College of Fine & Performing Arts

Master of Music

Master of Music

Graduate Coordinator and Advisor, Dr. Bertil van Boer 

Western offers graduate degrees in composition, conducting, history & literature, music education, and performance. The masters program at WWU emphasizes creativity and scholarship, preparing the advanced student for a career in music and/or providing a solid foundation for doctoral studies. 


Please explore the University Catalog for more information regarding degree requirements, program, and audition information. 

Auditions and Prerequisites

Prerequisite for admission to the Master of Music program is an undergraduate major in music or its equivalent.


Students applying to the Composition concentration must submit at least three original compositions for evaluation. 


Students applying to the Performance concentration must audition before a faculty committee or submit tape recorded performance for evaluation. Vocal performers must demonstrate competence in German, French and Italian diction.

History & Literature

Students applying to the History and Literature concentration must demonstrate strength in that area by an interview with appropriate faculty members.


Students applying to the Conducting concentration must demonstrate ability and experience in conducting by an interview with appropriate faculty members. In addition, they must prepare a curricular proposal for approval by an appropriate faculty committee.

Music Education

Students applying to the Music Education concentration must prepare a curricular proposal for approval by an appropriate faculty committee, subject to final approval by the department.


Placement examinations in music theory and music history must be taken prior to beginning the program. Courses necessary to remove deficiencies are not credited toward the degree. Candidates for the Master of Music degree must successfully complete a comprehensive oral examination covering all course work taken for the degree, as well as material related to the thesis.

History & Literature

Students in History and Literature concentration must pass a reading examination in French or German.

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