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M.A. in Music (+IUGs)

If historical inquiry and musical analysis are your passion, this is your program.
The M.A. in Music offers three possible tracks: Musicology, Music Theory, or Music Theory and History. All tracks offer both breadth and depth in their curricula, integrating courses that allow students to hone their research, teaching, analysis, and writing skills while preparing for a range of careers or doctoral studies.

Take your passion for music study to the next level.

When you pursue an M.A. in Music at Penn State, you have the opportunity to work with leading scholars whose teaching and research are recognized across the University, the country, and beyond. The Musicology track (32 credits) emphasizes the development of a broad knowledge of music of all periods and at the same time cultivates one or more areas of specialization. The Music Theory track (32 credits) offers preparation in current modes of research and analysis from a music theoretical perspective. The Music Theory and History track (34 credits) is designed to integrate theoretical, analytical, and historical approaches to musical styles and works. All tracks include special topics courses and electives, allowing you to delve further into a particular area of interest or take classes in different subject areas that complement your primary focus. A thesis is required for graduation.

Is the M.A. in Music right for you?

The M.A. in Music allows students interested in further music study and possible careers in academia to hone in on their interests in musicology, music history, and music theory. It’s both a rewarding and rigorous degree program that introduces you to current modes of research and analysis in your field. Candidates should have completed a bachelor’s degree in music or music education with at least a 2.8 junior-senior GPA.

School of Music student performance on Timpani drums.
Studio recording of a violin performance.

Integrated degree options

The School of Music’s integrated undergraduate/graduate (IUG) degree options enable gifted music students to streamline two degree programs as well as to pursue their research interests early in the curriculum, thus allowing them to develop a research focus in the fourth and fifth years. It’s an ideal program for high-achieving students ready to delve deeper into their music-related interests and who are potentially interested in doctoral study.

To be considered, students must have successfully completed a selection of Penn State courses in music theory, musicianship, and music history with a minimum GPA of 3.5, and overall GPA of 3.0. Students admitted to the IUG program are eligible for a graduate assistantship in their fifth year.

B.A. in Music + M.A.

The IUG program enables a select number of students to further their research interests at the undergraduate and graduate levels. By the end of the five-year program students receive two degrees, a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Music.

Candidates for these Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate degrees must demonstrate a high level of aptitude and achievement in academic core courses and be highly motivated to pursue research projects with faculty.

The IUG program enables gifted music students to double count credits in two degree programs. As a result they will have developed a research focus during their fourth and fifth years, which will help them prepare for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions.

The Penn State Graduate School details IUG degree policies on its Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs webpage.

B.M. in Performance + M.A.

The IUG program enables a select number of students to further their research interests at the undergraduate and graduate levels. By the end of the five-year program students receive two degrees, a B.M. in Performance and an M.A. in Music.

Candidates for these Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate degrees must demonstrate a high level of aptitude and achievement in academic core courses and be highly motivated to pursue research projects with faculty.

The IUG program enables gifted music students to double count credits in two degree programs. As a result they will have developed a research focus during their fourth and fifth years, which will help them prepare for entry into doctoral programs at other institutions.

The Penn State Graduate School details IUG degree policies on its Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs webpage.

Considering the M.A. in Music? Consider this.

You have the opportunity to focus on Musicology, Music Theory, or Music Theory and History.

  • As a post-baccalaureate program, students are prepared to teach at the collegiate level.
  • Prepare for doctoral work with integrated seminars and many courses required by doctoral programs.
  • The M.A. provides an interdisciplinary approach to the field of music scholarship.
  • IUG options enable you to earn B.A./M.A. or B.M./M.A. degrees in five years.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State alumnus and McMaster University professor Michael Schutz.

Alumni Spotlight

Michael Schutz

B.M. in Music 2002

Michael Schutz, who combined a B.M in Music with a B.S. in Computer Science at Penn State, now is associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University, where he conducts the percussion ensemble and teaches courses on music perception and cognition. He was named a University Scholar in recognition of his innovative work bridging music performance and music perception.

Penn State alumnus Michael Schutz playing a Glockenspiel.

Faculty Spotlight

Naomi Seidman, with flute, and three members of a quintet.
Naomi Seidman, with flute, and three members of a quintet.

Naomi Seidman

Assistant Professor of Music

Assistant Professor Naomi Seidman joined the School of Music faculty in 2012. An accomplished solo performer, she has won the Mid-South Flute Competition and the Frank Bowen Young Artist Competition, and was first runner-up in the Myrna Brown Young Artist Competition. She was also a semi-finalist in the Beijing Nicolet International Flute Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Kingsville Symphony, and Ballet Austin. She has also been an invited performer, judge, and presenter at National Flute Association (NFA) conventions and is a member of the NFA Cultural Outreach Committee.

Close-up portrait of Naomi Seidman with flute against red background.
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Aug 7

Virtual Mus. Theatre Voice Ped Workshop

Music Academic Calendar
The Penn State Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy Workshop 2020 has been moved to online. It will be held August 7 & 8, 2020 and prices

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Virtual Mus. Theatre Voice Ped Work

Music Academic Calendar
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Aug 8

The Penn State Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy Workshop 2020 has been moved to online. It will be held August 7 & 8, 2020 and prices


SOM - Bach's Lunch

CSED All Faith Chapel
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Sep 3

Voice Jury Honors Voice students with superlative performances at their end-of-semester performance final sing a program of best songs and arias. "Bach's Lunch" is a


SOM - Bach's Lunch

CSED All Faith Chapel
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Sep 10

Sophomore Showcase Sophomore voice performance majors sing a showcase of songs and arias as a precursor to entrance to upper level study. "Bach's Lunch" is


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