School of Music

Graduate Studies

The Program

The Music Program in the School of Music offers the degree Master of Arts in Music, which may be earned through studies in the areas of music education, composition, music history and literature, conducting, and performance studies. Though selection of an emphasis is not required, four emphases are available. The emphasis in music education provides advanced studies for experienced or prospective teachers. The emphases in performance and composition are selected by students wishing to teach at the college level or intending to enter such professions as music performance, conducting, composing, and arranging. Students electing the jazz emphasis focus on one or more aspects of jazz music - performance, composition, arranging, pedagogy, or history for example - in preparation for careers in jazz. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options, designed according to the goals of the student. Composition emphasis students must complete the thesis option.


Admission and Application

A prospective graduate student must have earned a baccalaureate degree in music from an accredited college or university. All application materials should be sent directly to the Graduate School which will disseminate the information to the School of Music. All graduate student applicants will be required to supply official transcripts and the names of three references along with their application. The references will be contacted electronically for their official letters by the Graduate School. Students must also include a written statement of purpose which should address their professional goals and how graduate study will assist them. They may also discuss any aspects of their life that may not be apparent on their application or transcripts but of which they would like the faculty to be made aware.

Through the School of Music, all applicants must complete a vocal or instrumental audition prior to admission. When possible, the applicant should audition and be personally interviewed on the WSU campus. Tape recordings may be submitted in lieu of personal audition. In addition, music manuscripts, video tapes, and other supporting evidence of preparedness for particular coursework within the master's program should be submitted for evaluation directly to the School of Music. Entering graduate students are required to take diagnostic placement examinations in theory (including aural skills), music history and literature, and piano proficiency prior to enrolling for classes. These examinations are used to help plan the student's course of study, including remedying deficiencies. For details on these processes, please visit GRADUATE ORIENTATION.

Click here to download the graduate music program policies and procedures.


Graduate Assistantships

Information regarding Graduate Assistantships may be found at GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS.


Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Music degree include at least 30 credit hours of approved graduate work. Fourteen of these hours constitute a required core; in addition, 4 credits of MUS 700 or MUS 702 are required. The remaining 12 hours are electives. Core curriculum requirements for all graduate students include MUS 560 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Music; two graduate courses in music theory, fulfilled by taking MUS 550 Seminar in Analysis and MUS 553 Seminar in Music Theory, or by taking two semesters of MUS 550; two graduate music history courses, fulfilled by taking MUS 561 Seminar in Literature of 20th Century Music and MUS 566 Seminar in Music History, or by taking two semesters of MUS 566; and 4 credits of performance (lessons and/or ensembles). Performance emphasis (includes conducting) requires Graduate Recital MUS 522. The structure and design of the master's program normally require 2 years (4 semesters) of study. The thesis option requires completion of an approved thesis (MUS 700) for credit, while the non-thesis option requires completion of an approved project or special problem (MUS 702) for credit. Graduate students may complete portions of their degree programs during summer sessions. All degree options culminate in a final oral examination during which time candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to integrate and interpret material in the major field with emphasis on the work presented in the thesis, the project, or the special problem.

Dr. Shannon Scott

Dr. Shannon Scott
Coordinator of Graduate Studies

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