Master of Music (Composition)

Total Units required for the MM: 30, chosen in consultation with a Music Department graduate advisor

Program Description

The graduate program leading to the Master of Music degree is designed to provide opportunity for a variety of advanced studies in music. The objective of the program is to produce a graduate student skilled in research, able in organizational and writing skills, and imaginative in developing new approaches and concepts: a student who, with a broad knowledge of the history and literature of music, is able to use this knowledge with effective musicality as a performer or conductor.

The MM may be earned with either an academic or a performance emphasis. The program will effectively prepare students for continuation into doctoral study. Students may focus their studies in one of three areas: Conducting, Composition, Performance.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the graduate program in Music must meet the following requirements:

  • a baccalaureate degree with a music major;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units; and
  • successful audition or composition portfolio review (see the School of Music website for audition information).

Fully classified graduate status is granted after successful completion of nine units of graduate work. The student must file for a change in status, using a form available from the Music Department's Graduate Coordinator.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as room for new students exists. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • an application for admission;
  • once set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (other than Sacramento State); and
  • two letters of reference.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.

After receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be emailed to the applicant.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MM: 30, chosen in consultation with a Music Department graduate advisor
Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0.  Majors must complete each required course with a grade "C-" or better.

Optional Support Field

From 3 to 5 units in fields other than Music may apply toward the degree with approval of the Music Department graduate committee. Students should have at least 10 upper division units in this field as preparation. Normally the supporting field units are on the graduate level. Supporting fields currently approved for music majors are Education, Humanities and Religious Studies, Modern Languages, and Theatre Arts. In the case of Music Education, courses which are part of the credential requirements may not be included.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each fully classified graduate student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the student has:

  • completed approximately 15 units of graduate study, including MUSC 201 and two other 200-level courses, with a minimum of 3.0 GPA;
  • received approval from supervising faculty to enter courses leading to MUSC 500, Culminating Experience (see Graduate Studies Handbook for details);
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. Instructions are found in Part II of the Graduate Studies Handbook.

Program Requirements

Core Requirements (9 Units)
MUSC 201Introduction to Graduate Study 3
MUSC 211Graduate Music Theory3
MUSC 206Topics in Music History 13
Additional Requirements for Concentrations (21 Units)
Select one of the following concentrations:21
Conducting
Composition
Performance
Total Units30

Concentration in Composition (21 units)

MUSC 210Composition 12
MUSC 207Topics in Music Analysis 23
Select 3 units from the following:3
Topics in Music History 2
Topics in Music Analysis 2
Topics in Ethnomusicology 2
Select 4 units of electives4
MUSC 500Culminating Experience3
Total Units21