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Graduate Degree Programs & Requirements

The Department of Music offers the Master of Arts degree in Composition, Music History and Music Science and Technology and the Master of Fine Arts degree in performance and musical theatre. If you have any questions about the following material please contact us at (504) 865-5267 or

Entrance Requirements:

Bachelors of Arts, Bachelors of Fine Arts, or equivalent degree from a recognized university or conservatory.

Evidence of musical knowledge equivalent to that of an undergraduate music major at Tulane.

Application and General Info:

Prospective Graduate Students
tel: 504-865-5100

  • Submit the on-line application
  • Submit the on-line letters of recommendation
  • Take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) in general areas, not in music
  1. Composers must submit a portfolio of three original compositions in PDF format and submit the corresponding audio files (or links to audio files) through the “Portfolio” section of the application portal. Compositions should be for different instrumental/vocal ensembles.
  2. Performers in all areas (Jazz, Musical Theater, Piano, Voice) must submit a video file or link through the “Portfolio” section of the application portal. The video(s) should demonstrate proficiency in the respective performance area and ideally works chosen from a variety of times and places.
  3. Musicologists must submit a short paper demonstrating their ability to write on and research musical topics in PDF format through the “Portfolio” section of the application portal.

* Applicants will be notified if further auditions are necessary.

Degree Requirements:

Composition Candidates for the M.A. degree for the M.F.A. degree in composition must complete at least 24 semester hours of course work (including MUSC 7010, 7020, 7040) and must present a recital of original works including a major, extended work (consult with Head of Composition for details).

Musicology Candidates for the M.A. degree for the M.A. degree in musicology must complete at least 24 semester hours of course work (including MUSC 7030), pass a reading knowledge examination in one modern foreign language (French, Spanish or other with approval ) by the end of the first semester, write an acceptable thesis, and defend this thesis in an oral examination. Candidates for the M.A. degree in musicology with a specialization in New Orleans music must take MUSC 6300, 6310, 6340 7060, and 7930 in addition to 7030 and the other musicology requirements.

For a full listing of Musicology graduate requirements, please click on the attached link: Musicology_MA.pdf. This program accepts students every other year, and the next admission period is for Fall 2020. In addition to the requirements on the official application, applicants must submit a writing sample for consideration. The sample may be brief, and undergraduate papers are acceptable, as long as the sample demonstrates fundamental research and writing skills. Questions may be directed to Prof. Sakakeeney.
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Other Instruments Candidates for the M.F.A. degree in performance must take 30 hours of course work, with 18 hours in music literature, theory, history, performance, or other appropriate areas and 12 semester hours of lessons in voice or in the specialized instrument. In place of a thesis the candidate must perform a full-length recital of 90 minutes.

Candidates for the M.F.A. degree in Musical Theater must take 36 hours of course work and must either perform a recital or choreograph or direct a major musical theater production. Performers must submit a headshot and resume to Michael Howard, head of the Musical Theatre Program. The performers will be expected to audition live or with a video. The audition will include two songs and a monologue. Dance is optional.

Financial Assistance:

The Music Department has a limited number of full-tuition waivers which are offered on a merit basis. A full tuition waiver requires that the student be enrolled in a minimum of three courses per semester; a half tuition scholarship requires that the student be enrolled in two courses per semester. The Music Department also offers a limited number of teaching opportunities either in the classroom or in private lessons under the supervision of a major professor. Second-year graduate students have the opportunity to serve as residence hall counselors. If interested, the student should contact the Office of Student Housing during their first semester of graduate study. Opportunities for non-academic employment on campus or in the New Orleans area exist. Consult the Office of Student Employment and the Chair of the Music Department.

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