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Music Graduate Study

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree in music from an accredited institution or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate music courses above the freshman level.
  2. General admission to graduate study.
  3. Completion of the Graduate Music Entrance Examination in music history/literature and music theory (analysis). The music entrance examination must be completed prior to the first semester of enrollment and is administered at the start of the fall, spring and summer I semesters by the coordinator of graduate studies in music.
  4. Successful completion of an audition for the appropriate music faculty is required for admission to the performance concentration. When a live audition is not possible, an audition via Skype or another live video conferencing medium will be arranged.
  5. Prior to enrollment in graduate-level music education courses, graduate students pursuing the Master of Music with an emphasis in music education must hold an earned bachelor's degree in music education from an accredited institution or enroll in the Post-Baccalaureate Integrated Music P-12 Initial Certification Program and complete the education and music education course requirements.REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
  1. Unconditional admission to the Master of Music program before completing 12 hours of coursework.
  2. Unconditional admission to the Master of Music degree in Voice program requires satisfactory completion of an entrance examination in foreign languages and foreign language diction. Applicants are expected to be proficient in French, German, and Italian diction and competent in translating two of these three foreign languages to English. Deficiencies are met by attaining a grade of “C” or higher in prescribed college readiness courses.
  3. Satisfy University degree completion requirements.
  4. Complete the Master of Music core requirements and the requirements for a concentration in performance or music education.
  5. Pass the Comprehensive Capstone Examination appropriate to the program emphasis.

Electives may be chosen from studies in music history and literature, music theory, analysis, composition, arranging, music education, pedagogy, conducting, applied music, ensembles related to performance area (three-credit hours maximum) and music business. If the diagnostic scores are high in the areas of music history and form and analysis, the hours for MUSH 600 - Graduate Music History Survey and/or MUST 665 - Form and Analysis can be added as elective hours. The coordinator of graduate studies in music must approve electives.


Entrance, Final and Exit Exams

All graduate music students are required to take entrance examinations in music theory, music history, and music literature. The results of these exams help to determine which graduate music courses are needed for the degree. These exams are administered by the graduate music advisor/coordinator.

The final exam contains written and oral presentations and is supervised by the student's graduate committee. The student must successfully complete the final exam in order to complete the master's degree in music.

All music graduate students must complete the music exit exams prior to graduation. These exams serve as part of the assessment of the quality of the School of Music graduate programs. These exams are administered by the graduate music advisor/coordinator.


Graduate Assistantships are available in the following areas: Woodwinds, Brasswinds, Percussion, Keyboards, Voice, Strings, Bands, Choirs, Instrumental Conducting, Choral Conducting, Jazz Ensembles, and Traditional Music.

  • Stipends: Full Graduate Assistantship Stipend: $10,000 per academic year (20 hours per week); Half Graduate Assistantship Stipend: $5,000 per academic year (10 hours per week). Additional music scholarship assistance is available to qualified candidates. Graduate Assistantships are offered for one academic year (excluding summer) with the option for renewal for a second academic year.
  • Tuition Waiver: In addition to a stipend, Full and Half Graduate Assistantship recipients receive out-of-state tuition waivers. All recipients must pay the regular Kentucky resident tuition and incidental fees.
  • Enrollment: Graduate Assistant candidates must be admitted unconditionally to a Master of Music degree program at Morehead State University and be continuously enrolled as a full-time student (enrolled in at least 9 graduate credit hours but no more than 12) in courses at the 600 level and maintain a 3.0-grade point average (GPA).


1. Complete MSU's application for employment. Indicate "Graduate Assistantship" as the position applied for.

2. Once completed, print and fax or scan then email to:

Ollie Floyd
MSU Graduate Programs
701 Ginger Hall
Morehead, KY 40351

Phone: 606-783-2215
Fax: 606-783-5061 

3. In addition to the materials required by the MSU Employment Application, submit the following items to the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance (attn: Dr. Michele Paynter Paise -

  1. Letter of application describing GA's area of interest, qualifications, and experience.
  2. Current curriculum vita or résumé.
  3. Reference list including telephone numbers and email addresses.
  4. Link to recording of the performance and/or conducting/teaching (for students pursuing the concentration in performance).

Contact Information

Music, Theatre and Dance

106 Baird Music Hall
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 606-783-2473
FAX: 606-783-5447