Program Highlights

The Music Diploma (Classical) Program provides a rich learning environment that nurtures the artistic and creative potential of each student.

The program integrates theoretical, historical and performance studies, offering concentrations in piano, voice, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion and composition.

This two-year Diploma is transferable to a Bachelor of Music Degree and provides the foundation for further studies in Music Education and the Liberal Arts.

Many Music diploma students have successfully transferred into third year Music Therapy.

For information about our grads, instructors and to hear music performed by our students, visit the Music blog.

  • Demonstrate the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of tonal music, including sight-reading, keyboard proficiency and analysis, and to use these skills to solve musical problems and evaluate the way music is shaped by artistic movements and cultural forces.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of music history and literature and the development of musical forms and genres from the Western art tradition up to the present time including the aural recognition of styles, forms and genres.
  • Demonstrate research skills and an ability in written communication and critical inquiry appropriate to third-year university level of study.
  • Competently perform repertory appropriate to third-year university entry level as individuals and as members of ensembles, utilizing skills and knowledge gained from the learning outcomes in theory, musicianship skills, keyboard skills and music history.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with music technology in its various forms for composition and scholarly pursuits.


CampusTermsFull/Part Time
North VancouverFallBoth

Tuition and Fees Per Year

Domestic Students
Year Tuition Fees Total
Year 1$5,996 $1,269 $7,265
Year 2$5,996 $1,269 $7,265
Year 3$0 $0 $0
Year 4$0 $0 $0
Year 5$0 $0 $0
Total$11,991 $2,538 $14,529

Note: Fees are subject to change. Some programs have fees for supplies and equipment that aren’t included in the estimate. To get an idea of what you’ll pay to study at CapU, try out our Tuition & Fees Estimator.

First Term

Total credits: 15.50

ENGL 100University Writing Strategies3.00 credits
MUS 100Theory I3.00 credits
MUS 112Ear Training and Sight Singing I1.50 credits
MUS 120Music History I3.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
WMPI 100World Music Private Instruction2.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
ENSM 100Choir Ensemble I2.00 credits
ENSM 110Instrumental Ensemble I2.00 credits
Choose 1.00 credits from the following list:
MUS 114Class Piano I1.00 credits
WMPI 150World Music Private Instruction Secondary1.00 credits


Second Term

Total credits: 15.50

MUS 101Theory II3.00 credits
MUS 113Ear Training and Sight Singing II1.50 credits
MUS 121Music History II3.00 credits
ENGL 010Language Skills3.00 credits
ENGL 100University Writing Strategies3.00 credits
ENGL 103Introduction to Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 107Indigenous Literature and Film3.00 credits
ENGL 109Literature and Contemporary Culture3.00 credits
ENGL 112Reading, Writing, Dialogue: Entering Global Conversations3.00 credits
ENGL 190Introduction to Creative Writing3.00 credits
ENGL 191Creative Writing: Contemporary Practices3.00 credits
ENGL 200Literature in English from Beowulf to Paradise Lost3.00 credits
ENGL 201Literature in English after Paradise Lost3.00 credits
ENGL 203Canadian Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 205Modern American Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 207Literary Theory and Criticism3.00 credits
ENGL 208Studies in Fiction3.00 credits
ENGL 213World Literature in English3.00 credits
ENGL 217Literature on the Edge3.00 credits
ENGL 218The Art of Children's Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 219Reel Lit: Literature into Film3.00 credits
ENGL 260Writing Communities3.00 credits
ENGL 290Creative Writing: Letter and Line3.00 credits
ENGL 291Creative Writing: Narrative Fictions3.00 credits
ENGL 292Creative Writing: Children's Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 293Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction3.00 credits
ENGL 295Special Topics in Creative Writing3.00 credits
ENGL 296Creative Writing: Writing for the Stage3.00 credits
ENGL 300Writing, Rhetoric, Style3.00 credits
ENGL 301Studies in Rhetoric3.00 credits
ENGL 302Studies in British Columbian Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 305Special Topics in Canadian Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 308Studies in British Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 311Studies in American Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 314Studies in National Literatures3.00 credits
ENGL 317Traditions in Western Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 320Global Literatures3.00 credits
ENGL 323Special Topics in Genre3.00 credits
ENGL 326Traditions in Poetry3.00 credits
ENGL 329Literature and Performance3.00 credits
ENGL 332Literature and Society3.00 credits
ENGL 335Electronic Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 338Literature and Media3.00 credits
ENGL 341Literature and Visual Culture3.00 credits
ENGL 344Literature and the Environment3.00 credits
ENGL 352Special Topics in British Literature, 1000-16603.00 credits
ENGL 353Special Topics in British Literature, 1660-18303.00 credits
ENGL 354Special Topics in British Literature, 1830-19703.00 credits
ENGL 356Special Topics in American Literature, 1620-18653.00 credits
ENGL 357Special Topics in American Literature, 1865-19703.00 credits
ENGL 358Special Topics in Contemporary Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 359Indigenous Literatures3.00 credits
ENGL 363Words in The World I: Genre and Form3.00 credits
ENGL 365Words in the World II: Cultures, Networks and Traditions3.00 credits
ENGL 367Land School3.00 credits
ENGL 369Foundations in Writing Pedagogy3.00 credits
ENGL 390Advanced Poetry and Poetics3.00 credits
ENGL 391Advanced Narrative Forms3.00 credits
ENGL 392Creative Writing: Creative Travel Writing3.00 credits
ENGL 393Creative Writing: Advanced Practices3.00 credits
ENGL 394Creative Writing: Performance3.00 credits
ENGL 395Creative Writing: Special Topics3.00 credits
ENGL 400Major Authors3.00 credits
ENGL 410Topics in Twentieth-Century Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 420Special Topics in Literary Theory3.00 credits
ENGL 435Electronic Literature3.00 credits
ENGL 463Words in the World III: Critical and Creative Formations3.00 credits
ENGL 464Capstone Project3.00 credits
ENGL 465Words in the World Practicum3.00 credits
ENGL 466Directed Reading3.00 credits
ENGL 467Honours Thesis6.00 credits
ENGL 490Directed Studies3.00 credits
ENGL 491Creative Writing: Directed Studies3.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
WMPI 200World Music Private Instruction2.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
ENSM 150Choir Ensemble II2.00 credits
ENSM 160Instrumental Ensemble II2.00 credits
Choose 1.00 credits from the following list:
MUS 115Class Piano II1.00 credits
WMPI 250World Music Private Instruction Secondary1.00 credits


