May 30, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Music (M.M.)

Admissions Information   

Student Learning Outcomes  

Depending on the area of specialization, students may complete Plan A or Plan B. Some areas only allow one option. See individual degree program of study for appropriate plan option. The student’s advisory committee must approve the program of study.

In addition to meeting all graduation requirements of the Graduate School, master’s candidates must satisfy all music program requirements. These requirements include completing all of the required course work and passing the final written comprehensive examinations. All graduate music students are required to take MUS 781, Introduction to Music Bibliography. Full time graduate students, who study during the regular academic year will be expected to participate in one ensemble each semester unless excused by the advisory committee.

Any information that the student may need regarding thesis requirements, final comprehensive exams, guidelines for graduate recitals, degree auditions, the music education concentrated project, etc. can be found in the Department of Music’s graduate student handbook. The handbook can be obtained directly from the Department of Music and on the department website.

All core course work for the Master of Music degree comes from three music disciplines and includes: Music Bibliography, Music Theory, and Music History. All Master of Music students, except those students in the History of Musical Instruments degree, are required to take MUS 781-Introduction to Music Bibliography and MUS 713-Forms and Analysis.

The Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance may not be completed solely during summer sessions. This degree must include some work in the regular academic year.

Program Overview

This master’s degree provides five paths of specialization allowing you to dive deep into your area of interest. Whether you choose music history, conducting, collaborative piano or performance, it offers opportunities for musical performances, concerts, marching band competitions, festivals and recitals. The online music education specialization requires one three-day summer workshop. Accredited by NASM since 1956. Learn more at

DELIVERY: On campus | Online

Music History Specialization

- Reading proficiency in one foreign language is required in Plan A and Plan B for the music history degree

Master of Music, Music History Plan A only (thesis)

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Music Performance Specialization

Programs of Study

Music Performance-Vocal
Music Performance-Instrumental: Brass, Keyboard, Woodwinds, Strings, Percussion

Master of Music, Music Performance Plan A only

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Music Education Specialization

The Master of Music degree in Music Education is a hybrid degree that offers courses online and face-to-face during the summer and academic year. The disbursement of the course materials are structured to meet the needs of the working public school teacher and the post-undergraduate looking for an advanced degree. The degree program is flexible in its offerings to allow for successful completion within a two-year period.

Programs of Study

Instrumental Music Education
Vocal/Choral Music Education

Plan A and B are available for this specialization. This is a Master of Music degree with two Programs of Study available: Instrumental Music Education or Vocal/Choral Music Education. The core for the Music Education Concentration includes: Music Bibliography, Music Theory, Music History and Literature, and Music Education.

Students choosing to complete a Music Education Project (Plan B) for the degree requirement must fill out the Project Proposal form found in the Department of Music Graduate handbook. The project must be approved by the Advisory Committee and the form signed prior to beginning the work. Details of the project must be worked out with the advisory committee chair and must be outlined on the form.

Master of Music, Music Education Plan A

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Master of Music, Music Education Plan B

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

History of Musical Instruments Specialization *This program is on hiatus due to facility construction and is now accepting application for fall 2023.

The program of Study for this Master of Music degree is designed to develop competency with a broad range of topics within the field of organology. Students are encouraged to design their thesis projects with the resources of the National Music Museum playing a central role.

* Note: The National Music Museum is undergoing extensive renovations and exhibition redesign. The renovations should be substantively completed by 2023.

Master of Music, History of Musical Instruments Plan A only (thesis)

  • Music Bibliography 2 credit hours (online)
  • Core 9 credit hours
  • Thesis 6 credit hours
  • Major Area 13 credit hours

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Master of Music, Collaborative Piano Specialization-Plan B only

Master of Music, Conducting Specialization-Plan B only

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit:

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Department of Music
605-658-3466 | |

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 |  |