Music (MA)


Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts

Program Description

Webster University offers the master of arts (MA) in music for students who desire a more general course of study.

The MA in music is offered without an official area of specialization, although any one or more of several fields within music may be emphasized through elective courses that meet individual needs and career goals. The area of emphasis will be determined by the student in consultation with the graduate committee and the Director of Graduate Studies in Music.

In contrast to the performance-related MM, academic studies in music and related fields are emphasized in the MA in music degree program. Performance and creative musical endeavors, however, will be central to the course of study for many students.

Graduates of the MA program will be qualified to teach applied music in the studio or classroom, private or public school music teaching, perform with or conduct ensembles, compose or arrange music, pursue doctoral studies in musicology, theory, or another field, or establish an expertise in any one or several additional areas.

The MA program conforms to the guidelines specified by the National Association of Schools of Music for accreditation. Webster University is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Webster University also offers the master of music (MM) with a major in composition, jazz studies, music education, performance, orchestral performance, and church music.

This program is offered at the St. Louis home campus.


•Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission Section found in the front of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the MA in music programs must submit or complete the following:

  • An official transcript that documents the awarding of a baccalaureate degree in music from an accredited institution.
  • A satisfactory audition/interview before an appointed faculty committee. Guidelines for audition repertoire are available upon request from the Director of Graduate Studies in Music or the specific program director (voice, piano, jazz, music education, instrumental studies, and so forth). Please read the following section on Audition Procedures.
  • A satisfactory performance on an entrance examination in music history and theory. Remedial studies-without credit-may be prescribed for students who have deficiencies in either or both of these areas.
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from former music teachers

Send all required documents to:

Webster University
Office of Admission
470 East Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119-3194

Audition Procedures

Applicants should follow the guidelines for their instrument or interest area as listed previously. Applicants should discuss audition preparation with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music.

Departmental Standards and Policies

Students should consult the Academic Warning, Probation, and Dismissal sections of this catalog for further information. In addition, the Department of Music Handbook, available from the Music Office, includes departmental policies on admission to candidacy, degree recitals, theses, applied music, and ensembles, as well as other areas that pertain to MM and MA students. This departmental policy manual constitutes an extension of the Webster University Graduate Studies Catalog.

Ensemble Requirement for Graduate Students

All graduate students in music are required to complete two semesters in a major ensemble. Jazz studies majors may fulfill this requirement through the various jazz ensembles. Composition majors will participate in the New Music Ensemble for one term, with a second term in Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, or a choral ensemble. Majors in other areas will choose choir, orchestra, or wind ensemble. Additional performing groups (such as Opera Studio or Jazz Singers) may be chosen for elective credit. Specific ensemble requirements are listed with each degree and area of emphasis.

Graduate Oral Examinations

The Graduate Oral Examination is required of all students at the graduate level. This examination is based on the student’s program of study, and includes topics in music history and literature, music theory, and the area of emphasis. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to integrate and interpret materials and issues in the major field. The exam emphasizes topics dealt with directly in the student’s thesis, recital, or other major project presented in fulfillment of the degree requirements.

This is an oral examination conducted by a committee that is appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Director of the area of study and other members of the faculty. The committee will include a majority of full-time faculty members

Students who fail the oral examination may retake it upon the recommendation of the committee.

Program Requirements

The MA in music will be balanced among three areas: (1) core courses in music history, theory, and performance; (2) supportive courses in music (area of emphasis); and (3) additional coursework in music or a related field.

Suggested Areas of Emphasis

  • Piano Pedagogy/Performance
  • Vocal Pedagogy/Performance
  • Music Education
  • Jazz Studies
  • Conducting
  • Composition/Arranging
  • Music History/Theory
  • Accompanying
  • Chamber Music
  • Other areas as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies

Required Courses

  • MUSC 5000 Applied Music (0-2 hours)
  • MUSC 5100, 5110 Analytical Techniques I, II (4 hours)
  • MUSC 5120, 5130 Seminar in Music Literature I, II (6 hours)
  • Major Ensemble-2 semesters (2 hours)
    • MUSC 4900 Webster University Concert Choir
    • MUSC 4910 Webster University Chamber Singers 
    • MUSC 4940 Webster University Orchestra 
    • MUSC 4960 Jazz Ensemble (Jazz Studies emphasis only) 
    • MUSC 4980 Webster University Wind Ensemble 
  • Music electives (10-12 hours)
    Courses in music at the 4000-5000 levels to be chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (At least 6 credit hours of these courses must be academic electives.)
  • Additional coursework (10-12 hours)
    These courses may be in music or in another related field such as art, literature, philosophy, or history.
  • Final Project/Recital Program (0 hours)
    Students will present a major historical, pedagogical, or analytical paper, a recital, or other appropriate demonstration. Final projects are approved by the Director of your area of emphasis in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Music.
  • Oral examination (0 hours)

Total: 32 hours

 Suggested Electives

  • MUSC 4040 Music of the Twentieth Century (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4070 Choral Arranging (2 hours)
  • MUSC 4080 Choral Literature and Techniques (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4140 Lyric Diction (2 hours)
  • MUSC 4150 The Art Song (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4160 Operatic Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4170, 4175, 4270 Piano Literature I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 4185 Piano in Chamber Music Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4190 Orchestral Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4250, 4255 Voice Pedagogy (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4260 Piano Pedagogy I, II (4 hours)
  • MUSC 4320 Jazz Pedagogy (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4340, 4350 Jazz Scoring and Arranging I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 4990 Opera Studio (1 hour)
  • MUSC 5200 Independent Study (1-3 hours)
  • MUSC 4360 Survey of Music Business (3 hours)
  • MUSC 5320 Advanced Instrumental Conducting (1-4 hours)
  • MUSC 5330 Advanced Choral Conducting (1-4 hours)

Library Holdings

Books, periodicals, scores, records, compact discs, and videos, as recommended for music libraries by the National Association of Schools of Music, are conveniently housed in the Emerson Library. In addition, the library subscribes to a number of significant online music-related resources including The New Grove Dictionaries of Music, the International Index of Music Periodicals, The Music Index, and RILM.

Graduate Assistantships

The Department of Music offers graduate assistantships in jazz studies, music theory, orchestra, and choral music. For further information, interested applicants should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Music. Assistantship stipends do not include tuition remissions. Applications for assistantships must be received by March 15.

Graduate Scholarships

The Department of Music offers a limited number of scholarships to graduate students based on merit. Among these are the Buder Foundation Scholarships, the James Moroney Nigh Endowed Scholarship Fund in Opera, and the TKT Jazz Scholarship. For more information, interested applicants should contact the Chair of the Department of Music. Scholarship applications are due by April 1.

Adjunct Teaching Appointments

In addition to graduate assistantships, exceptionally qualified graduate students may be considered for employment as instructors in one of the following areas: academic studies, jazz studies, orchestral instruments, piano, and voice. Employment determination is made by the Chair of the Department of Music with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music in consultation with the director of the specific academic area.

Graduate Student General Financial Aid Information

For information on non-music related sources of financial aid, including work study and loan programs, interested applicants should contact the Webster University Office of Financial Aid.