Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions section in this catalog for complete information. All applicants admitted into the music program enter in conditionally classified graduate standing. University requirements include:
a baccalaureate from an accredited institution;
a grade-point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units attempted;
good standing at the last college attended; and
a minimum TOEFL score of 560 (for international students).
Each applicant must also present satisfactory entrance materials according to the area of specialization (performance, composition, music history/literature, education, piano pedagogy), and pass entrance exams in music theory and music history. A student whose audition is unsatisfactory or who fails to meet satisfactorily the entrance exam requirements shall be removed from “conditionally classified” status.
Information regarding deadlines for online applications to the M.A. and M.M. degrees is available at the department website.
Graduate Standing - Classified
A graduate student may apply for classified graduate standing upon attainment of the following prerequisites: (a) complete all requirements for conditionally classified standing as described above; (b) an undergraduate major in music (or the equivalent of a major; i.e., 29 undergraduate upper-division units in music appropriate to the student’s desired graduate emphasis) according to the student’s desired graduate emphasis with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the major; and (c) satisfactorily complete MUS 500. One objective of MUS 500 is the preparation of a study plan listing all courses required for completion of the degree. This study plan must receive the approval of the Area Coordinator of the student’s area of specialization, the Music Department graduate program adviser, and the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs. Opportunity is given to the student to remove any deficiencies in undergraduate-level preparation. Courses taken to satisfy deficiencies usually will not be included on the student’s study plan and thus will not count toward the master’s degree. Students who do not pass one or more of the entrance examinations shall take and complete specified coursework with a “B” (3.0) or higher or may retake the complete exam at its next administration.
Writing skills will be assessed at entrance using the student’s entrance essay and the essay portion of the music history examination. Those who do not initially possess the expected proficiency will be required to achieve it before taking MUS 500. This may include taking appropriate coursework stipulated by the Music Department. Writing proficiency will be assessed further in MUS 500. Completion of MUS 500 with a “B” (3.0) or better satisfies the writing proficiency requirement.
Prospective students must also pass entrance requirements in music theory and music history. The music theory requirement must be met by passing the entrance examination. The music history requirement must be met by passing the entrance examination. The music theory entrance requirement must be satisfied before a student may take coursework for the study plan. The music history entrance requirement must be satisfied before a student may take any 500-level music history seminar.
Required Course (3 units)
Must complete within the first nine units of study.
Three options are offered in the Master of Arts in Music program: Option I in music history and literature; Option II in music education; and Option III in piano pedagogy. For the entrance audition in history and literature, applicants must submit an example of a previously written research paper on a musical subject. Applicants to the program in music education and to the program in piano pedagogy must submit a 30-minute tape demonstrating their teaching technique in a classroom situation, plus additional written materials.
The Master of Arts degree program requires no more than six units of graduate study be outside the field of music and at least half of which must be in 500-level courses in the major.
Option I in music history and literature requires: (a) reading ability in a foreign language, preferably German or French, prior to advancement to candidacy; and (b) a thesis. Students in Option II, music education, shall complete a thesis or a project. Students in Option III, piano pedagogy, shall complete either a project (consisting of a recital, public lecture and written essay) or a thesis.
Eight semester units are common to Options II and III - MUS 500, 406-408, and, MUS 552-MUS 555. MUS 500 must be included within the first nine units taken as a graduate student under both options.
For further details or advisement, consult the Department of Music graduate program adviser.