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2016 Application Deadlines

Deadline for Assistantship Consideration*: December 1, 2016

Deadline for Admission Only (no assistantship consideration): March 27, 2017

Auditions/interviews must take place by February 15, 2017

All applicants who wish to be considered for an assistantship must have complete files by Dec. 1, which includes 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. 

*MM Summer-Only Music Education applicants please note that there is no possibility of an assistantship in the summer.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Mary Jean Speare

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

M.M. at JMU

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.
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 before applying for graduation.


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, music history, 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.

Degree Objectives

Students graduating from the M.M. program (with concentrations in Composition, Conducting, Music Education, and Performance) will be able to:

  1. formulate a personal creative style of composition.
  2. demonstrate the fundamental concepts of form, harmony, counterpoint and orchestration.
  3. differentiate and apply the techniques and aesthetics of musical creation.
  4. apply the core principles of effective research as scholars and composers.
  1. demonstrate application of physical conducting skills and rehearsal techniques through the performance of advanced repertoire in the student’s area of specialization.
  2. formulate advanced insights into the artistic and formal structure of music through score study in the student’s area of specialization.
  3. describe the musical and formal elements of the major literature in the student’s area of specialization (vocal/choral or instrumental).
  4. apply the core principles of effective research as scholars and conductors.
Music Education
  1. communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  2. articulate, critique, and synthesize the foundations and principles of music education.
  3. demonstrate advanced methodologies in the student's area of specialization.
  4. apply the core principles of effective research as scholars and practitioners.
Music Performance
  1. demonstrate application of musical and technical mastery in the student’s area of specialization (instrumental or voice).
  2. identify and describe the standard solo, chamber, and ensemble repertoire in the student’s area of specialization.
  3. apply the core principles of effective research as scholars and performers.”

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