Music History and Literature (MM)

Admission Requirements 

  1. Applications for admission to a graduate program require the following:
    1. Completed graduate application and application fee
    2. Official transcripts for all previous post-secondary course work (all transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English)
    3. At least two letters of recommendation
  2. Applications to specific degree programs require evidence of preparation for advanced study as follows: 
    1. In performance, an acceptable audition
    2. In academic specializations (music composition, music history, music theory), a portfolio of work appropriate to the field of study
    3. In music education, evidence of classroom teaching experience
  3. Applicants whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency in one of the following ways:
    1. A minimum TOEFL examination score of 213 on the computer-based test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test; IELTS scores of at least 6.5 overall band score from the academic module exam or official Duolingo overall score of 105.
    2. Documentation of the award of a degree from a recognized English language institution.
  4. Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the area to be pursued in advanced studies, or they must present evidence of equivalent preparation.
  5. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4-point scale.

Applicants who meet the requirements listed in items 1-5 will be considered for conditional admission for graduate study at the School of Music. For additional entrance requirements specific to the degree of interest, consult the section relevant to the degree program below. Entrance examinations in music history, theory and, if appropriate, jazz, will be administered before the first term of study. The School of Music provides guidelines to assist in preparing for the entrance examinations.

Any exception to the above expectations will be evaluated individually and will require a statement indicating criteria to be met in a specified time frame with provisions for monitoring progress and performance. Justification must be provided in writing and must be accepted by the faculty of the student's proposed program, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Dean of the School of Music. Students who fail to meet performance standards or who do not meet other requirements as outlined in the letter of admission, program of study, or the catalog of the University of Louisville are subject to dismissal from their programs.


  1. Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent.
  2. A demonstration, by examination, of skills and capacities in the following fields:
    1. Written, aural, and keyboard harmony;
    2. Melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation;
    3. Elementary counterpoint; and
    4. History and literature of music, and analytic understanding of musical forms and genres.
  3. Evidence of preparation for advanced work in the area, as follows:
    1. Applicants for the track in music history must submit a paper to the music history faculty demonstrating ability to write efficiently and to do elementary research.
    2. In addition, applicants must complete the entrance examination in music history with an average score of no less than seventy (70) for admission to the music history curriculum. Before admission to candidacy, students in music history are required to take GER 121, GER 122, and GER 123 and pass each semester with a minimum grade of B. Students with prior knowledge of German can satisfy any, or every, part of this requirement by passing the proficiency exam(s) administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, German section.

Program Requirements


MUS 500Music History Review 10
MUS 400Theory Review 10
MUS 600Graduate Oral Exam Preparation0
MUS 607Bibliography and Research Methods3
Music History Seminar (600-level)3
Music Theory4
Additional Music Theory or Music History Seminar (500- or 600-level)3
Select one of the following Analysis courses: 3
Advanced Chromatic Harmony and Analysis
Advanced Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
Schenkerian Analysis
Advanced Analysis
Ensemble (3 semesters of major ensemble) 23
Thesis 4
Music History and Literature Concentration
Music History Seminars (600-level)6
Additional Music Theory or Analysis2
Music Electives5
Minimum Total Hours36

Other Requirements

All students must pass an oral examination after all course work is completed.


These courses may be satisfied by passing the entrance examinations in these areas.


The recommended ensembles for Music History include Early Music Ensemble and New Music Ensemble.