The MM degree is offered as an educational channel to meet the intellectual and career needs of qualified students. It is a comprehensive and advanced program of study with a choice of concentrations in performance, music education, composition, conducting, jazz studies, and pedagogy. The MM with a concentration in music education does not provide licensure to teach music in public or private schools.

Admissions

Requirements

In addition to fulfilling admission requirements for graduate study, applicants are expected to hold a baccalaureate degree in music or another discipline, with courses equaling the music requirements (minus the 7- to 8-credit teaching sequence) for the BA in music offered at Mason.

The following admission requirements must also be met:

  • Performance: pre-screening submitted through SlideRoom and audition
  • Conducting: pre-screening submitted through SlideRoom and audition
  • Composition: submission of a portfolio of compositions
  • Music Education: interview with music faculty, a video of sample classroom teaching and submission of a two- to three-page paper on the applicant's philosophy of music education.
  • Pedagogy: audition in the primary applied teaching area is required. Applicants are expected to have large and small ensemble experience on the major instrument and should have presented a full solo recital or equivalent. All music teaching experience should be summarized.
  • Jazz Studies: A portfolio of at least five jazz tunes in contrasting styles, as well as a complete repertoire list of all jazz tunes studied/performed.  Submit all jazz materials via SlideRoom and schedule audition.

Applicants should refer to the graduate admissions page of the School of Music website for specific details on what is required and how to submit their materials.

Diagnostic Entrance Exam

All students are required to complete diagnostic entrance examinations in music theory, music history, aural skills, and basic keyboard skills. These examinations must be taken prior to the beginning of the first semester of graduate study. A sufficient placement score can reduce or eliminate prerequisites for some of the 600-level and above courses in music theory and history. The exam is offered during a three-hour period prior to the beginning of classes of the fall and spring semesters.

Foreign Language Exams (Vocal Performance Emphasis)

Students in the MM degree program (emphasis in vocal performance) must take proficiency exams in French, German, Italian, and English to demonstrate diction competency. Students may be required to take MUSI 525 Performance Seminar and Vocal Literature for Singers and Accompanists I, MUSI 526 Performance Seminar and Vocal Literature for Singers and Accompanists II.

Comprehensive Exit Exam

All students are required to pass a comprehensive exit exam administered during the graduation semester or, in the case of students selecting the thesis option in the music education concentration, on completion of 24 credits of course work and immediately before beginning work on the thesis. August graduates must take this exam during the preceding spring term. This exam is usually a three-hour written test, with questions based primarily on course work the student has taken toward the degree at Mason.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP .6 Graduate Policies. See College of Visual and Performing Arts for policies specific to the college.

Program Requirements

A student must successfully complete the appropriate 30 credits in graduate music courses. With approval of the graduate advisor, 3 non-music graduate credits may be taken.

The student is admitted as concentrating in one of six areas: performance, music education, composition, conducting, jazz studies, or pedagogy. All students are required to complete the 11 credits described as General Requirements plus 19 credits in one of the six areas identified as Additional Requirements. There are some limited possibilities for double concentrations. For details, see the director of graduate studies.

Banner Code: AR-MM-MUSI

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

General Requirements for All Concentrations

Music Education students will have 9 credits of General Requirements and 21 credits of Concentration Requirements; all other concentrations will have 11 credits of General Requirements and 19 credits of Concentration Requirements.

Select 2 credits of Graduate Ensemble (all concentrations except Music Education) from the following:2
Graduate Choral Ensembles
Wind Symphony
Symphonic Band
Graduate Chamber Ensemble
Symphony Orchestra
Opera and Musical Theater Ensemble
Jazz Ensemble
MUSI 611Analytical Techniques3
MUSI 630Topics in Music History and Literature3
MUSI 662Introduction to Research in Music3
CVPA 600CVPA Graduate ProSeminar 10
Total Credits11
1

Must be taken within the student's first 2 semesters.

Concentration in Composition (CPO)

Nine credits of9
Applied Music in Composition
MUSI 613Graduate Orchestration 13
Select one from the following:3
Topics in Music History and Literature
Advanced Topics in Music History
Topics in Music Theory
Advanced Topics in Music Theory
MUSI 790Graduate Recital1
Graduate Electives3
Total Credits19
1

Students may pass out of MUSI 613 Graduate Orchestration with a satisfactory score on the Graduate Orchestration Placement Exam. In this case, students will take an additional 3 credits of a theory or history elective chosen from: MUSI 610 Topics in Music Theory, MUSI 710 Advanced Topics in Music Theory, MUSI 630 Topics in Music History and Literature, or MUSI 730 Advanced Topics in Music History.

