Music, M.A.

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts / BOYER COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DANCE

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Music.

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Music program is designed for students who wish to prepare for entrance into a doctoral program in music. The program is also intended for performers with academic interests who envision teaching music composition, music theory, or musicology in the classroom. It is a music-generalist degree program, especially for students who are preparing to teach music composition, music history, or music theory as a secondary area in a college or university. The degree does not, however, supplant the M.M. degrees in Music Composition, Music History, or Music Theory, which examine only one area and are intended to prepare students for a more focused research-based Ph.D. program.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Accreditation: Accreditation is being sought from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization: Within the prescribed credits for the M.A. in Music, students can focus their studies on music composition, music theory, or musicology.

Job Prospects: The program prepares students for various careers related to music and for further academic training at the doctoral level.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: With permission from the Dean's Office, individuals may be granted permission to enter the College as a non-matriculated student, taking up to 9 graduate credits (excluding private lessons) before applying for admission to a program.

Financing Opportunities: Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the Fall and Spring terms. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Assistantship and internship awards are made only in the Fall term for up to two terms: Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for master's students and up to three years for doctoral students) based on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1

Decisions regarding admission are rendered after receipt of all required credentials. Late applications may be considered for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents, and aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: The bachelor's degree in Music may be in any concentration: composition, education, performance, and more.

Statement of Goals: Include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Transfer Credit: A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with her/his academic advisor and obtain a "Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms.” Transfer credits must be approved by the advisor, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Other: Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MUST 8701Research in Music3
MUST 8749Current Topics in Musicology and Theory3
Focused Electives9
Select courses in Music Composition, Music History, or Music Theory
Free Electives 115
Total Credit Hours30

Language Examination: To complete the degree, students must fulfill a foreign language requirement in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or another language with approval of the chair. This requirement may be fulfilled in any one of three ways:

  1. The student successfully completed four semesters of a foreign language as an undergraduate.
  2. The student passes a foreign language examination with the requisite language department.
  3. The student takes four terms of a foreign language. Since language credits are at the undergraduate level, they do not count toward the M.A. degree, but they do fulfill the language requirement.

Additional Requirements:

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Diagnostic Examinations:
Diagnostic examinations in Aural Theory, Written Theory, and Music History are required for all entering master's students. The exceptions are students in Jazz Studies and Music Therapy who have their examinations arranged within their respective departments. In addition, Keyboard students take an additional two-hour examination in Keyboard Literature. As stated in the Boyer College Graduate Handbook, master’s "students may not take final qualifying examinations nor perform graduation recitals until all diagnostic examinations have been successfully completed."

The exams may be taken in one day or split over three days, or the exams can be taken online for a fee. Preparations are provided upon registration. Visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website for the graduate music examination schedule and registration form.

Please note that registration for a student's first term of study is completed in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Please re-read the admission letter, especially the “Special Notes” section on page 2, regarding any entrance deficiencies. If any remedial coursework is required, it must be completed by the end of the first year of study. It is also best for students to complete MUST 8701 Research in Music, which is required of all students except those in Jazz Studies, Music Education, and Music Therapy in the first year of study.

A. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Aural Theory

The examination lasts approximately 40 minutes and consists of a written portion in which students are asked to:

  1. Dictate a chord progression that modulates and contains chromatic harmony by writing out the bass line and identifying chords by Roman numerals and inversions.
  2. Complete a two-part melodic dictation that modulates and contains chromatic pitches.

B. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Written Theory

The examination lasts one and one-half hours and is in two parts: 

  1. Harmonic analysis of two chorales: one that uses diatonic harmony, and one that uses chromatic harmony.
  2. Analysis of the form, motives, and phrase structures of the first movement of a Classical-era piano sonata.

C. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Music History

The examination lasts one hour and contains objective questions in a multiple choice and/or true/false format. It covers composers, forms, instruments, musical works, styles, and terms from 1450 to the present. Sample questions are:

  1. The basso continuo came into use in about which year?
    (a) 1500  (b) 1600  (c) 1650  (d) 1700
  2. Who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)?
    (a) Mahler  (b) Bruckner  (c) Brahms  (d) Schumann
  3. Which of the following instruments would not be found in the score of a symphony by Haydn?
    (a) horn  (b) oboe  (c) timpani  (d) trombone  (e) trumpet

D. Conditions for Exemption from Diagnostic Examinations

The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who:

  • matriculate and enroll in the term immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and
  • received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

Piano Proficiency Examination:
Before the end of their course of study, students in the Music M.A. program must take a piano proficiency exam, consisting of the following elements:

  1. A Bach chorale (prepared).
  2. The exposition of a symphony from the 18th or 19th centuries (prepared).
  3. The accompaniment of a song (German Lied or French Chanson; prepared).

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
In their final term of study, students in the Music M.A. program take a three-hour comprehensive exam. Members of the department, appointed by the chair, devise the exam based on the coursework the student has taken for the degree.

Final Project:
The final project is an expanded version of a paper or music composition completed in a seminar. The result is intended to be suitable for use when applying to doctoral programs or to show an ability to teach in a particular area. Students submit a written paper in music theory or musicology OR one composition project to their advisor.

Contacts

Program Web Address:

https://www.temple.edu/academics/degree-programs/music-ma-bc-musc-ma

Department Information:

Dept. of Music Studies

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6079

cynthia.folio@temple.edu

215-204-8316

Submission Address for Application Materials:

https://apply.temple.edu/Boyer/

Department Contacts:

Admissions:

James Short

jshort@temple.edu

215-204-8598

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Cynthia Folio

cynthia.folio@temple.edu

215-204-8316

Chairperson:

Dr. Cynthia Folio

cynthia.folio@temple.edu

215-204-8316