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Concentrations in Choral Conducting, Composition, and Organ

Entrance Requirements

The undergraduate music degree is a prerequisite except in extraordinary circumstances. Graduate entrance examinations will be administered according to current practice.

Prior to submitting a formal application, persons interested in the Master of Music in Sacred Music must communicate with the director of the program

Musical prerequisites

Applicants in the areas of performance (choral music, organ) will submit a 30-minute recording, video preferred, audio acceptable.

Applicants in composition will submit representative manuscripts in lieu of the audition recording.

Tapes and manuscripts must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions with all other application documents.

Invitation to campus for auditions, interviews, and testing is based on evaluation of the above materials. Applicants in organ and concentration will perform for the faculty at the time of their visit. All concentrations require demonstration of conducting skills. Testing consists of demonstration of keyboard proficiency, open score-reading, and sight-singing. The conducting audition is composed of two specified works with the CUA Chamber Choir and will determine placement in the conducting sequence. Auditions are held once a year, early in the spring semester; the date is posted on the music school website.

All entering graduate students in the Master of Music degree program in sacred music must take the Music Theory Placement Examination and the Music History Placement Examination.

Liturgical prerequisite

TRS 540, Introduction to Liturgy. Equivalency in this field may be demonstrated by written examination. Incoming students must consult with the School of Theology and Religious Studies in May before their first fall semester.

Graduation Requirements

  1. The student may schedule comprehensive examinations (MUS 698A w/ classes; MUS 698B w/o classes) following the adviser's written approval. Four two-hour examinations are administered over a two-day period; the student must pass all four examinations.

    The examinations will be given as per the following schedule:

    Day 1
    Liturgical Studies (two hours)
    TRS 741A Liturgy, Theological and Historical Perspectives
    TRS 744 Eucharist: A Liturgical Theology

    Sacred and Choral Music (two hours)
    MUS 637 Choral Development
    MUS 746 Seminar in Sacred Music

    Day 2
    Music History and Music Theory (two hours)
    MUS 556 History of Sacred Music
    MUS 712 Analytical Techniques II

    Liturgical Music and Music Literature* (two hours)
    MUS 584 Liturgical Music
    *MUS 640, 640A or 640B Choral Literature I/II/III
    *MUS 516 or 517 Organ Literature
    *MUS 642 Techniques and Forms in Sacred Music

    *Candidate takes the Music Literature portion of the examination based on his/her MMSM specialization and coursework: choral music, organ performance, or composition.
  2. A one-hour public recital (MUS 697A w/classes; MUS 697B w/o classes) in the area of concentration is required; for the composer, the submission and performance of an original work is required.