The College of Arts and Architecture

Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Arts in Music Theory

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Description: The School of Music offers an Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree program that combines the B.A. in Music and the M.A. in Music Theory. This program enables a select number of students to further their research interests in music theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. By the end of the five-year program, students receive two degrees, a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Music Theory.

Candidates for this IUG degree must demonstrate a high level of aptitude and achievement in academic core courses (i.e., offerings in music theory and music history; see under Application Process) and be highly motivated to pursue research projects with music theory faculty.

Modeled after a similar program in the Schreyer Honors College, this IUG program enables gifted music students to double-count credits in two degree programs. As a result, they will have developed a research focus during their fourth and fifth years, which will prepare them for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions. (Penn State does not offer doctoral programs in Music Theory and History).



To initiate the application process, students must submit a transcript, faculty recommendation, writing sample, and statement of goals. A faculty adviser will help undergraduate candidates determine a sequence of courses that will prepare them for acceptance into the IUG program. Normally a student applies after the fourth semester and before the end of the sixth semester. The following 500-level courses may be applied to both bachelor’s and master’s degrees:

   Music 531  Analytical Techniques
   Music 532  Schenkerian Analysis
   Music 533  Pedagogy of Undergraduate Music Theory/History
   Music 572  Musicology Seminar
   Music 573  Integrative Seminar in Music Theory and History
   Music 574  Seminar in Music Theory

For acceptance into the program, students must successfully complete the following courses or their equivalent with a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 in their music courses, and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.    4 semesters of music theory (131, 232, 231, 331)
   4 semesters of musicianship (121, 122, 221, 222)
   3 semesters of music history (162, 261, 262)

Assuming all undergraduate coursework has been completed; a student can still earn a bachelor’s degree if for any reason he/she is unable to complete the Master of Arts degree.

Reduced course load
As many as twelve of the credits required for the master’s degree may be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. A minimum of 50 percent of the courses proposed to count for both degrees must be at the 500 level. Thesis credits may not be double counted.

B.A. Senior Project (Music 476W) / M.A. Thesis (Music 600)
Students will be encouraged to select a B.A. Senior Project topic (Music 476W) that will later develop into the M.A. Thesis. It is expected that the Master’s Thesis consist of greater depth and specialization than the Senior Project.

Eligibility for a Graduate Assistantship
Students in the IUG program will be eligible for a graduate assistantship starting in the beginning of the fifth year.

Tuition charges
Undergraduate tuition rates will apply as long as the student is an undergraduate, unless the student received financial support, for example, an assistantship requiring the payment of graduate tuition (from “Information and Guidelines for Establishing Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Degree Programs” – approved by the Graduate Council, May 8, 1996).



IUG M.A. in Music Theory sequence (32 credits)

Music 500    Introduction to Music Reference  2 credits
Music 532 Schenkerian Theory and Analysis  3 credits
Music 472 18th-Century Counterpoint  2 credits
Music 574 Theory Seminar  3 credits
  Music History*  3 credits
  Music Theory**  5 credits
  Music Elective (in consultation with adviser)     3 credits
  Elective (in consultation with adviser)  3 credits
Music 600 Thesis  6 credits
  TOTAL 32 credits

* Chosen from 461W (Antiquity to 1600), 462W (1550–1750), 463W (1700–1900), 464W (1850–present), 572 (Musicology Seminar), 573 (Integrative Seminar).
** Chosen from 431 (Advanced Tonal Analysis), 433 (Special Topics in 20th-Century Theory), 435 (Score Reading), 438 (Figured Bass), 471 (16th-Century Counterpoint), 531 (Analytical Techniques), 573 (Integrative Seminar), 574 (Theory Seminar).