Music Major, Full

Between five and ten students each year choose to major in music and receive the degree of Bachelor of Science in Music (Course 21M) or the joint major, Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Engineering/Science (Courses 21E and 21S).  Many students complete full (dual) majors in music and another field and receive a degree acknowledging both fields. Students interested in pursuing the music major should contact the Major Advisor as early as possible, but definitely by the fall of their Junior year at MIT.

The undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Music comprises a grounding in foundational skills in music history and culture, performance, and music theory and a capstone Advanced Seminar. 

The full major requires 120 units (normally nine 12-unit classroom subjects and two 6-unit performance subjects).  Music majors (single, joint, or double) may also use music as their HASS concentration as well as their HASS-Arts and one HASS-Elective class.  Thus, double major graduates will need to take at least five classes (60 units) beyond the General Institute Requirements for their other Course in order to graduate.  Majoring and minoring in music simultaneously is not allowed.

MIT's registrar maintains the official requirements for the Course 21M Degree on their website.

The Major Advisor is Emily Richmond Pollock,


The following courses are required for all majors
Number Title Units
21M.301* Harmony and Counterpoint I 12
21M.401-499 Performance (two semesters) 2 x 6
21M.500 Advanced Seminar (CI-M) 12


Students must select one of the following 12 unit classes

Number Title
21M.220 Medieval and Renaissance Music (CI-M)
21M.235 Baroque and Classical Music (CI-M)
21M.260 Music since 1900 (CI-M)


Students must select one of the following 12 units
Number Title
21M.291 Music of India
21M.292 Musics of Bali
21M.293 Musics of Africa
21M.294 Popular Musics of the World
21M.297J Cultures of Popular Music in East Asia
21M.299 Studies in Global Music


*Students who enter with additional training in music theory should take 21M.302 or an upper-level course as a substitute for 301.
Students will take an additional 60 units beyond these requirements, which will be chosen in consultation with the major advisor.


 A maximum of 24 restricted elective units may be comprised of introductory subjects (21M.150, 151). A maximum of 24 restricted elective units may be comprised of Performance subjects (6 units each), with the exception of 21M.480 which may be repeated without limitation.


This chart has been calculated based on an overlap of 36 units (three subjects) between the HASS General Institute Requirement and the departmental requirements. Students who develop a program of study with more overlap will be able to select more unrestricted electives to meet the number of total units beyond the GIRs required for an SB degree.


For further information, please contact the majors advisor, Professor Emily Richmond Pollock,