MA in Music

About the MA

The MA in Music History provides opportunities for continued development of musical insights, scholarly competencies, and the enhancement of interests in musical and related non-musical areas. This liberal graduate education is designed to prepare a student to pursue a career in college teaching, especially as preparation for doctoral studies in music history or musicology.


Completion of a bachelor’s degree in music (or demonstrated equivalent), with a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credit-hours, is required. Additional prerequisites listed below. In the event that a candidate does not meet the required prerequisites, appropriate additional course(s) will be added as requirements to the degree program.

  • Keyboard competency as is typically developed in an undergraduate music degree program
  • 4 semesters of languages: 2 semesters each of French, Italian, or German
  • 3 courses beyond the core music history courses (MUS_H_LI 2307, MUS_H_LI 2308 at MU)
  • Freshman/sophomore music theory courses
  • 1 semester of orchestration
  • 1 course in counterpoint (3 credits or equivalent)
  • 1 course in Western civilization
  • 1 course in European history prior to 1800

Priority Application Deadline

All graduate applicants are expected to submit required application materials (for both the School of Music and the Graduate School) by January 15 for fall semester matriculation, in order to receive full consideration for admission and assistantship or scholarship support. Applications submitted after January 15 will be considered as space permits on a rolling basis. Applicants interested in spring semester matriculation should contact the Associate Director of the School of Music (see below).

Application Process

  1. Apply online via the Graduate School's ApplyYourself system.
  2. Complete the following directly with the School of Music:
    1. Register for an interview during a Graduate Audition/Interview day.
    2. Submit samples of written scholarly work.
    3. Submit your unofficial transcript.
    4. Submit an essay explaining professional goals.
    5. Request three references to submit letters of recommendation.

Note: The School of Music does not require GRE scores.

International Student Information

Strong English reading, writing, and speaking abilities are necessary for success in the graduate programs in the School of Music. The following scores are required for admission to a graduate degree program in the School of Music:

  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550

 Note:  No TOEFL subscores below 50 (paper) or 15 (internet), or IELTS 5

  • Minimum Academic IELTS scores:
Item Score

 Note: No IELTS subscores below 5

FOOTNOTE: If you have a TOEFL score between 500 and 550 (paper) or between 61 and 79 (internet), or an IELTS score between 5.5 and 6.5, you may still be admitted to the School of Music but may be required to take courses from the English Language Support Program at the University of Missouri. These courses will increase the length of your program by one or two semesters, assuming you make good progress in English and eventually achieve the School of Music’s required TOEFL or IELTS scores. Note: the University of Missouri's institutional code for the TOEFL is 6875.


Professor Dan Willett, Associate Director
School of Music
215 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, MO 65211-6120

Course of Study

MUS_H_LI 8313Introduction to Graduate Study2
MUS_H_LI 8314Introduction to Graduate Studies in Music II1
7xxx-8xxxMusic History courses8-10
MUS_GENL 8090Research in Music4-8
7xxx-8xxxAdvanced Theory courses4-8
MUS_APMS 7455Studio Instruction2-8
7xxx Non-music electives2-4
MUS_ENS 8841Instrumental Ensemble1
or MUS_ENS 8842 Choral Ensemble
At least 15 credits must be at 8000 level
Total credits:33

Additional Requirements:

  • Comprehensive Exam. 
  • MA degree candidates must satisfactorily complete a Thesis on an approved topic and must pass a final oral examination, administered by a faculty committee, about their projects.