Academic Programs Catalog

College of Music

Graduate Study

The College of Music offers a variety of programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Within the framework approved by the faculty of the University and the College of Music, graduate programs are designed to respond to current professional and social needs and to students’ expectations and goals. The programs combine selected aspects of the following learning opportunities: requisite course work; outreach and teaching experiences; and production, performance, or research projects.

The College faculty and student body represent diverse backgrounds and cultures and work together to challenge past assumptions and set future directions in the arts.  An open and responsive learning environment continues to attract faculty, staff, and students from rich and varied cultural traditions into our educational community.

All of the graduate degree programs offered by the College of Music have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.   


General Requirements for Consideration for Admission to Master’s and Doctoral Degree Programs in the College of Music

Each applicant must submit a College of Music application for graduate study, including a letter providing the applicant’s academic background and reasons for pursuing advanced study.  International applicants must fulfill the university’s English language proficiency requirement as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog or as specified by the specific degree program.  Individual master’s and doctoral degree programs may specify additional requirements for consideration for admission such as a sample of an applicant’s composition, a portfolio, or an audition, and/or an interview. 

 


College of Music Requirements for the Master of Arts and Master of Music Degrees

Master of Music degree programs are offered in the following areas: Collaborative Piano, Jazz Studies, Music Performance, Music Composition, Music Conducting, Music Education, Music Performance, Music Theory, and Piano Pedagogy. The Master of Arts degree program is offered in the area of Musicology.

Admission

To be admitted to a master's degree program in the college on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A minimum cumulative grade–point average of 2.80 for the undergraduate program of study, as well as have met the College requirements for admission to a master's degree program.
  2. Received the approval of the faculty in the applicant's area of specialization.
  3. A baccalaureate degree from a recognized educational institution.

Master's Orientation Examinations

Every student admitted to a master's degree program in the College of Music, with the exception of master’s students in jazz studies, must take the College's graduate orientation examination in music theory, a two-part examination covering written music theory and aural skills.  Both parts of this examination must be taken before the first day of classes of the student's first semester of enrollment in the degree.  The examination is given before the first day of classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The lowest passing score for each part is 70%.

Master's students who score below 70% on the written music theory orientation examination must take MUS 200 Introduction to Music Theory. Master’s students who score below 70% on the aural skills examination must take MUS 201 Aural Skills.  MUS 200 and MUS 201 may not be used to meet the course or credit requirements of any College of Music degree program.
 
Students who are required to take MUS 200 must complete the course with a grade of 2.0 or higher before enrolling in any 400-, 800-, or 900-level music theory course.  Students who are required to take MUS 201 must take it either prior to or concurrently with their first music theory course at the 400-, 800-, or 900-level and must complete it with a grade of 2.0 or higher.

Oral Final Certifying Examination

All students in master's degree programs in the college are required to pass an oral final certifying examination.  Oral final certifying examinations are given during fall and spring semesters, and may be given during a summer session with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and every member of the student's examining committee. 

Academic Standards

A master’s student in the College of Music must:

  1. maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00.
  2. not accumulate deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in more than 8 credits in courses (excluding courses numbered 896, 897, 898, 899 or 996, 997, 998, 999).

If at the end of a semester a graduate student fails to meet one or both of the requirements specified above, the student shall receive a deficiency warning.  If the deficiency is not removed within one year, the graduate student will not be allowed to continue in the degree program.

A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.
All deficiencies with regard to orientation examinations or entrance requirements, whether stated in terms of credits, courses, or performance standards, must be removed before the oral final certifying examination that is required for the master's degree is scheduled.
If the student fails the oral final certifying examination, the student shall be allowed to retake the examination only once, during the next Fall or Spring semester.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits must have been completed within the time limit for the degree. As many as 9 semester credits of graduate course work (excluding research and thesis credits) may be transferred into a master’s degree program from other postsecondary accredited institutions of comparable academic quality, if they are appropriate to a student’s program and provided they were completed within the time limits approved for the earning of the degree desired at Michigan State University. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies must grant approval. Only courses in which at least a 3.0 grade or its equivalent was received will be considered for transfer.

With the approval of the student’s academic advisor and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, these transfer credits may fulfill specific MSU degree requirements; but not all transfer credits will necessarily fulfill specific MSU degree requirements.


College of Music Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees

Doctor of Musical Arts degree programs are offered in: Music Composition, Music Conducting, and Music Performance.  The Doctor of Philosophy degree program is offered in Music Education.

Admission

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described under Admission in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

To be admitted to a doctoral degree program in the College of Music on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a record of high academic achievement and demonstrate potential as a performer, conductor, composer, or research scholar acceptable to the program.
  2. a master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field.
  3. a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in any previous graduate course work.

Admission on provisional status may be offered if the applicant’s record is incomplete or contains minor deficiencies in preparation.

Doctoral Orientation Examinations

Every student admitted to a doctoral degree program in the College of Music other than music education must take the College's graduate orientation examination in music theory, a two-part examination covering written music theory and aural skills, before the first day of classes of the student's first semester of enrollment in the degree.  Additionally, any doctoral student in music education who intends to take one or more music theory courses must take the two-part graduate orientation examination in music theory prior to enrolling in graduate-level music theory courses.  The examination is given before the first day of classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The lowest passing score for each part is 70%.

Doctoral students who score below 70% on the written music theory orientation examination must take MUS 200 Music Theory Review. Doctoral students who score below 70% on the aural skills examination must take MUS 201 Aural Skills Review.  MUS 200 and MUS 201 may not be used to meet the course or credit requirements of any College of Music degree program.
 
Students who are required to take MUS 200 must complete the course with a grade of 2.0 or higher before enrolling in any 400-, 800-, or 900-level music theory course.  Students who are required to take MUS 201 must take it either prior to or concurrently with their first music theory course at the 400-, 800-, or 900-level and must complete it with a grade of 2.0 or higher.

Requirements for a Doctoral Degree

The student plans a program of study in consultation with a guidance committee, subject to the rules of college and the university.  For the composition of the committees, see the information below regarding specific degree programs.

Comprehensive Examinations

All students who are enrolled in doctoral degree programs within the College of Music are required to pass comprehensive examinations. For details about those examinations, see the statements on those programs in the sections that follow. The comprehensive examinations are given during fall and spring semesters and the summer session.

