School of Music Student Handbook

Academic Information

Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisors are available to help you with your program planning. Students are strongly advised to confirm their course selections with their advisor. 

Advisors for the 2018-19 academic year are:


Prof. Christopher Butterfield
250-721-7903 | Mac B104

Comprehensive &
Musical Arts

Sarah Riecken
Fine Arts Student Advisor
250-472-5165 | FA 119


Dr. Adam Con (fall)
250-721-6451 | A161

History & Literature

Dr. Katharina Clausius (fall)
Dr. Joseph Salem (spring)
250-721-7906 | Mac B110
250-721-7910 | Mac B118


Pamela Highbaugh Aloni 
250-721-7915 | Mac B096

Combined Major in Music & Computer Science

Kirk McNally
250-472-5628 | Mac B004

Graduate Program

Prof. Benjamin Butterfield (fall)
Dr. Joseph Salem (spring)
250-721-7919 | Mac B081
250-721-7910 | Mac B118

First-year Requirements

An overview of first year course requirements can be found here.

If you have a good background in music theory (Royal Conservatory of Music Intermediate Harmony), you might wish to take the advanced placement theory test just before classes begin in September. For now, you should register in 101A and 101B. If you are exempted from these courses in September, your registration can easily be changed.

Try to register at the earliest possible date. Your authorization to register will tell you when this is. If you are late registering, you may have difficulties getting into first-year English and other non-music courses, some of which fill up very quickly.

In addition to the courses listed here, students intending to major in Composition must enroll in MUS 105, and may also be advised to take MUS 207 in their first year.

Students wishing to major in Music Education must register in MUS 131. Students in the music education program require a total of 3.0 units of English to qualify for admission to the PDPP in Education. Students should consult an academic advisor in Education for complete admission requirements.

Important:  You are required to take 12 units to be eligible for scholarships. To qualify for lessons, Performance majors must register in a minimum of 12 units; non-Performance majors must carry at least 9 units.

Theory Placement Tests

Students with a good background in music theory (Royal Conservatory of Music Intermediate Harmony) might wish to take the advanced placement theory test just before classes begin in September.

Theory materials are available for entering undergraduate students preparing for Theory Placement Tests and/or Challenge Exams


Course requirements for all Music programs are available from the 2018-19 Course Calendar.

Quick reference:

2018-19 Timetable
2018-19 Undergraduate Course Listing
2018-19 Graduate Course Listing

Adding a Course

September 21 is the last day for adding courses that begin in the fall term. January 23 is the last day for adding courses that begin in January. Students may use My page until the last day to add courses for each term. After the last day, a request to add a course must be submitted on an Undergraduate Course Change Form to Undergraduate Records, accompanied by a written explanation to justify the request and a memo from the instructor. For details, see Adding and Dropping Courses.

Dropping a Course

The last day for 100% reduction of tuition fees for first-term and full-year courses is September 18. The last day to drop with a 50% tuition reduction is October 9. The last day to drop a course (with 100% reduction of tuition fees) that starts in January is January 20. The last day to drop with a 50% tuition reduction is February 1-.

Students may use My page to drop first-term courses until the last day in October and full-year and second-term courses until the last day in February without receiving a failing grade. For details, see Adding and Dropping Courses.


Grade Scale

Quick reference:

Absence from Class

You are required to notify your instructor or ensemble director directly should you be missing classes or rehearsal. Each instructor decides whether to excuse class absences and determines whether to permit makeup work.

If you will be absent from classes for a week or more due to accident, illness, or other emergency you should notify all of your instructors.   

Change of Major

If you want to change your major, please meet with Jill Michalski ( / Mac B106).

Declaration of Degree

Early in the Fall term, second or third year students (depending on your program) must, in consultation with their advisor, complete a Declaration of Degree form (available from the School of Music Main office in mid-October). This form is your contract with the University and lists the courses you must complete to be awarded a degree.


At the end of the school year, as part of the grading procedure, all students enrolled in MUS 140, 240, 340, 440, 540, 245, 345, (445 and 545 if their formal graduating recital has not been presented during the year) perform for a jury of faculty members. The mark received from the jurors is factored with the private instructor's own mark to make one final grade in private tuition. The weighting in the final mark is two-thirds private instructor, one-third jury.  Jury materials are selected and assigned by your private instructor well in advance of the examination.

Application for Graduation

The University Senate grants degrees in October and May each year prior to the awarding of degrees at convocation ceremonies in November and June, respectively. Candidates for a degree, diploma or certificate must submit a formal application for graduation when registering in the final Summer or Winter Session before their anticipated graduation.

Application deadlines are July 1 for November convocation and December 1 for June convocation. Application forms for graduation are available from the Department of Undergraduate Records.

Academic Concession and Accommodation

A student whose academic performance is affected by injury, family or personal affliction, or illness should immediately consult with University Counselling Services, University Health Services, or another health professional, and may request a deferral, substitution, or a formal Request for Academic Concession (RAC). All requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation.Options and procedures vary depending on timing and circumstances and are outlined here.

Academic accommodation is available to students to address significant disadvantages or difficulties from physical disabilities, learning disabilities, medical conditions or other special needs. Visit The Resource Centre for Students with a Disability for more information and contacts.

Piano Proficiency

Proficiency at the keyboard is an important skill for all musicians and one that is required of all BMus students for graduation. You can fulfill this requirement in two ways:

1. provide documentation of passing Royal Conservatory grade level 5 or higher; or
2. pass the School’s keyboard proficiency test which is administered in September.

Those who are inexperienced at the keyboard may prepare for the test by taking instruction. This may take the form of private lessons or piano classes. A complete description of the keyboard proficiency requirement is available from Prof. Bruce Vogt.


It is important for you to develop your own ideas and original thoughts and contributions while at UVic. As you complete course work and research papers, you will use material created and developed by other authors and it is necessary to credit their work in your papers. Appropriate contexts and methods for citing sources in research papers are discussed in the first year of the music history core curriculum (MUS 120A, MUS 120B). For a basic guide, you can find helpful information on the UVic Libraries website.

For a quick tutorial, take a look at this video.

Instructors may bring allegations of plagiarism to the attention of the Director who will give the student an opportunity to respond before making a determination. Penalties are described in the University’s policy on Academic Integrity. Reports of plagiarism are kept on file so that cases of infractions across multiple courses can be tracked.