Music Theory (MM)

Admission Requirements

  1. Applications for admission to a graduate program require the following:
    1. A completed graduate application;
    2. An application fee;
    3. Official transcripts for all previous post-secondary course work (all transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English);
    4. 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 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test; official IELTS scores of at least 6.5 overall band score from the academic module exam; 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, see 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.

Program Requirements


Core Coursework
MUS 400Theory Review 10
MUS 500Music History Review 10
MUS 509Major Ensembles (Three Semesters)3
MUS 600Graduate Oral Exam Preparation0
MUS 607Bibliography and Research Methods3
Music History Seminar (600-level) 23
Music Theory3
Additional Music Theory or Music History Seminar (500- or 600-level)3
Select one of the following: 3
Advanced Chromatic Harmony and Analysis
Advanced Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
Advanced Analysis
Concentration Requirements (see tab)14
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.


One course of HUM 661, HUM 662, or HUM 663 may be substituted for three music elective credits.

Music Theory Concentration

MUS 641Pedagogy of Theory I3
MUS 651Schenkerian Analysis3
MUS 694Research (2 semesters)4
MUS 665Music Theory Seminar (4 semesters)0
Music Electives 14
Minimum Total Hours14

One course of HUM 661HUM 662, or HUM 663 may be substituted for three music elective credits.