Final Oral Examination

The dissertation, composition, or scholarly paper on which the final oral examination is based must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and all of the members of the student's guidance committee no later than four weeks before the final oral examination. In cases where the final oral examination involves a lecture-recital and document, the student must pass the defense of the lecture-recital and the document before the lecture-recital can be performed. In cases where the final oral examination involves two lecture-recitals, the student must pass the defense of the lecture-recital before that lecture-recital can be performed.  Final oral examinations and performances of lecture–recitals are given during fall and spring semesters, and may be given during a summer session with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and every member of the student's committee.

Academic Standards

A doctoral student in the College of Music must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00.
  2. Not accumulate deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in more than 8 credits in courses (excluding courses numbered 896, 897, 898, 899 or 996, 997, 998,  999).

If at the end of a semester a graduate student fails to meet one or both of the requirements specified above, the student shall receive a deficiency warning.  If the deficiency is not removed within one year, the graduate student will not be allowed to continue in the degree program.

A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.

Transfer Credits

Graduate credits may be transferred from other accredited institutions or international institutions of similar quality if they are appropriate to a student’s program and provided they were completed within the time limits approved for the earning of the degree desired at Michigan State University. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies must grant approval.  Only graduate–level courses in which at least a 3.0 (B) grade was received will be considered for transfer.

With the approval of the Guidance Committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, these transfer credits may fulfill specific Michigan State University degree requirements; but not all transfer credits will necessarily fulfill specific Michigan State University degree requirements.

College of Music Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Should the student's guidance committee fail to accept the dissertation or  the student's performance on the final oral examination, the student shall be allowed to rewrite the dissertation or to retake the examination only once.  The dissertation must be rewritten or the examination must be retaken within one year, during a fall or spring semester.


Collaborative Piano - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Music, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano, an applicant must present a live performance audition before and be interviewed by a committee of faculty in the piano area, including the director of the collaborative piano program. For an applicant who has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Michigan State University, the live performance audition may be waived at the discretion of the faculty in the piano area. With the approval of the faculty in the piano area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high-quality audio recording of a recent performance including a solo piano work, one vocal-piano work, and one instrumental-piano work. An applicant who submits an audio recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition and an interview with the faculty in the piano area. The live performance and the interview must be completed before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program and must meet the requirements of the piano area.

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music performance that are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Michigan State University or their equivalents. 
  2. presented a live performance audition and interview acceptable to the committee of faculty from the piano area.

Requirements for the Master of Music in Collaborative Piano

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis). A total of 30 credits is required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. The student must meet the requirements specified below:

                     
1.   All of the following courses (18 credits):      
    MUS 841 Seminar in Advanced Collaborative Piano Techniques 4
    MUS 849 Piano Performance       2
    MUS 850A Piano           4
    MUS 850B Collaborative Piano       2
    MUS 856 Chamber Music         2
    MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance   4
2.   Complete two courses in music theory at the 400-level or above.  
3.   Complete a 3 credit course in music history at the 400-level or above.  
4.   Complete 3 to 5 elective credits in music courses at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 849, MUS 850A, MUS 850B, and MUS 896.  
5.   Participate in music activities during four semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and must involve piano accompanying.  
6.   Successful completion of the oral final certifying examination.  
7.   Complete 3 collaborative recitals. The faculty of the piano area must approve each recital in a pre-recital hearing.

 


Jazz Studies - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies, an applicant must present a live performance audition before a committee of faculty in the jazz studies area, including the director of the jazz studies program and take the Jazz Musicianship Proficiency Examination. For an applicant who has a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University, the live performance audition may be waived at the discretion of the faculty in the jazz studies area. With the approval of the faculty in the jazz studies area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high-quality audio recording of a recent jazz performance. An applicant who submits an audio recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition before the faculty in the jazz studies area and taking the Jazz Musicianship Proficiency Examination. The live performance and the proficiency examination must be completed before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program and must meet the requirements of the jazz studies area.

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies, music performance, or music education from a recognized educational institution.
  2. presented a live performance audition that demonstrates technical and improvisational skill equivalent to the level of Music 304 Advanced Jazz Musicianship IV.
  3. demonstrated proficiency in the knowledge of jazz theory and jazz piano proficiency by passing the Jazz Musicianship Proficiency Examination with a grade of 3.5 or better.

Requirements for the Master of Music in Jazz Studies

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis). A total of 35 credits is required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. The student must meet the requirements specified below:

1. All of the following courses (27 credits):
MUS 400 Jazz Arranging and Composition I 2
MUS 401 Jazz Arranging and Composition II 2
MUS 438 Jazz Pedagogy I 2
MUS 439 Jazz Pedagogy II 2
MUS 800 Advanced Jazz Arranging and Composition 2
MUS 801 Advanced Jazz Improvisation I 2
MUS 802 Advanced Jazz Improvisation II 2
MUS 810 Graduate Jazz History 3
MUS 885 Advanced Jazz Styles and Analysis I 2
MUS 886 Advanced Jazz Styles and Analysis II 2
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
MUS 964 Seminar in College Music Teaching 2
2. Complete 4 credits in one of the following courses:
MUS 850J Jazz Piano 4
MUS 852J Jazz Strings 4
MUS 853J Jazz Woodwinds 4
MUS 854J Jazz Brass 4
MUS 855J Jazz Percussion 4
3. Complete 1 credit in a music course at the 400-level or above.
4. Participate in two music activities during each of four semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and must be jazz band, jazz octet, or jazz combo.
5. Complete one of the following courses (3 credits):
MUS 861 Seminar in Psychology of Music Education 3
MUS 862 Seminar in Music Curriculum and Methodology 3
MUS 863 Seminar in the Sociology of Music Education 3
6. Successful completion of the oral final certifying examination.


Music Composition - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music composition, an applicant must submit to the College of Music at least two original compositions representative of the applicant's creative work.  Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include in the application portfolio, audio CD or video recordings of performances of all musical scores they submit. "Live" recordings are preferred but MIDI realizations are acceptable.

