• Candidates must have an appropriate undergraduate music degree or a music major of at least 40 semester hours
  • Candidates must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in undergraduate music studies
  • Each candidate must submit three letters of recommendation

Students in the graduate music degree program at Central Michigan University study in extraordinary facilities, work closely with expert faculty and seek advanced musical skills. They value the liberal arts and are dedicated learners. You’ll become adept in music theory, composition, history and performance as you prepare for a career in the arts, business, industry or government or go on to doctoral study.

We are located in a modern 119,000-square-foot facility. You’ll learn, practice and perform in a state-of-the-art 500-seat concert hall with a 61-rank Casavant organ, a 100-seat recital hall, digital audio technology labs, recording facilities and a Music Resource Center. CMU students participate in festivals, competitions, and conferences at the state, national and international levels.

Master of Music in Performance candidates must demonstrate, through either an audition or interview, talent and ability levels that indicate promise of successful graduate study in music performance.  Students may request audition information by clicking the link above, or by phone, mail, or e-mail.

Candidates for the Master of Music in Music Education must have either a music education degree, a major of at least 40 semester hours in music, or appropriate study in music education, as determined during an entrance interview.

Graduate Audition Requirements​

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Graduate Assistantships

The School of Music offers graduate assistantships in a variety of skill areas. To apply for a graduate assistantship, contact Dr. Keith Clifton. Additional awards and graduate fellowships are available through the College of Graduate Studies.

Areas of Expertise Include: Band, Choir, Orchestra, Jazz, Music History/Literature, Keyboard, Music Education, Music Technology, Orchestral Instruments, Theory/Composition, and Voice.


​Graduate assistants' duties may include assisting the directors of large ensembles, supervising labs, coaching ensembles, assisting with larger classes, tracking recital attendance or teaching 100-level courses.


Full-time graduate assistants receive an $10,300 stipend, a tuition waiver for up to 20 credit hours (applicable through the following summer), faculty library borrowing privileges, and limited fee reimbursement. Three-quarter graduate assistant appointments are often given.

Financial Aid

Financial aid opportunities are available at the ​University's Financial Aid Site.

Ana, a graduate student from Brazil, has started researching the social phobia that many performers face. As a performer herself studying viola performance, she has experienced the grim reality that performers have coping with performance anxiety. With this research, Ana hopes the results can be used by instructors and conductors to modify their behaviors that impel anxiety from performers.

Degree Programs

For degree requirements, please find the corresponding program in the CMU Bulletin.

A female student plays solo violin.

This program is intended for students planning careers in performance, studio teaching, or college teaching. The program provides excellent preparation for doctoral study in music.

The Master of Music in Performance program combines studio work with core courses in music theory, history, and research. Performance students may participate in School of Music ensembles as well as numerous performance opportunities.

A professor leads a group of students in an music education activity.

This program is designed for forward-thinking public school music educators who desire a planned and rigorous academic program of study in music theory, history, research, and education combined with relevant topical seminars.

This degree program provides a unique opportunity to tailor elective studies within the course sequence to meet specific pedagogical needs. Students work with the graduate coordinator to develop individualized programs that demand academic rigor and, at the same time, provide course offerings that are relevant their day-to-day professional responsibilities.

Course offerings include traditional semester or six-week summer graduate course work in music theory, history, education, and research. Offerings also include intensive one-week and two-week courses and seminars taught by nationally recognized faculty. Learn more about our Three Summers Masters Program.

A picture of music sitting on a stand

This program is designed to accommodate students interested in the study of composition. Students in this program study applied composition and theoretical compositional practice and complete a thesis project that involves composing a significant work. Program course work and experiences will prepare students to pursue doctoral degrees in composition or composition/theory at graduate schools throughout the country.

Dr. Maurtua helps a student conductor with his technique.

This program offers opportunities to develop the skills essential to the art of conducting musical ensembles. Each student is required to present a final project that demonstrates mastery of these skills. Students select either band, orchestral, or choral conducting as an area of expertise. The program includes an in-depth study of music literature and history, music analysis, and rehearsal and conducting techniques.

More Information

For more information about the Graduate program, contact Dr. Keith Clifton by email at or by calling (989) 774-2228.​​