Academic Programs - Undergraduate


In the School of Music, we strive to create versatile, confident, and well-rounded musicians who are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Hitting the high notes

A female student plays marimbas onstage at the Festival Theatre

In Acadia University’s School of Music, we believe an undergraduate school of music in a liberal university should be more of a laboratory than a conservatory. We strive to create versatile, confident, and well-rounded musicians who are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our foundational curriculum is based on making music in multiple environments. It combines courses in the following:

  • music theory
  • music history and culture
  • musicianship skills
  • keyboard skills
  • improvisation
  • composition
  • intensive ensembles

Our courses are taught in a creative way, with outcomes geared for contemporary musicians. The aim is to graduate well-rounded musicians who can thrive in a variety of professional contexts and styles. Our program also strives to create connections to community. We will teach you how to build and facilitate the cultural spaces you will be part of. Performances happen across campus in the many halls and venues of Acadia. You can even learn in our world-class Electroacoustic Music Studio.

All School of Music degrees offer you the chance for individual lessons to establish strong technical and artistic foundations. Our classroom courses, ensemble opportunities, and major artistic projects ensure that students can function as contemporary artists across genres. In fact, our applied lessons structure even affords you the opportunity to study more than one instrument at a time through your degree. This can be an exciting thing for any multi-instrumentalist (such as a singer/songwriter) who wishes to continue growing in multiple ways.

Are you interested in music therapy? Acadia offers the only Music Therapy Program in Eastern Canada. You will begin in the Bachelor of Music degree. Your first step is to successfully complete the two-year School of Music core. Then you may apply to enter the Bachelor of Music Therapy degree. Specialized courses in music therapy include hands-on clinical practicums and courses in psychology. Once you have graduated and completed a 1,000-hour internship, you can earn the Music Therapist Accredited (MTA) designation. If you have already completed a degree in music, the Certificate in Music Therapy is designed for you. This post-graduate program is a 30-credit certificate that also leads to the MTA designation.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is an academic-oriented program. It is for students interested in intensive study of music theory, history, culture, and technology. The audition and application process is slightly different for this degree. There are no applied one-on-one lessons in this program. Our Bachelor of Arts in Music students can also pursue a double major or an honours option.

The innovative Bachelor of Music degree gives you the opportunity to study many different styles of music in an environment that champions creativity, reflection, excellence and rigour. You will find your own unique voice with the many skills these studies will teach you. Reach out for details on what our program offers, as it is truly unique in Canada. We know you will be surprised!

First Year at a Glance

Required courses

You will be pre-registered for your Core Music courses by the School of Music. The Music Core, a common curriculum for all first year music students, includes the following:

  • MUSI 1273/83
    Music through the Ages
  • MUSI 1563
    Music and the Mind
  • MUSI 16XX
    Applied Lessons
  • MUSI 1693
    Playing and Hearing Music
  • MUSI 1813
    Comprehensive Keyboard
  • MUSI 1600
    First Year Chorus
  • MUSI 2870
    Concert Credit
  • MUSI 1823


You will only be responsible for signing up for 6 credit-hours of English or History. 6 credit-hours is one full-year course or two one-term courses.

If you have any questions about course registration, please contact the School of Music.

Future Careers

  • Arts administrator
  • Collaborator
  • Community arts facilitator
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Leader and manager
  • Music educator
  • Music therapist
  • Performer
  • Producer
  • Promoter

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