To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in music composition from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music composition that are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in composition at Michigan State University or their equivalents.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Composition

The program is available only under Plan A, for which an original composition is required in lieu of a thesis.  A total of 32 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:

1. Complete all of the following courses (20 credits):
MUS 422 Music of the 20th Century 2
MUS 871 Advanced Tonal Counterpoint 3
MUS 880 Composition 4
MUS 881 Seminar in Composition 4
MUS 892A Seminar in Music History 1
MUS 899 Master's Thesis Research 4
MUS 978 Late 20th-and 21st-Century Techniques 2
2. Complete 8 credits from the courses in group a. and group b. below with at least 2 credits but not more than 4 credits from group b.:
a. MUS 870 Advanced Modal Counterpoint 3
MUS 872 Tonal Forms 2
MUS 873 Early 20th Century Techniques 2
MUS 874 Schenkerian Analysis 2
MUS 877 Scoring for Orchestra and Band 2
MUS 878 Advanced Scoring for Orchestra and Band 2
MUS 879 Tonal Literature and Analysis 3
MUS 970 Pedagogy of Theory 3
MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II 3
MUS 977 Schenkerian Analysis II 3
b. MUS 882 Composition with Computers 2
MUS 883 Advanced Computer Music Projects 2
PHL 474 Aesthetic Theory and Modernism 4
Either Music 970 or 971, but not both of those courses, may be used to satisfy the requirements referenced in item 2. a.
Either Music 874 or 977, but not both of those courses, may be used to satisfy the requirements referenced in item 2. a.
Philosophy 474 may be counted toward the requirements for the degree only if it is taught by a faculty member in the College of Music.
3. Complete 4 credits in music performance at the 800–900 level or 2 credits in music performance at the 800-900 level and 2 credits in conducting at the 800-900 level.
4. Participate in music activities during 2 semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from chamber music, chorus, jazz band or ensemble, orchestra, wind ensemble, or new music ensemble.
5. Successful completion of the oral final certifying examination.


Music Composition - Doctor of Musical Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in music composition, an applicant must submit to the College of Music two original compositions representative of the applicant’s creative work. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include in the application portfolio audio CD or video recordings of performances of all musical scores they submit. “Live” recordings are preferred, but Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) realizations are acceptable.

To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have a master's degree in music composition from a recognized educational institution or a total of 30 credits of approved course work.

Guidance Committee

A faculty member in the area of music composition must serve as the chairperson of the student’s guidance committee. One additional faculty member in the area of music composition, one faculty member in the area of music theory, and one faculty member in the area of music history must also be members of the student’s guidance committee.

Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Composition

Each student in the program has a major professor who provides instruction in music composition, oversees the preparation of the original composition, and oversees the final oral examination based upon that composition.

The student must:

  1. Complete Music 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music and the courses in music composition, music theory, and musicology that are specified by the student’s guidance committee.
  2. Complete any cognate area and related courses that are specified by the student's guidance committee.
  3. Pass the written comprehensive examinations in composition, musicology, and music theory. Students become eligible to take the comprehensive examination in each of these areas during the semester in which they are completing the required course work in that area, with the exception of MUS 998 credits.
  4. Complete the following requirements in lieu of 24 credits of Music 999, a dissertation, and a final oral examination over the dissertation:
    1. Complete 24 credits of Music 998.
    2. Submit an original music composition. The composition must be acceptable to the student’s guidance committee.
The student must have completed successfully all of the required course work (with the exception of Music 998), the comprehensive examinations, and the original composition before the final oral examination may be scheduled.

A copy of the composition referenced in item 4. above will be retained by the college as part of the permanent degree record.

Academic Standards

Doctoral study presumes continuing excellence in course work, reading, and writing.  A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.

The student’s original composition and the student’s performance on the final oral examination based on the composition must be approved by the members of the student’s guidance committee with not more than one dissenting vote. Should the committee fail to accept either the student’s composition or the student’s performance on the final oral examination based on the composition, the student shall be allowed to rewrite the composition or to repeat the final oral examination based on the composition only once. The composition must be rewritten or the examination must be retaken within one year, during a fall or spring semester.

Music Conducting - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree program in music conducting on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree in music from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music that are required for a bachelor's degree in music from Michigan State University or their equivalents.
  2. Presented a live performance audition that was acceptable to the committee of faculty in conducting.

When applying for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music conducting, an applicant must specify one of the following three major areas:  wind conducting, choral conducting, or orchestral conducting.

With the approval of the faculty in an applicant's major area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high–quality recording of a recent performance, rather than on the basis of a live performance audition. An applicant must submit a video recording showing a front view of the applicant conducting for a minimum of 10 minutes. An applicant who submits a recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live conducting audition before a faculty committee in the applicant's major area. The audition must be presented before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program. The audition must be in the major area of conducting that the applicant specifies.

To schedule an audition, an applicant should contact the College of Music Admissions Office. An applicant who selects the orchestral conducting area must obtain a list of required repertoire from the Director of Orchestras in the College of Music.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Conducting

The student must meet the requirements for one of the following three major areas of conducting:  wind conducting, choral conducting, or orchestral conducting.

1. Wind Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree. The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (10 credits):
MUS 858A Seminar in Wind Conducting 6
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
The student must conduct a full program in a public band concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public band concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 8 to 10 credits of electives.
d. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve band.
2. Choral Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete all of the following courses (17 credits):
MUS 857 Seminar in Choral Literature 6
MUS 858C Seminar in Choral Conducting 6
MUS 891 Special Topics 1
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
For MUS 891 Special Topics, students must enroll in the section on Score Study and Interpretation through String Bowing. Students must conduct a full program in a public choral concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public choral concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 3 to 5 credits of electives.
d. Demonstrate proficiency in French, German, Italian, English, and Latin through an assessment administered as part of the audition process. Lack of proficiency in any language must be addressed by enrolling in MUS 845 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis: Voice, which will focus on repertoire in the deficient language(s) and will include a jury for the voice faculty.
e. Demonstrate proficiency in vocal pedagogy by taking MUS 340 Methods and Literature for Voice. These credits will not count toward those required for the degree. This requirement will be waived if the student’s transcript shows successful completion of a similar course at another institution.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve chorus.
3. Orchestral Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (10 credits):
MUS 858B Seminar in Orchestral Conducting 6
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
The student must conduct a full program in a public orchestral concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public orchestral concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 1 to 4 credits in music performance at the 800–900 level.
d. Complete 4 to 9 credits of electives.
e. Demonstrate proficiency in French, German, Italian, English, and Latin through an assessment administered as part of the audition process. Lack of proficiency in any language must be addressed by enrolling in MUS 845 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis: Voice, which will focus on repertoire in the deficient language(s) and will include a jury for the voice faculty.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve orchestra.

