2009 - 2010 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Choral Conducting, M.M.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators to provide insight into your abilities and talents, as well as comment on your aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A degree in music is expected.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


Prospective Choral Conducting students must submit a "pre-audition" video tape of a rehearsal or performance of at least 10 minutes in duration. Selected applicants will rehearse and conduct the Concert Choir, a 40-voice mixed ensemble, for approximately 20 minutes in three or four stylistically and historically varied choral pieces selected by the choral faculty. This repertoire will be sent to the applicant when the completed application has been received by the College and an audition has been scheduled by calling 215-204-8304. Auditions are held early in the spring semester.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Students who wish to transfer credit should speak with their academic advisor and obtain a transfer of credit form, available at www.temple.edu/grad/forms/documents/Transfer_Grad_Credit_05.pdf Transfer credits must be approved by the Advisor, the Department Chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.


Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, Boyer College of Music specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions. Graduate applicants may be rejected for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the criteria listed above, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This Policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses:

Music 8300: Choral Ensemble

Music 8351: Choral Conducting

Music 8352: Choral Conducting

Music 8353: Choral Conducting/Recital

Music 8354: Choral Conducing/Recital

Music 8356: Choral Literature

Music 8357: Choral Literature

Music 8358: Choral Literature

Music 8359: Choral Literature

Music 8384: Advanced Choral Conducting

Music Studies 8701: Research in Music

Music Studies 8742-8746: Seminar in Theoretical/Stylistic Analysis

Electives (6) selected from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, or other graduate programs with advisor's approval.

View all COURSE OFFERINGS in Music, Music Education, and Music Studies.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination:  No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Diagnostic Examinations:

Prior to the first semester of graduate study, diagnostic exams are required in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Theory, and Music History. Remedial coursework may be required.

Proficiencies in Voice, Piano, and Musicianship:

Proficiencies are evaluated by the department in the first semester of graduate study.

Two Public Recitals:

One public recital is required in the Fall semester of the second year of study (Music 8353) and one in the Spring semester of the second year of study (Music 8354).

Major Area Oral Examination:

This examination is taken in the fourth semester of study.

Except as noted, all degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be completed by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

Independent Study Courses:

Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the student's major adviser, and the Associate Dean.  Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

All entering Master of Music students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Theory, and Music History prior to the first semester of graduate study. The purpose of these examinations is to determine weaknesses in undergraduate preparation. Depending on the examination results, students may be required to take one or more remedial courses. In these instances, the remedial courses will be graded on a "Credit / No Credit" basis and the official university transcript will indicate "CR" (for "Credit", meaning that the deficiency has been satisfied) or "NC" (for "No Credit", meaning that the deficiency has not been satisfied). Students must have a "B-" or better average in any remedial course or section thereof to earn the grade of "Credit" and to satisfy the requirement. Students who earn a grade of "NC" (that is, having a class average below "B-") must retake that course or section until an average of "B-" or higher is achieved and a grade of "CR" is recorded on the official university transcript. Remedial courses are offered for undergraduate credit only, and may not count toward graduate degree requirements.

1. All entering MM students must take the harmony, counterpoint, and aural theory examination prior to the first semester of graduate study unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). A student may take the test only once, and if she does not pass the test or any portion thereof, she must enroll in the remedial course(s) during her first semester of study. Depending on which section(s) of the examination are failed, the examiners will stipulate which sections of remedial coursework each student must take. The courses are "Diatonic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 5001, one credit), "Chromatic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 5002, one credit), "Counterpoint Review" (Music Studies 5003, one credit), and "Graduate Aural Theory Review" (Music Studies 5004, three credits).

2. Music History. Each entering MM student is required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Music History prior to registering for her first semester of graduate student, unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). If the student is unsuccessful in passing any portion of the Music History examination, the student may select one of two options.

(Option A): Register to take Music History Review (Music Studies 5005 for 1 to 5 undergraduate credits, with 1 credit assigned to each of the following five periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Twentieth Century. A student may register for a maximum of 3 credits of Music History Review in any semester; thus, it is possible to extend the remediation over two semesters.

