Frequently Asked Questions

students walking on campus

Academic & Advising FAQs

  • Where Can I Find the Academic Information I Need?

    The Undergraduate Catalog is the binding document for all policies related to your curriculum and degree requirements. The Blair Student Handbook also provides detailed information and curriculum plans. Additional information and forms are available through the Academics section of the Blair website.

  • What Should I Do if I Want to Double Major?

    Please make an appointment with Professor Brian Utley to discuss ways to manage your schedule for the remaining semesters. As you select your courses, look for those that count double between areas in your liberal arts core. When you double count a course, you do not double the number of credits earned, but you satisfy the requirements in two categories. For example, English courses double count for English and Humanities. You will earn three credits for the course, thus satisfying half of your English requirement and part of the Humanities category; you will then have three credits available for an academic elective that applies to a second major.

  • How Do I Declare a Second Major or Minor?

    Declaring as soon as possible will give you a better chance of enrolling in the classes you need to complete the second major or minor. Ask for an adviser in the department of the second major or minor and let them know you are interested in completing a second major/minor. After communicating with the second advisor, complete the Major/Minor declaration request, which can be found on the University Registrar Workflow page. Major/Minor declaration requests will be routed to the appropriate administrators and students will receive an email notification when the request is approved. After the second adviser signs the change-of-course request form, submit the completed form to the Blair Office of Academic Services. Deadline is the fifth day of classes during your final semester at Vanderbilt for B.Mus. students. For musical arts degree students, the deadline is in the fifth semester.

  • I Am Pre-med. What Else Should I Consider When Registering?

    Speak with Professor Utley and consult the Health Professions website. Detailed information for Blair students planning to do pre-med can be found in the Student Handbook.

  • In the B.mus. Degree, What Is the Difference Between the Performance/Composition and Integrated Studies Majors?

    In the B.Mus. degree, you will graduate with a major in one of the following areas: instrument/voice performance, composition, jazz studies, integrated studies, or integrated studies/teacher education. All of these majors require a minimum of 80 credit hours in music, with instruction in a major instrument/voice or composition and additional courses in musicology, music theory, conducting, ensembles, and pedagogy. However, in the performance and composition majors, applied lessons are three or four credits per semester, while in integrated studies, lessons are two credits each semester. In integrated studies there is a more equal balance between courses in performance/composition and a required second area in music, which is satisfied by declaring one of the concentrations in music. (See the Blair Student Handbook for options.) For Integrated Studies/Teacher Education majors, the concentration is Teacher Education.

  • How Is the Musical Arts Degree Different From the B.mus. Degree?

    The Musical Arts degree gives outstanding musicians the opportunity to focus on music courses in 50 percent of their coursework (at least 63 hours), with flexibility to also concentrate on a specific area outside of music (minimum 18 credit hours). This discrete area of competence can be a second major, minor, pre-professional track, or self-designed interdisciplinary area. The remaining credits are in the liberal arts core (30 hours) and free electives (to reach a total of 126 hours).

  • Why Do I Have Two Advisers?

    Blair students are fortunate to have both an academic adviser and a studio adviser. Your studio adviser can help you with questions related to your major area (ensemble choices, graduate school auditions, summer festivals, etc.), while the academic adviser helps you with course registration and gives you a musical and academic perspective beyond your major area. The advisers work together to provide the resources you need to successfully complete your degree requirements.

  • Whom Do I Talk to About Study Abroad?

    The Global Education Office in the Student Life Center is your first stop for information about study abroad. Check out the information in the Blair Student Handbook about the specific programs that are affiliated with Blair, and feel free to discuss it with Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Brian Utley. Students who wish to study abroad will need to meet with Brian Utley to ensure that degree requirements can be completed in eight semesters.

  • What Is a First Year Writing Seminar?

    First Year Writing Seminars are popular courses for first-year students; they fulfill one of the English/Writing requirements courses, and many double count within the Liberal Arts Core. Search for "1111" under Class Search in YES for a complete listing. These courses are optional for Blair students. Have two or three alternate choices ready, since your first choice is not always possible. Your required writing course for the first year is MUSL 2200W, which you will take in the spring semester.

Registration FAQs

  • I Am an Incoming Freshman. How Do I Register for My First-Semester Classes?

    New Blair students should read the Blair Student Handbook carefully and select courses before communicating about their schedule with Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Brian Utley. Professor Utley is available for advising during the week before registration opens for first-year students. If you plan to do the pre-med track or a second major in science, you should plan to register as early as possible. You will have an advising hold on your YES registration account; Professor Utley lifts the hold when your courses are approved. Log into YES to see your registration appointment windows, and to view tutorials for complete information on using YES. You will need 126 credits to graduate. Plan to average 16 credits per semester.

