Gary Potter, Director
Music, Undergraduate Studies
1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
Gary Potter, director of undergraduate studies, is the coordinator of the
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
Students nominate themselves through a letter of application. This may
be followed by an interview with the director of undergraduate studies.
We expect to draw from the students in sophomore core-course honors
sections, though any School of Music student may apply.
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
A student who completes the two courses in the program (N399 and N499)
will receive recognition with the phrase "Honors Program" on his or her
4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to
prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars
and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in such
Students take two courses in the program, MUS N399 and N499, during their
senior year, because of the nature of school curricula. Any student who
completes the school's core courses in theory and literature and is in
the process of taking the core courses in music theory would be prepared
for N399. The third, fourth, and fifth theory courses all have separate
honors sections with different course numbers.
These sections are not accelerated; rather their content is enriched.
The Honors Seminar in Music (N399), which is the first
official part of the program, is a variable topics course. The course is
3 credits, and is in reading and discussion format. Topics may range
from performance practice to music and culture. The research paper will
consist of a proposal for the N499 project, and a detailed defense.
5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or
research projects related to the senior project?
At the present, none. It should be possible for certain specialized
projects to gain access to school owned equipment, but no additional
budgeted monies are available for purchases, trips, etc.
6. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the
requirements for completing it?
The nature of the project may vary widely, according to student interest
and background. The nature of presentation also may vary according to
the topic. In general, the objective is a thoughtful presentation of
original work related to music.
7. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly
beneficial in future endeavors?
We hope that the honors project would allow students to explore ideas,
technology, and means of presentation that are not normally a part of a
traditional music education. This experience might allow a student, say,
to discover and exploit alternatives to concert-hall performance or the
possibilities in CD or DVD formats. Since the two honors program
courses may be
taken as part of the student's degree program the student would have more
opportunity to control the character of specialized topics he or she
8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree
compared to a regular degree in your area?
The object of the program is to offer students the opportunity to explore
issues not customarily addressed in undergraduate music courses, to
consider those issues from various points of view, and to engage in
serious intellectual interaction with other students and faculty in Music.