Jul 20, 2024  
2013-2014 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2019 
2013-2014 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2019 [Archived Catalog]

Music (MA)

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Affiliation: School of Arts & Letters

The Master of Arts in Music degree program at Truman State University brings together students with demonstrated ability in one or more of several areas of academic endeavor: musical performance, research, and composition. Working with qualified graduate faculty, these students enjoy a low ratio of faculty-to-students, and thus are ensured much individual attention.

Truman State University is a fully-accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Master of Arts in Music degree program at Truman exists within the framework of the School of Arts & Letters for the following purposes:

  1. To offer instruction designed to prepare students for doctoral studies at primary universities.
  2. To offer an advanced program of studies for students aspiring to professional careers in music.
  3. To offer instruction designed to promote musical performance that is mature, correct, and inspired.
  4. To offer courses to deepen the understanding of research and scholarship in music.

The graduate student in music at Truman is encouraged to view the arts as an essential element of culture and an indispensable factor in a liberal education.

All Master of Arts in Music degree emphasis groups culminate in either a graduate recital (performance), a graduate recital (conducting), a research thesis, or a composition. Students audition for the recital emphasis option (conducting) and the recital option (performance), interview for the research emphasis option, and submit a portfolio of compositions for the composition emphasis option. The number of students accepted for the graduate recital (conducting) option is limited to those who can be placed with an ensemble and is monitored by the music graduate committee. 


Admission to graduate study in music at Truman State University is selective and is based on the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an acceptable undergraduate grade point average. Preferential acceptance is given to those students who possess a 3.0 or above undergraduate grade point average. Students who have less than a 2.75 undergraduate grade point average are not eligible for admission.
  2. An acceptable score on the Graduate Record General Examination.
  3. A letter of application, a résumé, three letters of recommendation, and an interview with the Coordinator of Music Admissions and/or the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music.
  4. An audition or submission of research or composition portfolio or other demonstration of competence. Students audition for the recital emphasis group, submit a portfolio of undergraduate research papers for the research emphasis group, and submit a portfolio of compositions for the composition emphasis group. 


  1. In rare cases, a matriculating graduate student who has deficiencies in music theory or music history may be asked to take additional coursework to make up those deficiencies prior to enrolling in appropriate graduate theory or history courses. This is done to help ensure that the student has the necessary background to succeed in those graduate courses. Whether or not additional coursework is required is determined by appropriate members of the Graduate Faculty, based on information gathered from the student’s undergraduate transcripts and from communications between the student and members of the Graduate Faculty.
  2. Graduate students whose program of studies requires a recital must pay an additional fee. 


Before graduation, the student desiring a Master of Arts in Music degree must complete the following:

  1. The 32 credit MA in Music curriculum.
  2. A comprehensive oral examination administered by a graduate committee.
  3. The specified requirements of the Graduate Office pertaining to grade point average, transfer credit, residence, course number, time limitations, repeat courses, and examinations. 


Graduate Record Exam percentile rankings corresponding to mean scaled scores for incoming music students, fiscal year 2010:

Analytical Writing: 60.00%
Quantitative: 56.67%
Verbal: 70.44%

Average GPA of incoming music students, fiscal year 2010: 3.51. 


Other Studies in Music: 20 Credits

Emphasis Groups:

Performance Emphasis: 20 Credits

Conducting Emphasis: 20 Credits

Composition Emphasis: 20 Credits

Research (Thesis) Emphasis: 20 Credits

Other Electives in Music:

Choose a total of 4-8 credits from the following courses. The number of elective credits required for each emphasis group is listed above. These courses are in addition to those courses taken for Core Requirements.

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