Music Theory, M.M.
Center for the Arts / BOYER COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DANCE
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: January 7
Spring: December 1
Decisions regarding admission are rendered after all required
credentials have been submitted and the admissions application is
APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can
provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents, and 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:
79 iBT or 550 PBT.
A resume is required.
An applicant must submit with the application for admission an undergraduate-level paper demonstrating her/his ability to do musical analysis and/or report research. The applicant must submit an assignment of:
- A compositional nature, such as counterpoint, a figured bass, a harmonized melody, an original composition, or the like.
- An analytical nature, such as a formal analysis, a harmonic analysis, a pitch-class set analysis, or the like.
A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with her/his
academic advisor and obtain a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form, available at: www.temple.edu/grad/forms.
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,
specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews,
recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized
examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the
Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected
for admission 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
above-mentioned criteria, 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.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 31
Required Courses (19 s.h.):
MUST 8701: Research in Music (3)
MUST 8713: Canon and Fugue (3)
MUST 8742: Seminar in Theoretical Analysis: Post-Tonal Music (3)
MUST 8742: Seminar in Theoretical Analysis: Schenkerian Analysis (3)
MUST 8749: Current Topics in Musicology and Theory (3)
MUST 9996: Final Written Project: Music Theory (1)
1 course involving Music and Technology (3 s.h.)
Electives (12 s.h.) selected from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, and other graduate departments, depending on the research interests of the student. One graduate course in Music History is strongly recommended. Advisor approval required.
All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.
Internship: No internship is required.
Language Examination: A language examination is required. Students must pass an exam in a foreign language.
French and German are strongly recommended, but a different language is
possible with approval of the division coordinator. The exam is waived for
students who had 2 years of a foreign language as an undergraduate, or for
students who reached the final semester of a foreign language as an undergraduate.
All entering Master of Music students are required to take Diagnostic
Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Skills, 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 M.M. students must take the Diagnostic Examination in
Harmony, Counterpoint, and Aural Skills prior to the first semester of
graduate study unless conditions for exemption have been met (see
below). Students may take the test only once, and if they do not pass
the test or any portion thereof, they must enroll in the remedial
course(s) during their first semester of study. Depending on which
section(s) of the examination are failed, the examiners will stipulate
which sections of remedial coursework the student must take. The courses
are MUST 5001: Diatonic Harmony Review, MUST 5002:
Chromatic Harmony Review, MUST 5003: Counterpoint Review, and
MUST 5004: Graduate Aural Theory Review.
2. All entering M.M. students are required to take the Diagnostic
Examination in Music History prior to registering for their first
semester of graduate study 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
Option A entails registering to take MUST 5005: Music
History Review for 1 to 5 undergraduate credits, with 1 credit assigned
to each of the following five periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classic,
Romantic, and Twentieth Century. Students may register for a maximum of 3
credits of MUST 5005 in any semester; thus, it is possible to
extend the remediation over two semesters.
Option B entails the student's studying independently and retaking
the failed sections of the examination at the end of the first semester
of study. Students may retake the examination only once, and if any
section is failed a second time, they must take the assigned remedial
sections in their second semester of study.
3. Conditions for Exemption: The requirement to take the Diagnostic
Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer
College of Music and Dance who (a) matriculate and enroll in the
semester immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree
requirements; and (b) received grades of "B-" or better in every
undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be
This exam is scheduled by the student with a member of the
Music Theory faculty. Although it can be scheduled at any time,
the student is strongly encouraged to complete the exam in the first year of study. Students prepare the following:
1. Score reading of the exposition of the first movement of an 18th-century
2. A simple lied accompaniment.
3. A Bach chorale.
4. A figured bass.
Professional Development Policy:
In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all
students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve
in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical
expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance 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 Temple University-owned musical instruments and
instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying;
performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance
classes; and engaging in other academic activities.
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 students' major advisor, 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 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.
Applied Music Study:
1. Graduate students in
non-performing curricula may take up to 6 credits of applied study
toward the degree with the permission of the major advisor. 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,
2. Regardless of major, graduate students with a
demonstrable performing proficiency that may not meet the more rigorous
requirements of a graduate-level audition may, by audition, qualify to
take 2 credits of applied study per semester for graduate credit. These
courses carry a fee of $400 plus tuition and may be applied to the
non-performing curriculum for degree credit. Up to 6 credits may be
taken with the approval of the major advisor.
3. Graduate assistantships and other forms of
University-sponsored financial aid do not cover private lesson or
Recital Extension fees.
All incomplete grades and keyboard
proficiencies must be fulfilled by the first day of the month in which
the student expects to graduate.
This four-hour written examination includes two lists: one of
terms to identify, and the second of music theorists to describe and explain. The
examination also requires short essay answers about current theory and an
analysis of a work provided. Students should contact the Associate Dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance in writing at least one month before the scheduled date of the examination. This exam is generally given in the first week of April. Scheduled by Assistant Dean David Brown, the
exam is graded by two members of the department’s graduate faculty.
Final Written Project:
Music Theory majors write a final written project (MUST 9996: Final Written Project: Music Theory) -- not a thesis --
that is 30-40 pages in length. Students choose an advisor, who approves the topic of the project in Music Theory. Students are
strongly encouraged to begin their final project no later than the beginning of
the second year of study and complete the project in their final semester of study. The completed final project must be approved by the advisor and a second reader,
generally a faculty member in Music Studies.
Program Contact Information:
Dept. of Music Theory
Boyer College of Music
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Professor Michael Klein
Professor Michael Klein
Professor Michael Klein
About the Program
The Master of Music in Music Theory provides a comprehensive collection of courses designed to develop skills in the areas of music theory research, music analysis, and musical composition.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years
Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).
Dept. of Music Theory
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Boyer College of Music and Dance has been ranked among the
top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World
This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Areas of Specialization:
The master's program in Music Theory is organized into a series of small seminars, with an emphasis on developing strong analytical skills and the application of music theory in the academic environment. The program's primary purpose is to prepare majors for further academic studies at the doctoral level.
The program prepares students for various careers related to music, and for further academic and musical training at the doctoral level.
Non-Matriculated Student Policy:
With permission from the Dean's Office, individuals may be granted permission to enter the College as a non-matriculated student, taking up to 9 graduate credits (excluding private lessons) before applying for admission to a program.
Boyer College of Music and Dance 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 on
departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress
by the recipient.