Academic Standards

A grade of 3.0 or higher is required for Music 897.


Music Conducting - Doctor of Musical Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in music conducting on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A master's degree in music from a recognized educational institution or a total of 30 credits of approved course work.
  2. Presented a live performance audition that was acceptable to the committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music.

When applying for admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program with a major in music conducting, an applicant must specify one of the following three major areas:  wind conducting, choral conducting, or orchestral conducting.

With the approval of the faculty in an applicant's major area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high–quality video recording of a recent performance, rather than on the basis of a live performance audition. An applicant must submit a video recording showing a front view of the applicant conducting a minimum of 10 minutes. An applicant who submits a recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition before a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music. The audition must be presented before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program.  As part of the audition, an applicant must present a 10–minute lecture on a topic related to conducting. The applicant may be asked to conduct a live performance group or to illustrate appropriate conducting techniques in relation to printed scores. The applicant may submit video and audio tape recordings of performances that he or she has conducted.

For additional information about the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in conducting, contact the Director of Bands, the Director of Choral Activities, or the Director of Orchestras in the College of Music.

Guidance Committee

The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies or his or her designee must be a member of the student's guidance committee and must serve as its chairperson.

At least two faculty members in the student's conducting area, one faculty member in the area of music theory, and one faculty member in the area of musicology must also be members of the student's guidance committee. In instances where additional expertise would be beneficial it is recommended that the guidance committee include an additional faculty member from within or outside the College of Music.

Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Conducting

Each student in the program has a major professor who provides instruction in the student's major area, oversees the musical content of the student's program guides the preparation of required conducting appearances, oversees the preparation of the scholarly paper or abstract, and oversees the final oral examination. Normally, the student studies with the major professor for four semesters.

1. Complete 8 credits from the following courses:
MUS 958A Seminar in Wind Conducting 1 to 8
MUS 958B Seminar in Orchestral Conducting 1 to 8
MUS 958C Seminar in Choral Conducting 1 to 8
2. Complete a minimum of 3 credits in Music 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music and at least 6 additional credits of 800 or 900-level courses in music history as specified by the student’s guidance committee. After taking the graduate orientation examination in music theory, the student must complete at least two courses in music theory courses as specified by the student’s guidance committee.
3. Complete at least 6 credits of electives as specified by the student's guidance committee.
4. Pass written comprehensive examinations that are administered by the student's guidance committee:
a. a music theory examination taken on the Michigan State University campus.
b. three additional examinations.  One of these examinations will involve musicology in relation to conducting, and the other two of these examinations will be related to the student's area of conducting.  One of these examinations will be taken on the Michigan State University campus, and the other two examinations will be take–home examinations.
5. Complete the following requirements in lieu of 24 credits of Music 999, a doctoral dissertation, and a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation:
a. Complete 24 credits of Music 997 Doctoral Concert Conducting.
b. Direct various ensembles on four different programs containing repertoire which demonstrates the ability to program creatively, to execute music in various period styles and forms, and to work effectively with diverse groups.
Performing groups for the required conducting appearances may be ensembles from the College of Music, or any school, church, or community musical ensemble able to meet the demands of the repertoire.
Two of the first three conducting appearances must be presented within six calendar months of each other. The first three conducting appearances will be graded by the major professor and by at least one other faculty member in the student's major area.
The fourth conducting appearance must involve a complete program. This appearance will be graded by all of the members of the student's guidance committee with the exception of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
Every conducting appearance must be video recorded in the format specified by the student's major professor.
With the prior approval of the student's major professor, any of the four required conducting appearances may take place off campus. In the event that a conducting appearance is off campus, the appearance will be graded on the basis of the video recording of the appearance.
c. Submit a scholarly paper exhibiting a thorough understanding of a significant and relevant topic approved by the student's major professor and take a final oral examination of approximately two hours based on the paper.
A final copy of  the paper referenced in item 5. c. above will be retained by the College as part of the permanent degree record. The final copy must be approved by the guidance committee and submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies before the degree can be completed.
6. Students majoring in choral conducting must complete MUS 891 Special Topics and enroll in the section on Score Study and Interpretation through String Bowing.
7. Students majoring in choral conducting must demonstrate proficiency in vocal pedagogy by taking MUS 340 Methods and Literature for Voice. These credits will not count toward those required for the degree. This requirement will be waived if the student’s transcript shows successful completion of a similar course at another institution.
8. Students majoring in choral or orchestral conducting must demonstrate proficiency in French, German, Italian, English, and Latin through an assessment administered as part of the audition process. Lack of proficiency in any language must be addressed by enrolling in MUS 845 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis: Voice, which will focus on repertoire in the deficient language(s) and will include a jury for the voice faculty.

Academic Standards

Doctoral study presumes continuing excellence in course work, reading, and writing. A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.

The student's performance on the final oral examination and the scholarly paper on which the examination is based must be approved by the members of the student's guidance committee with not more than one dissenting vote. Should the committee fail to accept the final oral examination, or the paper, the student shall be allowed to repeat the final oral examination, or to rewrite the paper, only once. The examination must be retaken, or the paper  must be rewritten, within one year, during a fall or spring semester.


 


Music Education - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree program in Music Education on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in music education from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music education that are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in music education at Michigan State University or their equivalents.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Education

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under Plan A or Plan B.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:

Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B

1. Complete four of the following courses in music education (12 credits):
MUS 860 Philosophical Considerations in Music Education 3
MUS 861 Seminar in Psychology of Music Education 3
MUS 862 Seminar in Music Curriculum and Methodology 3
MUS 863 Seminar in the Sociology of Music Education 3
MUS 864 Research in Music Education 3
2. Complete a minimum of 10 credits including:
a. A minimum of 3 credits in graduate courses in musicology.
b. A minimum of 3 credits in graduate courses in music theory.
c. A minimum of 2 credits in graduate courses in music performance or music conducting.
d, A minimum of 2 credits of 800-level courses in music conducting, music performance, composition, music theory, or musicology.
3. Complete 4 additional credits in graduate courses within or outside the College of Music.
4.  A student who completes fewer than 1 credit of music performance in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Music degree with a major in music education must pass a performance test on an instrument or in voice. The test will be administered by one faculty member in music education and one faculty member in either instrumental or vocal music performance.
5. Participate in music activities during two semesters or two summer sessions of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, chorus, jazz band, and orchestra.

