School of Fine and Performing Arts

Bachelor of Arts in Music

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Why Choose Music?

You can harness the power of music and its ability to express and communicate while studying music at Wright State. You will develop knowledge, technical skill, and the use of technology in our multifaceted curriculum. After graduation, pursue a career as a performer, composer, arranger, teacher, cultural administrator, or community leader. Graduates of Wright State’s music programs have proven successful in all of these fields. Choose a Bachelor of Arts program, add a minor to your current major, or continue on to graduate work and earn your Master of Music in music education or performance.


Our graduates work as and are employed by:

  • Music teacher – Mad River Local Schools
  • Worship and music leader – New Life United Methodist Church
  • Director of bands and choir – Kansas City Schools
  • Singer/dancer – Carnival Cruise Line
  • Voice teacher – Piano Preparatory School

The Center for Liberal Arts Student Success (CLASS) helps you complete your degree and achieve success after college. CLASS offers the following workforce development services:

  • Personalized and professional career advising
  • Liberal arts student career success series
  • Experiential education/Internships
  • Career-related programs and events
  • Liberal arts liaison for all Wright State career resources and services

Success Stories

Margaret Erin, who graduated magna cum laude from Wright State, directs and plays recorder and viola da gamba with Wind in the Woods Early Music Ensemble. She started this group in 1990. Under her direction, Wind in the Woods has played throughout southwest Ohio and beyond.

Academics and Curriculum

View the Bachelor of Arts in Music program information, degree requirements, and graduation planning strategy in the Academic Catalog.


The path to becoming a music major is different than for other majors. The information below will guide you through the process of becoming a School of Fine and Performing Arts student. This process is necessary for all students who apply to the School of Fine and Performing Arts regardless of your desired degree program.

  1. To be a student of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, you must also apply and be accepted into Wright State University. Review the admission requirements and complete the admission application.
  2. Apply to the Music Program. To apply to the program, fill out and submit the undergraduate application.
  3. Prepare for your audition. Review the audition requirements for your instrument and detailed information about your audition day.

International Students

Explore a great musical and cultural opportunity.

Why study music at Wright State?
  • Large enough to offer outstanding musical opportunities, small enough to offer personal attention, Wright State offers a friendly musical environment to learn and grow.
  • Outstanding faculty, with artists and scholars committed to teaching students.
  • High quality performance ensembles.
  • A great location. Dayton offers a vibrant musical environment with other major cities of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis a short drive away.
  • Financial aid is available for graduate and undergraduate students. Visit the University Center for International Education website to learn more.
  • Graduate performance options include: Master of Music in Performance-Instrumental/Vocal/Conducting; Master of Music in Music Education; Master of Humanities in Music.
Where Musicians Succeed

Interpret music of master composers by looking for emotions and expressions behind the notes. Learn how to perform music in a communicative and meaningful way. See how others have found success at Wright State.

"Studying abroad, an experience of a life time."

"Studying at Wright State University has been one of the highlights of my life."

"I am inspired by, and have learned a lot from my professor and fellow-students. Most importantly, I have acquired much knowledge in interpreting music of master composers by looking for emotions and expressions behind the notes, and have learned how to perform music in a communicative and meaningful way."

"I am proud to say that I have made an excellent decision in coming to study at Wright State University."

— Peggy Lau, Piano Performance Major from Macau; 2008 Concerto-Aria Night winner;
Soloist with WSU Symphony Orchestra in Chopin’s Piano Concerto #2 in F minor, March 3, 2009

Admission Requirements

Review Wright State University international admission requirements.

  • Completed graduate/undergraduate application form and application fee
  • Official transcripts from high school or higher education institution attended with English translation attached
  • A financial statement form
  • Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or students who show proof of successful completion of an Intensive English Program from an accredited Institution or program accepted by international admissions are exempt from the requirement to take an approved English Proficiency exam.)
  • CD of applicant performing
  • Current bank statement in US dollars (for I-20)
  • Copy of passport showing name & birth date (for I-20)

Scholarships and Financial Aid

As a music student, several sources of financial aid are available to you.


