The Online Music Degree at VCSU

The online Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Music at Valley City State University is an innovative program designed to serve students who are unable to study music in an on-campus environment.  The Department of Music at VCSU holds accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the curriculum of the online program parallels the on-campus degree offered at VCSU. The same high standards set forth in the on-campus degree apply equally to the online degree. The degree includes instruction in music theory, aural skills, basic conducting, scoring and arranging, music history, piano, applied lessons, and ensembles. Like most college degrees, full time students usually take four years to complete this degree.

All academic coursework for the degree program is delivered in the online format. Lessons and ensembles must be taken for credit at a college or university and transferred to VCSU, or they can be taken here on the VCSU campus. Prior applied study credits may be accepted in a transfer, but students must submit an audition to demonstrate current proficiency on their instrument. Additional semesters of lessons may be necessary to bring students up to the required level.

Fall Application Deadline: August 1
Spring Application Deadline: November 1

Degree Requirements

The BA/BS in Music degree includes the following components:

Core Courses

  • Four semesters of Music Theory 
  • Four semesters of Aural Skills
  • Basic Conducting
  • Scoring and Arranging
  • Four semesters of Music History and Literature

Performance Related Courses

  • Minimum of four semesters of applied instruction on a single instrument
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Two semesters of class piano


  • Twelve credits of electives.
Electives are used to further round out a student's education, and allow them to personalize their degree experience. Electives are also used to help students prepare for their capstone experience.

Capstone Project

All VCSU students must complete a capstone project as a requirement for graduation. There are several options for music students:

  • Recital: Students who elect to complete a capstone recital may do so no earlier than the sixth semester of applied study. This will require at least an additional two semesters of applied study beyond the minimum requirement.
  • Thesis: Students may elect to write a thesis on a musicological or theoretical topic of their choice, subject to approval by their advisor the department chair. Students choosing this route will take additional coursework in music theory or history as part of their elective credits.
  • Composition/Arrangement: Students may complete a composition or arrangement of suitable length and complexity, subject to approval by their advisor and the department chair. Students choosing this route will take additional coursework in theory, composition, and/or scoring and arranging as part of their elective credits.

Online Music Coordinator

For additional information, please contact:

Jessica Shuler, Online Music Coordinator
Phone: 701-845-7386

Ready to begin? Click here to enroll in the online degree program.

Online Music Program Home Page

Office Information

Department Chair
Christopher Redfearn, D.A., Associate Professor
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37377

Administrative Assistant:
Paula Larson
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37272
Mailing Address:
Department of Music
101 College Street SW
Valley City, ND 58072