Music, MA

About our Master of Music

Our Master of Music degree offers you the opportunity for an in-depth study of music in your specialized field. You will work to increase your professional competency in teaching and performance, through self-directed and devoted study. You will master the skills and more to grow, succeed, and create in the music industry. We know that, with this intensive educational experience, you are destined for greatness.

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Why Study Music at CWU?

When it comes to music, few universities can offer the personal attention, one-on-one lessons, and quality instruction that CWU can.

We build a community of supportive and caring individuals. Central is one of the premier music programs in the Western region. Our program is focused primarily on professional training and the refinement of musical craft.

“That was what got me up in the morning and kept me going to school. Band, theater, and choir were everything to me, and they brought me community.” Jared McFarlin graduated from CWU with a Master of Music in 2019.

Study Music at CWU

Central is one of the premier music programs in the Western region.

Where is this program offered?

How much does this program cost?

Explore information on Cost, Aid, and Value to make an informed decision about investing in your education at CWU.

Does CWU offer assistantships?

The music department has several competitive assistantship positions available each year. While studying with Central’s inspirational faculty, you will gain valuable experience as a performer and teacher. For more information, reference Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

Find opportunities to fund your degree through the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the CWU Academic Catalog for current information about admission requirements, course descriptions, learner outcomes, and credit information.

Visit the School of Graduate Studies and Research for additional program eligibility information.


We offer many ensemble opportunities in a wide range of instrumental combinations, styles, and proficiencies. From our large symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, or premier vocal group, to our small Jazz combos and brass quintets, there is an ensemble for you. For a full list of ensembles, reference our CWU Music Ensemble Opportunities.

Additional Program Information

  • Program Eligibility

    Admission into the institution does not assure admission into the music program. In addition to general university guidelines for admission to the master’s program through the Graduate School, the following requirements apply to the Master of Music degree:

    • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a major in music or its equivalent.
    • Acceptance into a specific major field will require an evaluation of a candidate’s ability conducted by a committee of three faculty members, two of whom will be from the particular major field. Normally one of these two will serve as the candidate’s graduate advisor, and the committee as a whole may serve as the candidate’s graduate committee.
    • In addition, non-performance majors must also demonstrate a level of musicianship equal to what would be considered appropriate for 300-level study. Students may demonstrate this level of musicianship in several ways, appropriate to the desired degree program or deemed appropriate by the evaluating committee after consultation with the student. Examples include but are not limited to, a performance audition in an applied area or conducting (live or taped), a videotape or audiotape of a performance directed by the applicant, or a videotape of a music lesson or class taught by the applicant.
    • For admission requirements to each field, see section one in each field entry under specific requirements for major fields.

    Students may elect to take the diagnostic exams in Theory and/or History. If the student earns a grade of “Pass” on either test, general program requirements will be reduced by three credits in the respective area. These exams must be taken by the end of the first week of residency. To prepare for this exam, reference our Theory and History Review.

  • Fields of Study

    • Composition
    • Conducting
    • Performance
    • Pedagogy
    • Music Education
    • Collaborative Piano
    • Secondary Areas of Study (Cognates)
    • Composition
    • Conducting
    • Jazz Pedagogy
    • Music Theory
    • Performance
    • Pedagogy
    • Music Education
    • Music History

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Department of Music