Associate in Science Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (A.S.)

The Music A.S. option of the Performing Arts program provides the prospective graduate with the theoretical and practical training necessary to transfer at the junior level in most baccalaureate music programs by way of a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses the same rigor and scope as that encountered in the first two years of a typical four-year program.

Core curriculum requirements include four semesters of Music Theory studies encompassing ear training and sight singing; two semesters of Music History; four semesters of piano training; four semesters of one-on-one study of a primary instrument (or voice) with a highly trained and well credentialed private instructor; four semesters of participation in one or more of the program’s performing ensembles.

Additional course offerings in jazz history, jazz improvisation, music business, and digital recording technology further prepare many music majors for a wider variety of transfer options and eventual career choices.

  • Demonstrate a professional level of fluency in both the reading and writing of musical notation;
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the theoretical principles that underlie all the primary genres of music of Western culture, including scale and chord construction; the tonal system of keys and chord relationships; harmonic analysis; figured bass; the principles and procedures of four-part writing; and modulation;
  • Analyze excerpts of musical compositions, working from a printed score, on the levels of harmony, rhythm, melodic contour, phrase structure, and large scale formal structure;
  • Notate short melodic fragments of two to four measures in length upon hearing them performed;
  • Sing at sight melodies of intermediate difficulty in both major and minor keys;
  • Identify and distinguish the major periods in the history of Western music from the Middle Ages into the 21st century and cite the primary composers whose works exemplify the stylistic trends of each period;
  • Demonstrate a level of proficiency at the piano keyboard suitable for teaching, arranging, composing, and analyzing music;
  • Cultivate and demonstrate a level of proficiency on a chosen primary instrument (or voice) suitable for transfer to a baccalaureate music program;
  • Apply his/her instrumental or vocal skill in the context of ensemble performance.

Admission to the Music program requires a high school diploma (or equivalent), at least a rudimentary proficiency on a musical instrument, and some degree of aural acuity. Graduates of the program typically transfer successfully to such highly regarded institutions as Rutgers University, New York University, The College of New Jersey, Rowan University, Montclair State University, and William Paterson University.

The Music A.S. degree may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis, with most course offerings available during daytime hours only.

2023-2024 Academic Year
 earlier / Archive
CIP 500101

The course sequence below represents a recommended example of how this degree program can be completed in two years, presuming a Fall Term start and satisfaction of all Developmental Studies (foundation courses) requirements and prerequisites. Actual approaches toward completion depend on each student's anticipated transfer institution, career objectives, or other individual circumstances.

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor or Success Coach to consider options, establish plans, and monitor progress.

Code Course (lecture/lab hours) Credits
To Do This Semester
ENG 101 English Composition I (3/0) 3

✔ Meet with your faculty advisor to complete an academic plan. Make sure you are aware of any course prerequisites you may need to take, and how long it will take to complete your degree.

✔ Use your online tools: Check your MercerMail daily, utilize features of Office 365, and get to know Student Planning.

✔ Take advantage of Learning Centers or Online Tutoring to support your studies and assignments.

MAT 120 Mathematics for Liberal Arts (3/0)  
  OR 3
MAT 125 Elementary Statistics I (3/0)  
MUS 103 Introduction to Music (3/0) 3
MUS 105 Fundamentals of Music Theory (2/2) 3
MUS 121 Piano Class I (0/2) 1
MUS 109 Applied Music I (.5/1) 1
MUS  — Performing Ensemble I (1/2)
  • Chamber Ensemble (one semester minimum), Chorus, Jazz Band, or Orchestra
CMN 111 Speech: Human Communication (3/0)  

✔ Transitioning to college can be challenging. Meet with your Success Coach for guidance and support.

✔ Apply for financial aid by May 1.

✔ Contact professors with questions and use their office hours to develop a connection.

✔ Apply for Continuing Student scholarships at

✔ Begin attending college transfer events and visit campuses. Be sure to visit the Transfer Services and Career Services offices to get to know how the transfer process works and to explore career options.

✔ Plan for how you will complete transfer applications while finishing your classes.

CMN 112 Public Speaking (3/0) 3
  —    — General Education elective
  • Select from ASL 101, EDU 109, FRE 101, GER 101, ITA 101, LAT 101, MUS 155, MUS 156, PSY 101, PSY 206, SOC 101, SPA 101.
ENG 102 English Composition II (3/0) 3
MUS 127 Music Theory I (2/2) 3
MUS 167 Musicianship I (0/2) 1
MUS 122 Piano Class II (0/2) 1
MUS 110 Applied Music II (.5/1) 1
MUS  — Performing Ensemble II (1/2)
  • Chamber Ensemble (one semester minimum), Chorus, Jazz Band, or Orchestra
  —    — Lab Science general education elective
  • Select from BIO 113, CHE 106, PHY 111.
MUS 128 Music Theory II (2/2) 3

✔ Keep in contact with each professor and your faculty advisor. Make sure you are on track to graduate.

✔ Complete your applications to desired transfer institutions.

✔ Develop team and leadership skills by getting involved in activities and clubs.

✔ Manage your stress! Take advantage of the MCCC pool, Fitness Center, free yoga and Zumba. Reach out for counseling or other support if you need it. Your Success Coach can connect you with resources.

MUS 168 Musicianship II (0/2) 1
MUS 224 Music History and Literature I (3/0) 3
MUS 221 Piano Class III (0/2) 1
MUS 209 Applied Music III (.5/1) 1
MUS  — Performing Ensemble III (1/2)
  • Chamber Ensemble (one semester minimum), Chorus, Jazz Band, or Orchestra
  —    — Social Science general education elective 3
  —    — Elective
  • Select from MUS 101, 102, 109, 111, 112, 117, 118, 119, 120, 123, 151, 155, 156, 201, 202, 211, 212, 217, 218, 219, 220, 285, 286.
  • Or select from ASL 101, CMN 153, EDU 109, FRE 101, GER 101, ITA 101, LAT 101, PSY 101, PSY 206, SOC 101, SPA 101.
MUS 227 Music Theory III (2/2) 3

✔ Apply for financial aid by May 1.

✔ Talk to your faculty advisor and the Transfer office for advice on how to successfully transition to a new school.

✔ Apply for Graduating Student scholarships at

MUS 267 Musicianship III (0/2) 1
MUS 225 Music History and Literature II (3/0) 3
MUS 222 Piano Class IV (0/2) 1
MUS 210 Applied Music IV (.5/1) 1
MUS  — Performing Ensemble IV (1/2)
  • Chamber Ensemble (one semester minimum), Chorus, Jazz Band, or Orchestra
  —    — Technology general education elective
  • Select from DMA 144; IST 101, 102, 109, 140.
NOTE: Electives should be selected in consultation with an academic advisor in order to assure maximum transfer of credits.
NOTE: Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all MUS courses to graduate.