B.A. in Music with Popular Music Emphasis

Viewing the world of Popular Music through the study of Social Media and Songwriting

Check out the Popular Music Emphasis Website!


Entrance Requirements / Apply

The Qualities the Popular Music student should possess:

A broad sense of what popular music is in terms of historical perspective and diversity in musical genre, sophisticated engagement in various social media beyond simply connecting with friends and acquaintances, significant musical experience as a performer, and at least some experience in musical composition arranging, producing, and/or songwriting. As you assemble your audition materials - written statement and audition video - please be mindful of clearly presenting all of the mentioned qualities you possess.

How To Apply

Note: Read these requirements very carefully! Review of completed auditions will begin Feb 1. Incomplete audition materials will not be considered.

Apply to the University

Begin by completing the William Paterson University application. Click Here.

Apply to the Music Department

Please use our online application process. Click Here.

Music Theory Placement

A music theory placement test will be given as part of the on-line application process.

Written Statement
  • Provide a 300 word or less narrative that includes the following:
  • Explain your career goals and describe how this major might help you attain these goals.
  • Describe your musical background.
  • If for some reason your main career goal was not possible what would be your "plan B"?
  • Include examples of involvement in social media or music on the Internet. Include links to your website, Twitter page, Facebook page, blog, or other other online presence.
  • Include links to examples of your composition, songwriting or arranging activities.

Musical Audition - Online Submissions Only

An applicant must submit a link to a web-based video, or upload an actual video, in which the applicant performs the required musical scales and work(s) - see below. Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria: evenness of tempo, intonation, pitch accuracy, musicality, performance ability, musical diversity, and the like. The video should not contain edits within individual scales or during the recording of the performed piece. The video image and the audio should be clear without distortion and without excessive environmental noise. Be sure you can be heard above any accompaniment. It is imperative that the submission shows your abilities in the best possible light.

Please note that these requirements represent the bare minimum for consideration for this program. You are encouraged to include original compositions, songs, live performances, musical arrangements and any additional material that would help the committee make a more accurate determination of your abilities.

Minimum requirements for all instruments including electric guitar and electric bass (except voice and percussion)
  1. Perform the following scales: C major, G major, Bb Major, and C harmonic minor. (Keyboard players must perform with two hands simultaneously.)
  2. Perform an unaccompanied solo piece in any style. Please do not play along with a recording or a metronome for this portion of the audition.
  3. Play a "C" on a keyboard or other instrument and sing the pitch. Do the same with "Eb" and "A".
  4. Sing "Happy Birthday".

Minimum requirements for voice
  1. Sing a one-octave major scale - unaccompanied.
  2. Perform an unaccompanied piece in any style. Please do not play along with a recording or a metronome for this portion of the audition.
  3. Play a "C" on a keyboard or other instrument and sing the pitch. Do the same with "Eb" and "A".

Minimum requirements for percussion
  1. Demonstrate single, double, and closed rolls on snare drum
  2. Perform an unaccompanied piece in any style. Please do not play along with a recording or a metronome for this portion of the audition.
  3. Play a "C" on a keyboard or other instrument and sing the pitch. Do the same with "Eb" and "A".
  4. Sing "Happy Birthday".

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Please go to the website for the Office of International Students and Scholars for additional requirements. Please send all completed documentation to the Office of International Students and Scholars.

For more information, please contact:
Music Department Admissions
musicadmissions@wpunj.edu
(973) 720-3466

David Kerzner, Program Coordinator
kerznerd@wpunj.edu (973) 720-3198