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The diploma is given upon completion of a minimum of seventy semester hours (s.h.), as outlined below. A minimum two-year residency is required.

General requirements

Additional departmental requirements

Transfer process from Diploma to Bachelor of Music

General Requirements


16 s.h.
Major lesson 16 s.h.
Additional departmental requirements (listed below)  

Musical Studies

35 s.h.
Fundamentals 2 s.h.
Harmony I, II 7 s.h.
Counterpoint I, II 6 s.h.
Form 2 s.h.
Solfège I, II 8 s.h.
Music History I, II 10 s.h.
(Some majors require additional performance and musical studies courses:
See Additional Departmental Requirements below.)

Career Studies

1 s.h.
Social Entrepreneur 1 s.h.

Liberal Arts

No specific requirements  

Additional Departmental Requirements

Composition Majors


16 s.h.

Composition Seminars 12 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 4 s.h.

Musical Studies

6 s.h.

Applied Orchestration 4 s.h.
Score-Reading 2 s.h.


Keyboard Majors

(Major Requirements: P=Piano, O=Organ)


12 s.h.

Chamber Music 4 s.h. (P, O)
Piano Repertoire Seminar 4 s.h. (P)
Supplementary Piano 4 s.h. (O)
Graduation Recital - Required (P)
Organ Class 4 s.h. (O)

Musical Studies

4 s.h.

Keyboard Studies I, II 4 s.h.

Career Studies

2 s.h.

Sacred Music Seminar 2 s.h. (O)

Orchestral Instrument Majors

(Major Requirements: T=Timpani/Percussion, Va.=Viola, Clo.=Cello, Vn.=Violin)


24 s.h.

Chamber Music 4 s.h.
Orchestra 12 s.h. (age sixteen and older)
Orchestral Repertoire Class/Sectionals 4 s.h. (string, woodwind, brass, or percussion)
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Performance - Required (T)
Graduation Recital - Required (Vn., Va., Clo., T)

Guitar Majors


10 s.h.

Chamber Music 4 s.h.
Guitar Seminar 4 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Graduation Recital - Required  

Voice Majors


30 s.h.

Opera Stagings 12 s.h.
Diction Coachings 4 s.h.
Supplementary Piano 2 s.h.
Vocal Performance Seminar 4 s.h.
Vocal Repertoire Coaching 8 s.h.

Musical Studies

4 s.h.

History of Singing 4 s.h.

Transfer process from Diploma to Bachelor of Music

Diploma students who wish to transfer to the bachelor’s program must provide all required application documents by September 1 for a first-semester transfer or December 1 for a second-semester transfer.

Diploma students may take no more than two one-semester liberal arts courses prior to an official transfer to the bachelor’s program.

The GED will be accepted by Curtis as a supplement to evidence of exceptional academic achievement as part of the application for the bachelor’s program only when prior permission has been obtained from the dean of faculty and students, the registrar, the associate dean of student services, the chair of the liberal arts department, and the chair of the musical studies department. A permission form is available in the Office of the Registrar.