Music scholarships are awarded initially on the basis of two criteria: (1) excellence in an applied music audition, and (2) demonstration of individual potential to develop performance skills. These scholarships are not based on need but are primarily talent-based. Auditions for continuing students are held each spring for the following academic year

Music scholarships may be renewed each semester for up to four years. Scholarships range from $500 a year to full tuition. Less than 1/3 of all music students are on music scholarships. Please contact the School of Fine and Performing Arts at 937-775-2346 for more information.


Academic Requirements

Every semester the student must:

  • Earn an A or a B in applied music and in the assigned major music ensemble
  • Not earn an X in any required music course
  • By the end of the first year of full-time enrollment at Wright State, the freshman or transfer student must have earned a cumulative (all courses) GPA of 2.5 or better.
  • After the first year or 45 credit hours, the student must continue to earn a quarterly GPA (all courses) of 2.5 or better.
  • Transfer students must meet the same criteria of 2.5 by the end of their first year or completion of 45 credit hours at Wright State.

Applied Music Requirements

The student must study applied music for 2 or 4 credits per semester in the applied music area which awarded the scholarship until degree requirements have been met (an exception to this requirement may be made during the semester of student teaching for music education majors).

The student must progress satisfactorily in applied music (no retentions). In extraordinary circumstances, the Applied Board, which awarded a scholarship, may grant an exception to this policy.

  • ARTSGALA Scholarships
    ARTSGALA Scholarships are special scholarships given to the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Funding comes from a special event held in late March or early April of each year called the ARTSGALA. These departments help organize and prepare, as well as perform, at this fundraising event in the CAC.

    Students must qualify for this scholarship by filing a FAFSA form, qualifying for financial need, be recommended by the faculty for superior performance ability, and their permanent residence must be in the Dayton area. These scholarships are very prestigious and the students chosen receive publicity exposure at the ARTSGALA. The recipients are required to have a publicity photograph taken, at the School’s expense, and to write a one-page biography for publicity by local media. These selected recipients are also expected to help prepare for, perform at, and be visible during the ARTSGALA.
  • University Scholarships
    University scholarships are available from the university. Criteria vary with each award. Visit the Loans, Scholarships, and Grants page on the Enrollment Services (RaiderConnect) website for more information.
  • Music Scholarships
    The Music Program awards a number of special scholarships each academic year. These scholarships have been funded by a number of donors and patrons. Criteria and application process varies by scholarship.

Students Transferring to Wright State

The School of Fine and Performing Arts cannot offer music talent scholarships to transfer students without a signed release from the current institution.
NASM Code of Ethics Article IV, section 3 (DOCX) articulates this accreditation ruling. Please see the School of Fine and Performing Arts chair if you have questions.

Grants and Loans

  • Ohio Instructional Grant
  • Basic Educational Opportunity Grant
  • National Direct Student Loan Program

Applications need to be filed with the appropriate agency. Enrollment Services (RaiderConnect) will supply the necessary forms and assist in their completion.

Community Music Division Program

Community Music Division (CMD) is a program in the Music Program that allows music students and faculty to teach non-credit, applied music lessons in the Creative Arts Center. Those teaching these classes are compensated financially. For more information on teaching CMD classes, contact the School of Fine and Performing Arts at 937-775-2346

NOTE: Anyone teaching lessons for a fee on Wright State property, whether in the CAC or not, must go through the CMD program. Failure to do so is in violation of state law and constitutes a criminal offense.

Other Sources

A variety of non-Wright State financial aid resources are available to qualifying students. Although the agencies that provide these resources are not affiliated with Wright State or the School of Fine and Performing Arts and although Wright State is in no way responsible for any information given by these agencies, prospective students might consider exploring these resources.

MusicScholarships.US provides information on music scholarships, grants, competitions and awards resources for students preparing for a career in music. Their database of public and private music scholarships and competition awards for undergraduate/graduate school is regularly updated.


Take the Next Step

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