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Bachelor's in Applied Music

At Indiana Wesleyan University, we understand the deep connection between your faith and your calling in music. Our Bachelor of Applied Music program by IWU Marion is tailor-made for individuals who feel divinely inspired to pursue their passion for music yet are uncertain about the specific path to take. This program is perfect for those who are not inclined towards classroom teaching but cannot envision a life without music. Whether you're considering a double major, aiming for graduate school, dreaming of opening your own private studio, performing professionally, or contributing to church music ministry, our Applied Music major offers a comprehensive liberal arts education that prepares you for a future filled with musical endeavors.

What Will I Learn in this Degree in Applied Music Program?

Our curriculum for a major in music is designed to nurture your talent and broaden your horizons, equipping you with a robust foundation in music and beyond. As a student in our program, you will delve into a wide array of subjects including the liberal arts, your chosen instrument, music theory, music history, conducting, instrumental techniques, piano skills, and composition. Additionally, the program offers a plethora of vocal and instrumental ensemble opportunities, allowing you to practice and perform in a variety of settings. For those whose interests span beyond music alone, a minor in Music is also available, complementing another major you choose to pursue at IWU.

The Division of Music+Theatre at Indiana Wesleyan University is dedicated to your complete preparation for a career in music. Students learn from expert faculty who will become mentors in the faith, integrating classroom learning with biblical truths for a Christ-centered environment that encourages spiritual growth. They are invested in challenging and guiding you towards excellence, enabling you to make a significant impact through music, wherever your divine calling leads. With a Bachelor of Music degree from IWU, you will emerge as a versatile, skilled musician, ready to inspire change and share your gifts with the world.

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

What You Will Study in This Applied Music Program

Coursework for your Bachelor of Applied Music degree covers:

  • Courses and experiences like MUS-200 Recital Attendance and participation in large ensembles, students will develop a broad understanding of music.
  • Upper-divisional studies requires a performance and written examination, evaluating students’ applied and academic progress, ensuring a depth of musical knowledge and competence.
  • Mandatory large ensemble participation to gain practical experience in a variety of musical settings.

Program Requirements

Students in this major meet the general education competencies by taking the approved standard courses.


  1. Admission to the Music Major
    • Permission to declare a music major at IWU is neither automatic nor assumed merely because a student wants to study music. Students must demonstrate a degree of aptitude and preparedness, both academically and musically. Those conditions can be met by the following means:
      1. Academic readiness can be demonstrated by completing a placement exam in music theory. If students are not prepared for the exam, equivalency can be met by taking MUS-160, Introduction to Music Theory, and earning a grade of “C” or above.ii. Performance readiness can be proven by an audition before selected music faculty or by submitting an audio or video recording of pieces showing appropriate levels of accomplishment.
      2. Audition for the music faculty. Two pieces in contrasting styles must be performed in the student's applied area. One additional piece may be performed in a second applied area. No taped accompaniments; an accompanist will be provided if needed.
      3. All students are required to submit three letters of reference from former music teachers, from music directors, or from other musicians who can verify the student's readiness to study music at the collegiate level.
      4. Music Therapy majors are required to go through an interview process as there are a limited number of Music Therapy majors accepted in the program each year.
    • This policy applies to both transfer students and entering freshmen. Students living a considerable distance from Marion may be accepted as provisional majors pending an audition/interview following arrival on campus.
    • If an applicant fails in any of the above requirements but still wishes to be admitted as a major, the status of provisional music major will be granted. The student will be expected to re-audition and successfully complete MUS-160 at the end of the first semester of study. Upon satisfactory completion, the applicant will be classified as a music major.
  2. Admission to Upper-divisional Studies
    • Admission to upper-level studies is granted by the music faculty through the Upper-divisional Hearing. This consists of a performance and written examination in which the candidate's applied and academic progress is evaluated, and the candidate is questioned regarding content of courses completed and progress toward career goals. An overall grade-point average of 2.75 is required for admission to upper-divisional studies and no grade below a “C” in any music class.
  3. Other Requirements for All Music Majors
    • MUS-200 Recital Attendance (seven semesters)
    • Class Piano Requirements
    • Large Ensemble Participation (participation in large ensemble each semester).  In the case of music education majors whose main instruments are brass, woodwinds, or percussion, the IWU Marching Band (MUS 166) must be taken for a minimum of 3 semesters.
    • Upper Divisional Hearing
    • Young Performer Series Recital (see requirements)
    • Departmental Recital Participation (varies with different programs)
  • Completion of 124 semester hours; however, some majors may result in the student earning greater than 124 credit hours by graduation.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Completion of the designated semester hours in the major area with a GPA of 2.25 or higher as required by the major. Additional requirements as prescribed by each department must also be met.
  • Completion of all general education requirements
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Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

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