General Information

The Conservatory of Music and Dance offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees: master of arts in music; master of arts in music (music therapy emphasis); master of music in music composition, conducting, musicology, music theory and performance; master of music education; and doctorate of musical arts in music composition, conducting and performance. The Conservatory participates in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D program for students who desire music education as their coordinating discipline and education as a co-discipline. Graduate students in the Conservatory are also subject to the regulations, listed in the General Graduate Academic Regulations and Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Conservatory of Music and Dance does not constitute an approval of major. Graduate students attending the Conservatory of Music and Dance do not have a major until divisional requirements are met and an approved planned program of study is filed.

Requirements for Admission

All students applying for admission must:

  • Complete an application for admission.
  • Submit transcripts of all prior work.
  • Possess a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.0 for all prior coursework.
  • Perform an applied audition, the purpose of which is diagnostic only, except as indicated in certain divisional standards.

Meet admission standards listed below:

  • Choral Conducting
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: live interview/choral conducting students are required to audition before enrolling in applied lessons, but may be admitted without an applied audition.
  • Orchestral/Wind Conducting
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: live interview/applied audition.
  • Master of Arts
    • Achieve the level of (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 302 at the audition or submit area of concentration approval form.
  • Music Composition
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: submit portfolio of compositions for evaluation.
  • Music Education
    • Master's degree: document completion of a bachelor's degree in music education or the equivalent/have an acceptable interview with faculty from this discipline/provide evidence of musical proficiencies applicable to music education settings.
  • Musicology
    • Master's degree:
      1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music.
      2. Possess a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in undergraduate music history courses.
      3. Submit examples of writing. (The writing sample should be either 1) a research paper on some aspect of the major field - can be an earlier term paper from the baccalaureate degree or 2) a senior project from the baccalaureate degree.)
      4. Possess reading knowledge in at least one language other than English.
  • Music Theory
    • Master's degree:
      1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music theory or the equivalent.
      2. Possess a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in undergraduate music theory courses. 
      3. Submit examples of writing.
      4. Translate a selection into English from either French or German using a dictionary.
  • Music Therapy
    • Master's degree:
      1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music therapy from an NASM-accredited or the equivalent institution with a 3.0 GPA or better and have current CBMT Professional status, OR  (b) Possess a bachelor's degree in music or music education from an NASM-accredited or the equivalent institution with a 3.0 GPA or better.
      2.  Students who do not have the appropriate music therapy professional status will take coursework that covers undergraduate music therapy requirements. 
      3. An audition in the student’s applied area is required for diagnostic and prescriptive purposes for those not having current music therapy professional status.
      4.  A simulation of music therapy clinical skills is required for those entering with music therapy professional status.
      5. A successful interview with the music therapy faculty is also required for admittance.
    Performance
    • Master's degree: achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5501level on the major instrument at the audition.
    • Doctoral degree: achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5601 on the major instrument at the audition.
  • Performer's Certificate
    1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music.
    2. Achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5501 at the audition.
    3. Interview with faculty/coaches in the applied area.
    4. Submit a standard resume including performance experiences.
  • Artist's Certificate
    1. Possess a master's degree in music or the appropriate equivalent as determined by applied faculty in the area.
    2. Achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5601 at the audition.
    3. Interview with faculty/coaches in the applied area.
    4. Submit a standard resume including performance experiences.

Matriculation Examination

The matriculation exam applies to all students whose degree program requires a 5500-level music history and/or music theory class. The matriculation examination in dictation, music theory and music history must be completed by students before enrolling for the term of admission. Students must pass all sections of the exam or complete review courses (421A/B, 422A/B/C with a grade of B- or higher) before enrolling in 5500-level theory and history courses.

Students in the MM in Performance: Vocal Emphasis must demonstrate proficiency in Italian, German, and French lyric diction.

