Music (M.A.)

The Master of Arts degree is designed for students who wish to pursue an academic career in music through a broad liberal arts curriculum. The Master of Music degree provides a program for talented students pursuing a professional concentration in:

  • Composition/Theory
  • Conducting
  • Performance
  • Jazz Performance
  • Music Education

Admission Requirements

Admission to these programs is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. In addition, all master's degree applicants in music must:

  1. apply to the Graduate School as a Music Major;
  2. possess an undergraduate degree in the same field for which he or she wishes to pursue graduate study, or its equivalent in course work, private study, or experience;
  3. complete pre-admission auditions or interviews. Audition and interview requirements are available from the Department of Music.

All students admitted to Master's degrees are required to pass departmental diagnostic examinations in theory and history. 


The master’s degree is offered under the following options:

Plan A: Twenty-four credits in course work, plus an eight-credit thesis, available to students enrolled in the M.A. or the M.Mus. with a concentration in Composition/Theory or Music Education. An original composition approved by the Composition/Theory Area Coordinator substitutes for the thesis in the M.Mus. degree with a concentration in Composition/Theory.

Plan B:  Twenty-nine credits  in  course  work, plus  a three-credit essay, available to students enrolled in the M.Mus. with a concentration in Music Education only.

Plan C (Conducting, Performance, and Jazz Performance): Thirty-two credits in course work, plus a graduate recital with program notes.

Plan C (Music Education only): Thirty-two credits in course work, plus an oral presentation and written examination. (Music Education students may elect Plan A, B, or C – consult the Degree Requirements section, below).

Oral Examination: An oral examination is required of all students in the M.A. or the M.Mus. program concentrating in Composition/Theory, Conducting, Jazz Performance, or Performance. Music Education students who choose Plan C must complete an oral presentation and undertake a written examination in the area of concentration.

Candidacy must be established by the time twelve credits have been earned toward the master's degree. Applicants become degree candidates only upon recommendation of the Departmental Graduate Officer and submission of an approved Plan of Work. Before a student can be admitted to candidacy in the Master of Arts curriculum, satisfactory completion of a reading examination in a foreign language (preferably German or French) is required.

Academic Scholarship: The University requires that each student achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.0, in order to be eligible for a graduate degree. All courses in the student's major must be completed with a grade of ‘B-minus’ or higher to be counted towards program credit. Grades below 'B-minus' are unsatisfactory and constitute valid cause for dismissing a student from a graduate program. The Department of Music permits a student to accumulate a maximum of six credits of 'B-minus' grades (in courses other than the area of concentration) as long as they are offset by higher grades so that a 3.0 grade point average is maintained at all times. Additionally, credits of B-minus and below in excess of six credits may result in dismissal from the program, regardless of whether the courses are included on the student's Plan of Work. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts.

Music (M.A. )

Prerequisite: Prospective students should present a minimum of forty-five acceptable undergraduate credits in music distributed according to the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music or its equivalent in course work, study, and experience. All students applying to the M.A. must complete a pre-admission interview or audition.

Music History and Theory
MUH 5300Music Research3
MUH 73XX: 6-9 credits chosen in consulltation with the program advisor6-9
MUH 8999Master's Thesis Direction8
MUT 7XXX: 6-9 credits chosen in consulltation with the program advisor6-9
Music electives or cognates6
Oral Examination0
Total Credits32