Skip To Main Content
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:


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

Alex Meixner playing an accordion, posing against a blue sky background

Alumni Spotlight

Alex Meixner

M.Mus. in Music 2001

Meixner is a nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator, and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz, and ethnic music, he has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz, and polka. Photos: Chris Spiegel and Michael G. Stewart.

Alex Meixner playing an accordion
Alex Meixner enthusiastically playing an accordion over his head

Faculty Spotlight

Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.
Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.

Curtis Craig

Head, Sound Design

Curtis Craig (Sound Designer, Composer, Projection Designer) Recent work: Pipeline (Cleveland Playhouse, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Detroit Public Theatre), Indecent (Denver Center Theatre Company), world premier – Dominique Morriseau’s Mud Row (People’s Light & Theatre Company), world premier – The Great Leap (Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Rep), The Bacchae (Classical Theatre of Harlem), How to Catch Creation (Baltimore Center Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company). In 2017, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design exposition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. His work can be heard at www.curtiscraig.com.

Curtis Craig working at sound board.
Blue background with white text reading School of Music Student Recital
Feb 27

BM Senior Degree Recital: Henry Rublein, violin

Youtube Live
Available Online: School of Music Media

Events

Go. Explore.

Sphinx Virtuosi

Virtual event
A diverse group of musicians stand on a stage and perform.
Mar 3 - 10

Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. It will be available for streaming until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. Drawing inspiration from


Stuckeman School Career Day

Brazen
A student interacting with a firm representative at a past Stuckeman School Career Day.
Mar 3

The Stuckeman School Career Day is a vibrant event that enables professional firms to interact directly with the School’s award-winning students. The event presents a


Bach's Lunch: Spivey Studio

Zoom
Mar 4

Available Online


See All Events

News from A&A

School of Music graduate student wins national honor

Penn State graduate student Meredith Fuller was selected as the Eastern Division’s Young Artist Performance Winner 

Penn State graduate student Meredith Fuller was selected as the Eastern Division’s Young Artist Performance Winner for brass (tuba) in the 2020-2021 Music Teachers National Association performance competition. The Music Teachers National Association holds one of the country’s most prestigious student competitions each year


Read More

2021 Art Business Ideas Competition now accepting entries

Jonathan Gangi, assistant professor of music and arts entrepreneurship is now accepting entries for the 2021 Arts Business Ideas Competition.
Read More

Music alum marches into new role with Navy School of Music

Patrick Cotter, Musician 1st Class, was assigned to the Navy SOM, located in Little Creek, Virginia, where he will will conduct the Ceremonial Band and educate Navy musicians.
Read More