Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions by prospective School of Music graduate students.

What are the deadlines for admission and graduate assistantship consideration?

In order to receive full consideration for admission, graduate assistantships and scholarships for the next academic year, you should have your application materials in no later than Feb. 15, and you should complete your audition, if required, by March 1. Note that the deadline for Graduate College Fellowships and Thurgood Marshall Fellowships is firm at Feb. 1.

What kind of financial aid is available and how do I apply?

Financial aid in the School of Music is available in two forms: graduate assistantships and scholarships. Refer to the graduate assistantships section of this website for more information about graduate assistantship opportunities. Scholarships are awarded on an audition basis by the applied areas. Consult with the professor of your instrument for information regarding scholarship availability.

Other financial aid may be available through the Office of Financial Aid or the Graduate College.

How much of my tuition and fees will my graduate assistantship award pay?

The most current figures for tuition and estimated costs of attending WMU can be found on the financial aid website.

Here is a sample description of the financial package for a Half-time non-resident graduate assistantship.

Once I am admitted how do I determine what courses to take?

You must take the proficiency exams in music theory and music history before your first enrollment. After the proficiency exams are evaluated you will meet with the graduate coordinator of music to determine your course of study.

What are the proficiency exams in music history and music theory? Do I have to take them? When do I take them? What happens if I fail part or all of the exam?

All entering graduate students must take the proficiency exams in music theory and music history prior to initial enrollment. The results of these exams are used to advise you regarding any additional course work you may need in those areas to better prepare you for graduate study. If you fail all or part of the exams on your initial attempt you may take the parts you failed one additional time. You may download review sheets for the assessment exams at the graduate music exams preparation.

I want to pursue a M.M. in Music Therapy but my undergraduate degree is not in music therapy. Can I still do this?

If your undergraduate degree is in music but not in music therapy you may apply for admission to the Music Therapy Equivalency Program. In this program, you are admitted as a graduate student but take the undergraduate music therapy course sequence leading to Music Therapy Board Certification (MT BC). After your initial year, you may start taking graduate courses in music therapy, eventually leading to the Masters of Music in Music Therapy degree. It usually takes at least three years to complete MT BC and the graduate coursework, not including the thesis.

Can I transfer graduate credits from another university to my degree program at Western Michigan University? If so, how many and what is the procedure?

You may transfer as many as six approved credits from another university to your graduate degree at Western Michigan University. The procedure is to submit a transcript to the graduate coordinator documenting the courses you wish to transfer. The graduate coordinator will determine whether to accept the credits and how many credits are eligible for transfer.

What are the admission procedures for international students?

International students should initiate application procedures through the Office of International Student Services. They will help you with admission, visa, financial and TOEFL requirements.

What are the TOEFL requirements for non-native English speakers in the Western Michigan University School of Music?

In graduate music education and music therapy, the minimum acceptable TOEFL score for admission is 575 TOEFL, 233 CBT, 91 iBT. In all other music graduate programs, it is 550 TOEFL, 213 CBT, 80 iBT.

I am finishing my master's degree requirements and need to apply for graduation. How do I do that?

You need to complete the Application for Graduation in GoWMU. Directions are available.

Other questions

For further questions and concerns, please contact Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Cristina Fava, at