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Master of Music Application Requirements

(Please note that this page is for information about the Masters of Music (M.M.) application process ONLY. For information about the Undergraduate and DMA programs, please visit those respective programs' application pages.)

The School of Music offers a Master of Music degree program that provides students with the necessary opportunities to achieve the highest degree of musical development and professional training. Students seeking admission to a program leading to the M.M. degree must meet JMU Graduate School requirements, general School of Music requirements for all majors and specific requirements for entrance into a specific concentration. Admissions decisions will be determined without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, handicap or national origin of individuals.

Click here to apply for the M.M. Degree in Music.

Additional Information

Graduate Program Information
Application Deadlines (2016)
Additional Information by Concentration
Entrance Examinations

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mary Jean Speare
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Music, MSC 7301
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540.568.3687

Application Deadlines (2016)

  • Deadline for Assistantship Consideration*: December 1, 2015

All applicants who wish to be considered for an assistantship must have complete files by this date, which include application to the Graduate School and submission of all materials required on including three letters of recommendation from recommenders qualified to write about the applicant. Applicants will be notified approximately by the end of the first week in January whether they have been invited to audition or interview at James Madison University. Auditions/interviews must take place by February 15, 2016. *MM Summer-Only Music Education applicants please note that there is no possibility of an assistantship in the summer.

  • Deadline for Admission Only (no assistantship consideration): March 27, 2016. 

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Additional Information by Concentration


Performance majors must pass an audition for acceptance into the concentration. The personal audition should be completed before acceptance and must be completed no later than the end of the first semester of study. A high-quality tape recording may be accepted for conditional admission. The full personal audition is, however, required by the end of the first semester. Applicants for assistantships in a performance area must complete the personal audition before an assistantship can be granted.

Performance applicants should be prepared to perform works representative of three different style periods, of a level of difficulty expected of an undergraduate full recital. In the case of voice majors, the works should also be representative of three foreign languages. Keyboard majors should be prepared to play a half-hour audition of at least three compositions from memory. Instrumental and vocal students should prepare a 20-minute audition.


Composition majors must submit acceptable scores and/or tapes of original works showing technical facility in 20th-century techniques of composition no later than the end of the first semester of study. Students displaying the potential but not the achievement expected of a senior composition major may be conditionally accepted. Students accepted conditionally must also enroll at the undergraduate level in composition until deficiencies are overcome.

For composition students, a strong emphasis is placed on hearing and performing compositions. A Contemporary Music Ensemble has recently been formed; and each year, the university hosts a Contemporary Music Festival, which brings recognized composers and performers to campus. Student compositions are performed throughout the year in recitals, and each student's most outstanding work is featured in a concert each spring.


This program offers three tracks: choral, orchestral or wind conducting. Each track contains a minimum of 32 credits with the same general outline. All have courses in common and others unique to that track. All tracks require at least six credits in music literature, a course in analysis, a course in composition, a minimum of six credits in applied conducting, also ensembles and a conducting recital. Those wishing to take courses in more than one of these tracks must take them as electives.

In addition to departmental requirements in ear training, written theory and music history, admission to the choral conducting concentration requires the successful completion of entrance examinations in conducting, keyboard skills and sightsinging, and French, Latin, German and Italian diction. Undergraduate or graduate credit in a course in vocal pedagogy must be presented for graduation.

In addition to departmental requirements in ear training, written theory and music history, admission to the instrumental concentration requires the successful completion of entrance examinations in conducting, keyboard skills and orchestration.

Music Education

Music education students majoring in music education should complete a personal interview. This concentration does not qualify the student for teacher licensing; although some of the work toward the degree may apply to Virginia licensure. Students planning to teach on the college level are not required to meet these certification requirements.

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Entrance Examinations

Prior to the first week of classes, all music applicants must take JMU School of Music diagnostic examinations in music history, written theory and ear training. The results are used for placement and advising. Deficiencies may require election of certain classes within one's graduate program. Removal of deficiencies is required for acceptance into the final stage of study - Candidacy for the Degree.

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Financial Aid is administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in Warren Hall. The chief source of aid for graduate study is through assistantships awarded by the school. Teaching and non-teaching graduate assistantships in music are awarded each year on a competitive basis. Specific assignments in administration, applied music, bands, literature, music education, orchestra and theory are based on qualifications and School of Music needs. In addition to a stipend, assistantships include a tuition award. For more information about graduate assistantships including current stipend amounts, click here. If you wish to be considered, please check 'yes' on your Graduate Application and apply for admission by the deadline given above.

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Master of Music Degree Information and Objectives

The School of Music at JMU offers a Master of Music degree with concentration options in composition, conducting, music education, and performance. The program seeks to assure an opportunity for the highest degree of musical development and professional training for each student, appropriate for careers in teaching performance and composition of music. The School of Music is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music.