Additional Requirements for Plan A

  1. Complete the following course:
     MUS    899    Master's Thesis Research (4)

Additional Requirements for Plan B

  1. Complete 4 additional credits in graduate courses in music education.
  2. Pass a 3–hour written comprehensive examination.


 


Music Education - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in music education, an applicant must:

  1. Submit to the College of Music his or her master's thesis, if a thesis was required for the master's degree.  An applicant who did not complete a thesis must submit a comparable sample of his or her academic or professional writing.
  2. Have completed successfully at least three years of employment as a music teacher, as evidenced in letters of recommendation and other documents submitted in support of the application. 
  3. Include in the letter required by the college a 500 to 700 word essay about the applicant's professional experience and future professional goals.
To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have a master's degree in music education or a total of 30 credits of approved course work.

Students who are admitted to the doctoral program in music education should have completed each of the following graduate courses with a grade of at least 3.0 (B):  one music history course from the Baroque period or earlier (pre–1750), one music history course from the Classical period or later (post–1750), and one music theory course in advanced analysis.  A student who has not completed such courses will be required to complete those courses, in addition to completing the courses that are required for the doctoral degree.

Guidance Committee

The student's advisory committee, which must be formed in the first year of graduate study, should consist of an advisor, who must be a music education faculty member, two additional music education faculty members, and one member of the music faculty  in the student's cognate area.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Music Education

The student must:

1. Complete a minimum of 36 credits of course work as specified below:
a. Music Education Core (14 or 15 credits):
(1) All of the following courses (12 credits):
MUS 960 Seminar in Measurement in Music Education 3
MUS 962 Advanced Studies in the Philosophy of Music Education 3
MUS 965 Conducting Research in Music Education 3
MUS 966 Seminar in Qualitative Research in Music Education 3
(2) One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):
MUS 861 Seminar in Psychology of Music Education 3
MUS 862 Seminar in Music Curriculum and Methodology 3
MUS 863 Seminar in the Sociology of Music Education 3
MUS 964 Seminar in College Music Teaching 2
b. Music Cognate.  Nine credits in graduate courses in one of the following areas:  composition, conducting, jazz, musicology, theory, or performance.
c. Electives.  Twelve credits in graduate courses within or outside the College of Music.
2. Demonstrate competency in teaching.  This requirement must be met by teaching a college–level music course or ensemble under the guidance of a faculty member.
3. Demonstrate competency in scholarship.  This requirement must be met by writing and submitting for publication a scholarly paper on an aspect of music education and presenting the paper at an on–campus or off-campus colloquium approved by the student's academic advisor.


Music Performance - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

When applying for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music performance, an applicant must specify one of the following three broad performance areas that he or she wishes to pursue:  instrumental music, instrumental specialist, or vocal music.

An applicant who selects the instrumental music area must also specify the major instrument or group of instruments (e.g., piano, harp, flute, or percussion instruments) from the categories listed below:

Brass and Percussion: trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion
Keyboard: piano
Stringed instruments: harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass
Woodwinds: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon


An applicant who selects the instrumental specialist area must also specify one of the following three major specialties:  brass instruments specialist, stringed instruments specialist, or woodwind instruments specialist.  An applicant who selects brass instruments specialist must specify the major brass instrument and two secondary brass instruments.  An applicant who selects stringed instruments specialist must specify the major stringed instrument and one secondary stringed instrument.  An applicant who selects woodwind instruments specialist must specify the major woodwind instrument and three secondary woodwind instruments. (Refer to the categories listed above.)

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music performance, an applicant must present a live performance audition before a committee of faculty in the applicant's broad performance area. For an applicant who has a Bachelor of Music degree in music performance from Michigan State University, the live performance audition may be waived at the discretion of the faculty in the applicant's major area. With the approval of the faculty in an applicant's major area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high–quality recording of a recent performance, rather than on the basis of a live performance audition.  An applicant who selects the instrumental music, instrumental specialist, or vocal music area must submit either an audio or a video recording. An applicant who submits a recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition before a faculty committee in the applicant's broad performance area.  The audition must be presented before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program and must meet the requirements that are specified below.

The requirements for the audition are specified below:

  1. instrumental music:  The audition must be on the major instrument or group of instruments that the applicant specifies.
  2. instrumental specialist
    1. brass instruments specialist:  The audition must be on the major brass instrument and on the two secondary brass instruments that the applicant specifies.  If trombone is not the major instrument, it must be one of the secondary instruments.
    2. stringed instruments specialist:  The audition must be on the major stringed instrument and on the secondary stringed instrument that the applicant specifies.  If the major instrument is violin or viola, the secondary instrument must be cello or double bass.  If the major instrument is cello or double bass, the secondary instrument must be violin or viola.
    3. woodwind instruments specialist:  The audition must be on the major woodwind instrument and on one of the three secondary woodwind instruments that the applicant specifies.
  3. vocal music:  The audition must be in voice.

To schedule an audition, an applicant should contact the College of Music Admissions Office.

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree program in music performance on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree in music performance from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music performance that are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in music performance from Michigan State University or their equivalents.
  2. Presented a live performance audition that was acceptable to the committee of faculty in the broad performance area.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Performance

The student must meet the requirements for one of the following three broad areas of music performance:  instrumental music, instrumental specialist, or vocal music.

Instrumental Music

The student must meet the requirements for one of the following five major areas of instrumental music:  piano, brass instruments, stringed instruments, woodwind instruments, or percussion instruments:

1. Piano
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete all of the following courses (14 credits):
MUS 849 Piano Performance 2
MUS 850A Piano 6
MUS 856 Chamber Music 2
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
All students enrolled in the Master of Music degree program with piano as the major area are required to complete 1 credit of Music 849 during each semester of enrollment in Music 850A.  Students who enroll in Music 850A for more than 2 semesters are required to complete more than 2 credits of Music 849 and may be required to complete more than 30 credits for the degree.
b.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

c.

