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TN Promise to Pursue a Music Degree at APSU


Austin Peay State University is proud to be one of the only four-year public institutions in Tennessee that offers Associates Degrees, and the only university with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. What this means for you is that you can come to APSU for a music degree using TN Promise money. This page provides information you need to know, and answers to commonly-asked questions about a music degree at APSU as a TN Promise Student. If the answers to your questions are not included below, do not hesitate to contact the department of music or the advising office.


Did You Know

While the TN Promise is beneficial, there are many factors about a music degree that you should consider to make the choice that is right for you.

Did you know: A four-year music degree at any institution requires you to participate in lessons and ensembles in every semester, so when you graduate you will have 8 credits in each of these areas. However, most community colleges do not offer music classes, lessons or ensembles. If you complete an associate’s degree at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree in music, it may take you an additional four years just to meet lesson and ensemble requirements. We suggest it is better to begin at APSU than at a community college if you plan to pursue a music degree.

Did you know: You can apply for additional scholarship money at APSU that will not impact your eligibility for TN Promise. When you apply, be sure to audition for music scholarships, academic scholarships (merit scholarships), and financial or needs-based scholarships (Hope Lottery Scholarships). Click here to visit the office of financial aid.

Did you know: The TN Promise requires you to fulfill 8 hours of volunteer service each semester you use TN Promise money. The APSU Department of Music hosts numerous outreach and community events where volunteer hours may be earned. Click here  to see a list of music department volunteer opportunities. *This list does not guarantee that music department opportunities will be approved by your TN Promise representative. You will need to have all volunteer service pre-approved before serving.


Financial Considerations

For some students, the TN Promise will provide the most financial benefits if you decide to pursue a music degree at APSU. For others, however, it may be more financially beneficial for you to enter APSU as a four-year student. Each student’s circumstances are different, so there is no singular answer as to which is best. We encourage you to pursue both options to see which scenario might give you more money.

Click here to review TN Promise information, and to use APSU’s TN Promise Calculator. This calculator will help you decide how much you may receive under TN Promise, or if it would be more beneficial for you to use scholarships and other resources to enter APSU as a traditional 4-year student.

Advising Information

If you come to APSU under the TN Promise, you will pursue the Associate of Science in Liberal Arts (ASL) in your first four to five semesters, graduate with the ASL and then transfer in to the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Arts in Music.

Semester-by-Semester Plans: We have prepared four-year semester-by-semester plans to help you graduate on time and ensure that you meet TN Promise enrollment requirements each semester it is available. Click below on the semester-by-semester plan you intend to pursue as a four-year degree. The color-coding on each document shows you which courses meet TN Promise requirements.

Associate of Science Leading to a Bachelor of Music

  • Music Education Concentration
  • Performance Concentration

Associate of Science leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Music


In colleges across the country, it is common for music students to enroll in more than 15 hours, particularly in the first few years. There are steps you can take in high school that can reduce the number of required hours in your first few years:

  • All incoming music students take a theory placement test in the first week of the first semester. If you score well enough, you will be exempt from one or two lower-division theory courses. If, however, you have little or no prior experience in music theory, you may be required to enroll in additional theory courses (MUS 1040 Introduction to Music Theory). Ask your high school music teacher if your school offers theory classes that can help to prepare you for a college music degree.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school may exempt you from certain general education courses. Talk with your high school counselor about these opportunities at your school.
  • Exemplary ACT scores may also exempt you from certain general education classes. The registrar’s office will review your scores and let you know if this applies to you.
  • You may also take courses during the summer or winter term to reduce course load in the fall and spring.

Five Year Plans: Although a four-year degree in music is possible, it is equally common in universities across the country for music students to complete a degree in five years. This is especially common if you have little or no prior experience in music theory, or if you plan to pursue a music education degree. Sample five-year semester plans for music education are included below to show you what your program of study would be if you were required to take the introduction to theory classes (MUS 1040) rather than begin in theory 1 (MUS 1180). An advisor will work with you each semester you are at APSU to help you pick the plan that is best for you, and stay on track towards graduation.



For Additional Information:

Click Here to return to the Music Department Homepage

Click Here for TN Promise Advising

Click Here Music Department Scholarships and Auditions


Or contact the department of music chair, Dr. Douglas Rose at or 931.221.7818.