  • How Do I Know What Courses I Should Take?

    The Blair Student Handbook includes sample curriculum plans and catalog requirements for your major. These samples are suggested as a guide, so students may take certain classes in different semesters. Using a Sample Curriculum Plan from the handbook as a starting place, you can begin to get ideas for constructing a schedule for your first semester. Music Theory, Keyboard Harmony, Musicianship, Music Literature, Performance Class, private instruction, and ensembles are required every semester until hours are completed. First-year students placed in the accelerated section of MUTH 2100, Syntax of Music, are notified before registration opens.

  • How Do I Enroll in Chamber Music?

    If you have a pre-formed group, fill out this form: Chamber Music Enrollment Approval. If you need to be placed in a group, or if you need a coach, enroll in MUSE 2210 for strings, brass, woodwinds, or piano/harp. You may also talk with your studio teacher or the chamber music coordinator of your department if you have specific questions.

  • I Have a Hold on My Record. What Do I Do?

    Check to see what kind of hold you have. Contact the appropriate office for that specific hold (for example, student accounts or financial aid for a financial hold). If you need additional help, contact the Blair Office of Academic Services.

  • How Do I Get a Waiver for Performance Class?

    Discuss this first with your studio teacher and/or the performance class instructor. You may waive performance class only if you have a required academic class for a second major or minor or pre-professional program (e.g. pre-med), and there is no other section available in that class. Complete the waiver form and submit it to the Blair Office of Academic Services.

  • I Must Take a Class During Muso 1000/Recital Attendance. How Do I Register for Section 02?

    You may register for section 02 only if you have a required class for a second major or minor or pre-professional program (e.g. pre-med) during the recital hour. Email professor Tucker Biddlecombe to request permission to enroll in section 02.

  • I Have More Than 18 Credit Hours Due to a Second Major/Minor. What Can I Do?

    You may enroll in one zero-credit ensemble beyond the 18 credit hours, with Dean Rose's permission. YES will allow you to register in only 18 credit hours, so register for all courses except the one ensemble you would like to take as zero credit. You must petition Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Brian Utley for permission to take more than 18 credit hours in a semester, and the Blair Office of Academic Services will coordinate the enrollment for you, if approved. If you are taking only one required ensemble and it is for zero credit, be aware that you may need to make up that hour later on so that you have a minimum of 80 hours in music to graduate. If you are a first-year student petitioning for the second semester, you will need to make the request after final grades are posted for the fall semester.

  • Can I Get a Seat in a Class That Is Full?

    You may choose to place yourself on the wait list for the class (this will not happen automatically).

  • How Do I Obtain "Instructor Approval"?

    You must email the instructor and ask for permission to enroll. Often they will assign you a specific code for registration. Sometimes you will need to forward their email with permission to enroll to the Blair Office of Academic Services.

  • How Do I Enroll in Lessons on an Instrument Outside of My Major?

    If you are taking an elective instrument for the first time, enroll in the 00 section (TBA section for placement) of the instrument. For example, piano is PIAN 1100 section 00. You should follow the instructions listed for that section to audition/interview.

  • Will I Always End up Enrolling on the Second Day of Enrollment for My Class Status (Freshman, Sophomore, Etc.) For My Classes?

    No, the times will rotate each semester.

  • Why Are Some Classes in A&S or Peabody With Seats Available Not Letting Me Enroll?

    Some classes have seats reserved specifically for majors and minors during the appointment windows portion of registration. Extra seats will be available only during open registration. If you are working toward a second major or minor, it is always best to declare as soon as possible so that you will have priority for enrolling in the classes you need.

  • Why Do Some Classes Not Have a Wait List?

    Wait list options are determined by Vanderbilt departments. If there is no wait list for a class, you will need to check the class periodically for open seats.

  • I Get an Error Message When Trying to Enroll. Does That Mean Yes Is Not Working?

    No, it means that your action created an error. You should read the message carefully to see why there is an error. You might not meet the prerequisites for the class, or perhaps the class requires permission of the instructor. Check the message carefully. If you can't figure it out, contact the YES help desk before you panic!

  • How Much Time Should I Allow Between My Classes?

    The distance between Blair and main campus is about a 15-minute walk. Most Blair courses are housed at Blair, so travel time for those is negligible. Make sure all courses meet at times that are available in your schedule. Completing the Schedule Worksheet will assist you in identifying and avoiding scheduling conflicts.

  • Can I Enroll in Two Classes That Have a Time Conflict?

    If you have a short time overlap between two courses you may petition to enroll in both with the time conflict form. Submit the completed form, with signatures of both instructors, to the Blair Office of Academic Services.