Graduate Degrees

Overview

The USU Music Department offers accredited Master of Music (MM) degrees with specializations in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, Voice Performance, Guitar Performance, and Choral Conducting. USU Master of Music students acquire comprehensive knowledge in their specialization through intensive one-on-one applied study, challenging seminar classes, and research. Through the curriculum, MM students have multiple opportunities to practice professional skills, expand their intellectual capabilities, and gain leadership experience.

Selected M.M. students will be offered Graduate Assistantship positions under faculty supervision. After completing departmental requirements, these students will be eligible to teach courses in the undergraduate curriculum for music majors and minors. All graduate students, including those who do not receive an Assistantship position, may have the opportunity to provide instruction to non-majors, for which they would receive payment. These teaching opportunities will be invaluable components to the graduate program, which is specifically designed to prepare students for both performance and teaching careers.

Prospective students of the proposed graduate program will apply for admission to the Utah State University School of Graduate Studies, which currently administers 106 Masters degrees, 38 Doctorate degrees, and 5 E.Ds. degrees. University policies that establish acceptable standards for these graduate programs are developed and maintained by the Dean of Graduate Studies with the advice of the University and College Graduate Councils.  Within the Department of Music, the graduate program is governed by the Music Department Graduate Committee.  The Department of Music is the final arbiter of who meets the standards, both for admission and graduation, in music.

Visit each program's page for specific information on the degree, or contact the Music Department's Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Cahill Smith.

Master of Music (MM) Application Process 

All applications are submitted online through gradschool.usu.edu/apply/. Applicants to the Master of Music degree must complete the following:

  1. Official College Transcripts - To qualify for admission to the MM program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any field of study, with a GPA of at least 3.0. Official transcripts must be sent directly from previous institutions to USU.
  2. (NOT REQUIRED) GRE or MAT Scores - The GRE or MAT is optional for applicants to the Master of Music degree programs. However, applicants should be advised that the GRE/MAT is a requirement for some tuition waivers and scholarships available through the School of Graduate Studies. For information about these awards, and whether or not applicants may qualify, please visit gradschool.usu.edu/tuition-financial-aid/.
  3. Letters of Recommendation – Three satisfactory letters of recommendation must be sent directly by the recommenders through the application server. Applicants are highly encouraged to seek a recommendation from a primary applied teacher and one academic music faculty (theory, history, etc.). 
  4. Writing Sample - Applicants must upload a 500–1000 word (1-2 pages, single-spaced) personal statement on one of the following topics: 
  • Topic 1: Describe a moment or experience in your musical education that convinced you to pursue higher education in music.
  • Topic 2: How do you hope your career in music will make an impact on today’s musical culture?
  • Topic 3: Why does/should music matter to individuals or society today?

An academic research paper on a musical subject may also be accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Music Committee. The writing sample will be evaluated by the Music Department Graduate Committee and all full-time faculty in the applicant’s primary area of emphasis. Applicant essays will be evaluated in part on the quality of writing, including organization, concision, and clarity.

  1. International Student Requirements - In addition to the General Admissions Requirements, International students must meet the language, degree, and funding requirements of the USU School of Graduate Studies, available at gradschool.usu.edu/apply/.
  2. Audition/Interview - Applicants must complete a successful live or recorded entrance audition/interview. To schedule an audition, submit an “Online Graduate Audition Application” at music.usu.edu/apply/index. If travel distance or schedule conflicts prevent applicants from auditioning live, they may submit a video recording of their audition through the recorded audition form: music.usu.edu/students/recorded-audition-form.