Graduate performance degree programs are designed to provide well-prepared and talented students with the opportunities to develop their performance abilities while furthering their knowledge of music literature and studio teaching skills. These programs are intended to prepare students for entrance to the world of professional music as performers and teachers or for admission to doctoral-level study. The Master of Music in Performance degree program is available in three options: Voice, Piano, and Orchestral Instruments.
Study and Performance Environment
The voice area at Penn State is vibrant, supportive, and comprehensive. Performance opportunities abound with a weekly voice area Bach’s Lunch concert series, a weekly Voice Forum, recitals, opera theatre, guest master classes, coaching residencies, and scholarship and concerto competitions. The voice faculty are widely recognized for their teaching, performance and scholarship, and work together to provide each student with the best experience and mentoring. Singers have the opportunity to work with each of our faculty through lessons, coursework, opera theatre, Voice Forum, independent study, and other interactions.
In addition to opera theatre, the School of Music offers an array of outstanding choirs, and orchestral, band, and jazz ensembles. Both the Penn State Philharmonic and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble sponsor annual student solo competitions. Ensembles combine for our annual Mosaic showcase, and rotate for the annual President’s Concert. Each year the School of Music sponsors more than 200 student and faculty recitals and concerts, while the University's Center for the Performing Arts brings internationally known soloists, ensembles, and orchestras to Penn State.
The Master of Music in Performance with track in Voice offers a core curriculum in applied voice, vocal literature, and performance projects. Students can expect solo and ensemble performance opportunities in recital, concert, and staged works. Knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music must be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of competency examinations or completion of specified courses in addition to the curricular requirements listed here, and an oral examination in the major area must be passed near the completion of the program.
The 36-credit requirement is as follows:
|Ensemble (Opera Theatre, Choir)||2|
|Graduate Degree Recital||1|
|Lecture-Recital or Master's Paper||1|
|Vocal Literature or Opera Literature||3|
|Seminar in Music Literature of the Major Performance Area||2|
|Introduction to Music Reference and Research Materials||2|
|Music Theory or History||3|
A candidate applying for admission to the master's degree program in performance must have earned a recognized bachelor's degree in music 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
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.
Performance degree applicants must show evidence of performance abilities and repertoire consistent with those expected of graduating Penn State students in the bachelor of music in performance program.
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
Please note that ALL application materials are to be uploaded to the online application EXCEPT the pre-screening recording. 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 will help you to attain these goals)
- repertoire list of solo material, noting works performed
- recital program(s) from a solo recital or other major performance (i.e. a performance with orchestra)
- application for School of Music Graduate Assistantship (optional), see Graduate Financial Aid
- TOEFL and IELTS scores (international applicants only) - School Code 2660
School of Music Graduate Admissions
The Pennsylvania State University
233 Music Building I
University Park, PA 16802-1901