Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Master of Music


The M.M. degree is a 32-semester hour program consisting of 13 semester hours of core requirements plus 19 semester hours taken within one of three specializations: music education, music performance, or individualized study.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Admission


In addition to the standard requirements for graduate admission to the Graduate School at NIU, the School of Music has additional requirements for graduate admission. The Master of Music program requires degree seeking applicants to submit the following materials:

Bachelor’s degree in Music

  • Normally, a baccalaureate degree in music or a diploma from an accredited conservatory or music school is required for admission to the M.M. program. In special circumstances, applicants whose undergraduate degree is in a field other than music may be admitted to a specific specialization within the M.M. program. Other admission requirements will vary, depending upon the specialization that is selected.

Statement of purpose

  • Your statement of purpose should be approximately 250 to 750 words in length. It should outline your preparation for graduate study in your chosen field, as well as your goals for graduate school and beyond. It should also explain why you believe the program at NIU can best help you meet those goals.

Letters of recommendation

  • 2 (two) letters of recommendation from individuals speaking to your ability to be successful in the completion of a graduate-level degree program. Your recommenders should be individuals who have a professional or academic relationship with you as the applicant.

Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

  • Copy of current resume/CV in a PDF format indicating your professional work and/or volunteer experience in both music and non-music fields.

List of major repertoire studied and performed (M.M. Performance only).

Audition, portfolio, and/or interview

  • Music Education: Applicants are admitted to this specialization only upon the recommendation of a committee of the music education faculty after an interview and transcript evaluation. Students accepted in music education must take the School of Music diagnostic examinations in music theory and history administered immediately prior to the term for which they are admitted. The School of Music is not currently admitting students for this emphasis through the 2024 - 2025 academic year.

Performance: Applicants are admitted to this specialization only upon the recommendation of a committee of the performance faculty after an audition. Review specific studio audition requirements and register for an audition at https://www.niu.edu/music/admissions/auditions.shtml.

Individualized Study: Applicants are admitted to this specialization only upon the recommendation of a committee of the music faculty after an in-depth examination for competence in music and/or other applicable fields. Depending upon the nature of the proposed course for study, the evaluation committee may require an applicant to complete an audition, submit a portfolio, and/or complete an interview. Review specific individualized emphasis requirements and register for an audition at https://www.niu.edu/music/admissions/auditions.shtml.

Students accepted to any M.M. program must take the School of Music diagnostic examinations in music theory and music history administered immediately prior to the term for which they are admitted. Applicants whose current preparation for advanced study is found to be deficient following the completion of these exams may be granted admission to the M.M. program with required preliminary coursework to remediate these deficiencies.

Applicants who are admitted to the M.M. program in a specific specialization and who then wish to change to another specialization must meet all admission requirements for the new specialization before the change is approved. Applicants for admission to the M.M. program are normally notified of an admission decision as soon as administratively feasible following completion of all Graduate School and School of Music entrance requirements.

Application deadlines and admit terms:

            Application materials for graduate admission into the Master of Music program must be received by the Graduate School and audition, portfolio and/or interviews completed by:

Fall admit term: February 24 (priority)

  • Following the priority deadline, applications will be reviewed as there is space in the studio/program or until May 15th. After May 15th, admission consideration may be possible but is not guaranteed.

Spring admit term: December 1 (priority/final)

The School of Music currently does not admit students for the summer term.

Note that the Master of Music program deadlines are earlier in the application cycle than the general Graduate School deadlines.

Applicants for admission to the M.M. program are notified of an admission decision from the School of Music as soon as administratively feasible following completion of all Graduate School and School of Music entrance requirements. Official admission offers are released from the Graduate School once decisions have been made and processed.

Requirements


In partial fulfillment of graduate requirements, a student pursuing the M.M. degree in the performance specialization must prepare and perform a full-length public recital. Students pursuing the M.M. degree within the music education or individualized specializations may present a formal public recital, write a thesis, or complete a final project.

Students in the specializations of music education and performance are permitted to take 6 semester hours of selected studies in music (MUTC 798, MUHL 798, MUSP 798, MUED 798) as part of their program of courses. Students in the individualized specialization may take 12 semester hours of selected studies in music (MUTC 798, MUHL 798, MUSP 798, MUED 798) as part of their program of courses.

All students pursuing the M.M. degree must fulfill the following core requirements.

Core Requirements (11-13)


Each student must also fulfill the requirements of one of the following specializations.

  • A course in music history approved by the music history area coordinator in consultation with the music history faculty (3)
  • A course in music theory approved by the music theory area coordinator in consultation with the music theory faculty (3)

Specialization in Music Education (19)


See also “Educator Licensure” in this section and “Educator Licensure Information” in the Educator Licensure page.

  • Music education course work (6-9)
  • Music performance course work chosen from private keyboard, voice, or instrumental study (primary or secondary); music performance (including conducting); and/or ensembles (3)
  • Electives (4-7)

Specialization in Performance (21)


Emphases are offered in three areas: Band, Orchestral and Steelpan Instruments; Keyboard, and Voice.

1. Band, Orchestral and Steelpan Instruments


  • Private instrumental study (8)

Ensembles (5)


2. Piano


3. Voice


Individualized Specialization (19-21)


A student may design an individualized specialization with course work selected from existing courses, seminars, independent study, internships, or special projects, offered both on and off campus. While this individual specialization may share some features of other specializations, its thrust should be distinctive. Individualized specialization may consist in part of interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary courses which combine music study with such areas as anthropology, art, business, computer science, dance, theater, electronics, cultural studies, mental health, or special education; or they may concentrate entirely on music. Examples of individualized specializations pursued by M.M. students include music history, music theory, composition, world music, jazz, recording techniques, and computer music and new media technology.

After acceptance, each student will be assigned an advisor with whom he or she will prepare an individualized proposal. This proposal must be approved by a committee representing the School of Music, which may in turn seek the advice of another department whose courses are included in the proposal. Normally, at least one half of the individualized specialization will be in the School of Music. At the conclusion of study, the student must substantiate to the committee that the specified goals have been met.