Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Music (M.M.)

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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 in the Music Education degree, are required to take MUS 781 - Introduction to Music Bibliography. Music Education students will take MUS 772 - Research in Music Education in its place. All Master of Music students, except those in the Music Education and History of Musical Instruments degrees, are also required to take MUS 713 - Form and Analysis. Music Education students may choose to take MUS 715 Music Theory Analysis for the Music Educator in its place. The History of Musical Instruments program does not require a course in music theory.

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 usd.edu/music.

DELIVERY: On campus | Online

Music History Specialization

- Reading proficiency in one foreign language is required in the music history degree

Master of Music, Music History (thesis)

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Music Performance Specialization

Programs of Study

Music Performance-Voice Emphasis
Music Performance-Keyboard Emphasis
Music Performance-Instrumental Emphasis: Brass, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds

Master of Music, Music Performance

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

A thesis or project option are available for this specialization. Students choosing to complete a Music Education Project 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

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

History of Musical Instruments Specialization

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: This program was on hiatus due to facility construction and is now accepting application for fall 2023.

Master of Music, History of Musical Instruments (thesis)

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Master of Music, Collaborative Piano Specialization

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

Master of Music, Conducting Specialization

Major Area Coursework - 30 Credit Hours

General Application Requirements

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

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here: link.usd.edu/grad-catalog

Location Matters for Non-Licensure Track Programs

This program is not designed or advertised to lead to a professional license or certification required for employment.

USD is permitted to operate under the terms of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) policies and standards in offering online courses/degree programs to residents in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  Online courses/programs may also be offered to residents of California (a non-SARA state) because it does not regulate out-of-state public institutions.

Additionally, this program is authorized to offer supervised field study experiences (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) in South Dakota. Please be aware that there may be some restrictions on your ability to engage in supervised field study outside of South Dakota. Please contact a program representative if you have questions regarding supervised field study.

Distance education courses or programs will not be offered outside of the United States without prior written approval from the University, which may be withheld for any reason. If you are taking distance courses while physically located outside of the United States, it is your responsibility to confirm the following: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) the availability of supervised field study opportunities in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.

For more information, please visit USD’s State Authorization page or contact your admissions counselor.


Department of Music
605-658-3466 | music@usd.edu | usd.edu/music

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad


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