Music, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at

In addition, applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor's degree from an accepted, accredited institution with a major in music or the equivalent.
  • Submit an application to the School of Music, available at
  • Have an interview with the Director of the School of Music, Graduate Coordinator, and graduate faculty in the area of concentration..
  • Have an audition on the major instrument (Performance) or a portfolio of previous academic work and/or professional work (Composition, Music Education, Music History).

Potential graduate students should contact the School of Music Graduate Coordinator for more specific information.

Placement Examinations

Students in all graduate music degree areas of emphasis must complete placement examinations in music theory and music history prior to the end of the first semester of study. Remedial classes are available for students needing assistance. Any hours attained in these classes (graduate music history review and graduate theory review) do not count toward degree completion.

Comprehensive Examinations/Applied Study

All graduate students, regardless of area of emphasis, must complete both written and oral comprehensive examinations. Requirements for performance levels in applied music can be found in the School of Music Handbook.

Program Requirements

Thesis Option

Students may choose the thesis or non-thesis option in select areas of emphasis. The thesis may take the form of a written report, graduate recital, and/or a musical composition as determined by one’s graduate committee. Ordinarily, no more than 3-4 hours may be earned through work on a thesis.

Ensemble Participation

As recommended by their major advisors, all full-time graduate students may be required to participate in a music ensemble during the regular academic year. Credit will be awarded up to the amount listed in each degree program.

Degree Requirements

A Plan of Study approved by the student’s advisor must be submitted for approval to the academic dean before the student registers for his or her 12th semester hour. The Plan of Study is a student’s “blueprint” for completing graduation requirements.

Students enrolled in the M.A. program in Music History & Literature must demonstrate reading knowledge of German. This requirement can be satisfied by one of the following actions:

  1. Pass the music history area German translation exam (administered as needed) with a score of 75% or higher;
  2. Successfully complete GER 101 Elementary German I, GER 102 Elementary German II, GER 203 Intermediate German I and GER 204 Intermediate German II, offered by the Marshall University Department of Modern Languages;
  3. Successfully complete the University of Wisconsin Independent Learning course German 391 (German for Reading Knowledge). For more information, see their website: