Graduate Programs

Graduate Studies in Music

The Graduate Program of the School of Music seeks to develop professional competence and productive scholarship in its students. The program of study is designed to lead to a broad acquaintances with historical and contemporary states of learning and prepare students to make contributions to the advancement of their respective fields. The spectrum of course work in each degree helps to ensure that there is a fusion of musical and intellectual skills in students who understand the cultural and academic background of music.

Each 30-hour program follows the traditional semester format with classes scheduled to meet the needs of both full-time and part-time students. Summer courses are also available.

Each degree requires a culminating project: a portfolio (MM Music Education), a thesis or a recital.

The Master of Music in Music Education degree leads to Rank II certification for those in possession of a valid Kentucky teaching license.

Campbellsville University is the only private Kentucky college to offer a Master of Music in Church Music.

Options to Suit Your Needs

The School of Music offers six Masters programs to suit your needs:

Graduate Admission Criteria

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Possession of a bachelor’s degree in music, or permission from the Graduate Music Admissions Committee. A valid teacher's certificate or passing PRAXIS scores is required if entering the music education program.
  3. Two letters of recommendation including one from an individual who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities or potential.
  4. Official transcripts of all college work from accredited institutions (both undergraduate and graduate) confirming a minimum GPA 2.75 on a 4.0 scale overall, including professional education courses, if applicable, and in the applicant's undergraduate major or academic emphasis.
  5. An essay which discusses the applicant’s interest in and commitment to graduate study.
  6. A live audition demonstrating performance skill is preferred. A recent recital tape or an audition tape demonstrating performance skill may be accepted.  For MM Performance applicants, a live audition is required. Apply to audition.
  7. Applicants must pass an entrance examination in music theory, music history and literature.  The exam is given during the first week of classes each semester. Less than passing scores require enrollment in remedial classes. An exam study guide is located at the bottom of this page.

International Graduate Admissions

International Students: In addition to the above admissions criteria, international students must also:

  1. Submit transcripts to World Education Services for evaluation and translation.
  2. Take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum score of 550.

All application forms required for international students are available here.


All students desiring admission to a music graduate program must audition for the music faculty. Audition performances should show evidence of competence and will be rated by the faculty as to the ability and potential of the individual.  Apply to audition online.

MM Performance Auditions: Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Music in Performance will submit a list of performed repertoire and present a live audition before a panel of music faculty.  Recordings of a live performance will be accepted for conditional admission pending presentation of a live audition before the completion of the first semester of study.

  • Keyboard & Instrumental: Minimum of 20 minutes of music and a minimum of two works in contrasting style. Percussionists should follow these recommendations.
  • Vocal: By memory, a minimum of 20 minutes of upper-level repertoire representing each of the following areas: Baroque literature, German lieder, French melodie, opera aria, and American or British art song.
Conducting: Applicants will come to campus the semester prior to enrollment and conduct an ensemble rehearsal as their live audition.  If an applicant cannot come to campus, he or she may submit a recorded audition for admission into the MAM program until such time as they can give a live audition on campus.

Composition: Students who wish to pursue composition as their primary applied area at the master’s level will submit two recent compositions that represent different performance media and different post-1900 musical styles. Students will submit an essay with each composition providing specific details about the composers and works that have provided inspiration or models. The essay will also include specific details about the techniques and procedures that went into the composition of the piece, using terms and concepts learned in the student’s undergraduate theory coursework such as Theory I through IV, Form and Analysis, Orchestration, Counterpoint, and Choral Arranging.

Each composition and essay will be submitted in a three-ring binder, and will include a printed copy of the score along with a sound recording. Recordings of live performances will be preferable, but recordings from the computer will be acceptable. The materials will be evaluated by a panel of three or more members of the music faculty.

Financial Assistance

All of our full-time graduate students are considered for music scholarships of varying amounts based on their application and their ability to contribute to the School of Music in ensembles or as accompanists. We do not offer music scholarships to students in ESL, but we do encourage ESL students to participate in ensembles as they are able.

We also offer several Graduate Assistantships each year.  To be considered, please submit the application by May 1.

