Music (MA)

Volume 1: 2022.2023

Effective 1 June 2022 through 31 May 2023

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

This program is offered by the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

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 emphasis, although any one or more of several fields within music may be studied through elective courses that meet individual needs and career goals.

In contrast to the performance-related master of music (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, teach music in private or public school (if you have teacher certification), perform with or conduct ensembles, compose or arrange music, pursue doctoral studies in music, 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, and performance. The MM in performance is available in three emphasis areas: orchestral instruments; piano, organ, or guitar; voice.


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119 

Additional Requirements

Requirements for admission to the MA in music program include:

  • 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 specific program director (voice, piano, jazz, instrumental studies, and so forth). Additional information on audition procedures and requirements may be found at the Department of Music website.
  • 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.

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 at the Department of Music website, 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. MA students studying jazz studies may fulfill this requirement through the various jazz ensembles. Graduate students studying 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, or substituted for one semester of major ensemble with the approval of the Department. Specific ensemble requirements are listed with each degree and area of emphasis or study.

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 or study. 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. The committee will include a majority of full-time faculty members. The oral examination is usually taken during the last semester of study toward the degree.

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 four areas: (1) core courses in music theory and history; (2) performance courses; (3) supportive courses in music (area of study); and (4) additional coursework in music or a related field.

Suggested Areas of Study

  • Piano Pedagogy/Performance
  • Vocal Pedagogy/Performance
  • Music Education
  • Jazz Studies
  • Conducting
  • Composition/Arranging
  • Music History/Theory
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Chamber Music
  • Other areas as approved by the Chair of the Department of Music

Required Courses

Core Music Courses

  • MUSC 5100, MUSC 5110 Analytical Techniques I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 5120 Seminar in Music Literature (3 hours)

Performance Courses

Applied Lessons
Two semesters (4 hours) to be selected from:

  • MUSC 5001 Applied Piano (2 hours per semester)
  • MUSC 5002 Applied Voice (2 hours per semester)
  • MUSC 5003 Applied Jazz (2 hours per semester)
  • MUSC 5004 Applied Instrument (2 hours per semester)
  • MUSC 5005 Applied Organ (2 hours per semester)

Major Ensemble
Two semesters (2 hours) to be selected from:

  • MUSC 4900 Webster University Concert Choir (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4910 Webster University Chamber Singers (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4920 Webster University Aurelia (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4940 Webster University Orchestra (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4960 Webster University Jazz Ensembles (Jazz Studies only) (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4980 Webster University Wind Ensemble (1 hour per semester)

Supportive Courses

  • Additional Music Literature course selected from the following (2-3 hours):
    • MUSC 4080 Secondary Choral Methods and Literature (3 hours)
    • MUSC 4150 The Art Song (3 hours)
    • MUSC 4160 Operatic Literature (3 hours)
    • MUSC 4170, MUSC 4175, MUSC 4180 Piano Literature I, II, III (6 hours)
    • MUSC 4185 Piano in Chamber Music Literature (3 hours)
    • MUSC 4190 Orchestral Literature (3 hours)
    • MUSC 5800 Advanced Studies in Music: Jazz History (2 hours)
  • Music electives (9 hours)
    • Courses in music at the 4000-5000 levels to be chosen in consultation with the Director of Area of Study (at least 6 credit hours of these courses must be academic electives).
  • Additional coursework (5-6 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 the Area of Study in consultation with the Chair of the Department of Music.

Oral examination (0 hours)

Total: 32 credit hours

Suggested Electives

  • MUSC 4040 Music of the Twentieth Century (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4070 Choral Arranging (2 hours)
  • MUSC 4080 Secondary Choral Methods and Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4150 The Art Song (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4160 Operatic Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4170, MUSC 4175, MUSC 4180 Piano Literature I, II, III (6 hours)
  • MUSC 4185 Piano in Chamber Music Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4190 Orchestral Literature (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4250, MUSC 4255 Voice Pedagogy I, II (4 hours)
  • MUSC 4260, MUSC 4270 Piano Pedagogy I, II (4 hours)
  • MUSC 4320 Jazz Education Methods (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4340, MUSC 4350 Jazz Scoring and Arranging I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 4370 Advanced Topics in Music Entrepreneurship (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4990 Webster University Opera Studio (1 hour)
  • MUSC 4995 Opera Workshop and Acting for Singers (1 hour)
  • MUSC 5200 Independent Study (1-3 hours)
  • MUSC 5320 Advanced Instrumental Conducting (1-4 hours)
  • MUSC 5330 Advanced Choral Conducting (1-4 hours)

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.

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 Oxford Music Online, RILM, Music Online, Opera in Video, and Naxos Music Library.

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 Chair of the Department of Music. Assistantship stipends do not include tuition remissions. Applications for assistantships must be received by April 1.

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. These scholarships are available to graduate students only after the first year of study. 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 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.