The matriculation exam in dictation, music theory and music history must be completed by all MME students before enrolling for the term of admission.  Students must earn competency level in music theory to demonstrate readiness to enroll in CONSVTY 5591G Pedagogy of Music Theory or successfully complete the requisite theory review courses (CONSVTY 421A/B) with a grade of B- or higher prior to enrolling.  Music history exam results will be advisory only and not result in any required coursework in music history.  Students wishing to enroll in a graduate course in music history as an elective will be required to demonstrate readiness to enroll either by exam or by successful completion of requisite history review courses (CONSVTY 422A/B/C) with a grade of B- or higher.

Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships

Graduate assistantships are available with stipends varying for the academic year depending upon assignment. Assistantships are available in accompanying, assessment, conducting, instrumental ensembles, jazz and studio music, keyboard skills, music appreciation, music composition, music education, musicology, music theory, percussion, pep band, piano, saxophone, recording/lighting, stage management and voice. Recipients are typically expected to devote 10 hours a week (more for appointments above the .25 level) in assigned duties. Applicants for assistantships should have and maintain a minimum 3.0 (B) grade-point average.

Students who wish to apply for assistantships or fellowships should visit Conservatory Admissions for application materials and a list of current positions. Applications must be submitted by March 1. Awards will be made by April 1, and a letter of acceptance or rejection sent to the applicant by April 15. Awarding a graduate assistantship is contingent upon admission.

For information concerning assistantships, fellowships and other forms of student financial aid and scholarships, contact the

Conservatory Admissions Office
(816) 235-2932
cadmissions@umkc.edu

and the

Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5115 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
http://www.sfa.umkc.edu

Degree Requirements

Retention and Minimum Grades

Conservatory graduate students must maintain a 3.0 graduate grade-point average in order to remain in good standing. A maximum of two courses not exceeding three hours of credit in each course at the 5500 or 5600 level in which C's are received shall be acceptable for the planned program of any advanced degree. No grade lower than a 3.0 (B) is acceptable in the major field.

Ensemble Requirements

All graduate students in the master of music and doctor of musical arts performance degree programs must enroll in Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Conservatory Wind Symphony or Conservatory Orchestra for a minimum of two semesters if their major instrument is an orchestral instrument. Master of music students in vocal performance must participate in Bella Voice, Conservatory Concert Choir or Conservatory Singers for a minimum of two semesters.

All graduate students in the doctor of musical arts conducting degree program are required to participate in at least one major ensemble, as advised by the conducting faculty, during each term of enrollment as a full-time student.

Foreign Language Proficiency Requirements

Master's students in musicology and theory, as well as doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting and keyboard and vocal performance must satisfy language requirements for the degree.

For all M.M. students in Musicology, a grade of B- (2.7) or better in a first-semester, sophomore-level foreign language course is required. Students must study French, German or Italian unless the substitution of another language is approved by the supervisory committee. A language proficiency test may be substituted for course requirements, provided it documents language capabilities equivalent to the completion of a first-semester, sophomore-level, course. This must be approved in advance by the supervisory committee. In such cases, a letter describing the process and results must be forwarded to the chair of the supervisory committee, the musicology area coordinator, and the Conservatory Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

For master's students in theory as well as doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting and keyboard and vocal performance who speak English as their first language, a grade of B- (2.7) or better in a first-semester, sophomore-level foreign language course or C (2.0) work or better in each of two junior-level courses or in one senior-level literature or civilization course is viewed as an adequate demonstration of foreign language skills. Students must study French, German or Italian unless the substitution of another language is approved by a minimum of two-thirds of the supervisory committee. A language proficiency test, if provided by language instructors or departments, may be substituted for course requirements provided it documents language capabilities equivalent to the previously described courses. In such cases, a letter from the university language professor, describing the process and results, must be forwarded to the Conservatory Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting or keyboard and vocal performance who speak English as a second language must achieve a score of 600 on the TOEFL exam. If students have not completed a TOEFL exam with a score greater than 600 before arriving at UMKC, they must complete a language test in English provided by UMKC's Applied Language Institute. All courses recommended by ALI must be successfully completed and a score of 600 on the TOEFL, or the equivalent as determined by ALI must be achieved. This policy applies to all ESL students regardless of the number of years they have studied in the United States.

The DMA in Music Composition, DMA in Instrumental Performance and DMA in Wind Conducting programs do not have a foreign language requirement.