Majors and Minors

View the 2019-20 Student Handbook for American Musical Culture Majors and Music Minors.


A major in American Musical Culture consists of 11 music courses and one senior capstone project. Designed for students interested in American Studies, arts management, cultural criticism, entertainment law, media studies, music business, music journalism or musicology, the program offers a range of classes in music history, theory, recording arts, and performance.

Completion of a Senior Capstone Project: Students may choose between a research project (i.e. a thesis, documentary), a performance project (i.e. a lecture recital, major recording project, composition portfolio) or a semester/summer internship related to their academic interests (i.e. Kennedy Center; Smithsonian Folkways, Def Jam Records, SiriusXM Radio, NPR, NBC, CMT, BET, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Washington Post, William Morris Agency, etc.).

Potential majors are advised to take Writing about Music (MUSC-161), Diatonic Harmony (MUSC-141) and at least one of the three core courses during the first two years, since these are prerequisites for most upper-level courses.


11 Music Courses; 33 credit hours + Senior Capstone Project

  • Writing About the Performing Arts (MUSC-161)
  • 2 music theory courses: Diatonic Harmony (MUSC-141) and a second course numbered 240-259 or 340-359.
  • 3 of the 4 core courses in music history and culture (MUSC-114 Western European Tradition, MUSC-115 Music in a Multicultural World, MUSC-116 Jazz History, MUSC-117 History of Rock)
  • 3 upper-level courses, numbered 200 or higher, in music history and culture or music theory/composition
  • 1 course credit based on 4 semesters in MUSC-100 Music Performance
  • Senior Capstone Project 

Each of DPA’s distinctive interdisciplinary majors—American Musical Culture and Theater & Performance Studies—understands writing as integral to exploration of the relationship between performance, culture and society. 


The Music Program at Georgetown currently offers a minor, which consists of courses in music history, criticism, theory, composition, audio technology and performance. Students electing this minor are given the opportunity to specialize in a broad array of musical forms associated with American Culture, including: jazz, rock, dance, film, popular music from around the world and music stemming from the Western European Tradition (from the 17th century to the present).


6 Music Courses; 18 credit hours

  • Diatonic Harmony (MUSC-141)
  • 1 course in musicology (music history and culture), numbered 110 or higher (MUSC 114-117, 220-239, 320-361, 420-461)
  • 4 additional course credits in music, which may include one course credit based on 4 terms in MUSC-100 Music Performance, but may not include MUSC-041 Elements of Music



The Department of Performing Arts offers an interdisciplinary minor with a concentration in any of its constituent arts. This may be earned by taking three courses in one field (music, theater or dance), and three courses chosen on an elective basis from any of the other areas in the Department of Performing Arts (music, theater, dance and public speaking).


18 credit hours; 6 courses in Performing Arts

  • Three courses in any one of three disciplines (Theater, Music, Dance), which may include one course credit based on 4 terms in MUSC-100 Dance Performance
  • Three courses from any area in the Department other than the above chosen discipline (Music, Theater, Dance, Public Speaking).