The Music Department at Wellesley College fosters an environment in which students can combine serious musical study with the depth and richness of a traditional liberal arts curriculum.
Students may choose to focus their major or minor on performance, music history, theory, jazz, ethnomusicology, or composition. All studies are directed by a dedicated and diverse faculty of widely recognized scholars and performers.
Course offerings are designed to meet a broad range of musical interests. Past topics have included Electronic Music, Composition, African and Caribbean Music, Music and Poetry of the Art Song, Chopin’s Genius, and Gender and Sexuality in Music. Please see the major and minor requirements information for a comprehensive description.
The performance program at Wellesley College is an important component of the music department, giving students the opportunity to take instrumental or vocal private instruction as well as participate in one or more of the eight department ensembles.
The Music Department is situated in the Jewett Arts Center at Wellesley College.
Students interested in taking music courses or lessons are encouraged to enroll in our introductory gateway course, MUS 100 - Musical Literacies, which offers a broad introduction not only to music theory, but also to the different kinds of musical topics taught by the academic faculty members in the Music Department, including ethnomusicology, historical musicology, composition, and electronic music.
Students who have prior experience with music theory can attempt to pass out of MUS 100 by taking the Music Theory Placement Evaluation, an online exam designed to assess your level of theoretical knowledge in both classical music and (optionally) jazz. The Evaluation will enable us to place more advanced music students into the appropriate music theory course. The Music Department strongly encourages students wishing to major or minor in music to take the Music Theory Placement Evaluation. The Music Theory Placement Evaluation is available online by way of the above link.
*If you would like to take private lessons in musical performance, you must place out of MUS 100 or take it during the first year. Students wishing to take lessons for credit must also receive the permission of the Instructor via an audition and take a co-requisite of one academic music course for each year of credit lessons.