Program Requirements

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

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MUSC 8204Voice Major3
MUSC 8214Voice Major3
MUSC 8224Voice Major3
MUSC 8310Choral Ensemble (3 terms)3
MUST 8701Research in Music3
Select courses in Choral Conducting, Choral Literature, Music Education, Musical Theater, Opera Diction, Pedagogy, or Vocal Literature
Public Recital
MUSC 8284Voice Major-Recital3
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 three terms of a foreign language (one term each of French, German or Italian) as an undergraduate.
  2. The student passes a foreign language examination with the requisite language department.
  3. The student completes three terms of a foreign language (one term each of French, German or Italian). Since language credits are at the undergraduate level, they do not count toward the MM degree, but they do fulfill the language requirement.

Additional Requirements:
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 and 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.

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
Candidates for the Master of Music degree are required to complete a one-hour comprehensive examination in music literature and music theory. The examination is in three parts, all of which must be passed:

  • identification of specific selections from a list of 100 musical works of the standard literature from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century;
  • identification of one "mystery" selection not found on the list; and
  • score analysis.

The examination, which is administered in both the Fall and Spring terms, may be taken at any time in a student’s program. Two graduate faculty members grade the examination.

Final Project:
The supervised final project (MUSC 8284) reflects the student’s areas of study, culminating in a unique one-hour public performance, at least half of which must be the candidate’s solo performance. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree affords several project options for the final project performance, including choral conducting, lecture recital, thesis or vocal recital that could include both classical and contemporary commercial music repertoire.