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The College of Music and Fine Arts, founded in 1932, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The college also holds membership in the Association of American Colleges, Jesuit Educational Association, National Catholic Educational Association, and the American Music Therapy Association. The music therapy program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

Admission Requirements

The College of Music and Fine Arts requires an appropriate undergraduate music degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a performance audition for matriculation in the college, in addition to university requirements for admission. Applicants are required to complete the College of Music and Fine Arts Audition Application prior to scheduling their audition on one of the published audition dates. Contact the College of Music and Fine Arts for specific requirements. The required performance level may vary according to the degree program Master of Music or Master of Music Therapy (M.M. or M.M.T.) specified by the applicant. Those applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, or whose undergraduate major was not in music, may be admitted conditionally. This especially applies to students who have considerable work experience in the field of music. Students given conditional admission must achieve a 3.0 GPA in their first nine hours of non-remedial graduate music coursework.

All Master of Music students must take placement exams in music history and music theory to ensure an adequate foundation in these disciplines before graduate study is begun. Depending on the results of these tests, students may be required to enroll in remedial or undergraduate courses in music history and/or music theory; these courses will not count toward the degree. Remedial courses must be passed with the grade of B or higher or the course must be repeated. The exams should be taken prior to the first semester of enrollment. Without permission from the director of graduate studies, students may not enroll in any graduate theory or history course until they have taken the exams and remedied any deficiencies.

Introduction to Graduate Studies (MUGN M705) is normally taken during the first semester of enrollment. Without the permission from the director of graduate studies, students are not allowed to register for a graduate music theory or history course unless they are enrolled in or have already completed MUGN M705.

A broad segment of the music faculty will be involved in the development, administration, and evaluation of entrance auditions and examinations. The competency levels for each of the areas of expertise have been determined by general agreement among the graduate faculty.

Prospective students can view the application materials and process for the following programs on the School of Music webpage:


The College of Music and Fine Arts administers talent-based music scholarships for graduate students. These awards vary according to the student’s potential for continued musical and academic progress, and the performance needs of the college. Retention of a music scholarship depends on satisfactory musical and academic progress and the student’s fulfillment of performance requirements as stipulated in the scholarship contract.

Admission to Candidacy

Students are admitted to candidacy in the College of Music and Fine Arts after the following degree program requirements have been met:

Master of Music

a. Completion of nine credit hours of non-remedial graduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

b. Completion of remedial courses required as a result of the theory and history entrance examinations.

c. Completion of Introduction to Graduate Studies (MUGN M705) with a grade of B or higher.

Master of Music Therapy

a. Completion of nine credit hours of non-remedial graduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

b. Successful completion of a functional music proficiency examination administered by the music therapy faculty.

Individual degree programs and departments stipulate a variety of specific proficiencies. Students must consult their advisors concerning these requirements.

Comprehensive Examinations for Master of Music (M.M.)

All students in M.M. programs must take a comprehensive exam during or after their final semester of coursework; the comprehensive exam must be passed within the two years following the completion of other degree requirements, or additional coursework may be required before the exam can be taken. The exam, graded pass-fail, will cover topics such as performance, pedagogy, and repertoire.

The comprehensive exam, includes written and oral components, with the oral component usually scheduled at least a week after successful completion of the written component. The three sections of the written exam may be taken over the course of a single ten-day period, with not more than four hours allotted to each section; at the student’s request, the exams may be taken during a single business day.

The specific format and content for each part of the exam will be determined in advance between the student and the individual members of the exam committee. Each student must pass the written exam in all three areas before proceeding to the oral exams. Each section of the written exam may be taken up to three times; if the student has not passed the written exam by the third attempt, additional coursework may be required to remediate deficiencies before the student is allowed to retake the test. The oral exam, which usually lasts from one and a half to two hours, may address any problems identified in the written exam and test the student’s ability to synthesize knowledge in different areas. The student must pass at least two sections of the oral exam, in addition to all three sections of the written exam, in order to graduate. The graduate recital serves a final project for the Master of Music in Performance degree.

Graduate Committee

For purposes of administering comprehensive exams, a graduate committee will consist of the following individuals. The associate dean will notify the committee members with input from the student.

a. The student’s applied teacher or the area coordinator.

b. The ensemble director or a faculty member with whom the student has studied.

c. One member of the faculty, to be requested by the student.

d. The Associate Dean (ex officio).


In addition to fulfilling all degree requirements (courses, exams, thesis, recital, etc.), each student must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate.


Residency in the College of Music and Fine Arts is defined as a minimum of one semester, or its equivalent in summer terms, as a full-time student. Ordinarily, two summer terms will be interpreted as meeting this minimum requirement. A student may enroll for a maximum of 16 credit hours during the regular terms and a maximum of 12 credit hours during the two terms (10 weeks) of a summer session.

Transfer Credit

Read the Transfer of Academic Credit policy for more information.

Music Therapy Thesis Process

A quantitative experimental thesis in the field of music therapy is required of all students in the M.M.T. program. The current APA Publication Manual will serve as the source for style and format. The thesis proposal will be submitted to the thesis advisor no later than mid-semester preceding the semester in which data are to be collected. There are four levels of approval in the thesis process: thesis advisor, the Music Therapy Graduate Council, the university’s Institutional Review Board, and the thesis committee.

The Graduate Council which is composed of resident graduate students, the thesis advisor and the department chair provide a community of students and faculty of sufficient size and scope to permit the formal and informal sharing of clinical experiences, research ideas, and knowledge in the treatment of individuals with special needs. Meeting several times during the semester, Graduate Council also functions has an important step in the approval process of the thesis.

The thesis committee is composed of the major adviser, another music therapy faculty member, a faculty member from outside the department, and one other person. The candidate may request that one member of the committee be a music therapist from an institution in the area. The initial thesis committee meeting will be called to approve the proposal or to suggest modifications. If changes are made, a second meeting will be called to approve the proposal. Following acceptance of the proposal by the thesis committee, the candidate is free to write the first three chapters. The first three chapters of the thesis are presented to the thesis committee for approval prior to data collection. With the approval of the first three chapters, the candidate is free to begin data collection and complete the project.

The completed thesis is submitted to the thesis committee for approval. The committee could accept the project or return the document to the candidate for further revision. With the approval of the thesis, a meeting is scheduled to defend the project. The defense is a ninety-minute thesis committee meeting in which the committee questions the candidate on various elements of the thesis. The project is complete with the signing of the title page by each member of the committee. Prior to receiving the diploma, the candidate must submit two hard cloth-bound copies of the thesis. One copy is for the candidate and the other for the department.

Music Graduate Courses