Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, MM

School of Music

Music and Communication Building, Room 334; Phone (216) 687-2033
Dr. Heather Russell, Director of the School of Music
Dr. Victor Liva, Graduate Program Director


Music Education


The graduate degree program in music offers specializations in Composition, Music Education and Performance as well as a post-graduate Professional Studies in Music Performance Certificate Program.

The School of Music offers outstanding facilities. A state-of-the-art building houses two performance halls, three large rehearsal halls, two chamber music rehearsal rooms, four electronic music/computer laboratories, and dozens of practice and specialized teaching spaces. Cleveland is one of the most outstanding centers for music in the United States, and students have many opportunities to observe and study with some of the finest performers in the world. A number of members or former members of the Cleveland Orchestra teach at the University, and Cleveland State vocal ensembles perform annually with the Orchestra. The Cleveland Contemporary Players, which is devoted to performing contemporary music, is in residence at the Cleveland State School of Music. Composition students are able to have their works performed by the Cleveland Contemporary Players. Opportunities to perform early music, both vocal and instrumental, are available through Collegium Musicum and through private study. The annual Thyagaraja (Aradhana) Festival at Cleveland State is the largest international festival of Indian music held outside of India.

Through its core and specialized courses, Cleveland State’s graduate music program is designed to provide solid musical training and to prepare students for careers in their area of specialization. The program is an excellent foundation for doctoral study. Students have gone on to careers in composition, arranging, conducting, choral music, electronic music, musicology, criticism, performance, library science, and teaching at the university level and in elementary and secondary schools. Cleveland State students have won awards for international study and have received appointments overseas. The music program attracts international students, as well as students from across the United States.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Financial Assistance

The School of Music offers graduate assistantships, which can pay up to full tuition. To be eligible, students need a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Applications must be received by March 31 for the following academic year. Application forms are available from the School of Music. Further details on requirements and service obligations are in the music school’s Graduate Student Handbook.

Admission Information

All College of Graduate Studies admission requirements must be met.

The School has different entry requirements for each area of specialization:

Performance: An audition is required prior to admission for all students who wish to specialize in performance. In the audition, which should last fifteen minutes or longer, the student must demonstrate performance proficiency with some stylistic breadth. An audio tape or videotape may be provided in lieu of a live audition, with prior approval of the School.

Composition: Applicants must submit a portfolio of representative works for evaluation.

Music Education: Two letters of recommendation from supervisory personnel who can attest to the applicant’s teaching ability are required.

All applicants are administered a diagnostic advisory examination in music history. Those who do not pass the examination are required to take MUS 511  and/or MUS 512 . The examination must be taken before the student’s first registration. Arrangements can be made by contacting the Director of the Graduate Program at (216) 687-3768.

Students who wish to change from non-degree status to degree-seeking status should consult the Admissions  section of this Catalog.

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the Master of Music degree must fulfill a total of thirty credit hours in approved graduate courses, including:

I. Master of Music in Composition Curriculum

Total Credits: 30

II. Master of Music in Music Education

Total credits:  30

III. Master of Music in Performance

Total Credits: 30

Instrumental Track Requirements: 20 credits

Vocal Track Requirements: 20 credits

Keyboard Track Requirements: 20 credits

VI. Applied Music

Normally, graduate students register for 600-level applied music on their primary instrument or voice. Students who wish to take lessons in another applied area should register for 500-level secondary applied lessons.

See MUA listings in the “Courses” section. There is a surcharge fee for all MUA courses.


Any of the courses listed above under II. (Required Courses for Areas of Specialization), III. (Other Courses), IV. (Performing Ensembles), and V. (Applied Music) may, if appropriate, be taken as electives. Electives from other disciplines may be used to meet degree requirements with approval of the School.


Students specializing in performance must be evaluated by an advisory jury in the student’s major applied area before completion of six hours of applied major study.

Exit Requirements

Please refer to course descriptions for MUS 632 , MUS 635  (recitals) and MUS 679 , MUS 689 , and MUS 699  (theses and research projects) and the School of Music’s Graduate Student Handbook for further guidelines.

Language Requirement

Those who intend to specialize in vocal performance must satisfy the appropriate language requirements.

For voice students, the language requirement consists of an oral demonstration, through the recital requirement, of proficiency in diction in Italian, French, and German.

Exit Project

A student’s graduate program culminates in a suitable exit project (e.g., a thesis or a recital) arranged through a principal advisor and reviewed by a committee of three faculty members. A student in music education may complete three suitable papers in lieu of a thesis.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required for all candidates. The examination serves as an opportunity for both the candidate and the School to assess the student’s ability to synthesize the content of the degree, both in breadth and in the area of specialization. Students are directed to the information on the Comprehensive Examination under their track requirement in the School of Music’s Graduate Student Handbook.

Graduate Handbook

The School of Music’s Graduate Student Handbook is the definitive source for current curriculum requirements and course listings. The handbook is available in hard copy and online at https://artsandsciences.csuohio.edu/music/forms-and-documents

Course Availability

Please refer to the School of Music’s Graduate Student Handbook for the availability of courses. Not all courses are offered every semester.