Music AA-T Degree

The Music program at College of the Desert is rooted in the passionate belief that the arts are integral to the social development of every individual and an essential part of life that is vital to the understanding of diverse cultures. Students learn to express themselves artistically, both as individuals and in collaboration with others. Our community sees, supports, and sustains music education not only for the immediate values of performance, but for ways of understanding the world, for the development of the mind and body, and for many underlying skills and understandings that are necessary for success in life.

The Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer, also called the Music AA-T Degree, is designed to prepare students to transfer to a CSU or UC campus to complete a bachelor’s degree in Music. Course offerings include music theory and musicianship, ensembles, piano, and applied lessons on an instrument or voice. Students earning the Music AA-T Degree will receive “priority admission with junior status to the CSU system.”  Students completing a bachelor’s degree typically choose careers in music that include performer, educator, conductor, composer, arranger, accompanist, recording engineer, radio/television audio engineer, music minister, music therapist, or private instructor.

This Music AA-T degree requires students to meet both of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 60 semester units that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both of the following:
    • The Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University GE-Breadth Requirements (CSU GE-B).
    • A minimum of 18 semester units in a major or area of emphasis. All courses in the major or area of emphasis must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.
  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

There are no additional graduation requirements. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

Course Code Title Units
Required Core Courses
MUS 001Music Theory I4
MUS 002Music Theory II4
MUS 003Music Theory III4
MUS 012Fundamentals of Music3
MUS 021APiano I1
MUS 021BPiano II1
MUS 021CPiano III1
Take four semesters total of the following (0.5 units each):2
Applied Music, Instrumental
Applied Music, Vocal
Large Ensemble (4 semesters total) - select from the following (1 unit each):4
Jazz Band
Jazz Ensembles
Jazz Singers
Chamber Singers
Symphonic Band
Required Subtotal24
Select one of the following: 137-39
Transferable Electives (as needed to reach 60 transferable units) 2

Units for the major may be double counted for CSU GE or IGETC, confer with Counselor.


Elective units to reach 60 unit total must be CSU transferable, confer with Counselor.

Please refer to Associate Degree for Transfer (SB 1440).