2023-24 Catalogs

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Columbia, MO 65211
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MM in Music with Emphasis in Music Theory

This degree is designed to prepare the graduate for college-level teaching or for doctoral study.

The program includes in-class teaching experience, study and survey of a wide variety of theory texts, and collaboration with a faculty advisor/mentor. Applicants are encouraged to consider studying music theory pedagogy paired with another area (i.e. performance, musicology, conducting, composition, or piano pedagogy). Active listening, a skill necessary for understanding music and cultivating musical thought, requires musical proficiency: playing an instrument at a moderately accomplished level, score reading, and fluency in keyboard harmony. A theorist must hear what one sees in a score and see in a score what one hears.

Degree Requirements

The degree requires successful completion of 34 credit hours.

Required Courses
MUS_H_LI 8313Introduction to Graduate Study3
MUS_GENL 8085Problems in Music (Music Theory section)3
MUS_APMS 7455Studio Instruction (Credits can vary 1-2 per semester for a total of 4)4
MUS_GENL 8090Research in Music (Thesis)6

Additional coursework required as determined by student and advisor, to include: Music History (6 credits), Advanced Courses in Theory/Composition (9 credits), Music or Non-music electives (3 credits)

Additional Requirements

  • Comprehensive Examination (see School of Music website for additional information)
  • The student must assemble a faculty thesis committee and pass an oral examination regarding the thesis
  • All courses must be at the 7000 or 8000 level, and at least 15 credits must be at the 8000 level 
  • No more than one course with a grade lower than B- may count toward completion of the degree

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Admission Criteria


  • Bachelor's degree in music (or demonstrated equivalent)
  • GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours
  • 3 credits of counterpoint
  • 2 credits of a theory elective
  • 3 credits of upper-level music history course
  • 8 credits of applied instruction (or equivalent)

If an applicant does not meet the required prerequisites, then appropriate course(s) may be added to the degree requirements.


For admission requirements, refer to the Graduate School's website for the minimum qualifications for the MM in Music. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program’s graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility, and the application process. Before official admissions to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied.

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