Graduate Studies in Music Theory

Prospective Music Theory Students

Music Theory students are strongly urged to contact Poundie Burstein or Mark Spicer (our Graduate Music Theory professors; Prof. Ewell is also the Director of Graduate Studies for the Music Department), to find out more about our program and our admission procedures. Current Music Theory students are likewise strongly recommended to meet at least once a year with Profs. Ewell and Spicer to discuss their program.

Degree Requirements for Music Theory Students

MUS 700 (3 cr.) Bibliography
MUS 724 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory I
MUS 725 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory II
MUS 751 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History I
MUS 752 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History II
MUS 740 or MUS 760 (2x, 6 cr. total) Seminar in Music Theory or Music History
MUS 775 or 776 (3 cr.) Seminar in Ethnomusicology I or II
MUS 798 (3 cr.) Thesis in Music History or Music Theory
Elective(s), totaling 3 credits

Download the checklist of requirements for Music Theory (PDF)

In certain cases, substitutions for these required courses may be made in consultation with the Graduate Adviser. A maximum of 9-12 credits transferred from other institutions might be accepted toward the M. A. Degree (students might be asked to successfully pass the relevant proficiency exam before such transfer credit is allowed); see Hunter College Graduate Catalogue for details.

Music Theory students must take proficiency exams in Western music history, music theory, keyboard skills, dictation, and sightsinging before beginning the program, and they also must take a foreign language examination. Students whose proficiency exam test scores suggest special problem areas might be asked to take remedial undergraduate courses to remedy these weaknesses. All students must pass the proficiency exams before completing more than 18 credits towards their degree.

For Frequently Asked Questions, see FAQs – Graduate.