College of Arts and Letters2013-2014

School of Music

Music Performance, Graduate Certificate

This post-baccalaureate program of study is designed for students who wish to focus on an applied curriculum in order to enhance their individual performance skills. According to Graduate College policy, students may pursue certificate programs before or after work on a master’s degree. This flexible curriculum allows students to customize much of the coursework to meet their individual performance goals.


What Can I Do with a Certificate in Music Performance?

The School of Music strives to produce well-rounded musicians equipped to become successful teachers, accomplished performers, composers, and scholars in the competitive environment of the music profession. This 18-credit graduate certificate in music performance is especially designed for post-baccalaureate students who wish to focus on an applied instrumental or vocal curriculum in order to enhance their individual performance skills. The certificate is an excellent choice for students who wish one year of concentrated study in their performance area before pursuing a graduate degree.

University Requirements

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Additional Admission Requirements Required


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 
Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 18 units:

    • MUP 611 (6 units)
    • MUS 680 or MUS 681, taken in the final semester of study (3 units)
    • Electives, such as large ensembles, chamber music, literature, pedagogy, accompanying, or additional private lessons, depending on the individual performance interests of the student. (9 units)

  • Financial Assistance
    • Due to the brevity of the Graduate Certificate in Performance program, financial assistance through the School of Music is not typically available.
  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate.  Under both circumstances, federal financial aid can be used for this certificate.

  • 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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