What music degrees are offered at UP?

The University of Portland offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music that includes a choice of four tracks—a General track for students who aren’t necessarily looking at a performance career, Instrumental and Vocal tracks (geared towards performance), and a Pre-Music Education track.

The Pre-Music Education track will prepare you to enter a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at UP or another university. Upon graduation from the MAT program, you would have both your Masters degree and a teaching license.

Our music curriculum is set up to work with study abroad as well, which many of our students are choosing to do.

A music minor fits very easily with most majors on campus and double majors with other disciplines are also very possible and common.

Our curriculum is designed to educate the student as a whole, comprehensive musician - one who can perform, create, and analyze music. Most of our courses focus on classical music.

What performance opportunities are offered at the University of Portland?

There are five major performing ensembles that perform at least twice each semester. Prospective students are welcome to attend concerts and rehearsals and may contact the conductor directly.

University Singers (auditioned student choir of about 40).
Conductor: Dr. David De Lyser

Wind Symphony (approximately 50 members, auditioned).
Conductor: Dr. Patrick Murphy

University Orchestra (approximately 55 players, auditioned).
Conductor: Mr. Paul Kim

Women’s Chorale (auditioned choir of about 40 students).
Conductor: Kathryn Briggs

Jazz Band (auditioned big band)
Director: Dr. Don Norton

Additional opportunities include:

  • Chapel Music Ensemble
  • Pep Band
  • Jazz Combos
  • Chamber music ensembles
  • Men's and women's a cappella groups

What financial aid is available to music students? How do I apply?

The University offers music scholarships for tuition and private lessons in addition to the University’s financial aid offer. These scholarships are awarded by audition, either in person or via recording. The awards for music majors vary in amounts, based on the quality of your audition. Music minor awards are $1300 per academic year. Scholarships are automatically renewable for four years assuming continued musical and academic progress. There are also performance grants of $800 per academic year, awarded by audition, for talented students who will make a significant contribution to a UP ensemble, but who are not majors or minors.

2019 Campus auditions will be held on:

  • Saturday, February 16 (beginning at 9:00 am).
  • Monday, February 18 (beginning at 2:45 pm)
  • Saturday, February 23 (beginning at 9:00 am)

Auditions can also be submitted via high quality audio or video recording. Links to online performance videos are accepted. All recordings must be received by Monday, February 25th, 2019.

All students must complete the UP scholarship application and bring it with them to their audition or include it with their submitted recording.

Contact Dr. Patrick Murphy to make appointments for campus auditions, or with any other questions (see contact information below). Please direct all recordings to his attention.

Students will be informed of music scholarship award offers beginning in late March.

Does UP require entrance auditions for music majors?

To help ensure the long-term success of music students, auditions are required for entrance into the program. The same audition can serve for admission and scholarship consideration. This audition usually takes place before a student begins study. If a student has not auditioned before the first semester, the student is deemed a provisional major until the end of that semester, when performance final exams with the faculty serve as the audition. Please note that acceptance into the music program is contingent upon a student being accepted into the University as a whole by the Admissions Office.

How big are classes at the University of Portland?

Classroom music courses generally have fifteen or fewer students. Most classes at the University as a whole are under thirty-five students.

What about the faculty?

At UP, students almost always have professors for classroom teachers. Graduate students do not teach courses, as is the case at some universities. All the music professors at UP have terminal degrees and are active in the field of music performance, composition, conducting and research. In addition to the regular faculty, private lessons are taught by highly qualified professionals, including members of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra and Portland Opera.

What do current Music students think?

In an effort to help you learn more about studying music at the University of Portland, we have put together a list of students who would be happy to communicate with you about our program. Students can give you inside information about courses, performance opportunities, and advanced training, as well as express their impressions of the University as a whole. The list includes a variety of students, with different backgrounds and aspirations. Contact any or all who might help you make your decision as to whether the University of Portland is a good fit for you.

What opportunities does the city of Portland offer music students?

Portland is an active cultural center. Among others, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Portland Opera offer frequent performances (and give student discounts), and UP faculty members perform with all three. In addition there are many concerts of chamber and choral music. Beyond music, the arts are thriving in Portland, at the Portland Art Museum, Portland Center Stage and Artists Repertory Theatre, the Northwest Film Center, and galleries. Our students often go to events in groups, with the Music Club or on their own. Past outings include Puccini's La Boheme, Mozart's Don Giovanni, and concerts by the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Also, outdoor opportunities abound. Mount Hood and the Oregon coast are both only 90 minutes away.

How do I prepare for the music theory and aural skills placement exams?

All students enrolled in MUS 101: Music Theory I and MUS 103: Aural Skills I will take a placement exam on the first day of class in the fall semester. The purpose of this exam is to determine if you need to take MUS 101 and/or MUS 103. Students who demonstrate sufficient music theory and aural skills knowledge will have MUS 101 and/or MUS 103 waived and can enroll directly in MUS 102 and/or MUS 104 in the spring semester. Resources to help prepare for the placement exams include:

How do I get to the University of Portland Campus?

From Interstate 5, take the Rosa Parks Way Exit (#304). Go west on Rosa Parks Way for about two miles. You will be forced to turn right, following the arterial onto Willamette Blvd. After about two more miles the University of Portland will appear on your left. Take the main entrance, then the first right, into the large parking lot. Mago Hunt Center is located at the far left corner of the lot.

Further questions? Want to set up an audition? Please contact:

Dr. Patrick Murphy                                       murphyp@up.edu
University of Portland—MSC 152               (800) 22-PILOT (227-4568), ext. 8789 (8:00-4:30)
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.                             (503) 943-8789 (with voice mail, call anytime)
Portland, OR 97203-5798