2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Music Performance/Voice, M.M.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: August 15                             [December 15 for international applicants]

Spring: December 1                             [August 1 for international applicants]

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

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 or range of scores needed to be accepted: 525 paper-based, 197 computer-based, or 71 internet-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass the SPEAK test prior to registration or pass an English skills course during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University.


1. A recitative and aria from an opera or oratorio.

2. Three songs or arias, selecting one each from among the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, Impressionistic, or Contemporary periods. Each selection must also be in a different language (English, German, French, or Italian). All works are to be performed from memory.

Applicants are required to arrange for an accompanist.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with her/his 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 Boyer College of Music admission decisions. 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.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Music 420 (3) Voice Lessons

            421 (3) Voice Lessons

            422 (3) Voice Lessons

            423 (3) Voice Lessons/Recital

            440 (4) Opera Workshop

            771, 772, 773, 774, or 776 (4) Vocal Literature

Music Studies 508-513 (3) Seminar in Theoretical or Stylistic Analysis

                           700 (3) Research in Music


Elective Coursework (7 s.h.):             

Select from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, or other graduate departments with a minimum of 3 s.h. in the elective area selected from non-performance, academic coursework. A maximum of one semester of Vocal Coaching (Music 524) may be taken.

Advisor approval required for all elective coursework.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination:  A language examination is required. Candidates in Voice must present transcripts of undergraduate study in German, French, and Italian (or pass a translating and speaking examination at Temple) at the time of admission. Where the transcript or pass-off examination does not reveal such study, the appropriate deficiency course(s) must be taken prior to the completion of the master's degree.

Additional Requirements:

Diagnostic Entrance Examinations:

Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Theory, and Music History are taken prior to the first semester of graduate study.  Remedial coursework may be required.

Public Recital:

Fourth semester of Voice Lessons (Music 423).

Comprehensive Listening Examination

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

Evaluation of all transcripts for appropriate undergraduate college-level language student of French, German, and Italian. Remedial coursework may be required.

Graduate Private Lesson Policy:

Weekly one-hour private lessons are provided for all matriculated master's and doctoral performance majors in good standing, provided at least three additional credits of programmatically required graduate level study are taken simultaneously. A $200 per semester lesson fee (subject to change without notice) is charged for all private lessons. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.

Performing Ensembles:

1. 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. Students must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement. 2. Non-Credit Participation-With special permission, graduate students 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.

All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be completed by the 1st day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

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

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 MM students must take the harmony, counterpoint, and aural skills examination 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 "Diatonic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 201), "Chromatic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 202), "Counterpoint Review" (Music Studies 203), and "Graduate Aural Theory Review " (Music Studies 204).

2. Music History All entering MM students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Music History prior to registering for their 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 253 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 Music History Review in any semester; thus, it is possible to extend the remediation over two semesters.

Option B: Students may study independently and retake 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 Examination in any of these areas is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music 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 waived.

1. Lessons: Private applied lessons beyond the four-semester requirement currently in effect for graduate performance students, may be extended with the permission of the jury, department chair, and the Associate Dean or Dean of the Boyer College of Music. Students withdrawing from recital requirement during the recital semester will receive an incomplete and must register for extended study for non-degree credit (course number: Music 300 "Recital Extension" for two credits). Recital Extension must be taken each semester until the recital has been presented. This course will be offered on a credit/no credit basis only. With the satisfactory completion of the recital, the "Incomplete" for the recital course will be replaced by a letter grade and "Music 300 Recital Extension" will then be issued a grade of "CR." Credit derived from Recital Extension will not be counted toward degree requirements.

2. Recital Extension Fees: Tuition for these additional terms of private study will be the cost of two graduate credits plus a $400 Recital Extension fee. Graduate assistantships and other forms of university-sponsored financial aid do not cover the Recital Extension fee.

3. Exceptions to Recital Extension-The exceptions to the Recital Extension Policy are as follows: a. Students who perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the spring semester are not required to register for Recital Extension that semester. b. Students who register for Recital Extension during the summer may perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the fall semester. However, if the student does not take Recital Extension during the summer, he or she may not present the recital in the fall semester-regardless of the date-without also registering for the fall semester of Recital Extension.

4. Failure to Present Recital-The degree status of students who are unable to present a recital after one semester of recital extension will be reviewed by the Associate Dean and the major advisor, who, in consultation with the major teacher and department, will determine whether or not the student may continue in the program. Inability to present the recital after one semester of Recital Extension may be grounds for dismissal from the degree program for failing to maintain reasonable academic progress.

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.

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. 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.

In addition to the written diagnostic examinations required upon entrance to the program, Voice Majors take a functional piano examination encompassing the following points:

1. Playing a prepared accompaniment (music can be used).

2. Sight-reading a simple accompaniment.

3. Improvising an accompaniment to a simple melody.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

All candidates for the Master of Music degree are required to take a one-hour comprehensive examination in music literature and theory. A list of 100 musical works of the standard literature from the Middle Ages through the 20th century is available to the student when admitted to the College. It is suggested that this examination be taken in the penultimate term of study. The list is intended as an aid to preparation for the examination.

The examination is in three parts: identification of specific selections from a list of 100 works, identification of a "mystery" selection, and score analysis. Students should plan to take the examination in the penultimate semester of study.

Members of the graduate music history and music theory department select the music scores and musical selections.  Two graduate faculty members grade the examination.

Students must pass all three sections. A score of 70% or better must be achieved in the identification section, and a "pass" or "weak pass" must be achieved in the "mystery" selection and the score analysis section.

The examination is administered approximately ten times each year. Students notify the music graduate secretary no later than one week prior to the requested examination administration date. For examination dates, visit the Graduate Music Examination Schedule page on Boyer's website.

Public Recital:

Music 423. Performance majors present a public recital as the culminating event for the master's degree. Graduation recitals are typically one-hour in length, and are typically presented on-campus in either Rock Hall or Klein Recital Hall. The student must show evidence through Temple University transcript records of having taken private lessons up to the time of the graduation recital. Students who wish to play a recital in the early fall should plan to register for and complete the final semester of lessons during the preceding summer months. Graduation recitals are adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

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


Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Christine Anderson


Graduate Chairperson:

Professor Christine Anderson



Professor Christine Anderson


About the Program

The master's degree in voice performance prepares singers for multifaceted careers as well-rounded performers on concert and operatic stages and/or as teachers of voice. The ultimate goal of the program is to produce singing artists capable of competing successfully in the professional world of music.

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 able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

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


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


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 program offers a systematic approach to vocal technique; specialized studies in vocal literature; the refinement of language and diction skills; the development of acting techniques; the continued refinement of musical and theoretical skills; advanced study in musical style and performance practice; and the provision of recital, operatic, and concert performance opportunities designed to emulate a professional environment.

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, but may not take applied lessons until they have been fully admitted and matriculated.

Financing Opportunities

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 on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

February 2006