General Degree Requirements

  1. Successful completion of 30 semester hours of graduate studies in the degree plan.
  2. No D grades and no more than three hours of C grades will count toward degree completion; no grade below B- will be allowed for applied study; the candidate must also have an overall 3.0 grade point average for graduation.
  3. A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit (excluding applied and ensemble credit) may be transferred from other accredited graduate institutions if those credits match the course requirements of the graduate program. Approval of transfer credits will result from an examination of the transcript (accompanied by appropriate documentation) by the Graduate Music Admissions Committee.
  4. A maximum of six hours may be taken by appointment.
  5. This program has no residence requirements.

Admission to Degree Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the Masters degrees requires the student to complete the following:

  1. Fifteen semester hours of graduate-level course work.
  2. Achievement of a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate-level courses taken at the University and those approved for transfer to be applied to fulfillment of degree requirements.
  3. Successful completion of all applicable entrance examinations.

Entrance Examinations

All entering graduate students are required to pass an entrance examination.  The examination covers written music theory, music literature, and music history.  The exam is designed to determine a student's current knowledge.  The exam is not intentionally difficult or tricky.  Students with low scores on either section are required to complete remedial coursework.

Exam Dates

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 4:00 pm EST
Gosser Fine Arts Center Room 202

Written Theory

  • Tonalities and keys
  • Harmonization
  • Realizing figured bass
  • Twelve-tone techniques
  • Overtone series
  • Transposition
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Chord construction in various settings
  • Form identification

Music History and Literature

  • Identification of historical periods
  • Listening examples - labeling period, performance medium & composer
  • General multiple-choice questions spanning all historical periods
  • Matching composer with compositions & styles

Culminating Projects

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Music and the Master of Music in Church Music must present a graduate recital of 40 minutes in length or a thesis of a minimum 35 pages as the culminating project.

Candidates for the Master of Music in Conducting or Piano Pedagogy must present a graduate recital of 40 minutes as the culminating project.

Candidates for the Master of Music in Performance must present a graduate recital of 60 minutes as the culminating project.

Candidates for the Master of Music in Music Education must compile a portfolio of work related to the student's curriculum. It may include research projects, writing projects, videotapes of classes taught related to graduate studies, rehearsals conducted, and/or a lecture/recital presented as a culminating project. The student's major advisor will evaluate the portfolio for thoroughness and quality of the material presented and, if necessary, make recommendations for additions or changes in the portfolio. The portfolio relates to the objectives of the degree program by providing evidence of the music education.

Comprehensive Examinations

During their final semester, all graduate students must complete the Comprehensive Examination, which consists of Part I, a written General Knowledge Exam, and Part II, an oral Recital/Thesis Exam.

Part I: General Knowledge Exam Students are tested in Music Theory and Music History/Literature, with additional questions from their individual areas of specialty. Each of the three segments (theory, history, and specialty) is graded on a pass/fail basis, and students must pass all three. If a student fails any of the segments, he or she is given the opportunity to retake those segments in an equivalent exam with different questions. In case of a second failure, the student must wait until the next semester to re-take failed portions.

Part II: Recital or Thesis Exam  MAM and MM Church Music students choose either the Recital Track or the Thesis Track.  MM Conducting, MM Piano Pedagogy, and MM Performance students choose the Recital Track.  MM Music Education students submit a portfolio.

Recital Track The student’s applied professor appoints a committee of three faculty members: the applied professor (who serves as chair), the student’s academic advisor, and a third faculty member familiar with the student’s work. Should the applied professor also be the student’s academic advisor, another faculty member familiar with the student’s work is added.

  • The student and applied professor select the graduate recital program.
  • The student writes a program-note analysis of the graduate recital, including footnotes and bibliography. Scope and length are determined by the applied professor.
  • A copy of the program-note analysis is distributed to the committee two weeks prior to the recital hearing.
  • The recital hearing takes place four weeks prior to the recital, with the committee members in attendance. Additional faculty may be requested for the hearing if deemed appropriate. The student makes a brief oral presentation based on the program notes prior to each selection. The committee may ask questions. Committee members each grade the recital hearing on a pass/fail basis.

Thesis Track Full details are provided in Guidelines for Writing Master’s Theses, which can be found at the School of Music website under “Current Students.”

Evaluation The chairman determines an overall letter grade for the recital or thesis experience.

Exam Dates
For Fall 2013 graduates:

  • Saturday, Oct. 12 - 1-4 p.m.
  • Retake: Monday, Dec. 9 - 6-9 p.m.

For Spring 2014 graduates:

  • Saturday, Feb. 22 - 1-4 p.m.
  • Retake: Monday, April 28 - 6-9 p.m.