Acceptance into the master's degree programs of the School of Music requires expectations beyond those in the Graduate Bulletin. Admission to graduate study does not imply admission to candidacy for a master's degree. A maximum of nine (9) hours of graduate work earned before one has gained admission to the School of Music can be applied toward a master's degree. Members of all under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Students seeking regular admission to master's level programs at The University of Southern Mississippi must:
- Have a "B" average or better on music courses in the undergraduate degree
- Have a grade point average of at least 2.75 (A = 4.0) on the last two years of undergraduate study
- Pass a candidacy audition.
- Official GRE Test Scores
- Statement of Purpose to include your area of specialization and your reasons for seeking an advanced degree.
- Submit at least three strong letters of recommendation and/or undergo a successful personal interview.
Audition for the appropriate jury (recordings are acceptable), demonstrating performance ability on at least two woodwind instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon.
Program Requirements and Academic Policies
All entering master's students are required to take a Diagnostic Entrance Examination in music theory and in music history & literature. The purposes of this examination are 1) to determine whether the student has foundation-level deficiencies that need to be addressed in order for her/him to be successful in graduate courses and on the comprehensive examination; and 2) to provide information that will guide the student and his/her advisor in selecting useful and appropriate academic courses.
Diagnostic Examinations are administered on campus in fall, spring, and summer each Thursday and/or Friday preceding the first day of classes or as announced by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Newly admitted students should always see the Coordinator for the most up-to-date information.
Students who do not pass the history diagnostic exam must enroll in MUS 630. Students who do not pass the theory diagnostic exam must enroll in MUS 620. These courses must be included within the first two semesters of graduate work. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted for the summer semester only and will be considered on an individual basis.
Undergraduate music theory and/or history courses may be required as prerequisites to further study in graduate music theory or history. Students who do not pass the music theory review, or the history review (or required undergraduate courses) will not be allowed to enroll in further study in music history or music theory until the grade of "B-" or better is earned in the required course(s).
The Advisory Committee for the M.M. in Woodwind Performance and Pedagogy normally consists of all five professors from the woodwind division of the School of Music.
Special Problems Courses (MUS 692, 792, MED 692, 792)
Students cannot enroll in special problems courses without appropriate approval. Petitions requesting permission to enroll are available on the School of Music website at https://www.usm.edu/music/forms-0
Petitions must be submitted to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies by the end of SOAR open registration. Special Problems courses demand a minimum of 45 hours work for each hour of credit earned. It is expected that the result of any problem undertaken be available for faculty examination; copies of term papers, examinations, or compositions must be turned in to the Coordinator for this purpose.
A written comprehensive exam is required. The test will be prepared and graded by the student's Graduate Advisory Committee; it will cover the area of the major field. Master's comprehensive exams dates will be posted by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in the summer of the ensuing Academic Year. Announcements are made approximately two (2) months prior to the exams. The dates will be in October (fall dates may vary), April, and July. The exact dates of the examinations are determined by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies and are publicized as soon as the University's Academic Calendar is available.
Students must register for the exam two months in advance with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies must receive the results of the comprehensive examination in time to notify the University Registrar and the Graduate Office (i.e., no later than the last day of general exams for presenting signed theses to the Graduate Office).
A student who fails the Comprehensive Examination may repeat the exam once; the test must be repeated within one year of the first comprehensive examination.
See the Graduate Bulletin for a more detailed definition of plagiarism or contact your major professor, Coordinator of Graduate Studies, School of Music Director or Graduate School Dean if you have any questions.
Jury Requirements/Final Examinations
Students who are enrolled in MUP (Music Performance) Private Lessons in their principal applied area and who are seeking the Master of Music degree with emphasis in performance must perform a jury for the appropriate applied faculty. At the finish of each semester and summer term, the applied teacher must complete a "Final Jury/Examination Form" for each student and file it with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Students enrolled in applied music who do not take a final examination or a jury will receive the grade "I" or "F." All grades of "I" must be completed by the end of the next semester (excluding summer term) or they will automatically be changed to an "F." The applied teacher must record and submit any exception to this policy to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies; signatures of all appropriate area faculty must be included on this form.
All full-time master's-level students majoring in music are required to participate in a major ensemble during each term of residence. A maximum of two (2) hours of graduate credit earned from ensemble work may be counted toward a degree. The ensemble in which one participates will be determined by the student's major applied area and area of interest. The following are considered to be appropriate major ensembles to fulfill this requirement: Orchestra, Band, Southern Chorale, Jazz Lab Band, Concert Choir, Symphonic Winds, and Opera/Music Theatre. Exceptions may be granted to master's students in residence during summer semesters.
Selection of Primary, Secondary, and Minor Instruments
- Selection of specific primary, secondary, and minor instruments is at the option of the student in consultation with his or her Graduate Advisory Committee and with approval of the auditioning committee.
- Normally, the student will be expected to select a primary/secondary combination from one of the following: single reed/double reed, single reed/flute, double reed/flute.
- Study of the primary and secondary instruments must embrace at least two semesters.
- Requirements for MUS 715 under this degree program will include two recitals, each receiving one semester hour credit. These recitals may consist of one chamber music program and one solo program, or a combination of chamber and solo music within both recitals.
- The primary and secondary instruments must be performed in each recital; the remaining instruments must be performed at least once, with a minimum of one minor instrument represented in each program.