(Option B): A student may study independently and retake the failed sections of the examination at the end of the first semester of study. Each student may retake the examination only once, and if any section is failed a second time, she must take the assigned remedial sections in her second semester of study. 3. Conditions for Exemption The requirement to take the Examination in any of these areas is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music who: 1) matriculate and enroll in the semester immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements, and 2) received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

Professional Development Policy:

All students in the Boyer College of Music, in addition to the required subjects toward their degrees, are obliged to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. The Boyer College believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes, tutoring, teaching private lessons, coaching, participating in the distribution and inventory control of University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials, participating in ensembles, accompanying, performing at admissions and open house events, supervising performance classes, and other academically related activities.

Graduate Private Lesson Policy:

a. Graduate degree students in non-performing curricula may take up to six credits of applied study toward the degree with the permission of the major adviser. Such non-required lessons may be taken only if the student can pass the normal graduate-level performing audition expected of performance majors. In this event, a fee of $200, not covered by tuition remission, is charged.

b. A graduate student, regardless of major, with a demonstrable performing proficiency that may not meet the more rigorous requirements of a graduate performance-level audition, may, by audition, qualify to take two credits of applied study per semester for graduate credit in the 290 course number series. These courses carry a fee of $400 plus tuition and may be applied to the non-performing curriculum for degree credit up to six semester hours with the approval of the major adviser.

c. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.

Performing Ensembles:

a. Touring - All students in touring performing ensembles are required to participate in all scheduled tours. These tours, usually one or two weeks in length, often take place immediately after termination of semesters. Ensemble members must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement.

b. Participation - Master's degree candidates in wind, brass, and percussion instruments must be available for ensemble assignments at the discretion of the Department Chair, including participation beyond curricular requirements.

c. Non-Credit Participation - With special permission,  a graduate student for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair, and the Associate Dean.

Acceptable English:

All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

All candidates for the Master of Music degree are required to take a comprehensive examination in the major area which is designed and given by the department in the final semester of coursework. 

With this final comprehensive, a spoken examination, each student spends one hour with the entire choral faculty answering questions that are mostly from the major field but also often include other areas of music, art, history, theory, etc. Often, but not always, examples will be played at the piano for historic placement and identification. The students prepare for the exam mostly through a thorough review of eight notebooks, four each from Choral Literature and Choral Conducting Seminar. Scheduled by the department, graded by all of the department’s graduate faculty.



Choral Conductors present two recitals (fall and spring semester) in the second year of study, utilizing the Recital Chorus and the Graduate Conductors' Chorus.

Graduation recitals are one-hour in length, and are typically presented on-campus in either Rock Hall or Klein Recital Hall. The student must provide evidence through Temple University transcript records of having taken the appropriate coursework in preparation for the graduation recital.

Graduation recitals are adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Choral Activities
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Alan Harler


Graduate Chairperson:

Professor Alan Harler



Professor Alan Harler


About the Program

The Department of Choral Activities offers a program of study leading to the Master of Music in Choral Conducting. Graduate majors in the department have the opportunity to conduct a number of resident ensembles, as well as presenting their own recitals with the Graduate Conductors' Chorus.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also ble to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Choral Activities
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

Students may elect to take up to six graduate credits outside the field of music, with approval of the major advisor.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The Boyer College of Music has been ranked among the top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization:

The degree is intended to prepare students for successful careers in choral music by providing the highest level of training in the many skills required for the choral conductor; including technical, theoretical, analytical, historical, linguistic, keyboard, and vocal skills. The department prepares students to become teachers and conductors striving toward the highest possible artistic excellence.

Job Placement:

The program prepares musicians for either professional activity or doctoral study.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may enroll in selected courses in music with permission of the department chair and the Associate Dean.

Financing Opportunities

The Boyer College offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the fall and spring semesters. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award. Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website.

Typically these awards are made only in the fall semester for up to two semesters, Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for Master's students and up to three years for Doctoral students) based upon departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

May 2007