Academic Programs Catalog

College of Music

Graduate Study

Music Theory - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Music Theory, which is administered by the College of Music, is designed to help prepare graduate students in the College of Music for careers in post-secondary education that may require the ability to teach undergraduate courses in music theory.

The certificate is available to students who are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in the College of Music at Michigan State University.

The student’s program of study must be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Music.

Admission

To be considered for the Graduate Certificate in Music Theory, a student must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in the College of Music.

Students must:

  1. complete an application consisting of a personal statement, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation, a scholarly writing sample. Students may provide a portfolio of work if desired.
  2. demonstrate proficiency in music theory.
Following initial screening, candidates will be invited to interview with the music theory faculty to determine admissibility.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Music Theory

Students must complete 15 credits from the following:
1. The following course (3 credits):
MUS 970 Pedagogy of Music Theory I 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
MUS 871 Advanced Tonal Counterpoint 3
MUS 876 Keyboard Skills and Practical Musicianship 3
Students may use one of these courses to fulfill 3 credits of the requirement in item 4. below, but not both.
3. One of the following courses (2 credits):
MUS 873 Early 20th-Century Techniques 2
MUS 978 Late 20th- and 21st-Century Techniques 2
Students may use one of these courses to fulfill 2 credits of the requirement in item 4. below, but not both.
4. Complete 7 credits from the following courses in consultation with the area chairperson of music theory or his or her designee:
MUS 868 Topics in Music Analysis 3
MUS 869 Tonal Counterpoint 2
MUS 870 Advanced Modal Counterpoint 3
MUS 872 Tonal Forms 2
MUS 874 Schenkerian Analysis 2
MUS 875 Analysis of Musical Scores 3
MUS 879 Tonal Literature and Analysis 3
MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II 3
MUS 972 Advanced Keyboard Skills 3
MUS 973 Readings in Music Theory 2
MUS 976 Performance and Analysis 3
MUS 977 Schenkerian Analysis II 3
5. Active participation in music theory area events, including colloquia and guest lectures.
A capstone essay approximately 15 to 20 pages in length. Students who take MUS 971 or MUS 973 to fulfill requirement 4. above may use the essay from the research project undertaken in either of those courses. Alternatively, the essay could reflect synoptically on what the student learned in music theory courses, drawing connections among those courses, between them and other study, performance, and/or scholarly work undertaken as part of the student’s primary degree program. The essay topic must be approved by a member of the music theory faculty who will advise the project and certify its completion.