Program Description

The performance degree program is intended for students planning careers in performance, studio teaching or college teaching. Performance students participate in School of Music ensembles as well as numerous other performance activities. The program combines studio work with core courses in music theory, history, and research. Many students in the program have gone on to doctoral study in music while others are full-time performers in orchestras, opera companies, and other music venues across the country.

Research Opportunities and Assistantships

Performance students have many opportunities to present their 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 performance program requires:

  • A bachelor's degree or equivalent;
  • an in-person interview (or video conference interview if distance prohibits);
  • 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 and submit a research paper (Plan B) and pass written comprehensive examinations in music history and performance.


The performance 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.