• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage



Academic advisement is the planning, tracking and managing of all academic requirements throughout your time here at CSUN. We encourage students to take an active part in their academic career by seeking advisement in various areas. Nicole Hovland, Undergraduate Advisor and Steve Thachuk, Graduate Advisor can assist prospective, incoming and continuing students with questions regarding admission, auditions, scholarships, major and university requirements and policies.

Music majors have an assigned faculty advisor in their field with whom they meet each semester to plan their course of study. Continuing students are required to meet with their option advisor every semester. All first-time freshmen must meet with the Hub, and first-time transfers are encouraged to meet with Nicole Hovland. Depending on their area of concentration, the faculty advisors are:

OptionDegreeFaculty Advisor
Breadth StudiesBARic Alviso
Collaborative PianoMMTali Tadmor
Commercial & Media CompositionBMKyle Simpson
CompositionBM/MMLiviu Marinescu
Guitar PerformanceBM/MMSteven Thachuk
Jazz StudiesBMTina Raymond
Music EducationBAJohn Whitener
Music Industry StudiesBAJeff Izzo
Music TherapyBAHilary Yip
Percussion PerformanceBM/MMJohn Roscigno
Piano Performance & PedagogyBM/MMDmitry Rachmanov
String Performance BMLorenz Gamma
String PerformanceMMDiane Roscetti
Vocal ArtsBM/MMHugo Vera
Wind PerformanceBM/MM Lawrence Stoffel

Nicole Hovland is available to assist students with general advisement. Questions regarding academic status, selecting a major, changing major, Degree Progress Reports (DPRs), unofficial transcripts, graduation, transfer evaluation, etc. should be directed to her in CY 116. Questions regarding Option and courses within the degree option should be directed to the Faculty Advisor. To set up an appointment with Nicole Hovland, please call the music department at 818-677-3181 or stop by Cypress Hall 116 to see the front desk. NOTE: During the Fall 2020 semester, please email her at

Important Admissions Deadlines

Student Resource Center (NH 135)

EOP students, and students on Academic Probation are required to meet with an academic advisor each semester. This office has been established by the College of Arts, Media and Communication to assist all incoming students with academic advisement. General Education advisement and questions involving total program rather than major can be referred to this office. 

Visit the Student Resource Center

Incoming Freshmen

If you are coming to CSUN as a first-time freshman, (meaning coming from high school instead of a community college or university) you are required to get advisement and be enrolled in classes through the Hub. There will be a registration hold placed on your SOLAR account to prevent enrollment. Advisement will be mandatory with the Hub office for the first three semesters. If you need to schedule an appointment with them, you can call them at (818) 677-2900-make sure that you complete the pre-advisement steps found on their website. The Hub website can be found here


All prospective Music students must audition regardless of their incoming status. If you have not auditioned for the Music department yet, please go to audition dates to get the audition application and requirements. Make sure to submit both your CSUN application as well as your Music Department application on time. If you believe you have keyboard, musicianship, and/or harmony skills to begin classes higher than beginning level, check out the dates for the placement exams as well. All BM Music students are required to take the Musicianship placement exam, or else they will start at level one.



Incoming Transfer Students

If you are coming to CSUN as a first time transfer student, (meaning coming from a community college or another university) make sure that you check the Admissions and Records Transfer Information page for transferring requirements. Any questions about your transcripts should be addressed to them at (818) 677-3700. For international admissions, click here or call (818) 677-3760.

 Although you are not required to get advisement as a transfer student, we would highly recommend that you do so. Our Music Advisement office will go over all graduation requirements that you should be aware of as a transfer student as well as university policies, going over your DPR (Degree Progress Report), etc. If you want to schedule an appointment with us, you can call us at (818) 677-3181. Advisement for incoming Fall transfers begins late May/early June.

All prospective Music students must audition regardless of their incoming status. If you have not auditioned for the Music department yet, please go to audition dates to get the audition application and requirements. Make sure to mail it in time so we receive it by the deadline indicated. If you believe you have keyboard, musicianship, and/or harmony skills to begin classes higher than beginning level, check out the dates for the placement exams as well.

If you have taken courses to fulfill these requirements at your community college, we will review your transcripts during your transfer advisement with our office. If you are in the process of transferring the courses, make sure you bring your unofficial transcripts to your appointment.

Transferring Courses

Undergraduate students are allowed to transfer a maximum of 70 units from a community college to count towards their bachelor’s degree. All courses in a community college are considered lower division courses; hence you cannot fulfill any of your upper division requirements with them.

If you are planning on transferring some courses, make sure you see an advisor prior to enrolling at the community college to make sure you will be given credit for them. Some courses that are USC/CSU transferable may count for units but not necessarily meet specific major or general education (G.E.) requirements.

