A Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music is designed for the person who is extremely passionate about their music. They love almost every aspect of the creative and production process and want to increase their knowledge, contribute and even have a chance to work in the contemporary music world.

The Commercial Music Program is a limited enrollment and highly competitive program and can only accept a few applicants each year. The best description of the program is to say we provide you with a core curriculum that exposes you to a diverse set of skills and experiences needed to step into today’s music production and business practices. Then, it allows you to focus on particular skills to gain additional knowledge and experience. Classes range from understanding audio signal flow, studio production and recording techniques, song writing, media composition, arranging and producing, performance instruction, jazz studies, sound reinforcement, entrepreneurship, to a final capstone project that encompasses your passion and focus.

On-campus resources include two state-of-the-art recording studios and dozens of digital audio workstations featuring the latest recording and production software. Knowledgeable faculty members are skilled industry professionals who bring real world experience into the classroom.

This degree appeals to musicians who may have the following interests (not to be considered a definitive list by any means)
  • media composers
  • recording studio engineers
  • jazz musicians
  • film composers
  • recording and broadcast engineers
  • music producers
  • video game composers
  • sound designers
  • music arrangers
  • singer/songwriters
  • musical artists, record producers, studio musicians
  • studio vocalists
  • entertainment management
  • music business career paths

Application Process – New Students

The following application process is for students who are applying to the School of Music as well as the Commercial Music program. If you are already a BYU music major and would like to transfer into commercial music, please continue down to the section entitled “Application Process – Music Majors”.

The application to the Commercial Music program is done in three parts: 1. A portfolio submission; 2. an audition for acceptance into the School of Music; 3. completion of the Aural Skills Exam.

The Portfolio Submission

Pre-screening Portfolio Submission due December 1:

We are now accepting Electronic Submissions. Click here to learn more about electronic portfolio submissions.

All Commercial Music students auditioning MUST complete the portfolio pre-screening process. This process includes the following:

  1. Complete the online School of Music application and letter(s) of recommendations, found here.
  2. Students must submit a Portfolio. The Portfolio consists of three components:
  • Three recorded examples of your best original works or productions. Works can be original songs, arrangements and/or various recorded productions or media compositions (jingles, film cues, recordings of your engineering skills if you are more of an audio specialist, and the like).
  • A typed document describing the roles, credits, technologies and efforts you used in creating the works. We need to know what we are listening to and a detailed explanation of what part you had in its creation. Printed scores, charts and supporting documents may be included.
  • A résumé-type document that includes any other information such as software skills, audio technical knowledge, any additional musical and technical background and experience that would make you desirable as a Commercial Music candidate.
  • These items can be submitted electronically or by mail via CD and a portfolio binder.

The Portfolio will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Composition / Writing
  • Diversity
  • Arranging
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Portfolio Presentation
Non-electronic/physical portfolios should be mailed to:

School of Music Admissions
Commercial Music
Brigham Young University
C-550 Harris Fine Arts Center
Provo UT 84602-6410

Recordings and Portfolios will not be returned to the applicant. Please do not submit original documents or master recordings.

Application & Audition Dates | Fall
December 1: Portfolio submission deadline. Deadline to COMPLETE the online application at /apply.
January 10: Those that have passed the prescreening will be notified and invited to campus for a live audition.
January 15: Deadline to schedule a live audition if invited after pre-screening. Auditions can be scheduled online after both the application and recommendation has been submitted.
Last Saturday in January: Live auditions are held in the Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) at BYU in Provo, Utah. Deadline to take the Aural Skills Exam on that day.



All students applying to the School of Music (including transfer students and current BYU students) must complete a live or recorded audition. You must follow the audition requirements for your chosen instrument and prepare the necessary repertoire listed online here. Live auditions are held the last Saturday in January. Pay close attention to other listed deadlines that may be associated with your instrument.

Contemporary singers intending to major in Commercial Music have one additional audition option: the contemporary voice studio. Students are cautioned that contemporary voice studio openings are few, usually under six slots in any given year. Information about contemporary voice auditions may be found here.

Aural Skills Exam

All students wishing to enter the Commercial Music program must take the aural skills exam.

Information regarding the test may be found here.

Application Process – Music Majors

The following application process is for students who are already BYU music majors and would like to transfer into commercial music. If you are not a music major, then you will need to apply to both the School of Music as well as the Commercial Music program (see the section above entitled “Application Process – New Students”).

Current music majors who wish to transfer into the commercial music program must submit a commercial music portfolio to the commercial music faculty along with an application for acceptance. A description of the portfolio can be found here.

An application for transfer into commercial music may be obtained at the SoM Office, C550 HFAC.

Students may submit the portfolio anytime during the academic year. Faculty will evaluate the portfolio within 30 days of submission and notify students of the results. If accepted, students may then enroll in courses the following semester or term as a commercial music major. Upon acceptance into commercial music, students must obtain and complete a green Change of Major form from the SoM Office and submit it to the CFAC Advisement Center, D444 HFAC.

Portfolios may be submitted either electronically or in a physical form with an audio CD or DVD and hard copies of documents and enclosures.

Electronic submission: Compress all relevant files into a “.zip” file labeled with your name (e.g., JohnSmith.zip) and upload files here.

Physical submission: Place all documents and an audio CD in a folder and label it “Portfolio Submission” and deliver or mail to:

Ron Saltmarsh
Commercial Music
C-550 Harris Fine Arts Center
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602-6410

Studio Faculty:
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