Program Description

The conducting degree program offers opportunities to develop the skills essential to the art of conducting music ensembles. Students select band, orchestral or choral conducting as an area of expertise. The program includes in-depth study of music literature and history, music analysis, and rehearsal and conducting techniques. Many students in the program have K-12 teaching positions while others have gone on to doctoral study and college teaching.

Research Opportunities and Assistantships

Composition students have many opportunities to present their original pieces, including concerts throughout the semester as well as state and regional conferences. Students have the opportunity to work and do research alongside faculty who have a national and international reputation. Graduate assistantships are offered on a competitive basis.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the conducting program requires:

  • A bachelor's degree or equivalent;
  • an in-person interview (or video conference interview if distance prohibits);
  • a portfolio of compositions with scores and audio files;
  • three letters of recommendation; and
  • a writing sample.

Students applying for a graduate assistantship should also submit a resume and a cover letter stating their qualifications and duties they can perform.

Apply online at and submit additional materials listed above to:

Graduate Coordinator
School of Music 162
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

Graduation Requirements

Students must present a recital that they conduct and submit a researched paper (Plan B) for graduation, as well as pass written comprehensive examinations in music history and score analysis.


The conducting degree is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Career Outlook

For More Information

Keith Clifton
Graduate Coordinator

Or visit the School of Music's website for more information.

This master's degree program is housed within CMU's College of the Arts and Media.