Complete 4 to 6 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 849, 850A, or 896.

d. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve piano accompanying.
2. Brass Instruments
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete the following course (4 credits):
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 854A Trumpet 6
MUS 854B Horn 6
MUS 854C Trombone 6
MUS 854D Euphonium 6
MUS 854E Tuba 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 8 to 10 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 854A, MUS 854B, MUS 854C, MUS 854D, MUS 854E, or MUS 896.

e. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, jazz band, and orchestra.
3. Stringed Instruments
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (8 credits):
MUS 856 Chamber Music 4
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 852A Violin 6
MUS 852B Viola 6
MUS 852C Cello 6
MUS 852D Double Bass 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 4 to 6 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 852A, MUS 852B, MUS 852C, MUS 852D, or MUS 896.

e. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve orchestra.
4. Woodwind Instruments
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete the following course (4 credits):
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 853A Flute 6
MUS 853B Oboe 6
MUS 853C Clarinet 6
MUS 853D Saxophone 6
MUS 853E Bassoon 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 8 to 10 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 853A, MUS 853B, MUS 853C, MUS 853D, MUS 853E, or MUS 896.

e. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, jazz band, and orchestra.
5. Percussion Instruments
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (10 credits):
MUS 855 Percussion 6
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

c.

Complete 8 to 10 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 855 or MUS 896.

d. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, jazz band, and orchestra.

Instrumental Specialist

The student must meet the requirements for one of the following three major specialties:  brass instruments specialist, stringed instruments specialist, or woodwind instruments specialist:

1. Brass Instruments Specialist
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 847 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis:  Brass 2
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
Each of the 2 credits of Music 847 is associated with instruction in one of the  student's two required secondary instruments.
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 854A Trumpet 6
MUS 854B Horn 6
MUS 854C Trombone 6
MUS 854D Euphonium 6
MUS 854E Tuba 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 8 to 10 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 854A, MUS 854B, MUS 854C, MUS 854D, MUS 854E, or MUS 896.

e. Present a performance on each of the student's two required secondary instruments.  The performance must be acceptable to a committee of faculty in the area of brass instruments.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, jazz band, and orchestra.
2. Stringed Instruments Specialist
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete all of the following courses (9 credits):
MUS 846 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis:  String 1
MUS 856 Chamber Music 4
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The credit of Music 846 is associated with instruction in the student's required secondary instrument.
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 852A Violin 6
MUS 852B Viola 6
MUS 852C Cello 6
MUS 852D Double Bass 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 3 to 5 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 852A, MUS 852B, MUS 852C, MUS 852D, or MUS 896.

e. Present a performance on the student's required secondary instrument. The performance must be acceptable to a committee of faculty in the area of stringed instruments.
f. Participate in music activities during  two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve orchestra.
3. Woodwind Instruments Specialist
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (7 credits):
MUS 848 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis:  Woodwind 3
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
Each of the 3 credits of Music 848 is associated with instruction in one of the student's three required secondary instruments.
The recital performance must be on the student's major instrument.
b. Complete one of the following courses (6 credits):
MUS 853A Flute 6
MUS 853B Oboe 6
MUS 853C Clarinet 6
MUS 853D Saxophone 6
MUS 853E Bassoon 6
c.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

d.

Complete 5 to 7 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 853A, MUS 853B, MUS 853C, MUS 853D, MUS 853E, or MUS 896.

e. Present a performance on each of the student's three required secondary instruments.  Each of the three performances must be acceptable to a committee of faculty in the area of woodwind instruments.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must be selected from band, jazz band, and orchestra.

Vocal Music

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:

1. Complete all of the following courses (11 credits):
MUS 435 Opera Theatre 1
MUS 851 Voice 6
MUS 896 Master's Recital Performance 4
The recital performance must be a vocal performance.
2.

Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above. (10 to 12 credits)

3.

Complete 7 to 9 credits of elective courses in music at the 400-level or above, exclusive of additional credits in MUS 851 or MUS 896.

4. Complete one semester of study each in French, German, and Italian. Credits in courses in a foreign language may not be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Music degree. Courses completed as part of an undergraduate degree program may be used to satisfy this requirement.
5. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve chorus.

Academic Standards

A grade of 3.0 or higher is required for Music 896.


 


Music Performance - Doctor of Musical Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in music performance on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a master's degree in music from a recognized educational institution or a total of 30 credits of approved graduate course work.
  2. presented a live performance audition acceptable to the committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music.

When applying for admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program with a major in music performance, an applicant must specify one of the following two broad performance areas that he or she wishes to pursue:  instrumental music or vocal music.

An applicant who selects the instrumental music area must also specify the major instrument or group of instruments (e.g., piano, harp, flute, or percussion instruments) from the categories listed below:

Brass and Percussion: trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion
Keyboard: piano
Stringed Instruments: harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass
Woodwinds: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon 

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in music performance, an applicant must present a live performance audition before a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music.

Applicants selecting the instrumental music area must present a live 40-minute audition, including the performance of three major works and approximately 10 minutes of discussion on one or more of the works, that is acceptable to the committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music. Applicants selecting the vocal music area must present a live 40-minute audition, performing 30 minutes of music and 10 minutes of discussion on one or more of the works, that is acceptable to the committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music. Required languages: English, French, German, and Italian. Required repertoire: art songs, one opera aria, one baroque or classical aria, one 20th-21st century work. In the case of both the instrumental and vocal music areas, applicants must also be prepared to respond to questions from the audition panel on the entire program.

With the approval of the faculty in an applicant's major area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high–quality recording of a recent performance, rather than on the basis of a live performance audition.  An applicant who selects the instrumental music or vocal music  area  must submit either an audio or a video recording. An applicant who submits a recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition before a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Music.  The audition must be presented before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program.

Guidance Committee

The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies or his or her designee must be a member of the student's guidance committee and must serve as its chairperson. The student’s major professor, a second faculty member from the student’s area, one faculty member from the area of musicology, and one faculty member from the area of music theory must be members of the student’s guidance committee. In instances where additional expertise would be beneficial it is recommended that the guidance committee include a faculty member from within or outside the College of Music.

Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Performance

The student must meet the requirements specified below:

Each student in the program has a major professor who provides instruction in the student's major instrument or in voice, oversees the musical content of the student's program, guides the preparation of required recitals, oversees the preparation of the scholarly paper, lecture-recital(s) and the final oral examination.  Normally, the student studies with the major professor for six semesters. 