 Here are some tips for successfully taking and transferring courses:

 1-    Make sure you know which requirements you have left to fulfill towards your degree. For this, you can consult your Degree Progress Report (DPR[1]), see your advisor, or follow your transcripts with your major sheet or 4-year plan.

2-    Make a list of the courses you want to take, i.e. MATH 140, MUS 110A, etc. Make sure to have enough choices in case classes get full or are not offered.

3-    Go to[2] and select both institutions, (CSUN and the junior college you are planning to attend) as well as the major or department of the class you want to take.

a)     Note that this website won’t give you the areas the course can meet; it will only give you equivalency information, i.e.: MUS 121 at LAVC is equivalent to MUS 201 at CSUN.

b)    If a course has “no course articulated” at the community college, then you cannot fulfill this requirement with ANY course taken there. For example, MUS 101 at CSUN has no course articulated with LAVC; this means that LAVC does not offer a course that can meet this requirement.

c)     If you need assistance with this, contact your advisor and schedule an appointment for your first time using You can also see your advisor just to make sure you have chosen the right courses.

 4-    After the grades are posted for the courses you took, make sure you submit official transcripts to our Admissions and Records office. You can request the transcripts to be sent from the community college or request transcripts that you can hand deliver to the office (SB lobby). Don’t submit transcripts while the courses are in progress or prior to all of your grades being posted; you will need to submit another set of transcripts later on if you do so. 

5-    Transcripts take about 1-2 months to be evaluated, depending on the load of transcripts the university is doing for that particular semester, so be patient and always submit transcripts as soon as possible.


How to Read your DPR

How to Print your DPR

Students can view and print their own DPR in two different formats. There’s your “DPR report”, and the new “MAP (My Academic Planner” which is interactive. The Interactive MAP was designed to be visually appealing and more informative, letting students know the description of the courses from the course list, and whether the class will be offered in the upcoming semester. It still follows the same coding (OK/NO =/-), and the information is the same. If you want a print out of your DPR, the report version is smaller and more legible in print.


To find more information about DPRs and MAPs, please click here.

How to calculate your GPA

Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA) is simple and important. GPA is the average grade points you earned over a period of time (for instance, a semester, within your major, or your entire college career). In every course you will earn a grade except for the few courses you may take on a credit/no credit basis.


Note that all General Education courses and all of your major courses must be taken for a letter grade unless the course is only offered with CR/NC grading. Although CR/NC courses will not damage your GPA, they won’t help it either; they don’t affect it at all.


To start, see the chart below to see the point values assigned to each grade:






























Every course is worth a specific number of units. When you enroll in a class, these units are automatically considered units you have attempted, hence the name “units attempted”. The chart on the left, tells you the number of points you get for each unit. To calculate how many grade points you get for a class, you’d need to take the grade you received (according to the char) in the course and then multiply it by the number of units assigned to that course. This gives you the number of grade points earned for the class.


For example: In a three unit class, you can earn from zero grade points ("F" or 0.0 X 3 units=0 grade points earned) to a maximum of 12 grade points ("A" or 4.0 X 3 units=12 grade points).


Now, simply Add up all the grade points you've earned for a certain period (for instance, for a semester or within the major, or for your entire career) and divide that by the number of units you attempted. That will give you the average grade point you earned for units you attempted.


For example:

Let’s say you took 15 units last semester and received the following grades:


CLASS                        GRADE                      VALUE                      UNITS ATTEMPTED                 POINTS EARNED


CH S 155        B                     3.0       x          3 units                                     = 9.0

MATH 131    C+                   2.3       x          3 units                                     = 6.9

MUS 101        A                     4.0       x          2 units                                     = 8.0

MUS 110A     B                     3.0       x          1 unit                           = 3.0

MUS 111/L     C-                    1.7       x          2 units                                     = 3.4

MUS 159B     A                     4.0       x          2 units                         = 8.0

MUS 182        A                     4.0       x          2 units                         = 8.0



TOTAL                                                          15 units                       = 46.3


Now use this equation:           GPA =  Grade Points Earned

                                                              Units Attempted

GPA =              46.3   =  3.09



This will help you figure out your GPA based on new courses only. If you were repeating a course, you would need to change the equation. Check the Repeat Policy to see how repeats can help you improve your GPA. 


Remember that even though a grade of “D” is acceptable for most GE courses, and a grade of “C-” is acceptable for most of your Music courses, a 2.0 GPA is required to be in good standing for your CSUN and your Cumulative (overall) GPA.


If your GPA ever goes below a 2.0 in any given semester, you will be place on Probation and may be disqualified thereafter if you don’t reach the minimum GPA requirements based on your academic standing. See the Probation and Disqualification Information page for more information. Also, a 2.0 is required in your major as well in order to graduate.


