Dec 08, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies Major, B.A.

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Department Information

Department of Appalachian Studies

Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music
PO Box 70435
Phone: (423) 439-7072
Web Address:

Department Chair: Ron Roach, Ph.D.

Program Director: Dan Boner

The Bachelor of Arts in Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies is designed to produce uniquely-prepared individuals who can compete and succeed in a wide array of careers. Possible career opportunities include: performing artist, studio musician, audio engineer, recording artist, songwriter, writer for trade publications, manager or promoter, road manager, museum or heritage center staff or administrator, educator, and private music instructor.

Admission Procedures

Any student seeking a degree in bluegrass, old-time, and country music studies must meet general university admission requirements. Once admitted to the university, the student must audition for admission to the degree program, either in live performance or by video, for students who live more than 150 miles from campus. The five-minute audition should demonstrate the student’s technique, musicianship, and artistry. Auditions for admission to the major are held on selected dates prior to each semester (see the program’s web page, for dates) and are judged by bluegrass, old-time, and country music studies faculty. To schedule an audition, you may contact Daniel Boner at (423) 439-7072.

If a student meets the audition requirements and is admitted to the major, an academic advisor will assist the student in selecting courses and planning a program of study.


Students with 0-59 earned credits:

Contact the Center for Advisement and Student Excellence (CASE) to schedule an appointment with your advisor. Visit the CASE website and call (423) 439-5602. Continue to meet also with your BLUE faculty advisor and/or speak with Teresa Owens, Executive Aide for Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies, to have permits issued for your individual instruction and band courses.

Students with 60 or more earned credits:

Meet with your BLUE faculty advisor for advising.

B.A. Degree Core and Performance Tracks

The student will complete a core of 36 credits and choose between two performance tracks: vocal or instrumental. Students pursuing the vocal track must pass a guitar proficiency test or take two credits of class guitar or individual instruction on guitar.

Progression Standards

Band class and individual instruction are offered at three levels. Any student enrolled in band class and/or individual instruction must meet program progression standards in order to advance to the next higher level. Any student majoring in Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies must have successfully completed three credits of study at Level III (4xxx) in band classes and three credits of study at Level III (4xxx) in individual instruction before the degree may be awarded. Band class progression will be evaluated during any of the three required performances each semester. Individual instruction progression will be evaluated via jury examinations held at the end of every semester. Progression standards are published in course syllabi.

Performance Requirements

All students enrolled in Bluegrass, Old-time, Celtic, and Country Band classes are required to perform at a minimum of three public performances during the semester. Performance dates will be provided at the beginning of each semester and listed online (see the program’s web page,, for dates). Any student who inexcusably misses any scheduled performance will receive a failing grade for the semester.

Attendance at Lectures, Workshops, Master Classes, and Performances

Students are encouraged to attend program-hosted concerts, workshops, master artist lectures, and performances. See our website for a schedule of events:

Transfer Information

All transfer students who wish to declare Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies as a major must audition for acceptance. To schedule a major audition, you may email Dr. Nate Olson, Assistant Director at

The Association of Applied Science Degree/Bluegrass Music Program from Volunteer State Community College articulates with ETSU’s B.A. in Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies. For more information please visit:

For general information about the program or courses, contact Mr. Daniel Boner, Director at or (423) 439-7494.

Degree Requirements: 120 credits

General Education 41-42 credits
Major Total Requirement 45 credits
     Major Core (36 credits)
     Other: Performance Track (9 credits)
Minor 18-24 credits
Free Electives 9-16 credits
TOTAL 120 credits

Suggested Four-Year Program of Study: BLUE-BA  

College of Arts and Sciences : Visit link to view the complete list of B.A. degree requirements.

  • Completion of a foreign language course numbered 2020 or above with a grade of C- or better. Based on a placement test, students may be required to take courses numbered 1010, 1020 and/or 2010 also.
  • Non-U.S. History (3 credits)
  • MATH 1530  or MATH 1910  

General Education Requirements   

These requirements include earning 41-42 credits in Communication, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavior Sciences, History, Natural Sciences and Mathematics categories.

Major Specific courses listed in General Education Requirements:

Total Requirements for Major: 45 credits

Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music Studies Core: 36 credits

Select Instrumental or Vocal Performance Track: 9 credits

Instrumental Performance Track

Vocal Performance Track

Minor: 18-24 credits

A minor is required for this degree. It is recommended that students choose from either Entrepreneurship  or the Appalachian Studies  Minor as their minor; however, General Business , Management , Advertising , Journalism , and others are also appropriate.

Free Electives: 9-16 credits

Additional Information

Suggested Minor: Entrepreneurship Minor  or Appalachian Studies Minor  

Click here to view Degree and Graduation Requirements  for all ETSU students.

Most minors range from 18-24 credits. Those few minors with more than 24 credits may affect the number of free electives allowed.

CSCI 1100  or Proficiency Exam: Must be completed to meet Bachelor’s Degree Requirements.

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