Music Technology, M.S.

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

Learn more about the Master of Science in Music Technology.

About the Program

Over the past several decades, music technology has become a major factor in virtually every area of the music industry. Music technology fuses musical skill and technological knowledge that enables one trained in these areas to create works and/or pursue employment or graduate education in an extremely wide variety of areas. Some of these include music composition, editing and publishing, equipment installation, performance, production, recording and editing, software and hardware development, and systems design, as well as numerous audio fields such as the recording and editing of concerts, events, films and television, and games, among others.

The Master of Science in Music Technology program offers students holding a bachelor’s degree in music or its equivalent an opportunity to further advance their experience and understanding of music technology research and practice at the graduate level. Students prepare for professional work, as well as for the possibility of entrance into a doctoral program, through specialized research, creative work, and practical experience in the field.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years

Campus Location: Main

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

Accreditation: Plan Approval Accreditation has been granted by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization: The program offers advanced study in music and music technology whereby students are encouraged to develop diverse abilities in the field, while allowing them also to focus on an area of expertise of their interest.

Job Prospects: Students are prepared for employment in numerous facets of the music industry, higher education teaching in music technology, or pursuit of further graduate education in music and/or technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook shows continued strong demand for positions in the computer and computer music industry.

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: February 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: Entry to the program is contingent on completion of an undergraduate degree in music or its equivalent. Those not holding a bachelor’s degree in music who are admitted to the M.S. degree in Music Technology are assigned additional undergraduate deficiency coursework at the time of admission to bring the student to the level of holding an equivalent degree in music. Coursework is determined based on a thorough review of the undergraduate transcript and through Diagnostic Examinations required of all entering students seeking a master’s degree. Typically, applicants have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.33 (B+).

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.

Entrance Exam: No audition is required for entry to the Music Technology M.S. program. Applicants are required, however, to take a brief, online examination in written and aural theory skills. Details are sent to the applicant by email after an application for admission has been received. Admitted students are required to take the master’s Diagnostic Examinations prior to the first term of study. See the Program Requirements tab for details.

Portfolio: Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in music technology through submission of an entrance portfolio.

Writing Sample: A separate written document explaining the development and creation of the portfolio must be submitted.

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: 31

Required Courses:

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
MUST 5728 or 8728Advanced Audio Production3
MUST 5773 or 8773Digital Signal Processing for Music3
MUST 8701Research in Music3
 Term Credit Hours9
MUST 5774 or 8774Hearing Music: Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Music3
MUST 5775 or 8775Seminar in Audio Software Design4
Elective in Music, Music Studies, or Music Education3
 Term Credit Hours10
Year 2
MUST 5720 or 8720New Music Seminar2
MUST 5776 or 8776Seminar in Physical Computing and Electronic Instrument Design4
 Term Credit Hours9
MUST 9995Final Project: Music Technology3
 Term Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours: 31

Language Examination: A language examination is not required for the M.S. in Music Technology.

Additional Requirements:
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.

Culminating Events: Evidence of student learning is assessed through a combination of course-embedded assessments and projects, written examinations, and a capstone final project that demonstrates the application of integrated music technology.


Program Web Address:

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


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Cynthia Folio


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Cynthia Folio