General Advice for Students


General Advice for Students

Generally speaking, 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-level, courses are best taken in the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years, respectively, so those proper course pre-requisites can be completed in the most efficient order.   However, for transfer students, some course substitutions may be necessary.

Students desiring to complete their degree programs in four years should plan to enroll for full course loads each semester.   The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music also requires the completion of an academic minor outside of Music as defined in the catalog. All programs in music require the completion of general university requirements in areas outside of music as defined in the catalog as well.

Students will be required to repeat courses in their major if they have received less than a C grade. Sample programs and checklists are provided in this handbook to give students an idea as to how these programs are best completed; however, since curriculum requirements are always being changed, it is important that students make sure that the checklist they are using is the most up-to-date version.

If a student is doing poorly in a class, the best solution if for the student to contact the instructor for the course immediately to determine how best to resolve the problem.   Students are also advised to consult with their academic advisor to determine what action needs to be taken.   It is never a good idea to wait until too late to address problems with academic progress.   So be proactive, if in doubt.

Students will notice that the music course content for undergraduate academic programs is similar in course content for the first year of study.   Therefore, it is not critical for a beginning student to select a specific music program immediately upon declaring the major.   Most music students make this decision by the end of their freshman year or at the beginning of their sophomore year.

Students who have transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks from other institutions will have their transfer credits evaluated by the Admissions Office as soon as possible so that deficiencies in a student's record can be corrected as efficiently as possible.   Make sure your advisor receives a copy of this transfer credit evaluation.

For each semester of study, students should check with their academic advisor and make an appointment to discuss course selection for the next semester.   You cannot enroll as full-time student without a form with the signature of your academic advisor.

The UAF Music Department website contains suggested four year plans of study and degree checklists for the last five academic years.   See this information, please visit the following link:

Music Degree Checklists and Four-Year Plans of Study

Undergraduate students nearing the completion of their junior year should log on to their UAOnline account and request a Degree Audit.   When students request this credit audit, they must first specify the catalog year that they wish to have applied to the evaluation.   This audit informs students of where they stand with respect to degree completion from the point of view of the Registrar, and will bring to light any apparent course deficiency that must be resolved before graduation.   If you believe that there is an error in the audit, contact your academic advisor.  

Advanced placement in other music courses

Students who have exceptionally strong backgrounds in other music courses may be placed in more advanced levels of study based upon their demonstrated ability.   Decisions about adjusting levels of private lesson level are addressed that end-of-semester jury examination.

New and transfer students to UAF should arrange to take the Music Theory Placement Examinations in Music Theory and Music Ear Training to determine their proper placement in the music theory/ear training sequence. See the instructor in music theory for further information regarding procedures for arranging credit-by-examination

A student may be exempted from a specific course if the instructor is willing to state in a petition that the student has achieved the minimum competency required.  But the student does not receive the credit for having completed the course, or earn the grade that he or she might have earned.  (Extra elective music courses can fullfil the credits lacking due to the course waiver during the final degree audit stage, if the student has earned extra elective music course credits.)

A student may elect to earn the credit through the Credit-by-Examination option.  For this option, the student fills out a form at the Registrar's Office requesting this option and must pay a fee.  The instructor then give the student an examination and grades it, after which he or she sends the grade result to the Registrar.  Before choosing this option, it is best for the student to discuss this option with the instructor for the course.

A student may also petition to request exemption form a course based upon a justification that they have achieved the competency by completing other courses (beyond those specifically required by UAF).  The student needs to supply documentation to support his request.  (Petitions of this type will not be granted simply because a student states that a particular course is distasteful, or believes that the course isn't relevent to his or her interests.)