Third Term

Total credits: 15.50

MUS 200Theory III3.00 credits
MUS 212Ear Training and Sight Singing III1.50 credits
MUS 220Music History III3.00 credits
Elective 100-level or higher - excluding COND, ENSJ, ENSM, JAZZ, MUS, PMI and WMPI3.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
WMPI 300World Music Private Instruction2.00 credits
Choose 1.00 credits from the following list:
MUS 214Class Piano III1.00 credits
WMPI 350World Music Private Instruction Secondary1.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
ENSM 200Choir Ensemble III2.00 credits
ENSM 210Instrumental Ensemble III2.00 credits


Fourth Term

Total credits: 15.50

MUS 201Theory IV3.00 credits
MUS 213Ear Training and Sight Singing IV1.50 credits
MUS 221Music History IV3.00 credits
Elective 100-level or higher - excluding COND, ENSJ, ENSM, JAZZ, MUS, PMI and WMPI3.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
WMPI 400World Music Private Instruction2.00 credits
Choose 1.00 credits from the following list:
MUS 215Class Piano IV1.00 credits
WMPI 450World Music Private Instruction Secondary1.00 credits
Choose 2.00 credits from the following list:
ENSM 250Choir Ensemble IV2.00 credits
ENSM 260Instrumental Ensemble IV2.00 credits


Voice concentrators are required to take MUS 122 & 123 in the year it is offered. These courses are 2 credits in total. Voice concentrators will graduate with 64.00 credits in total.

Choose from the following list:
MUS 122Lyric Diction I1.00 credits
MUS 123Lyric Diction II1.00 credits


Total program credits: 62.00

Program Notes

First year students with a score of less than 60/85 on the Theory Placement Exam must successfully complete MUS 109 to prepare for entry into MUS 100/112. Please note that MUS 109 credits cannot be counted toward completion of the Music Diploma and must be taken in addition of the required courses.

Important Dates

Application Dates

May 1, 2018 - Aug 6, 2019

Course Registration & Waitlisting Starts

Jul 8, 2019

Fee Payment Deadline

Aug 19, 2019 4:00 PM

Application Dates

Oct 1, 2019 - Apr 7, 2020

Course Registration & Waitlisting Starts

Jul 6, 2020

Fee Payment Deadline

Aug 24, 2020 4:00 PM

Note: Dates are subject to change.

How to apply

  1. Check the admissions requirements.
  2. Check the application and document deadlines for your program.
  3. Complete and submit your application through EducationPlannerBC.
    1. Upload all your required/supporting official documents.
    2. Pay your application fee.
  4. Admissions will review your application and contact you.

Admission Requirements

Admission Notes

First year students with a score of less than 60/85 on the Theory Placement Exam must successfully complete MUS 109 to prepare for entry into MUS 100/112. Please note that MUS 109 credits cannot be counted toward completion of the Music Diploma and must be taken in addition to the required courses.

Additional Admission Information


All students planning to enter the Music Diploma program must audition.  This process includes a performance of repertoire, an ear test, an interview and a theory exam.  Applicants must demonstrate a thorough and fluent knowledge of the fundamentals of music (Rudiments). 

