Sophomore Decision and Oral Competency

At Stetson, there are two requirements of music degrees that fall outside of the course work. These proficiencies are designed to measure overall knowledge and thoroughness of understanding in certain significant areas of music.

Sophomore Decision

Upon completion of the second semester of sophomore-level applied major study for first-time-in-college students, or in the semester approved by the faculty for transfer students, all students are examined by a faculty jury to determine eligibility for junior standing (“Sophomore Decision”). This jury is longer and more comprehensive than the normal jury, and includes performance of learned repertoire, sight-reading, and other items of general musical knowledge. A positive simple majority vote by the committee will constitute a pass. A music major is not enrolled in “upper division” applied courses until a favorable Sophomore Decision has been recorded. Students desiring to remain as music majors may continue to enroll in MUSA112 until the Sophomore Decision is passed. A student may not take a Sophomore Decision more than twice without a special approval given by the dean of the School of Music.

Oral Communication Competency

The oral competency of each music major will be examined by a faculty committee, usually at the sophomore decision jury. At this time, each student will make a prepared oral presentation of approximately three minutes pertaining to the music performed (or another topic related to the performing area approved by the applied teacher). A positive simple majority vote by the committee will constitute a pass. Students may take the oral communication competency only once. Principal matters that are to be considered by the faculty are the following:

  • proper grammar
  • logical organization of materials
  • clear and distinct speech
  • effective stage presence

Those students who, in the judgment of the faculty, do not possess adequate skills in oral communication will be required to complete an established Public Speaking course in the university Communications department prior to graduation. Students should obtain a copy of the specific competencies as listed on the assessment/feedback sheet from their studio teacher so there is clarity on what is being assessed for oral competency.