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, courses that fulfill the requirements of one of the seven concentrations, and some work that is designed to serve the individual student’s particular needs and interests. Each student elects one of seven options for concentration study:

Applied Concentrations:

  • Choral Conducting
  • Composition and Arranging
  • Keyboards
  • Organ

Admission to these concentrations requires that the applicant demonstrate performance capabilities by a personal audition (for organists for and keyboards), by an online web-link (for choral conductors), or by a portfolio (for composition and arranging). Download Audition Requirements.

Academic Concentrations

  • Music Education
  • Worship Arts
  • Liturgical Musicology 

All applicants must take Graduate Placement Examinations administered by the Division of Music in order to complete their application. These examinations, administered online by the Division of Music, aid in determining the student’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of music history, literature, theory, and aural perception. While not a factor in admission, an applicant’s application cannot be considered for admission and financial aid until the exams are taken. The Graduate Placement Exams aid the student’s advisor in planning their course of study, and also provide the student with a better understanding of the expectations for graduate-level study. Those who do not successfully complete the exams during the application process may take them again at the beginning of their first semester. Remedial instruction is offered online to assist the student to complete this aspect of their requirements.

For all concentrations except organ and keyboards, materials for the keyboard proficiency exam will be sent to successful applicants after they have been admitted. The sacred music faculty will administer an exam during the first weeks of the fall semester. The results are used by the student and his or her adviser in planning a proposed course of study for the degree.

Course Requirements

The requirements for the M.S.M. total 48 term hours, and they 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 required supervised practicum includes musical/liturgical leadership in a local congregation and work with a church music mentor.

The 48 credit hours for the M.S.M. are distributed as follows:

Theological Studies (12 Credit Hours)

NT XXXX - Interpreting the New Testament I
OT XXXX- Interpretation of the Old Testament I
WO 6313 - Introduction to Christian Worship

One of the following:

HX XXXX - The Christian Heritage
ST XXXX - Interpretation of the Christian Message

Church Music (13 Credit Hours)

CM XXXX - Supervised Practicum
CM 8330 - Congregational Song History and Theology (Hymnology)
CM 8331 - Introduction to Church Music: Graduate Studies
CM 8331 - Music Genres of Western Christianity

Professional Skills and Methods (4 Credit Hours)

MUAS 6010 - Music Engagement (four terms)
PERE5113 - Meadows Chorale
Participation for two consecutive terms within the same academic year in Meadows Choral Ensemble, as determined by placement audition (two one-credit hour terms)

One of the following:

MUTH6300 - Analysis of Contemporary Music
MUTH 6326 - Seminar in Music Analysis
MUTH 6330 - Analytical Techniques

Perkins or Meadows Electives (6 Credit Hours)
Elective hours will be determined in consultation with the student's advisor on the basis of the outcome objectives of the M.S.M. program and the student's competency to meet these objectives. 

Applied Concentrations (12 Credit Hours)

Choral Concentration Requirements

Elective course in choral conducting (2 credit hours)
MUCO 6211 - Instrumental Techniques for Choral Conductors
MUCO 6252 - Vocal and Choral Techniques
MUCO 6307 - Choral Conducting I (by placement evaluation)
MUHI 6384 - Survey of Choral Literature

Composition and Arranging Concentration Requirements

CM 8201 - Instruction in Conducting (audition required)
MUTH 5325 - Class Composition
MUTH 5330 - Instrumentation and Arranging or MUTH 5360 - Advanced Orchestration
MUTH 6190 - Directed Studies in Composition (2 hours over two semesters)
MUTH 6281 - Thesis in Composition

Keyboard Concentration Requirements

CM 8140 - Practicum in Keyboards
CM 8201 - Instruction in Conducting (audition required)
CM 8240 - Keyboards in Ensembles
Private Instruction in Keyboard (7 hours)

Organ Concentration Requirements

PERB 6212 - Organ Improvisation and Service Playing
Private Organ study (four 2-hour terms)

Academic Concentrations (12 Credit Hours)

Worship Arts Concentration Requirements

CM 8121 - Practicum in Worship Arts
CM 8201 - Instruction in Conducting (audition required)
CM 8321 - Seminar in Worship Arts I (focus on Ritual Studies and Arts)
CM 8322 - Seminar in Worship Arts II (focus on Liturgical Theology and Arts)
CM 8323 - Seminar in Worship Arts III (focus on Aesthetics and Arts)

Music Education Concentration Requirements

CM 8107 - Youth Choir and the Church
CM 8124 - Music Ministry with Children
CM 8201 - Instruction in Conducting (audition required)
MUED 5250 - Workshop in Music Education

6 credit hours from the following:

MUED 6361 - Orff Schulwerk Level I
MUED 6362 -Orff Schulwerk Level II
MUED 6363 -Orff Schulwerk Level III
MUED 6364 - Kodaly Level I
MUED 6365 - Kodaly Level II
MUED 6366 - Kodaly Level III

Liturgical Musicology

CM 8300 - Thesis in Sacred Music
Nine hours in Meadows School of the Arts or Perkins School of Theology in an appropriate field of study to be determined by the student's goals in consultation with the student's advisor.


  • Elective courses for all concentrations 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.