Westminster Choir College Undergraduate General Requirements

General Requirements for Westminster Choir College Students

  • All entering undergraduate students take placement tests in order to determine the level of their skills in a variety of areas.  Specifically, students must meet all musicianship, ELI/TOEFL, reading, writing, and mathematics proficiency requirements as determined by the college. Those whose scores on placement tests indicate that they are not prepared to undertake college-level work are required to complete remedial courses in order to bring their skills up to the minimum standards expected. Please see “Placement” in the Admissions and Arts and Sciences sections of this catalog.  International students also should review the English language requirements listed under “Admission as an International Student” in the Admissions section of this catalog.
  • Students must earn a minimum of 124 undergraduate credits. Of these, a minimum of 62 must be earned within Rider University, exclusive of credits transferred or earned by examination.
  • Students must complete all degree requirements within ten years of initial enrollment. Students who have not satisfied requirements by this time may be required to repeat courses and/or to meet further requirements. If more than one year has elapsed since the date of last enrollment, students may be required to re-apply and re-audition for the program and must meet all requirements in place at the time of their readmission.
  • Students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00, except for Music Education majors who must, by state requirement, earn a minimum cumulative average of 3.00.  Students dropped from a major because of failure to maintain the minimum grade point average may apply for readmission to the respective department.  Readmission will be dependent upon various criteria, including the G.P.A., current academic progress, and the student’s general standing.
  • Performance majors must earn a minimum grade of “B-” each semester in the primary applied music field in order to make satisfactory progress.  If a grade of “C+” or lower is earned, the student must repeat the semester.  All other students must earn a minimum grade of “C-” each semester in the primary applied music field. If a grade of “D“ or lower is earned, a student must repeat the semester.
  • Students must meet attendance and performance requirements in studio performance classes and labs, as set by each applied department and/or major field department.
  • Keyboard students must pass a general progress jury at the end of one year of secondary voice study and a proficiency test to complete secondary voice study.
  • All students must present a senior primary applied recital after qualifying according to departmental standards. Some major fields also require a junior recital. Students must enroll for primary applied study during the term when any recital is to be presented unless specifically excused from this requirement by the primary applied department.
  • Students must participate in and earn credit for one of the required choirs (Chapel Choir, Symphonic Choir) during every semester of enrollment, up to a maximum of eight semesters, except for Music Education majors, who must enroll up to a maximum of seven semesters.
  • Commencement:  Academic year requirements extend through the annual spring Commencement. All students enrolled in required ensembles (Chapel Choir, Symphonic Choir) are required to participate in Commencement unless excused under extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances, such as serious illness. All other students are encouraged to participate in Commencement.  In particular, credit for spring semester choir participation is lost if a student does not attend and is not excused from Commencement. Students participating with the members of the graduating classes are required to purchase or rent appropriate academic regalia, available through the college store.
  • In addition to the information given here, students are referred to individual department handbooks for additional information and requirements.

Arts and Sciences General Remarks

Westminster Choir College Arts and Sciences courses seek to provide those elements of a liberal arts education that will furnish undergraduates with an intelligent grasp of their cultural heritage and of the world in which they live. A thorough and ongoing contact with the humanities and an appreciation for the behavioral, social and physical sciences are indispensable to the development of musical leadership. Arts and Sciences courses are taught by faculty from all departments of the University. Arts and Sciences students may enroll in any Rider University class. Please see the section, “Princeton University Program” for additional information.

Music History and Art History courses cannot be used to fulfill the Arts and Sciences history elective requirement.

Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is a liberal arts degree with a major in music. A broad foundation in liberal studies complements extensive studies in music. The curriculum is designed for students whose academic/and or career interests extend beyond music.

Reading, Writing and Mathematics Skills

All entering undergraduates take placement tests in order to determine the level of their English reading and writing abilities and the level of their mathematics skills. Students exempted from any required Arts and Sciences course(s) must replace the credits with additional Arts and Sciences electives.

As a result of SAT scores and/or the English placement test, students may be required to take CMP 120 during their first fall semester. CMP 120, if required, must be completed satisfactorily as a prerequisite to all other Arts and Sciences courses. All students should complete CMP 125 or BHP 150 during their first year of study.