Grad Check - Undergraduates

In order to apply for graduation, a grad check needs to be completed with the Music Department Undergraduate Advisor. All students who have earned at least 90 units need to complete a grad check two semesters prior to their expected graduation date. During the grad check, all requirements will be outlined to plan a realistic course load for the student’s last two semesters or more if needed.

Instructions on how to apply for graduation online will be conducted at the time of your grad check. If you need to apply for graduation and have earned at least 90 units towards your degree, please contact our office at 818-677-3181 or stop by CY 116 to schedule your appointment.

 The fee to apply for graduation is currently $47.00 plus any late fees. Check the graduation application deadlines page to find when the late fees apply. You will submit the fee along with the application to the Undergraduate Degree Services office located in Bayramian Hall 170.

 Since it is best for students to check on a regular basis that their requirements towards graduation are being met, here’s a list of all requirements towards your undergraduate degree.

Graduation Requirements - Undergraduates

There are eight requirements that must be satisfied in order to graduate with a Bachelor's degree (see 2019-2020 CSUN catalog):


1) Completion of all applicable General Education program requirements.

                  Currently Sections A-F, including all subsections

2) Completion of Title V Requirements.

These include American History, Ideals; the Constitution of the U.S.; and State and Local Government. 

3) Completion of the requirements of the major.

You can see your option requirements here[1].

4) Completion of Total Units Minimums:

B.A. - minimum of 120 units (min. of 40 units of upper division coursework)

B.M. - minimum of 120 units (min. of 40 units of upper division coursework)

5) Completion of Grade Point Average requirements:

Minimum of 2.0 in your cumulative or overall GPA (includes all units attempted towards the degree)

Minimum of 2.0 in CSUN GPA (includes only units attempted at CSUN)

Minimum of 2.0 in major (includes only upper division units in the major)

Minimum of 2.0 in minor (includes only upper division units in minor if applicable)

6) Completion of Residence requirements:

Minimum of 30 units completed in residence at CSUN

a)     At least 24 of the 30 units must be in upper division coursework (300 level and above)

b)    At least 12 of the 30 units must be in the major and

c)     At least 9 of the 30 units must be in GE.

7) Completion of Writing Skills requirements.

            There are two writing requirements:

a)     Lower Division Writing requirement: completion of GE Section A-1.

b)    Upper Division Writing requirement: passing the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. See the WPE dates and deadlines[2] link to find out upcoming test dates and more information about the exam.

8) Formal approval to graduate

File when 90 or more units have been completed and within 2-3 semesters of finishing requirements. See Grad Check above.

Additional Credit Hour Definitions for the Music Department

In Music Private Lessons, one credit hour is one half-hour of private instruction and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester.

For major ensembles, one credit hour is 3 hours of rehearsal and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester

For minor ensembles, one credit hour is 2 hours of rehearsal and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester

For Chamber music, one credit hour is a minimum of one half-hour of coaching and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester

For small group instruction, one credit hour is 2 hours of in-class instruction and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester

For labs, one credit hour is 2 hours of in-class instruction and a minimum of 4 hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester 

Graduate Student Coursework Policies

The Program of Study

The program of study is a statement of the academic requirements that students must meet for the Master’s/Doctorate degree. The following University requirements apply to the program:

  1. It must be composed of a minimum of 30 units of 400-, 500- and 600-level work.
  2. None of the courses on the program may have been used for any other degree earned in the past.
  3. A maximum of 9 units of 400-level coursework may be used on a program of study. Please check with the Department for their specific policy on 400-level coursework, which could be fewer than 9 units.
  4. No more than 9 units in combination of transfer work, extension work or work completed prior to earning a baccalaureate degree can be used toward the degree.
  5. No more than 6 units of independent study may be included in the program and all independent study arrangements must have prior approval of the instructor and of the Department Chair.
  6. The program must terminate with a culminating experience which will consist of a Thesis, Graduate Project, Artistic Performance or Comprehensive Examination.
  7. Enrollment is required in the semester that the degree is awarded.

400 Level Coursework For Graduate Students

Graduate students who use 400-level coursework in their program of study will have different academic requirements within those courses. These requirements will be appropriate to one who is enrolled in a graduate program.  The requirements will be take the form of additional assignments (in-class and out-of-class) and/or required additional depth on class assignments that are consistent with graduate coursework.

These additional requirements will be made clear to the student in one of the following manners:

  1. Additional requirements for graduate students stated on the standard class syllabus
  2. A syllabus specifically for graduate students will be issued at the beginning of semester
  3. A MOU between student and instructor detailing the initial requirements at the beginning of semester

Graduate Student Learning Outcomes for these courses will accompany these formats.