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Master of Music

If you are dreaming of a career as a professional musician or composer, this graduate degree is for you.

When you pursue a Master of Music degree at Penn State, you choose from among four options: Composition/Theory, Conducting, Performance, or Pedagogy and Performance. All prepare you for professional careers as performers/composers or teachers or for doctoral study. Penn State Music students benefit from small class sizes with all the resources of a major research university, including numerous concerts by an international roster of performers.


Program Application Deadline
The deadline for applications for AY 2022–23 is January 15, 2022.

To be assured full consideration, please apply by this deadline. Review individual program descriptions for details on program and admission requirements.


Penn State will help you take your musical talent and drive to the next level—the professional stage, a top-ranked doctoral program, and beyond.

The Master of Music options at Penn State allow you to specialize based on instrument, voice, or ensemble. All require 36 credits. In the Conducting option, you may specialize in band/wind ensemble, choral, or orchestral. In the Performance option, you may specialize in voice, piano, or orchestral instruments. The Pedagogy and Performance option offers specializations in voice and piano. The Composition/Theory option is a stand-alone program.

Is the Master of Music right for you?

The Master of Music program prepares students for professional careers as performers or composers, or for doctoral study. The program is both rewarding and rigorous, with internationally known faculty providing individualized attention and mentoring, thus preparing students to enter a competitive field. Candidates need a bachelor’s degree in music with at least a 2.8 junior-senior GPA.

orchestra performance

Considering the Master of Music? Consider this.

This degree prepares students for professional music careers as performers or composers, or for doctoral study.

  • Perform in the new recital hall, with other performances across campus and the world.

  • Small classes with nationally known faculty committed to your future success.

  • Penn State hosts a diverse range of performances featuring artists from around the world.

Alumni Spotlight

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

Alumni Spotlight

Alex Meixner

Master of 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

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Faculty Recital: Andreas Oeste, oboe, and Melody Quah, piano

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Music education major named fall 2021 student marshal

Brenna Arnoldi has been named the College of Arts and Architecture student marshal for fall 2021.
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