Music - Performance Option, M.A.
The Master of Arts degree program in music is designed to increase the candidate's professional competence, to increase the ability for continued self-directed study, and to provide opportunity for greater depth in the chosen area of concentration within the field of music.
Two options are offered within the MA. in Music program: Performance and Music Education.
Emphases within the area of Performance include: choral conducting, composition, instrumental
conducting, instrumental performance, and vocal performance.
- A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required. Applicants with a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 may be considered, however, for these applicants the GRE General Test is required.
- A bachelor's degree in music (or the equivalent) is required. Applicants must have their official transcript(s) sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Applicants in choral conducting, instrumental conducting, instrumental performance, and vocal performance must arrange an audition with the appropriate faculty member.
- Applicants in the areas of composition and music education must arrange an interview with the appropriate faculty member.
- Three current letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the Music Graduate Coordinator (pdf format preferred). At least two letters must be from former music teachers, professors, or other musicians with firsthand knowledge of the applicant's musical and academic abilities or experiences.
- Applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose that addresses the reasons(s) for pursuing graduate study at Fresno State, along with a detailed explanation of the applicant's personal and professional goals.
- A writing sample (equivalent to an undergraduate term paper) must be submitted to the Music Graduate Coordinator as part of the application.
- Music Education Option applicants must hold a valid California Credential to teach music or complete the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) and subject matter proficiency, as defined by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CSET or approved subject matter program).
Foreign students must have achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 600 to gain entrance to the program.
With permission of the studio teacher, students with TOEFL scores between 550 and 600 may be considered for admission.
Graduate Writing Skills Requirement
Before advancing to candidacy, students must pass the graduate writing requirement. The graduate writing requirement is a component of MUSIC 220. Students who pass all components of MUSIC 220 except the writing requirement will undertake a developmental writing program until the standards are met. The standards for the graduate writing requirement are included in the course materials for MUSIC 220.
Master of Arts Degree Requirements
(See also Admission to Graduate Standing, Advancement to Candidacy, Program Requirements, and Criteria for Thesis and Project.)
All entering M.A. students must take diagnostic entrance examinations in music history and music theory. Where needed, remedial work may be required prior to graduate study.
Under the direction of the graduate advisor, each student prepares and submits a coherent program designed within the following framework:
Courses in music, including at least 21 units in 200-series
Specific requirements (12 units)
MUSIC 204, MUSIC 220, one music history seminar (MUSIC 260T, MUSIC 277) and one music theory seminar (MUSIC 240T, MUSIC 267)
Option (select one) (10-11 units)
Electives (4-5 units)
Courses in music, or related fields, in a subject other than music (consult advisor)
Project or thesis (3 units)
Total (30 units)
Students in the performance option who elect emphases in vocal performance and choral conducting are required to complete MUSIC 285 Graduate Lyric Diction. The prerequisite for this course is MUSIC 185B or permission of the instructor.
Courses in addition to those in the M.A. requirements may be specified after examination of the student's record and the student's performance on the diagnostic entrance examinations. A maximum of 4 units in MUSIC 102 taken after completion of the B.A. may be applied to the M.A.
The Department of Music faculty has backgrounds in varied areas of specialization. Many members of the faculty have national and international reputations as performing artists and teachers. Others are well known for their scholarly research, articles, and books. They are all dedicated to providing students with the best music education possible both in their classes and studios.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.