Master of Music in Conducting Degree Programs

M.M. degree programs in conducting:

  • Choral conducting
  • Orchestral conducting
  • Wind conducting

M.M. in Conducting Admission

Applicants are expected to have educational backgrounds equivalent to the B.M. or B.M.E. degree from KU. They should have one or two years of experience in conducting. Such experience may include work in public school, college, or with other amateur or professional ensembles. Applicants normally are expected to have a high level of performing ability on an instrument or in voice. Applicants must complete audition-interviews successfully before the divisional faculty and should provide a résumé of their conducting experience, including programs of public appearances.

Graduate Admission to the School of Music

Application procedures and program requirements can change. Please visit the School of Music Admissions webpage for current information.

Graduate programs in the School of Music are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate degrees, as specified by the admitting areas, whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), from KU or from another regionally accredited institution or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements.

Programs of study leading to the Master of Music (M.M.), Master of Music Education (M.M.E.), Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are offered through the School of Music. Specific admission procedures and degree requirements for the M.M. and M.M.E. programs are described under division headings. Specific admission procedures and degree requirements for the D.M.A., Ph.D. (musicology/music theory), and Ph.D. (music education/music therapy) are listed in the appropriate sections.

Program Areas

Graduate study in the School of Music is organized into program areas within 2 units:

  • Music includes programs in composition, conducting, musicology, music theory, and areas of performance.
  • Music Education and Music Therapy (MEMT) includes programs in music education or music therapy.

At least a 3.0 grade-point average, overall and in the major area, is required for all course work counted toward any graduate degree in the School of Music. If the overall grade-point average falls below 3.0, the student is placed on probation for one semester; if the cumulative average is not 3.0 or higher after the next semester, the student is dismissed from the program. Students must also achieve at least a grade of B in thesis, lecture-recital, document or dissertation, and on each recital for satisfactory completion of degree requirements.

Diagnostic Examinations

All entering graduate students (except music education, music therapy, and opera performance majors) must take written diagnostic examinations in musicology and music theory. These are given the week before the start of classes in the Fall and Spring semesters to determine whether a need exists for remedial work in those areas prior to enrolling in graduate coursework. Students who show the need for remediation must complete the prescribed review courses or show mastery of the material by re-examination. Graduate students entering programs in piano must take additional tests in piano literature given before the start of classes. A student is exempt from all diagnostic exams if he or she received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music from the University of Kansas within the previous 4 years.


M.M. in Conducting Degree Requirements

Diagnostic Examinations

All incoming graduate students, except those in the MM-Opera program, are required to take diagnostic exams in Musicology and Music Theory. The exams are given during the week before the Fall and Spring semesters begin. The student must pass all diagnostic exams before being allowed to enroll in courses in those subjects. Diagnostic deficiencies can only be satisfied in one of two ways: 1) re-taking the exam the next time it is given (one re-take only) or 2) enrolling in the appropriate review course and receiving at least a grade of "C." The student must satisfy all diagnostic deficiencies by the end of the third semester of enrollment.

Master's Recital

The conducting degree candidate must present a final concert-length recital consisting of a public choral or instrumental program. A recital preview is left to the discretion of the faculty members of each division. In divisions with no preview requirement, the option is still available to students and faculty members. Divisions must approve the recital content well in advance but no less than three weeks before the recital date. The Master's recital must be given before the final oral exam can occur.

Final Oral Exam

Master's degree students must schedule and pass a final oral examination. The student's 3-member Graduate Advisory Committee consists of the student's major professor, one member from the student's major division and one musicology or music theory professor. This committee administers the final oral exam.

A program of study in band and orchestral conducting (minimum of 30 hours) is as follows:

Advanced conducting10
MUSC 801Music Bibliography and Research3
Advanced courses in musicology and music theory (at least one course in each area)9
COND 899Master's Recital1
  • Band and orchestral conducting majors must enroll in an ensemble for a minimum of 2 semesters.

A program of study in choral conducting (minimum of 30 hours) is as follows:

MUSC 801Music Bibliography and Research3
Choral Conducting8
Advanced courses in musicology and music theory (at least one course in each area)9
CHOR 820Orchestral Bowing Techniques for Choral Conductors1
Choral literature6
Seminar conducting/rehearsal3
COND 899Master's Recital1
  • Choral conducting majors must enroll in an ensemble for a minimum of 2 semesters.