Concentration in Conducting (CDC)

The number of students accepted in the graduate conducting concentration is limited by the extent to which it is possible to provide students with practical experience.

Nine credits of9
Applied Music in Conducting
MUSI 613Graduate Orchestration3
MUSI 790Graduate Recital1
Select 3 credits of graduate electives3
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Topics in Music Theory
Topics in Music History and Literature
Composition for Conductors and Performers
Total Credits19

Concentration in Jazz Studies (JAZZ)

MUSI 615Advanced Jazz Improvisation3
MUSI 650Topics in Jazz Studies3
Select 9 credits of Graduate Applied Music from the following:9
Applied Music
Applied Music in Keyboard
Applied Music in Voice
Applied Music in Woodwind
Applied Music in Brass
Applied Music in String
Applied Music in Percussion
MUSI 790Graduate Recital1
Select 3 credits of graduate electives3
Total Credits19

Concentration in Music Education (MUE)

Three credits of3
Topics in Music
Three credits of3
Topics in Music Education
MUSI 661Psychology of Music Teaching and Learning3
MUSI 663Aesthetics of Music Education3
Select 9 credits of 500 - 800 level MUSI courses 19
Total Credits21
1

Must be approved by advisor.

Concentration in Performance (PFM)

Select 1 credit of Graduate Ensemble from the following:1
Graduate Choral Ensembles
Wind Symphony
Symphonic Band
Graduate Chamber Ensemble
Symphony Orchestra
Opera and Musical Theater Ensemble
Jazz Ensemble
Select 8 credits of 500 - 800 level MUSI electives 18
Select 9 credits of Graduate Applied Music from the following:9
Applied Music
Applied Music in Keyboard
Applied Music in Voice
Applied Music in Woodwind
Applied Music in Brass
Applied Music in String
Applied Music in Percussion
MUSI 790Graduate Recital1
Total Credits19
1

Piano Performance requires 3 credits of MUSI 573 Accompanying and Musicianship III and 5 credits of 500 - 800 level MUSIC electives.

Concentration in Pedagogy (PDGY)

MUSI 573Accompanying and Musicianship III (piano pedagogy only; all other areas take 3 elective credits)3
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Keyboard Pedagogy
Vocal Pedagogy and Lab
Instrumental Pedagogy and Literature
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Keyboard Pedagogy II (piano pedagogy only)
Vocal Pedagogy II (vocal pedagogy only)
Instrumental Pedagogy II (instrumental pedagogy only)
One credit of1
Graduate Lecture Recital
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Applied Music
Applied Music in Keyboard
Applied Music in Voice
Applied Music in Woodwind
Applied Music in Brass
Applied Music in String
Applied Music in Percussion
MUSI 695Teaching Internship2
MUSI 790Graduate Recital1
Total Credits19

Music, BM (Performance)/Music, Accelerated MM (Performance)

Overview

Students in the Music, BM (Performance concentration) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Music, MM (Performance concentration).

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to accelerated master's programs must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits at Mason) and no more than 100 credits. Applicants should submit the following:

  • An Accelerated Master's Program Application, available from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Graduate Studies
  • 1-2 page Goals Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • In addition, all applicants must complete a live performance audition. Arrangements for an audition must be made in advance by contacting the School of Music before the scheduled audition date. Auditions are held approximately once per month. Audition dates and audition application forms are available through the School of Music website.

Interested students should contact the Senior Academic Advisor, School of Music, for more details about the application process.

Degree Requirements & Reserve Graduate Credit

After admission and having earned 90 undergraduate credits, accelerated master's students complete 6 credits of graduate coursework in their field of study (with a 3.00 GPA or better in each course), specified by their undergraduate and graduate advisors. These credits will apply to the undergraduate degree and provide the student advanced standing in the MM Performance program. All graduate course prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment. While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program. Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree.

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Students in the BM (Performance)/MM (Performance) accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree, including a minimum of 18 applicable graduate credits taken after the bachelor's degree has been completed and posted to the student's academic record. Successful completion of the accelerated MM will require one summer of coursework between years 4 and 5.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. The regular designed timeframe would be a start in the Fall and completion of all coursework in the Summer five years later with the exception of Capstone, which is only offered in Fall and Spring. Students amy need a longer timeframe to complete requirements. 

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see Academic Policies.