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Master of Arts in Music

The Master of Arts degree in Music provides academic concentrations in Musicology, Music Theory, and Music Education.


1. A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music, a Bachelor of Music degree, or a bachelor's degree with a minimum of 24 units of upper division courses in music comparable to those required of a major in music at this University;

2. The student must request all institutions of higher learning attended to send official copies of transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions and Records and another set to the Conservatory of Music Graduate Advisor. Transcripts presented to the Admissions Office by the student are not acceptable. Graduates of California State University, Long Beach must follow these same procedures when making application to the Master of Arts in music program;

3. All applicants are required to complete the Bob Cole Conservatory Graduate Placement Examination before they register for courses applicable to the Master of Arts degree. (Under special circumstances, a student may take the examination during the first semester in which he or she is registered in courses applicable to the degree.) Applicants for all options of the M.A. degree must present samples of their scholarly writings in music for review by the Graduate faculty. Applicants for the musicology concentration must show evidence of reading and translation ability in one foreign language (French or German);

4. A GPA of 3.00 or better in upper division Music courses. Students who do not meet the 3.00 GPA requirement or specified balance within the required 24 units of upper division music but who possess outstanding or unusual qualifications that promise a significant contribution to the Master of Arts program may petition for a special review from the Conservatory Graduate Committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

The prerequisites for advancement to candidacy are the same as those for the Master of Music.


1. Completion of a minimum of 30 units of approved upper division and graduate courses with at least 24 units in the major. MUS 427, MUS 428, MUS 441, MUS 495 and MUS499 are the only undergraduate classes allowed to count on a graduate program. All others must be taken at the 500- or 600-level. (The program may not include more than six units of transfer graduate credit);

2. Core courses required (13-15 units)

Take the following courses:

  • MUS 696 Research Methods (3)
    (should be taken the first time it is offered during the student's residency)
    Prerequisites: None
  • MUS 541 Seminar in Musical Analysis (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • MUS 698 Thesis or Project
    (4-6 units, dependent upon concentration)
    Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy and consent of Director of Music History

Take one course from the following courses:

  • MUS 561, MUS 562, MUS 563, MUS 564, MUS 565.

3. Additional courses for Musicology concentration:

Take 3 units from the following courses:

  • MUS 561, MUS 562, MUS 563, MUS 564, MUS 565 (not taken in core)

Take 6 units selected from the following courses:

  • MUS 561, MUS 562, MUS 563, MUS 564, MUS 565, MUS 569, MUS 571, MUS 576, MUS 578, MUS 592, MUS 593 (not taken in core)

Take 6 units of music electives (students in this concentration are strongly encouraged to elect theory as well as performance classes, especially Collegium Musicum and New Music Ensemble).

Take thesis for 6 units in this concentration.

4. Additional courses for Music Education Concentration:

Take the following course:

  • MUS 581 Foundations of Music Education (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • MUS 587 Research and Assessment in Music Education (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • MUS 589A Emerging Methods in Music Education (3)
    Prerequisites: Graduate student in music or consent of instructor.
  • MUS 589B Emerging Methods Chamber Performance (2)
    Prerequisite: MUS 589A

Take 4 units of electives (students in this concentration are encouraged to elect performance and conducting classes).

Take thesis for 4-6 units in this concentration, dependent upon project.

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