The College of Arts and Architecture

Advising Information

University Assistance

Advising.@ PSU provides general advising information with links to virtually all information regarding General Education, deadlines, academic petitions, etc. Click on the “alpha index” button in the blue line at the top of the page to find information. When you select a letter from the “alpha index” drop-down menu you will see a list of topics on the left and colored buttons on the right. The colored buttons are links to pages with information about the topics. If there is an “H” in a blue circle, the link is to the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook.

The University Undergraduate Advising Handbook is another excellent source for advising information. Use the menu at the top of the page to select your topic.

The University Bulletin may also be helpful. Use the buttons at top of the page to navigate to your topic of interest.

General Education

Beginning in Fall 2019, all students are required to complete 45 total credits of general education courses.

The University pages describing General Education can be found here.

The 45 General Education credits are distributed as follows: 

Foundations (15): 9 credits of GSW Writing/Speaking, 6 credits of GQ Quantification

Knowledge Domains (30): distributed among GH Humanities, GA Arts, GS Social & Behavioral Sciences, GN Natural Sciences, GHW Health & Wellness

The Knowledge Domains are subdivided into 3 categories:

Breadth of Knowledge (15): 3 credits each of GH, GA, GS, GN, GHW

Integrative Studies (6): Two inter-domain (N or Q) courses, or two approved Linked Courses (Z)

Exploration (9): May include up to 6 credits of GN and up to 3 credits of GH, GA, GS, or GHW.

Click here for the University guide to the breakdown of General Education categories.

Click here for a General Education guide prepared by the College of Arts & Architecture.

Exceptions to General Education Policies

1. Substitution of Higher Level Courses

With the approval of the student's adviser and appropriate dean’s representative, a student may substitute 200- to 499-level courses for courses on the General Education list if they are in the same area of General Education. For example, a student might take PHIL 432, substituting it for a lower-level General Education humanities (GH) course. This substitution requires the filing of a petition.

2. Move 3

In consultation with an adviser and the student's appropriate dean's representative, a student may move 3 credits between the five General Education Knowledge Domains within the Integrative Studies and Exploration categories. This allows as many as 6 credits of GHW, or as few as 6 (or as many as 12) of GN. 

3. Foreign Language Substitution

With the permission of his/her adviser and the appropriate dean's representative, a baccalaureate degree candidate may make one of the following foreign language substitutions:

a. If the student is enrolled in a major that does not require the 12th-credit level of proficiency in a foreign language, he/she may substitute 3 credits in a foreign language at the 12th-credit level (or higher) for 3 credits in any of the categories of General Education (with the exception of GHA, health and physical activity). For example, a student majoring in nursing might substitute SPAN 003 for 3 credits in the arts (GA).

b. If the student is enrolled in a major that does require the 12th-credit level of proficiency in a foreign language, he/she may substitute 3 credits in a foreign language beyond the requirement of his/her degree program for 3 credits in any of the categories of General Education (with the exception of GHA, health and physical activity). For example, a student majoring in philosophy might substitute GER 201 for 3 credits in social science (GS). This substitution requires the filing of a petition. (See below.)

Students may not eliminate any General Education area by using foreign language substitution and/or the option to develop a three-course sequence in arts, humanities, or social sciences (described above).

School of Music Reminders

 1. This website contains all information about music degree programs including suggested course sequences, degree check sheets, and other non-course requirements. Click on Student Handbooks for the specific information about each of our degrees.

2. Music 261 and 262 may double-count both as course requirements for the music degrees and also as General Education Arts Credits (GA). These credits must be secured by petition.

3. All petitions are online and need to be initiated by advisers. The petition application can be found at Please provide comments to make clear the intent of the petition.

4. When exploring majors, a student may request a degree audit through eLion and select "alternate major." For majors such as Music Education, the bottom of the degree audit shows the entrance to major requirements.

5. When looking at the course sequence for the B.M.E., please note:

a. The literature course scheduled during the first semester (but not required to be taken the first semester) must be selected from the list of courses found here.

b.  Courses marked with an asterisk must be passed with a grade of C or better for admission to the B.M.E. program. They must also e completed tne end of the 4th semester for students to enter the program in the 5th semester.

c.  Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA for entrance to the B.M.E.

Course Rotation/Offerings

Below please find the courses that are only offered in a specific semester.

Music 110 - Keyboard Skills I  - Fall
Music 121 - Basic Musicianship I  - Fall
Music 122 - Basic Musicianship II - Spring
Music 131 - Music Theory I - Fall
Music 132 - Music Theory II - Spring
Music 170 Keyboard Skills II - Spring
Music 181 – Jazz Improvisation I – Fall
Music 182 – Jazz Improvisation II – Spring
Music 210 – Keyboard Skills III – Fall
Music 212 – Guitar Techniques II – Fall of even numbered years
Music 221 - Basic Musicianship III - Fall
Music 222 - Basic Musicianship IV - Spring
Music 231 - Music Theory III - Fall
Music 266 – Conducting – Fall
Music 267 - Tech of Composition – Spring
Music 270 – Keyboard Skills IV - Spring
Music 312 - Performance of Diverse Musical Styles - Spring
Music 331 -  Tonal Analysis  - Spring
Music 332  - Analysis of Twentieh Century Music - Fall
Music 336 – Orchestration – Spring of odd numbered years 
Music 388 – Diction: French – Spring
Music 389 – Diction: German – Fall
Music 412 - Jazz Pedagogy – Fall of even numbered years
Music 418 – Vocal Pedagogy – Fall
Music 420 - Song Writing - Fall 
Music 422 – Jazz Harmony & Arranging – Spring
Music 435 – Score Reading – Fall 2018 and Spring of odd numbered years beginning in 2021, see instructor  
Music 460 – Teaching Musical Cultures – Fall of odd numbered years
Music 485 - Chamber Music Literature - Spring
Music 487 - Orchestra Literature - Fall