May 28, 2024  
2020-21 Graduate Catalog 
2020-21 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, Music Composition Specialization, M.M.

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Joseph Morgan, Program Director
(615) 904-8043

The School of Music  offers a Master of Music degree with specializations in collaborative piano, conducting, jazz studies, music composition, music composition for contemporary media, music education, musicology, and performance.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Music degree program requires

  1. an earned bachelor’s degree in music from an accredited university or college;
  2. an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.00).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit three letters of recommendation.

Additionally, those seeking a specialization in music composition must submit recordings and scores of three to five of their compositions.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Music degree in Music with a specialization in music composition requires completion of a minimum of 33 semester hours.

Candidates must

  1. complete the curriculum with 70 percent of the total degree hours at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
  2. successfully complete both written and oral comprehensive examinations no earlier than the student’s last semester of study. Comprehensive examinations may be repeated once.

Additionally, those with a specialization in music composition must establish proficiencies in music history and music theory* and establish proficiency in a performance skill on an applied instrument or voice and in keyboard (may also fulfill performance-skill requirement).

*NOTE: Diagnostic examinations in music theory and music history will be scheduled during the first week of the first semester of study. Students who do not pass the diagnostic examinations should consult with the graduate coordinator to plan how to meet the requirements. Additional courses may be required to satisfy these proficiency requirements.

Curriculum: Music, Music Composition

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Core Courses (9 hours)

Electives (6 hours)

  • Guided elective to be chosen from fields of philosophy, art history, anthropology, or literature with consent of advisor (3 hours)
  • Free elective (3 hours)

Proficiency Courses Determined by Placement Examination (0-6 hours)

Either or both of these courses may be required based on the results of the student’s diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory:

Performance proficiencies are evaluated by the appropriate performance faculty. Keyboard proficiencies are evaluated by the student’s primary composition professor.

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