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Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

Degree Information


The undergraduate music curriculum provides programs for the student: who wishes to become a professional musician; who wishes to enter the teaching profession; for whom music is part of a general education; or who is intending to pursue an advanced degree in music.


The Department of Music offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts or Master of Music degrees. The candidate should arrange for counseling with the graduate advisor through the department office. Special placement examinations or auditions are required to validate qualifications for graduate work in music. All general requirements of the University must be met in addition to departmental requirements. For specific Masters Degree requirements please see the Master’s Degree in Music Education information below.

Master's Degree in Music Education

Apply Now: Application Deadline—January 15

The music education program offers a comprehensive curriculum to approximately 160 undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students and is committed to equipping music educators with practical knowledge and a progressive view of music education for the 21st century. Graduate students are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships and scholarships. We are an endowed conservatory and at this time 100% of our endowment money is earmarked for scholarships.

Music Education courses at the Bob Cole Conservatory are taught by experienced teacher/practitioners, as well as first-rate history and theory faculty. Degree electives include opportunities to advance your conducting skills, work with stellar performers, experience performance opportunities in quality ensembles, and enrich music teaching with composition and technology.

The Bob Cole Conservatory offers an affordable conservatory environment, small classes, and access to experienced Music Education teachers and researchers. Most importantly, each student may tailor a program to fit their interests.

What do you need?

  • A Bachelor of Arts with a major in music or Bachelor of Music degree, or a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 24 units of upper division coursework in music comparable to those required of a major in music at this university
  • Two (2) official copies of transcripts: one to the Office of Admissions and Records and one directly to the Graduate Advisor in the Bob Cole Conservatory. Transcripts presented to the Admissions Office by the student are not acceptable.
  • Three (3) current letters of recommendation and a current resume directly to the Graduate Advisor in the Bob Cole Conservatory.
  • Complete the Bob Cole Conservatory Graduate Placement Examination before registering in courses applicable to the Master of Arts degree.
  • A grade point average of 3.00 or better in upper division music courses. Students who do not meet the 3.00 grade point average may petition for a special review from the Department Graduate Committee.
  • Music Education students should submit a video of their teaching and a philosophy statement. Applicants generally hold a Teaching Credential. Two years of public/private school teaching experience is preferred. Exceptions are made for students who demonstrate potential in the field as an undergraduate and for foreign students.

A 30-Unit Degree

Core—12 units

  • MUS 541 Seminar in Musical Analysis—3 units
  • MUS 561/565 Music History sequence—3 units (one course selected through advisement)*
  • MUS 698 Thesis—6 units

Additional Music Courses—11 units

  • MUS 581 Foundations of Music Education—3 units
  • MUS 587 Inquiry in Music Ed—3 units
  • MUS 589a/b Emerging Methods—5 units (substitute electives if BCCM Grad with credit)

Tracks—7 units
(Conducting, Performance, Composition, General Music, Technology, and Emerging Methods)

  • Some tracks selected by advisement or audition to meet the needs of the student. Includes two semesters of lessons in performance, conducting, and composition tracks.
  • All tracks to contribute pedagogical foundations to support candidate’s research.

Completion of Thesis

There are four incredibly diverse Music Education faculty members teaching at the Cole Conservatory. Our specialized experiences range from K-12 to University; Winds, Strings, Brass, Voice, Technology, and Conducting (Choral and Instrumental). Additionally, we are all actively involved and networked throughout the U.S. in K-12, university, and industry—providing extended opportunities for our graduate students. Please feel free to contact us for more information. If you would like to schedule a campus visit, please email either of us.

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  • Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd.
  • Long Beach, CA 90840-7101
  • 562-985-4781 phone
  • 562-985-2490 fax

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