Higher Learning. Real Experience. Vital Ministry.

M.S.M. Course of Study

Planning a Program of Study

The course of study includes some work taken in common by all M.S.M. students and some work that is designed to serve the individual student’s particular needs and interests. Each student elects one of two options for concentration in performance study: organ or vocal/choral studies. 

All entering students must take Graduate Placement Examinations administered by the Division of Music during the week of registration. These examinations aid in determining the student’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of music history, literature, theory, aural perception and, for choral conductors, a keyboard proficiency exam. The results are used by the student and his or her adviser in planning a proposed course of study for the degree.

After successfully completing 12 term hours of approved coursework, each student, in consultation with his or her adviser, will prepare and submit a Proposed Course of Study to the director of the M.S.M. Program. Any subsequent alterations to this proposal must be submitted in writing for approval. 

Course of Study

The requirements for the M.S.M. total 48 term hours and may be completed in two years (usually including summers) depending on the results of the Graduate Placement Examinations. Those pursuing an additional graduate music degree in Meadows School of the Arts or fulfilling the requirements for deacon’s ordination in the United Methodist Church will require up to an extra year of study. The 48 hours for the M.S.M. are distributed as follows: 

Requirements for the M.S.M. Degree

1. Twelve term hours in Theological Studies1

    a.  Six term hours of Bible :
         OT-6301 Interpretation of the Old Testament I
         NT-6301 Interpretation of the New Testament I

    b.  Three term hours of WO-6313 Word & Worship2

    c.  Three term hours of ST-6300 Introduction to Theology,
         or three term hours of HX-6305 The Christian Heritage I

    d.  Participation in a Spiritual Formation Group for two terms during the first year

2. Ten term hours of Church Music Study

    a.  Three term hours of CM-8330 Church Music Colloquium I:
A survey of the history, theology, and practice of congregational song Congregational song includes hymns of the classical Western tradition, recent developments in Western congregational practice, and songs of the world church. Special attention is given to analyzing current hymnals, understanding the theology of song texts, performing the various styles of music employed in Christian hymnody, and selecting congregational songs for worship and the seasons of the Christian year.

    b.  Three term hours of CM-8331 Church Music Colloquium II:
A survey of theological and philosophical assumptions undergirding church music. This course examines primary historical hymnal writings, philosophical and theological writings, and theoretical treatises on the theology and practice of church music. Selected congregational songs and choral works are analyzed in light of their theological and musical assumptions.

    c.  Three term hours of CM-8332 Church Music Colloquium III
A study of the history and development of musical genres used throughout church music history. Genres include Western chant, early polyphony, mass, Requiem mass, Lutheran church cantata, passion, oratorio, Anglican anthem and service, and motet. The course connects the historical narrative if the church—from its early days to the present—with the major genres of church music.

    d.  One term hour of CM-8120 Supervised Practicum3

3. Six term hours of study in professional skills and methods4

    a.  Three term hours of MUTH-6330 Analytical Techniques, MUTH-6300 Music of the 20th Century, MUTH-6360 Analysis of Tonal Music or MUTH-6326 Seminar in Music Theory

    b.  Three term hours of MUHI-6335 Introduction to Graduate Studies

    c.  Participation for two consecutive terms within the same academic year in a Meadows Choral Ensemble, as determined by placement audition

    d.  Four terms of enrollment in MUAS-6010 Recital Attendance

4. Elective Hours in Meadows or Perkins:

Six  term hours. These hours will be determined in consultation with the student’s adviser on the basis of the outcome objectives of the M.S.M. program and the student’s competency to meet these objectives.5

5. Hours in Performance Concentration and Proficiency:

Organ Concentration  (14 hours)
Course Sequence - Organ Concentration

Choral Concentration (14 hours)6
Course Sequence - Choral Conducting

a.  Eight term hours of private organ study (four two-hour terms)

b.  Two term hours of PERB-6210
Improvisation and Service Playing

c.  Three term hours of MUHI-6320
Organ History and Literature

d.  One term hour of CM-8108
Cantoring in Worship

a.  Three term hours of MUCO-6307
Conducting I7

b.  Two term hours of MUCO-6211
Instrumental Techniques for Choral Conductors

c.  Two term hours of an elective course in choral conducting

d.  Two term hours of MUCO-6252
Vocal/Choral Techniques

e. Three term hours of MUHI-6384
Survey of Choral Literature or an appropriate music history course as determined in consultation with the student’s advisor

f.  One term hour of CM-8108
Cantoring in Worship8

g.  One term hour of PERB-6111
Introduction to the Organ



1 For United Methodist students pursuing Deacon’s Orders, these 12 hours may count toward the 24-hour requirement. It may be possible to use elective hours (see no. 4 below) to satisfy more of the 24-hour requirement.

2 The prerequisite course, XS-6310, The Church in Its Social Context, is not required for the M.S.M. degree.

3 The Supervised Practicum includes musical/liturgical leadership in a local congregation and work with a church music mentor.

4 Placement exams in music history and theory will be administered during the week before classes begin in Meadows School of the Arts.

5 For the organ concentration, a portion of these hours may be used for choral conducting depending on the placement evaluation. Not more than three elective hours of applied study in Meadows may be counted toward the degree requirements.

6 Candidates in the M.S.M. Choral/Vocal Concentration must take a keyboard proficiency exam before classes begin during their first year. Those who are unable to pass the proficiency exam must take PERB 5107/5108: Keyboard Skills for Choral Conductors. Information on the exam will be sent to all incoming students in this concentration.

7 As determined by placement evaluation with the director of Choral Activities.

8 Private vocal instruction for M.S.M. students will be offered only for those who have also been accepted into the M.M. in Voice major as a concurrent degree program or by audition with the voice faculty. Private vocal instruction for M.S.M. students is subject to the availability of voice faculty.