The Master of Arts in Music with track in Music Theory and History is designed to integrate theoretical, analytical, and historical approaches to musical styles and works. The program offers students with the potential for scholarly work an efficient and comprehensive introduction to current modes of research and analysis from both music theoretical and music historical perspectives. As a post-baccalaureate degree program, it has the advantage of breadth in preparing the student to teach courses in the undergraduate theory/history/literature curriculum at community and junior colleges and for community education programs. For the student who plans to pursue doctoral studies, this program has the advantage of depth (integrated seminars and thesis) as well as a broad base of courses required by most doctoral programs.
The program features:
Integrative seminars: special topics seminars taught by a musicologist or theorist, interdisciplinary in design.
Pedagogy: a pedagogy course in undergraduate music theory and history (Music 533).
Thesis: a thesis, jointly directed by a musicologist and a theorist.
The Master of Arts in Music with track in Music Theory and History requires a minimum of 34 credits of coursework including a 6-credit thesis. At least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 600 level, and at least 26 credits must be taken at University Park. A reading examination in German or another appropriate language as determined by the student's thesis advisors must be passed before thesis credit may be scheduled. Knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music must be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of competency examinations or completion of specified remedial courses in addition to the curricular requirements listed here. A comprehensive examination covering a list of repertoire and readings in music theory and history is required.
The 34-credit requirement is as follows:
|Introduction to Music Reference and Research Materials||2|
|*Integrative Seminar in Music Theory and History||6|
|Pedagogy of Undergraduate Theory And History||2|
*Special topics, changing from year to year, one offered each year.
**Two courses selected from: Music 431 (Advanced Tonal Analysis), Music 433 (Special Topics in 20th-Century Theory), Music 531 (Analytical Techniques), Music 532 (Schenkerian Analysis).
***Two courses selected from: Music 461W (Antiquity to 1600), Music 462W (1550-1750), Music 463W (1700-1900), Music 464W (1850-Present), Music 572 (Musicology Seminar).
Unsatisfactory performance on the competency examinations in music history and theory taken at the beginning of the program may result in the necessity of additional course work.
A candidate applying for admission to the M.A. in Music with track in Music Theory and History should have completed a recognized bachelor's degree in music or music education with at least a 2.8 junior-senior grade-point average. A typical bachelor’s degree in music includes the following:
- 12-16 credits in music theory and analysis
- 6-9 credits in music history
- 4 credits (2 semesters) of keyboard skills
- 12-16 credits of a foreign language
A candidate who is deficient in any area may be considered for admission, but must be prepared to make up the deficiency, without credit toward the degree, during the first year of graduate study and before thesis credit may be scheduled.
For an overview of current tuition and fees as well as the financial assistance programs available to graduate students at Penn State, see Graduate Financial Aid.
Admission Procedure Summary
Access Application Process for directions.
Please note that ALL application materials are to be uploaded to the online application. Upload the following materials:
- an official transcript - NOT an advising or unofficial transcript - (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction)
Chinese applicants must also submit an official graduation certificate and official diploma, in Chinese and translated English, if the applicant has already earned the previous degree(s).
- names of two references and their email addresses (Penn State will contact your references directly)
- statement of purpose (professional goals and how graduate study at Penn State will help you to attain these goals)
- evidence of scholarship and writing skills (research paper or thesis on a musical topic; maximum of 20 pages)
- application for School of Music Graduate Assistantship (optional), see Graduate Financial Aid
The following should be submitted to Penn State by the testing agencies at your request. Select "Penn State University" as the destination for your GRE, TOEFL or IELTS scores by selecting the correct school code below:
- GRE scores (general test) - School Code 2660
- TOEFL and IELTS scores (international applicants only) - School Code 2660
Arrangements may be made for a visit to the University Park campus and for interviews with appropriate faculty members. This is especially important when applying for an assistantship. These arrangements should be made with a faculty member representing the major area. They should be scheduled as early as possible in the semester preceding the semester for which admission is desired.
Inquiries directed to:
School of Music Graduate Admissions
The Pennsylvania State University
233 Music Building I
University Park, PA 16802-1901