Along with Music History and Literature, the Department of Music Theory forms the academic backbone for all music degrees at UNC. Every music student must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in music theory and aural skills as essential tools for a 21st-century musician.
All undergraduate and graduate music theory courses are taught by faculty members. Undergraduate music students master a core sequence that includes aural skills, sight-singing, voice-leading, form & analysis, and 20th-21st century materials. Outstanding students of music theory have the opportunity to take graduate theory courses and have published their research in UNC's Undergraduate Research Journal; several of our students have gone on to pursue music theory at the graduate level. Graduate students select from a variety of courses in tonal and post-tonal theory as well as Music Theory Seminars featuring specialized topics. The area of Music Theory offers a secondary emphasis within the Doctor of Arts degree, which includes a focus on music theory pedagogy.
The UNC School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and designated a Program of Excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.