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Artist Diploma

Pictured | Zachary Newsom | Bachelor of Music Education, Instrumental | Osceola, Indiana (hometown)

The Artist Diploma

The Artist Diploma Program is the most advanced nondegree track, and provides focused studies for artists in the preprofessional stages of their careers. The Artist Diploma in performance exists for the few highly gifted and experienced performing musicians at the post-bachelor’s or post-master’s level who wish to pursue focused studies in their major field leading to specific professional goals. With an emphasis on repertoire, the program is designed to develop both the artistry and professionalism in performers who possess the ability and determination to realize their talent in the contemporary world. Qualification to enter the program is predicated principally on the level and quality of performance and/or achievement, rather than the attainment of specific academic credentials. The performance level of applicants must be equivalent to acceptance into a major international competition. The Artist Diploma is a two-year program. Artists in the program must be invited to continue their studies into the second year.

  • Bachelor’s degree or its demonstrated equivalent.
  • Voice majors must demonstrate knowledge of French, German, and Italian grammar equivalent to the bachelor’s requirement of two semesters in each language. Students having less than two semesters with a grade of C or higher in each of these languages must pass proficiency examinations or take the prescribed language courses. Regardless of previous training, voice students must pass a diction proficiency examination in each language.

Language Study

Students whose native language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination with a score of of 510 (paper-based) or 71 (internet-based) or higher and register for any deficiency courses prescribed by the area coordinator for graduate studies.


On the basis of auditions and dossier, applicants must be accepted by the appropriate faculty committee and by the studio teacher.

Applied Music
  • Two semesters of chamber music or small ensemble
  • Four semesters of studio study; a minimum of 12 credit hours must be earned
  • Four artist diploma recitals (1 cr. each)

With the approval of the faculty, voice majors may substitute one substantial operatic role for one of these recitals. Instrumentalists must present two solo recitals (65 minutes minimum, with intermission), one full concerto, and one chamber music recital (30 minutes minimum). 

Music Theory and Music History

Students must demonstrate proficiency in music theory equivalent to diatonic and chromatic harmony; and in music history equivalent to courses covering the music history of the Common Practice Period.

Keyboard Proficiency

Designed to ensure the student’s ability to use the piano as a tool within the framework of professional activities, the requirements vary according to level and area of music study. Entering graduate students will be given a placement exam in keyboard proficiency.

Graduate students not majoring in piano may need to take 1-2 courses in Graduate Piano Review (MUS-P 501, MUS-P 502) in order to prepare for the keyboard proficiency exam, which is given at the end of each semester.

Graduate students majoring in piano may need to enroll in MUS-P 511 Graduate Keyboard Techniques Review in order to prepare for MUS-P 515 Graduate Keyboard Proficiency Exam.

The skills tested on the exam are the following:

  • Play any Major scale, two hands together, 2 octaves
  • Read a melodic line at sight, incorporating a simple accompaniment with indicated chords
  • Sight-read a four-part chorale or hymn
  • Sight-read an accompaniment to an art song OR an accompaniment to an instrumental solo, depending on degree focus
  • Play a Roman numeral chord progression, such as I IV ii 6 V7 I, in a major key (to four sharps or flats)
  • Perform a prepared repertoire piece from the last semester of the Piano Class sequence, or similar level, such as a movement from a Clementi sonatina. Acceptable repertoire can be found in Alfred’s Group Piano for Adults Book Two, Edition 2, pgs 345-377 (excluding p. 364) or any piece from Easy Classics to Moderns Vol. 17

Additional requirements (required of students in the degree programs indicated):

Piano (MM, AD)
  • Scales and arpeggios, major and minor keys, in sixteenth notes, two hands–four octaves, quarter note = M.M. 144.
  • Sight-read a portion of an open vocal score (SATB written on four different staves)
  • Realize Figured Bass
  • Sight-read an art song with a transposition up or down, by either half or whole step

Voice (MM, AD)
  • Sight-read a solo vocal part together with the piano accompaniment (one example will be given: student will perform as an accompaniment only, then incorporating the voice line)

Composition (MM)
  • Sight-read a portion of an open vocal score (SATB written on four different staves)
  • Realize in four parts a Roman numeral progression which modulates to a distantly related key, and which may include chord types such as the augmented sixth, Neapolitan sixth, altered dominants, etc.
  • Sight-read a portion of a twentieth century piano work of moderate difficulty, e.g., Bartók Mikrokosmos, Vol. V


Music courses at the 300-level or above (6 cr.) Courses in music history, theory, literature, pedagogy, or composition are recommended, with permission from the advisor.

Major Ensemble

MUS-X 003 Graduate Music Ensemble is required each semester for both instrumentalists and singers.

Cultural Events Attendance

Students are required to enroll in and pass four semesters of MUS-I 100: Cultural Events Attendance. Students submit ticket stubs and programs to an instructor who uses OnCourse to maintain student records. A list of the events available will be published by the Production Office. In addition to cultural events attendance, students enrolled in Mus-I100 are require to meet once a week in a Convocation/Recital Hour where junior, senior, and graduate students will perform.

Credit, Residence, and Time Limit

Students must earn a minimum of 24 credit hours, excluding major ensemble, and have at least two regular semesters or four summer sessions in residence. Students must complete the diploma requirements within four regular semesters. Summer sessions do not count toward the time limit.

Academic Bulletins

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2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.