College of Arts and Letters2014-2015

School of Music

Music, Master of Music

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Choral Conducting - Emphasis
  • Composition - Emphasis
  • Instrumental Conducting - Emphasis
  • Instrumental Performance - Emphasis
  • Musicology/Ethnomusicology - Emphasis
  • Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music - Emphasis
  • Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) - Emphasis
  • Theory - Emphasis
  • Vocal Performance - Emphasis

With several specific emphasis areas, students earning this Master's degree engage in a program of study that prepares them for an array of paths and career choices in the field of music. Candidates in this program enhance and develop their artistic and intellectual skills, leading them to teaching careers in public schools, arts academies, and community colleges; to performing careers in professional symphonies, wind groups, choruses, and opera companies; and to a continuation of their academic path in leading doctoral programs across the country.


What Can I Do with a Master of Music in Music?

You can become a highly qualified teacher in a public school setting, compete for a place in the performing world, or continue your education in a doctoral program. Our graduate program will provide you with a distinctive blend of concepts and applications, allowing you to achieve your professional goals and aspirations.

The MM program offers candidates a wide range of academically rigorous and inspiring courses; high-level solo performing and ensemble opportunities; and personal attention from distinguished faculty. Many graduate students enjoy teaching and conducting opportunities that are rarely offered at the Master's level.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Senior-level public school teaching position
  • Major ensemble conductor
  • Online or Community college faculty position
  • Apprenticeship performance programs

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • University teaching
  • Establish and maintain a private music studio

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Foreign Language A foreign language may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Writing Sample
      • Musicology
      • Theory
    • Portfolio
      • Composition
    • Video or Audio File
      • Prospective students pursuing a performance sub-plan must submit a 15-20 minute audio/visual recording that demonstrates their skills to the major faculty member in their area before scheduling a live audition (unless prior permission has been attained from the major professor).  Please see  for specific sub-plan information.
    • Personal statement or essay 
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units, which includes an Emphasis:

    Core Requirements (15 units)

    *Please note that some sub-plans require more than three units of capstone coursework.
    **Choral Conducting, Instrumental Conducting, and Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) will register for MUS 681 (3 units)
    **Instrumental Performance; Vocal Performance; and Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music will register for MUS 680 (1 unit) and additional electives and/or conducted ensembles (2 units)
    ** Composition, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, and Theory will register for MUS 699 (3 units)

    In addition, you must:
    • Upon entry, complete a self-paced, competency-based online music history tutorial and theory placement exam (unless waived by Associate Director of Graduate Studies).
    • Pass a final comprehensive oral exam.
    Emphasis Requirements (Select One):
    • Choral Conducting Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Sing in one major choral ensemble each semester.
      • Sing in all choral conducting lecture recitals.
      • Satisfy a diction requirement comparable to a two-semester undergraduate sequence.
      • Pass piano and ear training proficiencies administered by the conducting faculty.
    • Composition Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Complete a successful thesis defense.
    • Instrumental Conducting Emphasis (21 units)
    • Instrumental Performance Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Play in one large conducted instrumental ensemble each semester.
    • Musicology/Ethnomusicology Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Satisfy a foreign-language requirement (waived by examination) comparable to a two-year sequence at the undergraduate level.
      • Complete a successful Thesis Defense.
    • Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis (21 units)
    • Theory Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Complete a successful thesis defense.
    • Vocal Performance Emphasis (21 units)
      • MUP 611 (12 units)
      • MUS 520 (3 units)
      • MUS 521 (2 units)
      • MUP 660 (2 units) Vocalists will enroll for "Opera Theater Workshop"
      • MUP 660 (2 units) Vocalists will enroll for "Conducted Choir"
    • In addition, you must:

      • Satisfy a diction requirement comparable to a two-semester undergraduate sequence. 

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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