Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the largest music scholarship I can get from Southwestern?
The Sarofim School of Fine Arts can make a recommendation that a talented student who is committed to majoring in music receive up to $12,000 per year. A student who receives a music scholarship may also qualify for additional aid. All students must meet Southwestern’s regular admission requirements. Students who receive need-based financial aid may be limited in the amount of additional gift or merit aid they can receive. Go to the page on music scholarships for further details.
Can I play in an ensemble and/or take lessons in college if I don’t intend to major in Music?
Yes. Taking music lessons and playing in music ensembles are both academic courses at SU and earn academic credit. They also count toward the University’s General Education requirements, which require a certain number of credit hours in each division and in the School of Fine Arts no matter what major you’re pursuing. At Southwestern non-majors study with faculty members just as majors do, unlike at many large music schools where they are frequently placed with graduate teaching assistants.
Can I receive aid from the Music Department if I don’t intend to major in Music?
Yes. The SU Music Department offers up to $2500 per academic year to qualified students who wish to sing or play in one of Southwestern’s large ensembles but who do not plan to major in music. These Music Performance Awards, as they are called, are awarded by competitive audition. They are not available in all performance areas. Students must take lessons and play in an ensemble as long as they receive the award. Check the scholarship page elsewhere on this site for further details.
Can I major in Music and another subject at Southwestern?
Yes. Generally speaking, if a student is serious about pursuing a double major he or she should choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music, a degree plan that requires fewer credits in Music than the pre-professional Bachelor of Music degree programs. Double majors are possible for Bachelor of Music students, but may take longer than eight semesters. However, even for Bachelor of Arts students the catalog states that “certain combinations of majors cannot be completed in eight semesters.” Any student who wishes to pursue a double major should plan his/her study carefully and map out well in advance exactly how each major will be completed. Enrolling in courses during the summer, either at Southwestern or another institution, may be necessary.
I want to go to medical school after I graduate. Does that mean I shouldn’t major in Music?
Not necessarily. Texas medical schools have a prescribed undergraduate curriculum with a required number of courses in subject areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, et al., but an actual major in a Natural Science subject is NOT a pre-requisite for admission to medical school. Students should contact the Southwestern University pre-medical advisor for further advice.
Click here for further details about necessary courses for pre-medical, pre-dental and pre-veterinary students.
I love music, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to get a job doing it. Wouldn’t I be better off majoring in something else?
While no music school can guarantee employment as a musician after graduation, there are many opportunities available to music majors. Music education majors can generally find teaching positions in Texas public schools with no difficulty, while qualified Southwestern music graduates have pursued advanced degrees at top graduate schools in performance, musicology, composition, conducting, and sacred music. Moreover, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music is a liberal arts degree that can qualify the student who holds it for advanced study in other professions, such as law or medical school (see Question 5 above). When so many people change careers these days, there is no reason to suppose that a music degree means you’re locked into being a “starving musician!”
Click here to go to a list of Southwestern music majors who have gone on to graduate study and/or musical careers.