Music, M.A.

An Opportunity for Creative Flexibility

The Master of Arts in Music is a flexible curriculum that allows students the opportunity to create personalized programs of study while deepening musical skills and understanding commensurate with their academic and career goals. Students plan a principal focus of study in consultation with an advisor, comprised of a set of courses with a coherent structure designed around a central emphasis. The final project may be chosen to reflect individual gifts and interests: a traditional thesis or a performance or a lecture-recital.

Candidates contemplating the Master of Arts in music should be competent, well-prepared musicians whose graduate interests are broader than would be served by a more narrowly focused master of music program of study.

Program Objectives

  • To admit talented, well-educated musicians ready for further growth as performers, teachers, composers, and advocates of high-quality musical endeavor in a variety of settings.
  • To assist students with increased technical and aesthetic mastery of their chosen musical discipline.
  • To guide students toward an articulate philosophical integration of biblical Christian faith with the act of music-making.
  • To encourage musical exploration outside the bounds of the student’s past experiences and preferences.
  • To encourage students to understand and articulate the thoughts behind stylistic preferences, philosophies, and musical choices.

Degree Requirements

Major Area
MHS 520: Research and Bibliography 2
Electives in Major Area 5-8
The student, in consultation with the academic advisor, will choose electives in an area of interest that combine to create a coherent principal focus designed to materially deepen the student’s expertise and understanding of the area selected.  Possible options might include music education, music in Christian worship, or some other specific combination of courses with a coherent structure and goal.  The student shall either prepare a capstone project, paper, thesis, or other approved research/performance combination, that summarizes and synthesizes the principal focus of the student's work.  The final project should be considered at the time the principal focus is developed.
MUS 598: Thesis (see Final Project) 3-6
Other Studies in Music
MUS 501: Graduate Assistants' Forum  0
Required of all graduate assistants; open, but not required of, all other graduate students  
MUS 54X: Graduate Ensemble  0
The student must enroll in an appropriate major ensemble [or accompanying] each semester of residence, with or without credit, in consultation with the directors of choral and instrumental activities.  
Choose from among the following: 6
Choose one or two from MHS and one or two from MTH; no more than one may be 4XX.  
MHS 590: Seminar in Music History (topics vary by semester) (3)
MHS 595: Special Topics in Music History (3)
MTH 567: Systems of Analysis and Contemporary Art Music (3)
MTH 566: Advanced Orchestration (3)
MTH 558: Sixteenth Century Counterpoint (3)
MTH 563: Form and Analysis (3)
MTH 475: Synthesizer/Computer Applications (3)
MTH 595: Special Topics in Music Theory (3)
MHUM 501: Seminar: Music, Worship, and Culture in Christian Perspective 3
Music courses* numbered 500** or above 7
*No more than 2 credit hours of ensemble may count as music elective hours toward degree.
**A limited number of music courses numbered 400 or above may also be taken as electives, with the approval of the graduate advisor.

Final Project

The student must prepare a project or thesis (or other approved research/performance combination), in conjunction with the major professor, that summarizes and synthesizes the principal focus of the student's work.  The finished project or thesis will be evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Download the Graduate Thesis Guide