Graduate Studies

Graduate Degrees Offered

The Western Michigan University School of Music offers a Master of Music degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Graduate Certificate in Music Performance.

Master of Music
This degree is designed to enhance students' teaching, performing, research and creative abilities in music within five areas of concentration:

Master of Arts in Music
The Master of Arts in Music degree is a graduate research degree that culminates with a written thesis and a public presentation. Possible areas of focus for the thesis include (but are not limited to) music history, music theory, ethnomusicology, historical performance practice, music technology, and interdisciplinary subjects relating to music with other fields.

Certificate Program in Music Performance
The Certificate Program in Music Performance is a highly selective, non-degree graduate program for the specialized training of the gifted and accomplished performer in preparation for competitions, auditions and the development of a performance career.

Certificate Program in Music Therapy Equivalency
This Music Therapy Equivalency program is designed for the student who already has a baccalaureate degree in music and would like to complete course work needed to become a professional music therapist. Under this program, the student only takes the courses required for certification.

How to apply

    1. WMU Application: Complete a Graduate Admissions Application to Western Michigan University. For general information about WMU's Graduate College, visit the Future Students website. International students should begin at the International Admissions and Services website. Please upload an unofficial copy of your transcript from your undergraduate school(s) as part of the application and follow the university's instructions for submitting an official transcript directly from your institution to  For letters of recommendation, submit a recommendation provider list with your application. Your recommenders will be automatically notified and their recommendations will be attached to your WMU application.
    2. Music Application: There is a separate Graduate Music and Assistantship Application form due by February 1. If you would like to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship, please indicate this on the form. Not all GA positions are available each year, so check with the appropriate faculty for availability. GA applications require three letters of recommendation which should be sent online as part of your WMU application. More information is available on the graduate assistantships web page.
    3. Audition/Interview/Portfolio: Within the School of Music, you will be required to complete an audition and/or submit a portfolio of documents as appropriate to your intended degree and area of concentration. Contact the appropriate faculty member directly for more detailed information:
      Composition: a portfolio of three to four completed scores and recordings (if available). See Composition/Apply.
      Conducting: a pre-screening video (via WMU Music Submissions) and a Repertoire list (submitted with WMU application)
      Master of Arts: portfolio of three scholarly papers (via WMU Music Submissions)
      Music Therapy: three letters of recommendation (submitted with WMU application), and a video of demonstration of performance skills
       arrange an audition date directly with the appropriate studio faculty member (before March 1).

      While it is preferable to audition in person, you may submit video and/or audio files for your studio audition. Some studios may use video submissions for pre-screening purposes (e.g., conducting, voice) and will still require an in-person audition for final admission.  Go to the WMU Music Submissions website for specific instructions on uploading materials. 

If you are unsure of whom to contact or have additional questions, please contact Cristina Fava, Graduate Coordinator, at or (269) 387-4671.