Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MUST 8701Research in Music3
MUST 8749Current Topics in Musicology and Theory3
Focused Electives9
Select courses in Music Composition, Music History, or Music Theory
Free Electives 115
Total Credit Hours30

Language Examination: To complete the degree, students must fulfill a foreign language requirement in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or another language with approval of the chair. This requirement may be fulfilled in any one of three ways:

  1. The student successfully completed four semesters of a foreign language as an undergraduate.
  2. The student passes a foreign language examination with the requisite language department.
  3. The student takes four terms of a foreign language. Since language credits are at the undergraduate level, they do not count toward the M.A. degree, but they do fulfill the language requirement.

Additional Requirements:

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Diagnostic Examinations:
All entering master's students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Skills, and Music History prior to the first term of graduate study. The purpose of these examinations is to ascertain adequate preparation for graduate study in these areas. Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, and Aural Skills may be taken once. The examination in Music History may be taken a second time.

Students who are unable to take the examinations at the designated time may do so using the online proctoring service, Examity®. Students are responsible for all fees.

Students who opt not to take any or all exams prior to the first semester of study are required to complete remedial coursework within the first academic year.

Depending on the examination results, students may be required to take one or more remedial courses. Remedial courses are 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 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 do not count toward graduate degree requirements.

It is highly recommended that students complete all remediation coursework during their first academic year of study. An exception may be granted for part-time students. Master's students may neither schedule graduation recitals nor take final comprehensive master's examinations until all of the diagnostic examinations and any required remediation have been successfully completed.

A. Diagnostic Examinations in Music Theory, including Harmony, Counterpoint, and Aural Skills

Students may take each portion of the theory test only once. Any section not graded as passing necessitates enrollment in a remedial course(s) during the first term of study. Examiners stipulate which section(s) of remedial coursework are required. Theory remedial courses include:

MUST 5001Diatonic Harm. Review1
MUST 5002Chromatic Harm. Review1
MUST 5003Counterpoint Review1
MUST 5004Grad Aural Theory Review3

B. Diagnostic Examination in Music History

Students may take each of the five sections of the history test twice. After the second attempt, any section not graded as passing necessitates enrollment in a remedial course(s). Examiners stipulate which section(s) of remedial coursework are required.

The History remedial course is MUST 5005 Remedial Studies in Music History. Each of five sections are enrolled in for one credit and are subtitled according to the period covered in the coursework: Baroque, Classic, Medieval/Renaissance, Romantic, and Twentieth Century. Remediation can be extended over two terms.

C. Conditions for Exemption from Diagnostic Examinations

The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who:

  • matriculate and enroll in the term immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and
  • received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

Piano Proficiency Examination:
Before the end of their course of study, students in the Music M.A. program must take a piano proficiency exam, consisting of the following elements:

  1. A Bach chorale (prepared).
  2. The exposition of a symphony from the 18th or 19th centuries (prepared).
  3. The accompaniment of a song (German Lied or French Chanson; prepared).

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
In their final term of study, students in the Music M.A. program take a three-hour comprehensive exam. Members of the department, appointed by the chair, devise the exam based on the coursework the student has taken for the degree.

Final Project:
The final project is an expanded version of a paper or music composition completed in a seminar. The result is intended to be suitable for use when applying to doctoral programs or to show an ability to teach in a particular area. Students submit a written paper in music theory or musicology OR one composition project to their advisor.