Approximately three weeks after their audition, students will receive notification of their acceptance or nonacceptance to the Music Diploma program.

Audition Requirements

All prospective students wishing to enter the Music Diploma Program are required to audition on their primary instrument. Those students unable to attend a live audition may submit a tape/CD or video recording for assessment. Due to enrolment demands and to be eligible for entrance scholarships, applicants are strongly advised to audition as early as possible.

When filling out the application form please include which instrument(s) you will be auditioning on in the comments section of the form.

Students will be notified of their audition date in early spring.

The audition process consists of the following four parts:

1. Repertoire  

Applicants must perform two contrasting selections, preferably by memory and not to exceed 15 minutes. One copy of each selection must be provided for the audition committee. A list of repertoire studied within the last two years and a letter of reference from the applicant's current teacher should be presented at the audition, if possible. Where an accompanist is needed, it is suggested the applicant provide his or her own pianist or perform without accompaniment (an accompanist provided by the university may be available on certain audition dates). 

Sight-Reading may be required at the discretion of the audition committee.

Performance Level Required:

  • Piano: Royal Conservatory of Music Grade Ten or equivalent.
  • Applicants below this level may enrol in a preparatory year.
  • Voice: There is no specific grade level required. An ability to perform in a language other than English is an advantage, but not required.
  • Wind/Brass/Strings/Guitar/Percussion: Royal Conservatory of Music Grade Six or equivalent.

The above grade levels are approximate guidelines and those applicants who are below the indicated level and demonstrate good potential for future growth and development will be given consideration.

2. Musicianship Skills Assessment  

  • Tap or clap a short rhythmic excerpt
  • Identify intervals within an octave (ascending and descending)
  • Identify chords (major, minor, dominant and diminished sevenths in root position)
  • Pitch Matching (match one to three pitches with the voice after being heard on the piano)

3. Interview

Applicants will be asked about their musical background and future music, career and personal goals.

4. Theory Exam

Applicants must demonstrate a thorough and fluent knowledge of the fundamentals of music (pitch, key signatures, scales, rhythm, intervals, chords, transposition and musical terms).

Applicants who have successfully completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Level Eight Theory (Advanced Rudiments/Grade Two Rudiments) Exam will be granted exemption, however, are required to bring a copy of their RCM certificate to the audition.

A sample theory exam is available from the music office or by downloading the following PDF files:

Sample Theory Exam (pdf)

Recommended Texts for Preparation:

  • Berlin, Boris, Molly Sclater and Kathryn Sinclair. Keys to Music Rudiments. Toronto: Gordon V. Thompson (Warner Bros. Publications), 1968-1969.
  • Lawless, James. The New Theory Workbook. 3 vols. Waterloo, Ontario: Waterloo Music, 1991.
  • Sarnecki, Mark. The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 2001.
  • Vandendool, Grace. Keyboard Theory. 3 vols. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 2001.
  • Wharram, Barbara. Elementary Rudiments of Music. Mississauga, Ontario: Frederick Harris Music, 1969.

Go to or Music Fundamentals worksheets and answer sheets for additional music theory and ear training resources.

5. Distance Audition Information

  1. What format should I use to record my audition?

    You can use any format that will allow us to clearly hear and see your performance. Typically applicants either send a DVD or use a website such as YouTube to post their performance online. If you send a DVD, please ensure that the file name is a standard one i.e. Mp4, which is usable by most computers or DVD players. Recordings should be in one uninterrupted take for each piece performed. Generally, two pieces in contrasting styles are sufficient.

    Submit DVDs to (please note DVDs will not be returned):
    Music Office
    Capilano University
    2055 Purcell Way,
    North Vancouver, BC V7J 3H5

    Submit YouTube auditions to quoting the exact URL link for your audition.

  2. How will I write the theory placement test?

    Please provide the name and contact information of the music educator who will oversee your writing of the theory placement test. We will email or fax them the test and they will be required to return the test to us for marking. You must write the test with the following guidelines: one-hour time limit, no help from the overseeing teacher, and no outside resources in the room.

  3. How will my interview and musicianship testing be done?

    This part of the audition is typically done by telephone or Skype. If you are able to assure us of your proficiency in musicianship skills, the test can be postponed until after you have received a letter of admittance - the musicianship test is really just a placement test. It does not normally prevent an applicant from being admitted to the program unless they have some kind of hearing disability. The telephone or Skype sessions will be arranged.

For the official publication of programs, course descriptions and admission requirements please view the Capilano University Calendar (pdf).

Apply to CapU


Have questions about this program?

School of Performing Arts

604 984 4911

Student Information Services

604 984 4900
604 984 1798 (fax)
Birch Building, room BR230