An IUP student plays the guitar.

Explore Music Analysis, Performance, and Recording

The Certificate in Popular Music Studies introduces students to fundamental concepts associated with the creation and reception of popular music. It is a credential that enables students to demonstrate basic competency with the performance, production, or analysis of popular music, and may be particularly appealing to those studying music, communications media, entrepreneurship, or marketing.

The certificate program is administered jointly by the Department of Music and Department of Communications Media. It requires 10 credits of core courses and an additional nine credits of electives. While basic performance or songwriting ability is recommended, no audition is required for admission to the program.

Certificate in Popular Music Studies1, 19 credits

Core Courses: 10 credits

  • COMM 249 Basic Audio Recording Techniques, 3cr
  • COMM 414 Music, Media, and Culture, 3cr
  • MUSC 114 Analysis of Popular Music, 3cr
  • MUSC 140 Popular Music Ensemble2, 1cr

Electives: 9 credits

Nine credits from the following:

  • APMU____ Applied Music1, 1-2cr
  • COMM 354 Media Law and Policy, 3cr
  • COMM 449 Advanced Audio Recording Techniques, 3cr
  • MUHI 333 History of Popular Music Since 1945, 3cr
  • MUSC 140 Popular Music Ensemble2, 1-3cr

1Applied music instructors may require certificate participants to demonstrate basic proficiency with voice or a musical instrument. Students may elect up to two semesters of 1cr lessons.

2Students must register for MUSC 140 Popular Music Ensemble (1cr) at least once. The course may be repeated up to three times for a total of four credits.

Strengthen Your Skills and Musical Expertise

Popular music forms the fabric of many people's lives, leading millions to pursue making music as a career or a hobby.

Students in Music Education, Music Performance, Communications Media, Business, and other majors can benefit from adding this certificate to their credentials.

A music student who performs primarily classical music or jazz can add skills in popular music to his or her portfolio. Communications Media majors can add extra musical competencies to broaden their knowledge of audio recording or video production. Post-baccalaureate students can open new areas of creative or professional activity by returning to earn the certificate.

See Communications Media