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6.0 Master's Degrees


6.1 Master's Degree & MM/DMA Accelerated Track: Outlines, Degree Plans, & Recommended Timelines

Master's Degree
By end of the first semester of study, the student should submit a degree plan, which lists all courses required for the degree and is approved by the student's major professor and the Associate Director of Graduate Studies. Students should consult their major professor as they prepare a degree plan. A list of courses that aren't offered each semester can be found in 3.15 Rotating Course Offerings. This list is not definitive and it is recommended that students contact area faculty to find out the latest course offerings for the upcoming semester. Any changes to the degree plan must be submitted in writing on a degree plan form and approved by the major professor and Graduate Coordinator, and filed with the School of Music Graduate Studies Office. Degree plans may not be filed in the semester a student plans to graduate. Click on the following links for specific degree plans:

MM-DMA Accelerated Track
Students who wish to pursue the MM/DMA Accelerated Track combining MM & DMA programs of the same concentration may do so with the approval of the major professor at the start of their graduate studies.This four-year track can save students two semesters of coursework compared to the traditional five-year MM to DMA path. Students will earn the MM degree and the DMA degree concurrently and should be categorized as such for the duration of the program if they are following this track.

It is highly recommended a student work closely with their major professor/advisor and follow the recommended timeline for their concentration when filling out the degree plan for the MM-DMA Accelerated Track. The degree plan should be submitted by the end of the second semester of study and approved by the student's major professor and the Graduate Coordinator. A list of courses that aren't offered each semester can be found in 3.15 Rotating Course Offerings. This list is not definitive and it is recommended that students contact area faculty to find out the latest course offerings for the upcoming semester. Any changes to the degree plan must be submitted in writing on a degree plan form and approved by the major professor and Graduate Coordinator, and filed with the School of Music Graduate Studies Office. Degree plans may not be filed in the semester a student plans to graduate. Click on the following links for specific degree plans and their suggested timelines:

6.2 Master's Degree: Recital, Thesis, or Practicum

All MM degrees require a recital, thesis, or practicum as a culminating project.

Performance, Conducting, and Pedagogy
A degree recital. A recital hearing should be scheduled at least two weeks before the recital. The recital hearing is evaluated by the members of the student's area. See 4.1 Recitals for scheduling, programs, and recording information.

Composition
A composition practicum - This is a substantial composition or a portfolio of compositions.

Musicology and Music Education
A written thesis or project, which is submitted to the library for archival purposes. Musicology students may substitute a lecture-recital with a substantial research component, and music education students may substitute a practical master's project prepared under faculty supervision.

Orff-Schulwerk
The Orff practicum. The practicum includes four pieces or sections:

  1. Two recordings of the candidate's teaching and a written self-critique.
  2. A paper representing scholarship in music education.
  3. A paper or project representing scholarship in music history or music theory and the application of that work to music education.
  4. A paper or project related to the candidate's field of specialization, i.e. choral music, general music, instrumental music, or jazz. The student presents the written portfolio to the committee, and the committee members review the student's work. An oral examination based on the portfolio is held during final exam week.

Jazz and Studio Music
The culminating project is flexible and may consist of a thesis, a recital, a lecture-recital, or a practicum depending on the student's interests in consultation with faculty.

6.3 Master's Degree: Comprehensive Examination

The Master's Comprehensive Examination is a timed, written comprehensive exam and taken during the student's final semester of study. Prior to taking the exam, students must have completed deficiencies in music history and theory and must file an official Candidacy Form listing all coursework for the degree.

The written comprehensive test is composed of the following six essay questions:

  • Three questions from the student's major (e.g. viola)
  • One question from a music history course
  • One question from a music theory course
  • One 'wildcard' question from any remaining course

Each question is intended to take a half hour to answer. Questions must come from the student's course of study and specifically the course taken and the instructor who taught it. No more than three questions may be from the same instructor. The theory and history review courses are not eligible: all questions must be on legitimate graduate coursework. Students will submit a form to the Graduate Studies Office of a list of courses on which the written portion will be based. The student is responsible for requesting the exam questions from their Professors. 

Students with transfer credit should consult with the appropriate U of M faculty before requesting questions in that area; faculty may ask for course syllabi or other materials in order to ensure that the question matches the material in the course the student actually took.

Each master's candidate must pass five out of the six written questions.

Students who fail the examination may participate in a retake (with different questions), two weeks later. Failure of the retake results in termination from the program. A third attempt will be permitted only by petitioning the Director of the School of Music.

Please note that Masters comprehensives for Online M.M. Music Education and M.M. Orff Schulwerk students are scheduled and handled differently. Those students will need to contact the Area Coordinator of Music Education for further details.