General Requirements for Master's Degrees

Structure of Master's Curricula
A. Major Field (18-31 credits)
B. Music History and Literature Requirement

6 credit hours selected from:

  • M525 Survey of Operatic Literature (3 cr.)
  • M527 Symphonic Literature (3 cr.)
  • M528 Chamber Music Literature (3 cr.)
  • M650 Music in the United States (3 cr.)
  • M651 Medieval Music (3 cr.)
  • M652 Renaissance Music (3 cr.)
  • M653 Baroque Music (3 cr.)
  • M654 Classic Music (3 cr.)
  • M655 Romantic Music (3 cr.)
  • M656 Music Since 1900 (3 cr.)
  • M502 Composers: Variable Topics (3 cr.). Course topics cannot be repeated.
  • M510 Topics in Music Literature (3 cr.). Course topics cannot be repeated.
C. Outside Area (secondary concentration)
  • 6 credit hours in one department of the school other than the student’s major, with approval of the appropriate department chairperson and the director of graduate studies; or
  • 6 credit hours in one field outside the Jacobs School of Music, with approval of the graduate advisor in that department and the director of graduate studies in the Jacobs School of Music; or
  • 6 credit hours within or outside the Jacobs School of Music, with approval of the director of graduate studies in accordance with departmental guidelines. These courses must fit a specific theme or emphasis; a proposal is required. This option is called an “individualized outside area.”

For degrees in performance, the outside area may not be in performance, except that modern-instrument performers may elect an early-music outside area at the 800 level and vice versa.

Courses within the Jacobs School of Music used to satisfy outside area requirements must be taught by regularly appointed faculty members. Courses taught by associate instructors do not count. The student must meet the qualifications of the parallel minor, and only courses that would fulfill the requirements for a minor are acceptable. The outside area may become a minor if at least 12 credit hours are taken in that field.

A list of outside areas that are pre-approved (i.e., do not require department approval) is available at

D. Major Ensemble

As determined by each department. See list of Major Ensembles under "Courses" in this bulletin.

E. Language Proficiencies and Tool Subjects (if required)
F. Comprehensive Review

Before graduation, all master’s degree students must pass an oral or written examination. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the major field department to ascertain the procedures established within that department. This consultation should occur within the first year of residency.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

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Previous Bulletins

Students are ordinarily subject to the curricular requirements outlined in the Bulletin in effect at the start of their current degree. See below for links to previous Bulletins.