Undergraduate Program Music: Performance

two PSU music students performing on pianos

Music: Performance Bachelor's Degree Overview

The Bachelor of Music in Performance offers world-class instruction to students who want to hone their craft in a vibrant music school just steps away from the Oregon Symphony. An undergraduate music performance degree from the PSU School of Music & Theater will embolden you to become a more confident performer and take a chance on your professional goals.

This degree provides a thorough music foundation with specialized coursework in classical instrumental performance, keyboard skills, music theory, and pedagogy. Our nationally and internationally renowned faculty will provide one-on-one mentorship in your applied lessons. You’ll participate in immersive performance experiences in our award-winning large ensembles, chamber ensembles, and solo recital performances.

Completing the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree will give you the skills to continue your study at the graduate level or to pursue professional work as a performer and/or private instructor. Our alumni are accepted into top performance graduate programs and go on to a variety of musical careers. Join them in this diverse field.

Prospective music majors must apply to PSU, submit a secondary application to the School of Music & Theater, and pass the entrance audition. Learn more about our application process.

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance

PSU also offers a BA/BS in Music with an emphasis on performance for students who want to use music as a core of exploration for their academic studies. The BA/BS in Music Performance will provide you with a strong music foundation with an emphasis on performance within a broad liberal arts framework. You’ll receive individualized instruction in applied lessons, participate in large ensembles, and perform a culminating recital at the end of your coursework.

Degree Details

Music: Performance Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

As a music performance major, you can gain real-world experience performing both on campus and in the greater community.

Our diverse campus is located in the center of downtown Portland, right in the heart of the city’s vibrant performing arts district. Our deep community connections give you unmatched opportunities for hands-on learning as an undergraduate.

We are proud to be a national College of Distinction for our commitment to helping students to succeed. At PSU, you will gain the experience and knowledge you need to make a difference in your career and community.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in Music Performance?

Most of our alumni go on to grad school or combine a career as a freelance musician with teaching. Others pursue related careers: arts administrator, arranger, producer, and composer.

Recent graduates have been accepted into graduate programs at Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cleveland Institute. Some are performing with Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Symphony. Others hold administrative and educational positions at Kennedy Center, Portland Ballet, All Classical Radio, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Bravo Youth Orchestras.

Featured Courses

  • MUS 113 Music Theory III
  • MUS 116 Sight-Singing/Ear Training III
  • MUS 213 Music Theory VI
  • MUS 216 Sight Singing/ Ear Training VI
  • MUS 293 Advanced Class Piano III
  • MUS 305 Music History: Classical & Romantic
  • MUS 311 Form & Analysis
  • MUS 320 Fundamentals of Conducting
  • MUS 395 Wind Ensemble
  • MUS 396 Orchestra
  • MUS 397 Choir
  • MUS 481 Pedagogy


  • MUS 204 Body Mapping for Musicians
  • MUS 374 World Music: Africa & The Middle East
  • MUS 375 World Music: Asia


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

PSU's Music programs are fully accredited National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and holds the All-Steinway School designation.