English Placement

Students who have earned an AP score of 4 on either the Composition and Literature or the Language and Literature examination will receive credit for CMP 125.  Students who have earned an AP score of 5 on either the Composition and Literature or the Language and Literature examination will receive three additional credits.  

Students with a combined score on the SATW and SATR of 1300 or higher are eligible to enroll in CMP 203 or CMP 125. Students may enroll in BHP 100 by invitation of the Westminster Choir College Honors Program.  

Students with an SATW score of 550 or higher OR an essay score of 8 or higher will be placed into CMP 125.  

Students with an SATW below 550 AND an essay score below 8 will be placed into LL 037.  

Students with an SATW score lower than 500 OR an essay score lower than 7 may not challenge their placement into LL 037.  

Students with an SATW score between 500-550 and an essay score of 7 may challenge their placement into LL 037 by taking the English Placement Test.

Mathematics Placement

As a result of the SAT scores and/or the mathematics placement test, students may be required to take MTH 100S

Failing grade on the Mathematics Placement Test, OR SAT Math < 550: MTH 100S

Passing grade on the Mathematics Placement Test, OR SAT Math ≥ 550 OR completion of MTH 100S or MTH 102.

Foreign Languages

Foreign language study is sequential, each course being prerequisite to the next. A minimum grade of C is required for advancement to the next level. Grades of C- or below will not be accepted. Placement tests are offered for students who have backgrounds in French, German or Italian. Advanced standing may be approved, but credit is not awarded except by transfer of credits earned in foreign language study at the college level for undergraduate students only.

  • Foreign language placement tests are intended to determine appropriate placement only for students that have had prior instruction in the language and intend to take further courses in the language at Rider University. Undergraduate students whose test results place them into 200 or 300-level must take at least one semester of the language in order to fulfill an undergraduate language requirement.
  • Foreign language placement tests do not result in credit awarded.
  • Undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade of C in a language course at another college or university will receive credit after supplying transcript evidence. Grades of C- or below are not sufficient.
  • Students who have earned a minimum score of 3 on the AP (Advanced Placement) test, may receive three to six credits for each language exam.
  • Undergraduate students who would like to receive credit for one or more language courses may take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) in that language at their own expense. (There is currently no CLEP exam for Italian.) Students who earn a score of at least 65 on CLEP exams may earn credits towards graduation.
  • Native speakers may be exempted from taking a course in their native language by the Dean or by recommendation from the appropriate language instructor. This exemption does not receive credit, but fulfills undergraduate language requirements in that language.

For undergraduates exempted from language courses, the language credits are replaced by electives in Arts and Sciences.

AP, IB, and CLEP Credit

Students who have earned a minimum score of 3 may receive three to six credits for each Advanced Placement (AP) test. A minimum score of 4 is required on the Music Theory AP test. Specific course and credit information is available at https://www.rider.edu/admissions/first-year/requirements-deadlines/college-credit/ap

Students who have completed International Baccalaureate (IB) courses must submit appropriate transcripts and scores.  Incoming students may be granted up to 20 credits on the basis of their International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework. Credits are awarded for Higher Level IB courses based on the student receiving a score at or above the level approved by the department that evaluated the course (in no case less than a score of five). In order to grant credit, Rider’s Office of Undergraduate Admission must be sent an official IB transcript. Specific course and credit information may be found at https://www.rider.edu/admissions/first-year/requirements-deadlines/college-credit/ib-course-equivalency

In the case of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), students who have earned scores of at least 65 on tests prior to entering Westminster Choir College may apply these courses toward graduation. Students are limited to three credits per course unless additional credit is specifically authorized by the department. After enrolling at Westminster, students must obtain advance written approval from the department in order to earn credit through CLEP.

The following policies govern the awarding of academic credit for CLEP Examinations:

1. Credit will be provided for the successful completion of CLEP Subject Examinations, provided the student has not already received credit for corresponding courses.

2. A college course may not be taken for credit if the student has already received credit for the course through CLEP.

3. Continuing students must obtain approval from their academic dean prior to taking CLEP examinations.

4. Awarding of CLEP credits, like credit transferred from other colleges and universities, is subject to the approval of the student’s academic dean.

5. Juniors or seniors generally may not obtain CLEP credits. Students having CLEP credits or contemplating CLEP exams should consult with their academic dean.