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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 School of Music alumna Annie Burridge

Alumni Spotlight

Annie Burridge

B.M. in Music 2000

As general director and CEO of Austin Opera, Annie has led the development of a new strategic plan and launched an artistic initiative – Opera ATX – which brings groundbreaking artists to unexpected and unique venues throughout Austin. Before switching her focus to administration, Annie performed with numerous opera companies and orchestras, and was a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. In addition to her performance successes, Annie has received many leadership accolades.

Opera venue with grand piano on stage.
Two operatic performers dancing on a darkened, red-cast stage.

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.

News from A&A

Arts and Architecture names college, academic unit marshals

We are proud to announce our student marshals for spring 2021. Crystal Dahm, who will receive dual degrees in Theatre and French/Francophone Studies, is the college marshal.

Crystal Dahm, of Boalsburg, Pa., has been named spring 2021 student marshal for the College of Arts and Architecture. She will receive a B.F.A. in Theatre and B.S. in French


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School of Music Welcomes Opera/Coach Blair Salter

Salter joins the School of Music's Opera program as vocal coach.
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Jazz Festival kicks off the month of April

The 21st annual Penn State Jazz Festival will include workshops and masterclasses with outstanding guest artists and two concerts.
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