The student must:

  1. Select, from the categories below, a major instrument or group of instruments (e.g. piano, harp, flute, or percussion instruments) or voice:
    Piano
    Stringed instruments: harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass
    Wind instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba
    Percussion instruments
    Voice
  2. Complete the courses that are specified by the student's guidance committee including:
    1. 3 credits of Music 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music
    2. 6 credits of 800- or 900-level courses in musicology
    3. three courses in music theory at the 800- or 900-level. Students with a master's degree from Michigan State University will be required to take only two courses
    4. 6 credits of elective courses, exclusive of additional credits of Music 996
  3. Pass the written comprehensive examinations in musicology and music theory. Students become eligible to take the comprehensive examination in either of these areas during the semester in which they are completing the required course work in that area.
  4. Complete the following requirements in lieu of 24 credits of Music 999, a doctoral dissertation,  and a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation:
    1. Complete 24 credits of Music 996.
    2. Perform four public recitals that have been approved by a committee of faculty from the student's area.  Three of the recitals must be solo recitals, two of which must be presented within two consecutive semesters, excluding summers.  The fourth recital must be a chamber music recital.  A recording of each of the four recitals is required and must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.
    3. Complete one of the following three options:
      1. Present a lecture–recital twice, first to the student's guidance committee as part of an oral examination and then to the public and submit a scholarly paper upon which the lecture-recital is based.  In no case may the lecture–recital be presented publicly until it has been approved by the committee. The oral examination will be a defense of the lecture-recital and the paper.  A recording of the lecture–recital is required and must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.
      2. Present two lecture-recitals. Each lecture-recital must be presented twice, first to the student’s guidance committee as part of an oral examination and then to the public. In no case may the lecture-recital be presented publicly until it has been approved by the committee. Each oral examination will be a defense of one of the lecture-recitals. A recording of each lecture-recital is required and must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.
      3. With the unanimous consent of the student's guidance committee, submit a scholarly paper of major scope, comparable to a traditional dissertation, and take a final oral examination based on the paper.
A proposal for each lecture-recital and the scholarly paper, if applicable, must be approved in writing by all members of the guidance committee no less than three months before the oral examination on that lecture-recital may occur. A recording of the public lecture-recital(s) and the scholarly paper  will be retained by the College as part of the permanent degree record.

In the case of (1) and (3) above, the student must have completed successfully all of the required course work (with the exception of Music 996 Doctoral Recital Performance), the comprehensive examination, the required public recitals, and the scholarly paper before the final oral examination may occur. In the case of (2) above, the student must have completed successfully all of the required course work (with the exception of Music 996), the comprehensive examination, and the required public recitals before either of the oral examinations may occur.

Academic Standards

Doctoral study presumes continuing excellence in course work, reading, and writing.  A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.

With regard to 4. (c) (1) above, the student’s performance on the lecture-recital and the related scholarly paper and the final oral examination based on the lecture-recital and the paper must be approved by the members of the student’s guidance committee with not more than one dissenting vote. Should the committee fail to accept the student’s performance on the lecture-recital and the related paper or the final oral examination, the student shall be allowed to repeat the performance of the lecture-recital or to revise the related paper or to repeat the final oral examination. The lecture-recital must be repeated or the paper revised or the oral examination repeated within one year, during a fall or spring semester.

With regard to 4. (c) (2) above, the student’s performance on each of the two lecture-recitals and the final oral examination based on each lecture-recital must be approved by the members of the student’s guidance committee with not more than one dissenting vote. Should the committee fail to accept the student’s performance on either lecture-recital or the final oral examination, the student shall be allowed to repeat the performance of the lecture-recital or to repeat the final oral examination. The lecture-recital must be repeated or the oral examination repeated within one year, during a fall or spring semester.

With regard to 4. (c) (3) above, the student’s performance on the scholarly paper and the final oral examination based on the paper must be approved by the members of the student’s guidance committee with not more than one dissenting vote. Should the committee fail to accept the student’s performance on the paper or the final oral examination, the student shall be allowed to revise the related paper or to repeat the final oral examination. The paper must be revised or the oral examination repeated within one year, during a fall or spring semester.


Music Theory - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music theory, an applicant must submit to the College of Music:

  1. A one–page, type–written statement, written in English, that addresses the applicant's interest in the field of music theory and in Michigan State University's music theory program.
  2. At least two examples of original compositions, arrangements, orchestrations, or counterpoint exercises, as well as a scholarly writing sample. Applicants are invited to include items representative of their work in music theory.

To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in music theory from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music theory that are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in music theory at Michigan State University or their equivalents.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Theory

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis). A total of 30 to 32 credits are required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, who must be a member of the music theory faculty. The student must meet the requirements specified below:

