contact: Traci Hair, 803-777-4106,

Application information for graduate programs is available through The Graduate School. 

Apply to Graduate School 

Learn more about The Graduate School, degree options and how to apply for admission to doctoral, master’s, certificate and combination degree programs at South Carolina.