Music

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The School of Music requires the completion of a recognized baccalaureate degree in music or music education, with a junior/senior grade-point average of 2.80 or higher (on a 4.00 scale).

Admission to the M.Mus. program requires an audition, or the submission of compositions, or a list of works studied in preparation for conducting (depending on the specific degree).

Admission to the M.A. program requires scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE General Test), and evidence of scholarly writing on a musical topic.

Additional requirements include an interview in person or by interactive video to assess language skills.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Master of Music (M.Mus.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

In the Master of Music degree program, at least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 credits at the 500 level, and a comprehensive examination is required.The Master of Music degree (36 credits) offers four majors:

  • Performance,
  • Composition/Theory,
  • Conducting,
  • Pedagogy and Performance (piano and voice tracks).

The M.Mus. in Performance offers three separate curricula with areas of emphasis in: Voice, Keyboard, or Orchestral Instruments. Depending on the area of emphasis, a recital, a composition project, or a conducting project is required. For the M.Mus. in Performance with emphasis in voice or keyboard, a master's recital is required, in addition to either a master's paper or lecture-recital. For the M.Mus. in Performance (orchestral instruments), a master's recital is required.

For the M.Mus. in Composition/Theory, a composition project and a master's paper are required.

The M.Mus. in Conducting offers three areas of emphasis: Orchestral, Choral, or Band/Wind Ensemble. A performance project and a master's paper are required.

For the M.Mus. in Pedagogy and Performance, a master's recital is required, in addition to either a master's paper or lecture-recital.

The School of Music sponsors many musical ensembles, and candidates for performance degrees are required to participate in positions of responsibility. All candidates for degrees are expected to be in residence for a minimum of two semesters.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

In the Master of Arts degree program, at least 18 credits must be at the 500 level or higher, and a comprehensive examination is required. The Master of Arts in Music offers three tracks, in:

  • Music Theory (32 credits),
  • Musicology (32 credits), and
  • Music Theory and History (34 credits).

All three tracks provide an interdisciplinary approach to the field of music scholarship, a hallmark of our program, and all tracks require a thesis. The track in Music Theory offers preparation in current modes of research and analysis from a music theoretical perspective. The track in Musicology emphasizes the development of a broad knowledge of music of all periods and, at the same time, cultivates one or more areas of specialization. The track in Music Theory and History provides greater breadth by integrating theoretical, analytical, and historical approaches to musical styles and works. A reading knowledge of German or another appropriate language must be demonstrated before thesis credits may be scheduled.

Integrated Undergrad-Grad Programs  

Integrated B.A. in Music and M.A. in Music

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-210 Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs.

The IUG program enables a select number of students to further their research interests at the undergraduate and graduate levels. By the end of the five-year program students receive two degrees, a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Music.

Candidates for these Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate degrees must demonstrate a high level of aptitude and achievement in academic core courses and be highly motivated to pursue research projects with faculty.

The IUG program enables gifted music students to double count credits in two degree programs. As a result they will have developed a research focus during their fourth and fifth years, which will help them prepare for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions.

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Students must apply to and meet admission requirements of the Graduate School, as well as the graduate program in which they intend to receive their master's degree. Before applying to the Graduate School, students must have completed entrance to their undergraduate major and have completed no less than 60 credits. Students must be admitted no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree. Transfer students must have completed at least 15 credits at Penn State to enroll in an IUG.

In consultation with an adviser, students must prepare a plan of study appropriate to this integrated program, and must present their plan of study to the head of the graduate program or the appropriate committee overseeing the integrated program prior to being admitted to the program. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program.

Students must fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the B.A. in Music are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the M.A. degree are listed on the Degree Requirements tab. Up to 12 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both the graduate and undergraduate degrees; a minimum of 50% of the double-counted courses must be at the 500 or 800 level. Independent study courses and credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.

Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count solely towards the graduate degree. Students must complete the undergraduate degree requirements within the typical time to degree for the undergraduate major. In the semester in which the undergraduate degree requirements will be completed, IUG students must apply to graduate, and the undergraduate degree should be conferred at the next appropriate Commencement. If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.A. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.

Integrated B.M. in Performance and M.A. in Music

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-210 Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs.

The IUG program enables a select number of students to further their research interests at the undergraduate and graduate levels. By the end of the five-year program students receive two degrees, a B.M. in Performance and an M.A. in Music.

Candidates for these Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate degrees must demonstrate a high level of aptitude and achievement in academic core courses and be highly motivated to pursue research projects with faculty.

The IUG program enables gifted music students to double count credits in two degree programs. As a result they will have developed a research focus during their fourth and fifth years, which will help them prepare for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions.

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Students must apply to and meet admission requirements of the Graduate School, as well as the graduate program in which they intend to receive their master's degree. Before applying to the Graduate School, students must have completed entrance to their undergraduate major and have completed no less than 60 credits. Students must be admitted no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree. Transfer students must have completed at least 15 credits at Penn State to enroll in an IUG.

In consultation with an adviser, students must prepare a plan of study appropriate to this integrated program, and must present their plan of study to the head of the graduate program or the appropriate committee overseeing the integrated program prior to being admitted to the program. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program.

Students must fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the B.M. in Performance are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the M.A. degree are listed on the Degree Requirements tab. Up to 12 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both the graduate and undergraduate degrees; a minimum of 50% of the double-counted courses must be at the 500 or 800 level. Independent study courses and credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.

Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count solely towards the graduate degree. Students must complete the undergraduate degree requirements within the typical time to degree for the undergraduate major. In the semester in which the undergraduate degree requirements will be completed, IUG students must apply to graduate, and the undergraduate degree should be conferred at the next appropriate Commencement. If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.A. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Music (MUSIC) Course List

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head R J David Frego
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Marica Susan Tacconi
Program Contact

Melissa Strouse
School of Music
233 Music Building I
University Park PA 16802
mvs5@psu.edu
(814) 865-5568

Program Website View