Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, the Department of Music offers two degrees:


Master of Fine Arts (MFA) - offered in the following emphases:

Collaborative Piano
Guitar & Lute Performance
Instrumental Performance
Piano Performance
Vocal Arts


    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - offered in the following emphases

    History and Theory of Music

    Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT)


    MFA Learning Outcomes

    The MFA in Instrumental Performace is designed to prepare students to enter the professional music world as solo/collaborative instrumentalists. The program aims to integrate performance and scholarship and provide the student with the opportunity to refine technical skills and to develop interpretive and stylistic frameworks through the study of important works from the piano, vocal, instrumental and chamber music literature. The program balances solo and collaborative performance with the traditional rigors of research and bibliographical methods, music analysis, and historical/analytical seminars. The program also emphasizes health and wellness and focuses on a holistic approach to craft and performance.

    MFA Aspirational Goals

    • To provide experience with music of marginalized composers, women composers, and composers not generally considered part of the traditiional music canon.
    • The program also aims to cultivate engagement with underserved communities with the intention of providing intensive music instruction to young students who show promise in order to create a successful pipeline to university or conservatory study.


    History and Theory of Music (MHMT) Learning Outcomes

    • Disciplinary Knowledge: The coursework stage of the program gives students an opportunity to master the fundamental knowldge of the field and to explore their interests and begin to decide the focus of their further studies.
    • Teaching Competence: All students in the program are given the opportunity to serve as Teaching Assistants. During the quarters in which they are serving in this capacity, they register for Music 399 (University Teaching), wherein they work closely with their faculty supervisors to develop their skills and competencies in the classroom.
    • Research Competence: Students engage in and conduct original reseearch.
    • Written and Oral Communication: Students show proficiency in oral and written presentation of their research.
    • Capstone/Dissertation: In PhD candidacy, students produce and successfully defend a dissertation that demonstrates their ability to perform research at a level that makes a genuine contribution to the field.
    • Professionalization: Students are encouraged to present their research at professional conferences and in similar venues. This helps our students to network with other students with similar interests, as well as to develop and polish their skills in effectively presenting their research across a range of venues (including, among others, conference papers, publications, and public outreach). This, in turn, places them in good stead on both the academic job market and for careers outside the academy.


    Intergrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) Learning Outcomes

    • Ability to create and produce original music works integrating composition, improvisation, and technology.
    • Awareness of contemporary musical practices and repertoire that integrate composition, improvisation, and technology.
    • Ability to incorporate computer software, electronic music hardware, and programming into the music making process.
    • Ability to apply critical thinking in the analysis and critique of current musical trends and developments.
    • Awareness of significant efforts, and challenges, in the combination of diverse musical styles, genres, and cultures.
    • Ability to develop and produce a substantial body of musical work demonstrating and experimental and research-based approach to music making, and to explicate the area of expertise related to that creative work.


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