Graduate Degree FAQs

What is required for admission to the graduate program in music?

Graduate students in music should have an undergraduate degree with a major in music. Students whose undergraduate degree is another field can obtain admission as a graduate student in music either through taking courses to fulfill the normal prerequisites, or by audition and a passing score on the GRE Music Exam.

How long will it take to finish my graduate program in music?

Students enrolled on a full-time basis can complete their MA in music in two years. Students enrolled on a part-time basis or who are fulfilling prerequisites will require more time to complete their studies.

What areas of concentration are available for graduate study in music?

Graduate degrees in music at Fresno State are offered in performance and music education. The performance concentration can be in vocal/choral, instrumental, or conducting. Music education concentrations focus on advanced study of concepts related to teaching and learning music in a school setting.

Graduate students typically are teachers seeking greater skills and advancement in their districts, those who wish to become professional performers, and those who are preparing for further study at the doctoral level.

Will my employment prospects be enhanced when I complete my graduate degree in music?

The skills obtained through graduate study often lead to enhanced career opportunities. For teachers, the additional education usually means a raise in pay as well as opportunities for additional recognition and responsibility with their districts. Performers often benefit from the time they devote to improving their skills. Fresno State graduates are members of major orchestras or earn their livings as studio performers and private teachers.

Will a masters degree in music from Fresno State make me an attractive candidate for further graduate study, should I decide to pursue additional education?

Graduates of Fresno State are sought after by major universities. Several have gone on to compete doctoral programs and are now faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.

What about the faculty?

The music faculty at Fresno State has a long list of accomplishments and has achieved national and international recognition for their accomplishments. The faculty is committed to the education of graduate candidates and strives to meet the individual needs of each student. Numbered among the faculty are noted performers, conductors, authors, and composers.

Are there special learning opportunities?

Graduate students are afforded unlimited performance opportunities as soloists and as members of the fine Fresno State music ensembles. The Fresno/Clovis area is known for its support of music and opportunities abound for those who wish to teach while pursuing their graduate studies.

What type of facilities are available?

The Department of Music is housed in a newly expanded and refurbished $10 million facility. This new facility boast fully-equipped recording studios, computer labs, rehearsal and performance halls, and classrooms. In addition, a new tracker organ, harpsichord, and 9-foot Stienway piano are available for music performances in the new 350-seat performance hall.

Is there financial aid for graduate students in music?

There are two graduate teaching assistantships with the marching band awarded each year. Other teaching assistantships are available according to departmental needs. A limited number of scholarships and grants are available to graduate and undergraduate students on a competitive basis.

What are educational and living expenses like in Fresno?

Tuition is relatively low. California State University, Fresno has been listed as one of the top ten education values in the western states for several years running. Apartment and house rentals in Fresno are among some of the most affordable in California. Other living expenses are quite reasonable as well.

Are there opportunities for me to find part-time work either on campus or in the community?

In addition to the part-time positions mentioned earlier, graduate students also find employment in a variety of businesses. The local Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office and other local employers have many part-time positions that students find more than adequate to meet their financial needs.

What sorts of recreational opportunities exist in Fresno?

Situated in the center of the San Joaquin valley in Central California, Fresno is within short driving distance to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks as well as ski areas, Monterey, Big Sur, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The climate in Fresno allows for year-round outdoor sports.