1. All of the following courses (13 credits):
MUS 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music 3
MUS 874 Schenkerian Analysis 2
MUS 876 Keyboard Skills and Practical Musicianship 3
MUS 970 Pedagogy of Theory I 3
MUS 979 Proseminar in Music Theory 2
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
MUS 870 Advanced Modal Counterpoint 3
MUS 871 Advanced Tonal Counterpoint 3
Students who take both MUS 870 and 871 may count one of the courses towards requirement 3. below.
3. One of the following courses (2 credits):
MUS 873 Early 20th Century Techniques 2
MUS 978 Late 20th- and 21st- Century Techniques 2
Successful completion of the Early 20th Century Techniques portion of the Graduate Orientation Examination in Music Theory will fulfill this requirement. In that case, the 2 credits will be replaced by electives. Students who take both MUS 873 and 978 may count one of the courses toward requirement 4. below.
4. Two of the following courses (5 or 6 credits):
MUS 875 Analysis of Musical Scores 3
MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II 3
MUS 972 Advanced Keyboard Skills 3
MUS 976 Performance and Analysis 3
MUS 977 Schenkerian Analysis II 3
MUS 978 Late 20th and 21st Century Techniques 2
5. Complete either two semesters of MUS 973 Readings in Music Theory totaling 4 credits, or one semester of MUS 973 plus MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II totaling 5 credits. If MUS 971 is counted toward this requirement, it cannot be counted toward requirement 4. above.
6. Complete an additional 3 credits in musicology at the 400-level or above. MUS 830 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
7. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved in advance by the student’s academic advisor and selected from band, chamber ensemble, chorus, jazz band, new-music ensemble, or orchestra.
8. Pass a Keyboard Skills Examination. Materials are prepared from a booklet given to the student at the outset of studies in the program, and will involve the playing of various harmonic progressions and sequences, realizing figured basses, composing accompaniments to simple melodies, transposing, and improvising. The examination will be graded by a committee comprised of two members of the music theory faculty selected by the area chairperson.
9. Complete a Teaching Demonstration. The demonstration must take place after the student has completed MUS 970 Pedagogy of Theory I. A 1 to 2 page proposal outlining the instructional objectives, proposed topic(s) and approach(es), and schedule for completion will be submitted to the advisor for approval at the start of the semester in which the demonstration will take place. The demonstration will occupy a class period of an undergraduate course in music theory to be determined by the area chairperson. It will be graded by a three-person committee selected by the area chairperson and comprised of the advisor, another member of the music theory faculty, and one faculty member from outside the area. The grade will be pass/fail, based upon a majority vote of the three committee members. Candidates who fail the Teaching Demonstration will be allowed to present a second one no earlier than the following semester. Candidates who fail twice will not be allowed to complete the degree.
10. Complete and publicly present a capstone essay, to be advised and approved by a member of the music theory faculty. The essay may be on either a research-related or a pedagogical topic, and must be similar in scope to a term paper. Students may choose a paper completed as part of either MUS 973 Readings in Music Theory or MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II and revise and expand it in completion of the requirement.
Procedures for the Capstone Requirements of the Master of Music in Music Theory Degree
Capstone Essay:
The capstone essay must be completed no earlier than the student’s enrollment in the course on which the essay is based: either MUS 973 Readings in Music Theory or MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II. The student must work under the guidance of a member of the music theory faculty, who approves the final version of the paper as well as the student’s public presentation of it. The public presentation will be in the format of a conference presentation, with a lecture of approximately 30 minutes followed by an opportunity for questions from those in attendance.
Keyboard Skills Examination:
The Keyboard Skills Examination may be taken at any point while or after the student takes MUS 876 Keyboard Skills and Practical Musicianship. A committee of two faculty examiners, including the instructor of MUS 876 and one other member of the music theory faculty hears the examination. The examination materials are available upon request from the MUS 876 instructor. Upon successful completion, both faculty members sign the Capstone Requirements Form. The student who is not successful may retake the examination no earlier than the start of the following semester. Students are urged not to wait until their last semester in residence.
Teaching Demonstration:
The Teaching Demonstration may be undertaken once the student has completed MUS 970 Pedagogy of Theory I. The student who plans to take MUS 971 Pedagogy of Theory II is urged to wait until after completion of that course as well. The student must teach an entire 50-minute lecture of an undergraduate music theory course different from the one the student is currently teaching as a graduate assistant. The music theory area chairperson determines which course and assembles a committee of three faculty members, of which at least two must be on the music theory faculty. The student works with the course instructor, in consultation with the other committee members, to determine a date, topics, and learning objectives. All three committee members sign the Capstone Requirement Form upon the student’s successful completion of the Teaching Demonstration. The student who is not successful may reattempt the Teaching Demonstration no earlier than the start of the following semester. Students are urged not to wait until their last semester in residence.

Musicology - Master of Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree program in musicology on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in musicology, or have completed the courses in musicology that are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Michigan State University or their equivalents.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Musicology

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 32 credits is required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:

Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B

1. Complete the following course (3 credits):
MUS 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music 3
2. Complete one of the following two options (12 credits):
a. 9 credits of music history and 3 credits of ethnomusicology, in addition to Music 830. At least two of the courses must be at the 800–level.
b. 3 credits of music history and 9 credits of ethnomusicology including Music 832 or Music 833, in addition to Music 830. At least two of the courses must be at the 800–900-level.
If a 400–level course is to be used to satisfy this requirement, the student must enroll concurrently in 1 credit of MUS 892A Seminar in Music History.
3. Complete 2 or 3 credits in music theory.
4. Complete 3 credits in a cognate outside the College of Music. Both the cognate area and the related courses must be approved by the faculty in the area of musicology.
5. Demonstrate a reading knowledge of one  foreign language, preferably German or French. Credits in courses in a foreign language may not be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in musicology.
6. Complete 2 credits in music performance at the 800–level.
7. Complete 5 or 6 additional credits in music excluding musicology.
8. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program.  The activities must be acceptable to the faculty in the area of musicology and must be approved by the student's academic advisor.


Additional Requirements for Plan A

  1. Complete the following course:
    MUS    899    Master's Thesis Research (4)

Additional Requirements for Plan B

  1. Complete the following course:
    MUS    898    Master's Research (4)
    Possible projects include historical performance, instrument construction, or transcribing or editing historical music.


Piano Pedagogy - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Music degree program in piano pedagogy, an applicant must present a live performance audition before and be interviewed by a committee of faculty of the piano area. For an applicant who has a Bachelor of Music degree in music performance from Michigan State University, the live performance audition and the interview may be waived at the discretion of the faculty in the piano area. With the approval of the faculty in the piano area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of (a) a high-quality audio or video recording of a recent performance, (b) a video recording of him or her teaching a piano lesson to a young child, and (c) a written statement of his or her teaching philosophy.  An applicant who submits recordings and a written statement may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live performance audition before and an interview with the faculty in the piano area.  The live performance and the interview must be completed before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program and must meet the requirements of the piano area.

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree program in Piano Pedagogy on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in piano pedagogy, a bachelor’s degree in piano performance or a bachelor’s degree in music education with a major in piano from a recognized educational institution.

In addition, an international applicant is required to have fulfilled the University’s English language proficiency requirement for regular admission as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.  Provisional admission as a result of English language scores is not possible for this degree program.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Piano Pedagogy

The program is available under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of at least 30 credits is required for the degree under Plan B.  The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below.

1. Complete all of the following courses (17 credits):
MUS 466 Internship in Music 1
MUS 843 Seminar in Piano Pedagogy 8
MUS 849 Piano Performance 2
MUS 850A Piano 6
2. Complete 2 or 3 credits in music theory at the 800 level or above.
3. Complete 3 credits in musicology at the 400 level or above.
4. Complete 4 credits from the following:
MUS 413 Keyboard Literature to the Mid-19th Century 2
MUS 414 Keyboard Literature since the Mid-19th Century 2
MUS 465 Music in Early Childhood 2
MUS 496 Your Music Business 1 or 2
MUS 830 Research Methods and Materials in Music 3
MUS 856 Chamber Music 1 or 2
MUS 864 Research in Music Educatin 3
5. Complete 2 credits of MUS 896 Recital Performance by performing a recital under the guidance of the student's applied music instructor.
6. Complete 2 credits of MUS 898 Master's Research by completing a research project and a one-semester teaching project and cumulative portfolio under the guidance of the Director of Piano Pedagogy.