Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses:

MUST 8701Research in Music3
MUST 8713Canon and Fugue3
MUST 8742Seminar in Theoretical Analysis (Post-Tonal Music)3
MUST 8742Seminar in Theoretical Analysis (Schenkerian Analysis)3
MUST 8749Current Topics in Musicology and Theory3
MUST 9996Final Written Project: Music Theory (2 terms)2
One course involving Music and Technology3
Electives 112
Total Credit Hours32

Language Examination: 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 term of a foreign language as an undergraduate.

Additional Requirements:

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Diagnostic Examinations:
Diagnostic examinations in Aural Theory, Written Theory, and Music History are required for all entering master's students. The exceptions are students in Jazz Studies and Music Therapy who have their examinations arranged within their respective departments. In addition, Keyboard students take an additional two-hour examination in Keyboard Literature. As stated in the Boyer College Graduate Handbook, master’s "students  may not take final qualifying examinations nor perform graduation recitals until all diagnostic examinations have been successfully completed."

The exams may be taken in one day or split over three days, or the exams can be taken online for a fee. Preparations are provided upon registration. Visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website for the graduate music examination schedule. To register for the diagnostic examinations, complete Boyer College's registration form.

Please note that registration for a student's first term of study is completed in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Please re-read the admission letter, especially the “Special Notes” section on page 2, regarding any entrance deficiencies. If any remedial coursework is required, it must be completed by the end of the first year of study. It is also best for students to complete MUST 8701 Research in Music, which is required of all students except those in Jazz Studies, Music Education, and Music Therapy in the first year of study.

A. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Aural Theory

The examination lasts approximately 40 minutes and consists of a written portion in which students are asked to:

  1. Dictate a chord progression that modulates and contains chromatic harmony by writing out the bass line and identifying chords by Roman numerals and inversions.
  2. Complete a two-part melodic dictation that modulates and contains chromatic pitches.

B. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Written Theory

The examination lasts one and one-half hours and is in two parts: 

  1. Harmonic analysis of two chorales: one that uses diatonic harmony, and one that uses chromatic harmony.
  2. Analysis of the form, motives, and phrase structures of the first movement of a Classical-era piano sonata.

C. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Music History

The examination lasts one hour and contains objective questions in a multiple choice and/or true/false format. It covers composers, forms, instruments, musical works, styles, and terms from 1450 to the present. Sample questions are:

  1. The basso continuo came into use in about which year?
    (a) 1500  (b) 1600  (c) 1650  (d) 1700
  2. Who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)?
    (a) Mahler  (b) Bruckner  (c) Brahms  (d) Schumann
  3. Which of the following instruments would not be found in the score of a symphony by Haydn?
    (a) horn  (b) oboe  (c) timpani  (d) trombone  (e) trumpet

D. 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.

Keyboard Examination:
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 symphony.
  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.

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.

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, is charged.
  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 term 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.

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

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
This three-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 term of study. The completed final project must be approved by the advisor and a second reader, generally a faculty member in Music Studies.